by Diane Harrison & Robert Frola
Guyra Media Reports
ABC News Item: Received 5:52 AEDT (ABC News Dept Hobart)
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 23:14:58 -0800 (PST)
Police divers searching the water supply dam at Guyra, on the northern Tablelands of NSW have found what they describe as a subterranean cavern. or tunnel, below the water line John McFarlane reports the divers were called in after suspicions that a meteorite or a piece of space junk had crashed into the dam.
LATER THIS AFTERNOON, THE POLICE DIVERS FOUND THE CAVERN, INDICATING THAT AN OBJECT HAD ENTERED THE WATER AND THE FLOOR OF THE DAM AT HIGH SPEED. THEY SAY IT TRAVELLED THROUGH THE EARTH FOR ABOUT 12 METRES AFTER IMPACT. NO OBJECT HAS YET BEEN FOUND. THE DIVERS HAVE NOW SUSPENDED THEIR SEARCH UNTIL TOMORROW MORNING. AND IN OTHER NEWS THIS AFTERNOON, HEATH AUTHORITIES ANNOUNCED WATER IN THE GUYRA DAM IS NOT CONTAMINATED ........ JOHN MCFARLANE, TAMWORTH.
DOES GUYRA HAVE A UFO IN IT'S DAM?
Date: Thu 9th Dec 1999
<radio transcript snips>
Melbourne researchers, JOHN AUCHETTL [LtCol] and RON BARNETT [Dr] from Phenomena Research Australia (PRA) reported on Radio National today.
"We flew up from Melbourne yesterday and have been up at the location for over 24 hours. We plan to do a 'fly over' to get some vision on the ground effect. But at present the site is cold and from reports the event has taken place some time between Monday and midday yesterday.
We went over the impact site in some detail. It is located in the Guyra water supply dam on the outskirts of the town, north of Armidale (NSW Australia). We arrived at the location very early on the 8th [Dec] and checked out the location with a number of research tools. The radiation level at the site was at normal back ground level. That night, an IR camera was used to look for hot spots, none were located. Samples has been taken and will be looked at.
We did find the site interesting. Normally, we would not travel to such sites, but the information sent to us from DoD warranted a look. So yes, the impact has some strange aspects to it that need to be looked at. For example:
· Angle of entry to the dam was very shallow less than 45 degrees.
· For such an impact to occur in a population of about 2000 no one recalls a sound of a sonic booms or explosion.
· The surface has burn marks; this is very unusual for a meteorite impact.
· I had a good look at the reeds on the bank. They are down in a strange shape not quite like an explosion but have the characteristics of a compression wave.
· The mud splash is also interesting as it lets us know how much energy was in the impact but the sting in the tail, with this impact, is on the other side [bank], the object may have skipped on the water.
· There was no witness to the impact.
After our examination, I cannot rule out an explosive device, or some elaborate hoax. Viewing the site makes me feel confident that it's not man made. We need to get the samples looked at and someone needs to go down into the mud and water and have a look. My first hypothesis is that it a meteorite. But that just conjecture.
We felt that the area should be shut down until the police cleared it, and they have done that at last. The media - radio and TV - have taken to this story with some vigour and it's turned into a bit of a "zoo". Some of the stories are starting to develop and the precision will soon be lost. One, media reporter wanted me to run the alien story line. I can tell you right now there is no report of 'little green men'; in fact, there is not report of the event from any locals, around the area at present.
The alleged object was not seen entering the dam and while the subject is 'press hot' and everyone is running around the area, little can be done. I can say until further evidence is presented the matter remains unresolved and at the moment a police and EPA problem. With time we will follow up any data that may end the mystery."
"UFO Dam Mystery"
Date: Published: Thursday December 9 7:43:01 AM
Guyra, a township in northern New South Wales has had its water supply cut off after an unidentified object crashed into the local dam. Plans are now in place to truck water in from Armidale and Glen Innes.
Some time between Monday and midday yesterday the projectile slammed into the Guyra water supply dam on the outskirts of the town, north of Armidale. Police said it was first noticed by a local council employee carrying out routine maintenance work.
Fire brigade spokesman John Hobar said an area of reed beds measuring four metres by 10 metres had been flattened, fuelling suspicion that the object may have fallen from the sky. But he said he had checked with a number of space agencies, meterological experts and authorities in Canberra and there had been no sightings of an unidentified object falling from the sky.
Hobar said the brigade's hazardous material unit went to the scene and tested the water for toxins and radioactive material, but the results were clear. "We're not prepared to declare the water safe until we actually site the object. We're not prepared to take any risks."
Water supply would only be restored when authorities could guarantee its safety, he said. The local council has isolated water supply to the town by switching off pumps and treatment works. Hobar said crews were unable to identify the object last night because it had become embedded in the dam and the water was muddy. Divers will be brought in this morning to try to make a positive identification.
Divers to search for mystery object in dam
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 04:50:44 +0100
Police divers will attempt to find an unknown object which crashed into the water supply dam at Guyra on the northern tablelands of New South Wales. Officers say they hope to have the results of tests being done on samples taken from the dam by mid afternoon, to allow the lifting of severe water restrictions. Eamonn Fitzpatrick from police media says divers will be sent in later this afternoon to try to find the object, which has flattened reed beds and thrown up mud in a line, 15 metres long and six metres wide. He says the impact site has already revealed what is not likely to have caused the impact "The reeds have only been flattened, not broken, that suggests to us that the object is smaller than the size of the impact area," he said. "We have been making checks with authorities in Australia and world wide and that's revealed that this object is not part of a man made satellite orbiting the Earth, and doesn't appear to be part of an aircraft or anything like that."
Mysterious Object Lands in Dam
Date: Updated 8:37 AM ET December 9, 1999
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Is it a UFO, space junk, a meteorite or simply frozen sewage? Whatever it turns out to be a mysterious flying object has landed in an Australian country dam, leaving a large crater, and sunk beneath the mud. Air tests around the dam found no radioactivity, but water supplies from the dam to the nearby town of Guyra have been cut.
Police have also erected a one-mile no go zone around the dam, as curious locals and scores of media descend on the sleepy town of Guyra, 250 miles north of Sydney.
"At this stage we don't really know what the object is," said a police spokesman at Guyra. "It has made a significant depression in the floor of the dam."
The mysterious object, which landed sometime between Monday and Wednesday, has left a 50-foot-long and 20-foot wide crater. The object appears to have hit the dam at about 45 degrees and skidded before sinking.
Theories of what the object is ranged from a meteorite to frozen sewage jettisoned from an aircraft. But most ruled out a UFO or space junk.
UFO threatens water supply in NSW town
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 11:45:33 +1100
AAP - A township in northern New South Wales is facing severe water restrictions after an unidentified object crashed into the local dam. Some time between Monday and midday yesterday the projectile slammed into the Guyra water supply dam on the outskirts of the town, north of Armidale.
Police said it was first noticed by a local council employee carrying out routine maintenance work. Fire brigade spokesman John Hobar said an area of reed beds measuring four metres by 10 metres had been flattened, fuelling suspicion that the object may have fallen from the sky. But he said he had checked with a number of space agencies, meteorological experts and authorities in Canberra and there had been no sightings of an unidentified object falling from the sky. Mr Hobar said the brigade's hazardous material unit went to the scene and tested the water for toxins and radioactive material, but the results were clear. "There's a township of about 5000 people and they're on severe water restrictions now," Mr Hobar told AAP. "We're not prepared to declare the water safe until we actually site the object. We're not prepared to take any risks." The local council has isolated water supply to the town by switching off pumps and treatment works. Mr Hobar said crews were unable to identify the object last night because it had become embedded in the dam and the water was muddy. Divers will be brought in this morning to try to make a positive identification.
Town's water supply tested after mystery crash
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 13:39:24 +1000
Testing will continue today on the water supply dam at Guyra in northern New South Wales after an unidentified object crashed into it.
Emergency services have quarantined the dam and severely restricted the use of water until they know what the object is, and whether it has left any dangerous residue.
The object gouged a path 15 metres long and six metres wide in reed beds and mud at the dam sparking a full emergency response.
The fire brigade and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say initial testing has determined the object is benign, but want to carry out further testing today before giving the town water supply the all clear.
Divers are to be sent down later this morning to physically examine the object and until then no-one is prepared to speculate what it might be.
A police guard was put at the scene overnight and the media were directed to leave the area by hazardous materials officers from the fire brigade.
The dam itself was not damaged and there have been no reports of casualties.
Divers find cavern in hunt for mystery object
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 22:13:36 +1000
Police divers searching the water supply dam at Guyra, on the New South Wales northern tablelands, have found what they describe as a subterranean cavern, or tunnel, below the water line.
The divers were called in after suspicions that a meteorite or a piece of space junk had crashed into the dam. Late this afternoon, the police divers found the cavern, indicating that an object had entered the water and the floor of the dam at high speed.
They say it travelled through the earth for about 12 metres after impact. No object has yet been found. The divers have now suspended their search until tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, this afternoon health authorities announced water in the Guyra dam is not contaminated. Reeds near the water's edge were flattened and large areas of mud disturbed when something crashed into the water.
But no-one knows exactly what it could have been.
The truth is out there . . . in down-to-earth Guyra
By STEPHEN BROOK and GEORGINA SAFE
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999
THE northern NSW town of Guyra - population 2020, elevation 1300m - was inundated with visitors and abounded with theories about little green men yesterday after an object was discovered to have fallen to Earth and into the local dam.
But locals were unlikely to take a shine to any possible newcomers even if they had travelled from as far as outer space. "They say you have got to be here 40 years before you are considered a local," said June Ridley, whose home is closest to the crash site and whose property Glenhaven borders the dam.
The crash site was a circular scar three metres in diameter where reeds had been sheared clean off on the western side of the dam, nestled in picturesque hills 15 minutes from town.
"She's come in from the east," duty officer Stuart Bartholomew said of the object.
The Australian Defence Force was called in, roadblocks were erected, divers with metal detectors arrived from Sydney, the water supply was shut down and an emergency meeting of State Emergency Services, ADF and NSW Fire Brigade personnel was held at the site.
"We have never had so much traffic on this road," Ms Ridley said. "There's that much in space now that it could be anything."
This morning the reeds will be dug out using an excavator, allowing police divers to search for the object possibly buried in a tunnel 1.5 metres beneath the mud.
Geologists have determined the object is most likely a cricket ball-sized meteorite - rejecting other theories that it could be a piece of space junk, a fallen object from a plane, a hoax designed to increase local tourism, even the famed Guyra Ghost or a spaceship.
Local radio was full of reports of an incredibly bright meteorite blazing north-west across the sky at 8.30pm on Monday.
Filtration plant manager Peter Starr said he almost fell into the hole when he discovered it at lunchtime on Wednesday while carrying out routine maintenance work.
"I'll be the last one to find out what it is," Mr Starr said yesterday of an X-files-style operation mounted by police and local authorities.
ADF checks revealed the object was not part of a man-made satellite orbiting the Earth and there have been several reports of meteorite activity in the area over the past few days.
John Goulding, 73, of Ballina, reported a low flying "meteor or whatever it was" travelling north above Guyra at 8.36pm on Tuesday to the Coffs Harbour office of the NSW bureau of meteorology. "I thought it's not going to go very far before that thing hits the ground," he said. Four separate meteorite sightings were reported to Guyra Shire Council from Monday to Wednesday, a council spokesman said.
The water was turned back on about 4pm yesterday after tests by the NSW Health Department and Environment Protection Authority yesterday established the dam was free from toxins.
Wishing for a star: Guyra hit by mystery flying object
By SIMON BENSON in Guyra
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999
IT FELL out of the sky, without a sound or even a flash of light.
But a "mystery object from space" which landed in the Guyra dam has left the town agog. Nobody is sure what it is or where it came from, but the locals certainly believe it to be extraterrestrial.
This morning an excavation team will arrive in the northern NSW town to unearth whatever it is that has brought the town into national focus.
Authorities are still at a loss to explain the phenomenon after a local council worker stumbled across a 15m circle of flattened reeds on the banks of the Guyra Reservoir at 9am on Wednesday, prompting the council to shut off the town's water and call in everyone from the Environment Protection Authority to the RAAF.
The decision to retrieve the object was made yesterday when police divers from Sydney discovered a 20m long tunnel under the impact site on the dam's edge. The object appears to have come out of the north-east sky at a trajectory of about 45 degrees sometime between Monday night and Wednesday morning.
One of the few, but growing number of witnesses to the landing, truck driver Wayne Peterson, said he saw what appeared to be a falling star about 9pm Monday. "It was blue in colour between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball and it came from an easterly direction," Mr Peterson said.
Excitement grew late yesterday when police divers emerged from the mud to explain they had found a tunnel about 40cm wide extending into the reservoir.
Two consultant geologists brought in from Armidale - 40km south of Guyra - believe it could have been a meteorite weighing about 5kg, about the size of a grapefruit.
Council worker and water engineer Peter Starr, who first alerted authorities, said at the time he was on a routine check of the dam. "I was just walking down there and saw this thing and thought obviously something had lobbed in there and obviously it had come from the sky. I told my general manager and since then they have kept us away."
Local landowner Dave Bearup said the first the town new of it was late Wednesday.
Many of the town's 2000 people were at a meeting when sirens were sounded and police made a public announcement of the discovery.
The RAAF, which has been conducting flight training in the area over the past week, ruled out the object being a piece of one of its F-111s. Other theories including the impact being caused by a piece of space junk or frozen effluent from an airliner, were also ruled out.
Last night the water was given the all-clear, test results indicating there was no contamination or radioactivity.
Unexplained happenings are nothing new to Guyra. Two F-111s have crashed there in the past 15 years and there is a legend of the Guyra Ghost, blamed for inexplicable occurrences during the 1920s.