Now Then


By George Simpson © AUFORN Victoria

The Martian Coincidence.

The planet Mars recently swung by earth in an unusually close position. Sometimes it does this, about once every 60 or 70 thousand years. We were all very fortunate to have the opportunity to witness such a rare occurrence.

Statistically there is often an increase in the number of UFO reports world wide when Mars is at it's closest. Why would this be that significant that it has been noticed? Could it mean that UFOs come from Mars? I don't think so, but it might have something to do with more people looking upward when the media tells us that Mars is closer than usual.

Something like this happened recently at the exact time when we were all told to go outside and have a look at the Red Planet. Well it did for quite a few people in Melbourne, especially those living around Boronia, Ferntree Gully, The Basin and neighbouring areas of the foothills of the
Dandenong Mountains.
Many reports came in from the area to our sightings hotline on the night of August 27th 2003, at about 8:15 pm.

People reported seeing a group of lights that flew across the sky at about aeroplane height, below the clouds. These lights really caught people's attention, because they moved swiftly and silently. One lady reported that they changed 'formation' as they traveled silently across.

Most people reported eight to ten red or orange lights moving swiftly towards the Dandenong ranges from the North. For some people the lights disappeared behind trees, for others they went into clouds.

A man reported that they went directly overhead where he was, and that they were a yellow colour. A lady reported that 13 UFOs went over the top of her house.

Another lady, from The Basin, reported that these lights appeared to have come from somewhere near the city, and traveled very quickly across Melbourne towards the Mountains. She said she could see them clearly, and that they were like nothing she has ever seen before. They then headed east, and split up and shot off into the distance in an instant, going in different directions.

That detail on it's own tends to rule out the balloon theory. Some of the witnesses considered whether or not they were seeing balloons, but concluded that balloons can neither travel that fast against the wind, nor disperse in divergent paths as these lights did.

About ten minutes later another two lights went over, but these went towards Belgrave, and appeared to hover over Belgrave for about ten minutes before disappearing behind or into clouds. These were silent too.

One of the witnesses was a local councilor who reported that he had never seen any thing like it. Another man went outside to see Mars, but never saw it. Instead he saw these eight lights heading East, but all on different trajectories, as if they had just split up. He reported the sighting to the police. They mentioned to him that there had been quite a number of people phoning them with similar reports.

While most people reported seeing either red or orange lights, one lady reported them as being “Goldie white creamy pale yellow”. “Beautiful round lights”.

The number of reports means that there's no denying that 'something' was seen. These things reportedly defied the wind, traveled quickly, and split up.

While the timing of this event could put it instantly into the skeptics “solved” basket, the reports would have reflected much more ordinary behaviour had the objects been ordinary. They didn't.

Something that was pretty 'ordinary' was the sad passing of Graham Birdsall of the British UFO magazine. Graham was the producer / editor of the worlds largest selling UFO magazine. One direct result of his passing was the cancellation of this years UFO conference in Leeds.

I'm hoping that the magazine and future conferences in England will continue in his honour. As long as there are enough people with sufficient enthusiasm to get the job done there will be hope. It seems to be something worth continuing, that's for sure. I suppose time will tell.

Cheers. GS