Grafton NSW - Monday, 6th April 1998. 7.05pm.
While skywatching, I observed a group of eight star like objects moving in formation, each a little fainter and the formation as wide as the Orion Belt Stars in comparison. What amazed me, was the manner in which they were all rapidly changing position within the formation. All eight objects would drop back, move across, than move forward within the formation, weaving around each other. They did this at rapid speed, each staying in position only momentarily, than quickly taking up another position within the formation. Incredible maneuvering at that speed without crashing into one another. Almost as if they were playing some type of game with each other. I would call it the "Dancing of the Spheres". The formation was horizontal in flight and moving very fast. Their altitude is difficult to estimate, but would be about 4 - 5,000 feet. They were first noticed just west of my location, about eight kilometers away, and heading due south at high speed. Observed for about 12 seconds as individual objects. And about 5 seconds as a whitish haze as they flew off into the distance.
When plotted on a topographical map of the area, their flight path was directly over an "A" and "B" grid Point as calculated with Bruce Cathie Gridworks computer Program. ( Author of the Harmonics series of UFO grid system books )
The next few days were overcast and no observations were undertaken.
Saturday, 18th April 1998. 7.20pm.
A formation of UFO's flew by Grafton again to-night at 7.20pm just to the East this time. Same size group, same speed (very quick) and at about 10,000 feet or less, same direction (South). Took one photo (end of roll) with 1000 ASA film.
I suggested to the 30 members of the Australian UFO Researchers Network (an e-mail information and contact exchange now operating for about 12 months), that it might be an idea for those on the East Coast to Skywatch between 7 - 8pm for a few nights. To see if you can spot them. It would be best to find a good open view to the South, with good view to east and West horizon. This would give a better chance for longer observation of them if they come your way. Than scan all the sky you can see.
If they come within your view you should not miss them (unless looking in other direction at the time). It was suggested to look for an illuminated white haze moving fast, it will catch your eye if in your sky space. If you get a closer look at them, you will see the individual objects. Have your camera in hand ready to shoot quickly, they are travelling at about 1km per second (3,600km/hr)
Sunday, 19th April 1998. 6.35pm.
I decided to begin skywatching early, and I am glad I did. Directly overhead at an altitude of about 4,000 feet. A huge V formation of at least 30 objects moving South. Each object holding its position in the formation, but "buffeting" a little in position. Their colour was a moderately bright yellowish white. The formations' width was about 15 cm at arm's length. I took 5 photos during the 10 second sighting. There was no white haze surrounding the formation as viewed from underneath, but could have appeared as a haze if seen from a distant because of the objects illumination.
Five minutes later, a second smaller group seen further to the East of Grafton, and twice the altitude. This could have been the group I have been seeing on the 6th and 18th. Tried to video this group, but my camera not good at night. Nothing seen. Same speed and white haze as last nights.
I notified the Australian UFO Network that "If we are not in a "Flap" situation, it may not be to long before we are." "That is about 40 objects all up. They must be busy."
Monday, 20th April 1998. Grafton. 6.50pm.
Last nights photos developed to-day. Nothing showed on the photos taken last night. The 1000 ASA film had one frame on the last of the roll, nothing there. The 400 ASA last 5 frames showed some light spots, but not the formation photographed.
400 ASA colour film seems to be only useful for open aperture time exposure at night, not 30th of a second exposures, especially with a 200mm lens at f 2.8.
Now I have loaded both cameras with 800 ASA Fuji Film. One camera has a 58mm f 1.2 lens. The other a 55mm f2 lens. Now I think I am ready. Went to Skywatch at 6pm. Sky overcast but the odd star showing through.
6.50pm, just happened to look over my shoulder, over the roof of the house and saw a group of 7 or 8 UFO's. They were quickly changing position within the group as they circled in a wide arc. They came from the North, turned West just before Grafton City, and headed North again. They were moving very fast, and the formation changed from horizontal to vertical during flight. I took about a dozen photos of this first pass, with camera speed at 15th sec, and some at 8th sec. If these come out, there will be a short trail in the image because of the speed of the group.
I than raced downstairs to a dark corner of the back yard. Waited about 3 minutes, and they returned. This time doing 2 circles North of town, this time a bit wider. I took a total of 17 photos of this one group. Plotted on a local map, they were circling just West of Ulmarra. The centre of this flight path would be over Elizabeth Island in the middle of the Clarence River. So I jumped in the car and drove North of town to Boat Ramp, which is only 1/2Km from this island. Stayed 1/2 hour but they had gone.
Monday, 20th April 1998. 9.15pm.
Well, I thought they were gone. Just before going to bed, I thought I would just have one quicker look outside. Time 9.15pm. Same group of about 12 did a pass over my house heading North. This time I had a witness who yelled to me " Did you see that?" I did not hear her because of being down the back yard. But I had taken 3 photos of this group with the "Diffraction Grating" on the f2 camera. The sequence of passes over Grafton by this same group follows.
9.15 - overhead to the North.
9.30 - west of town to the South.
10.00 - overhead to the North.
10.20 - west of town to the South.
10.40 - high overhead to the North.
The passes over town were about 2 - 3,000 feet. I had taken a total of 34 photos by the end of the night.
Tuesday, 21st April 1998. 9.20pm
Took film in for processing. Guess what? NO IMAGES OF THE GROUP. 800 ASA film, f1.2 58mm lens at 15th, 8th sec. exposure, and STILL no image. You can make out the overcast cloud in the photos, but no light from the objects. There are some frames with images on them, which I am working on now.
It appears that the light from the objects is not photo sensitive. I now have 1600 ASA film loaded. Will keep trying.
5.00pm. went out skywatching while still daylight with my video camera, you never know. Nothing seen. Continued watching until 7.30pm, nothing seen.
Just before going to bed, outside again. 9.20pm saw a group high up approx. 6 - 8,000 ft. heading North in "V" formation at speed 50% faster than any other group seen at this stage. Must be about 5,000Km/hr followed by a second group 20 seconds later. This group on same path, lower, and usual speed.
Over the next 1 hour and 20 minutes, I saw the same group 6 times going north than South. Once coming in from the East. They seemed to be concentrating on the North and West of Grafton this time. No photos taken because they were not bright enough.
The flight path of first group of UFOs observed on the 6th April was plotted on a topographical map of the area. I first estimated the height of this formation at about 40,000 feet. But when taking into consideration the angle when they were first seen, and the angle last seen above ground level, I revised their this altitude to under 10,000 feet, possibly 3 - 4,000 feet.
You may ask, "How could I be so far out with this judgment?" Consider observing a satellite passing overhead. We know the size of satellites. We know that they orbit the Earth between 100 - 400 miles altitude. But if you were unaware of this knowledge, and observed a satellite passing overhead, you could estimate its altitude at 40,000 feet or so. The same applies to aircraft. We know their size and wingspan so can estimate their altitude taking into consideration these known facts. But with UFOs it is a little more difficult, especially when only a glowing illuminated light source is seen, not the physical craft.
When I plotted the flight path of this first group, taking compass bearings of the first and last observed positions, they were about 8km West of my position. With a line drawn on the map from start to end of sighting positions, the group of UFOs had covered about 12km in 12 seconds. Equal to 3,600km/hour.
With the sequence of fly overs on Monday 20th, ranging 20 to 30 minutes for a return North - South trip, I was interested to work out how far down the coast they could travel in this time.
On a Map of NSW with 5cm = 100km.
20 minutes = 1,200 seconds = 1,200km @ 1km/sec. = 600mm
30 minutes = 1,800 seconds = 1,800km @ 1km/sec. = 900mm
So I cut two pieces of cotton thread, one at 600 mm, one at 900 mm. tied the ends. This would give my the length of the return flight times.
Placed on the map with one end over Grafton, the 900 mm (30min) flight time reached right on the N.S.W. Victorian Boarder. The 600 mm thread (20min) time reached Sydney, or Katoomba West of Sydney if their flight path continued the same line all the way.
The time when the UFO group came in from the East, they could have traveled from Grafton down the coast, circled just South of Sydney, and returned just out to sea until reaching Brooms Head, came inland over Ulmarra and back over Grafton. All in only 20 minutes. Try this on a NSW map for yourself.
After watching these UFO formations many times over this Flap period, and seeing how they maneuver so controlled, even when grouped very close to one another, especially in the V formation that passed directly overhead consisting of at least 30 objects, it is difficult to imagine them ever crashing. They are clever, and the technology they have mastered is amazing. There would be only two reasons that they would crash to Earth, (1) Mechanical malfunction. (2) Shot down.
Similar event in Brisbane.
10th March 1998.
With regards to these fleet of objects seen by Barry, I saw something similar but during the day! On Tuesday the 10th of March at around 3pm in the afternoon, my attention was drawn to a light aircraft, which had throttled down while flying over my home here in Springwood, Brisbane. I am in both the flightpath for Archerfield Aerodrome and Brisbane Airport. I looked up at the aircraft, which was flying at around 1000ft, and above it, were a dozen or so objects flying in a Y formation towards the north. These objects were estimated to be about 1500 to 2000ft altitude, and were travelling quicker that the light aircraft. The objects were boomerang shaped and glinted in the afternoon sun. The apparent size of each object was about three millimeters at arm's length, which at an altitude of 1500 to 2000 feet would make the object's wingspan several metres in diameter. As they traveled across the sky, I called out to a friend, and he saw the objects as well. Duration was about three minutes before they disappeared into the sun's corona, and they changed formation from a Y to a V a couple of times.
I spoke to a wildlife bird specialist, and the closest bird with a large wingspan is the Wandering Albatross, which is a solitary bird, and normally flies 20kms of the coast. No other large bird comes close to the estimated wingspan, or travels at that altitude and formation above Brisbane.
They are similar to and may be connected with Barry's sightings. Had no camera thought, and if I had, would have produced good pictures of these objects.
In response to John Frodsham's reply on the 22nd April 1998: Dear Robert, In any case, Wandering Albatrosses do not fly faster than light aircraft. I think we may safely rule them out. Best wishes, John Frodsham, wind speed can vary at different altitudes. It is always wise to check with the Meteorology Department to see what weather patterns were present on the day in question. If the wind speed was greater that the knots traveled by a light aircraft, then indeed, an object would travel faster than the aircraft. In this case, Wandering Albatrosses were not the objects seen that day.
John Frodsham, e-mail address: email@example.com
Sources for this issue:
Barry Taylor, PO Box 1157, Grafton, NSW 2460
UFOICQ, PO Box 805, Springwood, QLD 4127