The year past will be remembered for the unidentified percentage of 4.9%, the lowest figure since TUFOIC was formed in 1965. The addition in recent years of computer investigatory tools such as programs that display the Night sky as it would have appeared at the time of a particular sighting, Satellite tracking programs, and the Internet, which is an instant source of up to date Astronomical and Satellite Information, have rendered what may have remained unexplained, into ‘case solved’.
Could we explain all of the cases given enough information? Probably not. However, it seems that many sightings that appear in UFO lists elsewhere or that are reported on the Internet could have quite mundane explanations, if one was to delve a little deeper. A good example of a case that in previous years may have been classed as unexplained came from a country town recently. Two witnesses reported a bright light moving towards the north-east sky, losing elevation, then seemingly stopping in the sky. Then it gradually gained elevation before being obscured by cloud. Investigation revealed that the light crossing the sky was the Russian Space Station MIR, which just happened to enter the earth’s shadow (and fade from view) alongside the planet Jupiter, which was then observed by the witnesses as it gradually moved higher into the northern sky. Initially a mystery light, but with information on correct directions and elevations, the case was solved.
With only 5 unexplained cases for the year, there were obviously no discernible patterns. One point of interest was that unlike previous years, only one case came to our attention that had occurred in a previous year.
One is left to ponder if we have now gathered up most of the older sightings that had so far gone unreported.
The average number of investigations per year since 1965 stands at 95 with an unexplained percentage of 19%. This high figure is somewhat distorted, as many of the cases that occurred some years back, and which have only recently been reported are more likely to be of a higher strangeness level and hence more likely to classed as Unidentified. The more mundane light in the sky with probable astronomical cause reports are less likely to be reported many years after the event, thus keeping the Unidentified percentages abnormally high.
Last year, Astronomical and satellite explanations accounted for 60% of the year’s reports.
Maybe the prize for the year’s most unusual report were the flashing blue lights on an irrigation system alongside the Midland Highway.
The year 2000 sees no TUFOIC Annual Report for the first time in 30 years. The Centre has found it difficult in recent years to produce the Report on time. The Centre has now adopted the Australian Ufologist for the publication of our investigations and news. On the downside there has been the increase in fees and a small drop in membership. However, this is far outweighed by our members now receiving a high quality publication each quarter and on a regular basis.
TASMANIAN STATISTICS 1999
TASMANIAN UNIDENTIFIED REPORTS - 1999
17.01.99 GRANTON 0115hrs
The witness was some 1-2 kms north of Granton when noticing four round almost moon-sized shapes just above the water over the river. The witness stopped the car and wound down the window. No sound could be heard from the glowing golden circles. They looked like wheels with glowing spokes and bright patches of light all of which pulsed in unison. The witness continued on towards New Norfolk and lost sight of the circles.
05.07.99 ROSS 1940hrs
The witness turned on an exterior light at an outside shed. Almost at once he noticed to his south something very low beyond trees at a paddock’s edge some 200 m distance. It looked like a rectangular structure about the size of a house. It was illuminated by an orange glow. It seemed to have some vapour about it. As he watched for about 10 seconds it seemed to be rising up and tilted at an angle. It just faded out of sight as he watched. He enquired at a nearby house the next day but no other witnesses were located. The sighting location had no unusual marks or traces.
12.08.99 FRANKLIN 1810hrs
Initial witness sees what is assumed to be a falling star. However, it comes to a halt in the south-east sky at about a 35 degree elevation. The witness calls a friend to come and look at the star-like white light. They both watch it move a short distance north then south. Soon it started to gain elevation moving up towards the area of sky where it first appeared. Near 7pm it had risen to a 70 degree elevation and was lost from sight.
17.09.99 GEORGETOWN 2010hrs
A George Town resident reported sighting a number of puzzling lights. “I noticed a bright white light over West Head and thought it looked too bright for a star. Then I noticed a green and red flashing light about 10 -15 degrees to the right of the bright white light. The flashing light was moving in the direction of the stationary white light. The green and red light seemed to pass through the white light and turned into a white light. Still travelling in the same direction when there was a gap of 25m between the lights, the first white light followed the second light for 3 or 4 seconds. Then they both stopped and went back along the same path to the original position of the first white light. One light then kept going north, the other stopped and returned south along the top of the Asbestos Range”. The lights soon were lost from view, one behind the range, the other travelling north and fading into the distance. Checks on aircraft and astronomical explanations failed to uncover an explanation for the sighting.
29.12.99 PORT ARTHUR 0100hrs
Witness woke in the early hours and checked out the night sky which proved to be overcast. She was surprised to see a cluster of star-like lights in the north-west sky. The lights seemed to move about in a confined area as they moved left then right as they lost elevation. The witness heard no noise as the lights were in view for about 5 minutes. they were obscured by the roof of the next door house. The lights were seen over a bush covered hillside and there are no other light sources in the area. Investigation found that cloud cover was about the 800m level.
TUFOIC Investigations coordinator: Keith Roberts.