updated May 2011




PO Box 738








In October 2001 an extraordinary abduction report emerged from Gundiah Queensland. Amy Rylance was said to have been carried head first through a window and abducted, right in front of a friend, Petra Heller. Amy's husband, Keith Rylance reported her abduction to Queensland police. While police were in attendance at the Rylance property, a telephone call was received from Mackay, some 800kms north of Gundiah stating that Amy had turned up there, in a distressed and dehydrated state.

Di Frola and Bill Chalker conducted an investigation on behalf of AUFORN and their report was widely distributed. On the surface, the event was spectacular, seemingly a UFO abduction witnessed by someone else as it happened, with the abductee turning up at a distance not long after her apparent abduction. However, all was not as it seemed. Journalist Kevin Corcoran of the "Fraser Coast Chronicle" newspaper, in an article 12 months after the event wrote:

"Mystery still surrounds the trio at the centre of an alleged abduction by aliens of a woman from her Gundiah farm a year ago. Except for a few Brahman heifers, the farm is deserted. It has been unoccupied since English born Keith Rylance, his wife Amy, then 22 and house-mate Petra Heller, left the country after the story of Amy's abduction by aliens broke." The account went on:

"Officer in charge of the Tiaro police Acting Sergeant Robert Maragna, who was first at the property after the alleged alien visit, is 99.9% sure that the abduction was nothing more than an elaborate hoax."

Given our success with the Federal Freedom of Information (FOI) Act it was decided to use the Queensland FOI Act to try and secure copies of any papers on the above case. To this end, an FOI request was submitted to the Queensland Police Service asking for any documents "held relative to the police investigation of the alleged "abduction" of one Amy Rylance, formerly of Gundiah, Queensland on or about the 4th & 5th October 2001."

In a letter of response, the Queensland Police Service replied that "Following receipt of your application, inquiries were conducted at Tiaro Police Station for documents relevant to your request. As a result of those inquiries nine (9) documents were located and a determination made concerning them." The response went on to state: "I have determined today, to exempt from release all documents pursuant to section 44(1) of the Act. I consider the information contained in these documents relates to the "personal affairs" of a person other than yourself and is exempt from release pursuant to section 44(1) of the Act."

A retrospective investigation is currently being undertaken into this reported UFO abduction. The Rylances are believed currently to be in the north of England. Any UK reader who might wish to assist in this research is asked to contact the Project.


That reply from the Minister of Defence

Late last year the Project directed a letter to Robert Hill, then Minister for Defence, as follows:

Over the last two years I have been locating and examining federal Government files relating to the subject of Unusual Aerial Sightings (UAS), utlising both the Archive and FOI Acts.

I understand that up until 1994 the Department of Defence (DOD) was the federal government agency tasked with the collection and analysis of such reports from the general public. I further understand that in 1994 the DOD ceased this function and that from that date reports of UAS by members of the public to the DOD are referred to civilian UFO research organisations.

The current DOD website (at access contacts under UAS) has a statement of the current position of the Dept. on UAS reports, which states in part:

Current Defence policy on UAS where members of the public may have questions on, or seek to report sightings is to direct them to their local police authorities or civil Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) research organisation

DOD files I have examined demonstrate that between the 1950’s and early 1990’s, besides reports from the general public, the department received reports from members of the DOD, civilian airline crew and air traffic controllers.

I would therefore seek your response to the following questions:

  1. If current UAS reports from the general public are referred onwards, what happens to reports made by members of the DOD, civilian airline crew and air traffic controllers?
  2. How many reports have been made since 1994 to the DOD from members of the DOD, civilian airline crew and air traffic controllers?
  3. If there have been any such reports made by members of the DOD, civilian airline crew and air traffic controllers since 1994 may I obtain full details of these?
  4. Since 1994, has the DOD maintained any personnel whose duties include the monitoring, collection or analysis of UAS reports from members of the DOD, civilian airline crew and air traffic controllers?
  5. In the years between 1947 and 1994 did the DOD ever conduct any scientific research into the subject of UAS, and if so, who conducted this research and what where their findings?
  6. Given that the RAAF was the area of the DOD involved with the collection and analysis of UAS reports between 1947 and 1994, and publicly announced it was ceasing this function in 1994; did any other area of the DOD continue with this role between 1994 and today?
  7. Has any area of the DOD conducted any scientific research into the subject of UAS between 1994 and today, and if so, who conducted this research and what were their findings?

"I look forward to your response."

A response was received, as reported in a previous Newsletter. However, requests have come in asking for the full text to be published, so here it is.

As you have correctly asserted, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) formely had a responsibility for investigating and assessing the validity of UAS. However, after careful examination of the factual data and historical records that had been gathered over many years, it was determined that the collective evidence did not warrant the continued allocation of resources by the RAAF to investigate and report on UAS. Subsequently, the RAAF ceased this function.

I can advise that Defence does not accept UAS reports, but directs any such reports to local police authorities or civil unidentified flying object research organisations, through the relevant state telephone directory. I can also advise that defence does not maintain records on UAS or on the number (if any) of attempts to report them. Neither does the RAAF maintain any personnel whose duties include the monitoring, collection or analysis of UAS reports from any source. In addition, Defence has never conducted any scientific research into UAS.

Were Commonwealth Police at Westall?

One of the tantalising aspects of the 6 April 1966 incident at Westall, a Melbourne suburb, was the reported presence of uniformed men, possibly RAAF, at the scene.

Shane Ryan of Canberra who is leading a re-investigation of the event (see an excellent online Yahoo group about this event at has been following possible leads that members of the Victorian Police force may have been in attendance. However, despite Shane being able to locate a number of Police Officers who served in 1966 near Westall, none recalled the incident.

From Government UFO files, it is known that State Police forces assisted investigate UFO reports on behalf of the RAAF. This was reinforced when a copy of file series number PP474/1 control symbol 5/5/Air was examined. This file contains papers which extend between Jan 1951 and June 1960 and is a record of investigations conducted by RAAF Pearce in WA. Throughout this period there was continual use of the WA Police forces’ resources to interview UFO witnesses in that state. A similar arrangement existed between RAAF Townsville and the Queensland police force.

Keith Basterfield of the Project wondered if perhaps the Commonwealth Police may have been involved? A search of the NAA’s RecordSearch revealed only one possible file A1533 1956/2626 Part 2 titled Incidents, bombs and hoaxes-other than aircraft. This is a Commonwealth Police file covering the year 1966. The NAA have recently released a copy of the file to the Project. However, an examination of this file reveals no documents relating to Westall.

This lack of official documentation, on what at first glance appears a classic UFO case, is puzzling.

RAAF file J63/25 control symbol 5/40/Air part 3

Ninety six pages of this file, which came from the RAAF Townsville base, have so far been released. There are numerous low-weight nocturnal light observations plus a number of intriguing reports, which include:


  • 22 Mar 1975 2230hrs Dingo-Mt Flora Road, 1.3mls south of Emmerdale Station, near Nebo, Qld. Five young people in a car were travelling in a northerly direction when they sighted an unusual object only some 30m off the road. They turned the car around and cruised past the spot, then turned again and parked by the object thus affording them a good view. A ring of lights surrounded the object and above this was a large disk shape. The object had purple coloured rings within it, which decreased in size. In the middle was a black central disc about 6 inches across. The lights which circled the UFO increased in brightness and blinked on and off quite fast. A very loud bang sound was then heard. The witnesses left the scene. Shortly thereafter they met members of a road construction gang at their camp. One of these workers accompanied them back to the scene but when they arrived nothing unusual was visible. One of the witnesses reported the incident to the Nebo police the next day and the Senior Constable Curley of Nebo Station visited the scene to find one large round shape on the ground plus three half moon shaped marks all of which appeared fresh. The RAAF also investigated the scene, interviewed one of the witnesses and spoke to two construction gang members, plus took photographs of the scene and the marks

  • 30 Aug 1975 115nm ENE of Mackay Qld 1233z 10-15 secs. Pilot Ware and co-pilot Hyde were flying a 10 Squadron Neptune aircraft when the pilot noted lights on or slightly above the horizon at 300 deg az mag. The aircraft was heading 290 deg az mag when Ware sighted three white lights. Two were in the same horizontal plane and the third positioned half way between and above that plane. They were moving horizontally left to right. The lights continued to move to the right and approach the aircraft. The pilot drew the co-pilot’s attention to them then banked the aircraft to the left and climbed believing a collision might occur. The lights passed down the aircraft’s starboard side, and seemed to disappear as if into cloud. The co-pilot clearly saw the same group of lights which he said were the size of Venus but not as bright. They shone steadily a white/yellow colour. The lights were not picked up on the aircraft’s radar.

What files has the Project found?

Attachment one to this Newsletter is a full listing of the Australian Government UFO files so far uncovered by the Project. As can be seen, files have been sourced from a wide range of current and former Federal Government Departments. If any reader has come across any other relevant files, the Project would be most interested to hear of details.

The Project has spent hundreds of hours preparing page by page summaries of many of these files. The master set of summaries are kept by Keith Basterfield and Dominic McNamara. Any requests for an electronic copy of a specific file summary may be directed to Snail mail hard copies are also available upon request. Currently the Project is waiting for the release of only four more files, including 580/1/1 parts 33-35. Then, this painstaking task will be complete, unless additional files come to light. The full file listing has also been posted to the Project website at

Project interviews

As mentioned in Newsletter 28, the Project is looking to interview still living individuals who may have had an important sighting. A classic Australian case occurred in 1954 involving a Navy pilot named Shamus O’Farrell. Two Navy files were located in the Archives. Details are as follows:

Summary of file number MP926/1 Control Symbol 3079/101/1titled Unidentified Objects (Flying Saucers sighted by Navy Pilot over Goulburn) located at the Melbourne Office of the National Archives of Australia. The file consists of 19 pages.


Minute paper cover

Indicates file was examined in 1954, 1955, 1957, 1961, & 1963

2 & 3

Drafts of document to The Minister



Newspaper clippings December 1954



N.I.D. Internal Circulating Chit Sep 1954



DNI memo 1 Oct 1954 forwarding reports to DAFI



DNI memo 1 Oct 1954 to Commanding Officer Nowra advising reports have been passed to the Committee which has been set up to consider such reports

No such committee is known to UFO researchers.


RAN Air Station Schofields 24 Sep 1954 memo to DNI Melbourne



RAN Nowra 6 Sep 1954 memo to Captain (Air) referring reports



Captain Air 24 Sep 1954 to RAN Air station Nowra. No RAAF aircraft in vicinity



Report by Pilot dated 2 Sep 1954



Report by Radar operator Undated



N.I.D. Internal Circulating Chit 16 June 1954 covering report on page 19

Pages 18 & 19 do not relate to Navy Pilot’s report


Naval Officer In Charge WA area 11 June 1954 memo to DNI Melbourne re UFO report from Denmark WA



Summary of file number SP338/3 Control Symbol 13/4/10 titled Unidentified objects [flying-report of] located at the Sydney Office of the National Archives of Australia. The file consists of 10 pages


Report by radar operator. Undated.

Same as MP926/1 p. 17


Report by pilot dated 2 Sep 1954

MP926/1 p. 16


Captain Air 24 Sep 1954 to RAN Air station Nowra. No RAAF aircraft in vicinity

MP926/1 p. 15.


RAN Air Station Schofields 24 Sep 1954 memo to DNI Melbourne

MP926/1 p/ 13.


RAN Nowra 6 Sep 1954 memo to Captain (Air) referring reports

MP926/1 p. 14.


Another copy of report by Pilot dated 2 Sep 1954

MP926/1 p. 16


Another copy of report by radar operator. Undated.

Same as MP926/1 p. 17.


RAN Minute 15 Sep 1954 seeking approval to forward report to DNI

Not on MP926/1


RAN Minute 10 Sep 1954. Debate as to whether or not to forward report to DNI

Not on MP926/1


Captain R Rhoades to Captain (AIR) Australia referring report

Not on MP926/1

The Project is currently in the process of negotiating an interview with O’Farrell.


 Contacting the Project

PO Box 783
Jimboomba 4280