UFO REPORT - 1997
1996 IN REVIEW
In our 1995 Review we said it was the year for Aliens and the Internet. After some 20 years we can say with confidence that 1996 was the year for UFO sightings. In fact it was more than that with Films, Conferences, Books, TV shows. The subject was raised on just about all forms of the media. This of course begs the question of which came first, the UFO sightings or the extra interest added by the media coverage. Its rather like the chicken and the egg conundrum.
The big box-office movie "Independence Day" came and went. The story wasn't much but the visual effects carried the day as the "Aliens" predictably lost the plot and the battle. Other films and TV dramas such as the X-Files, all based, it is claimed, on true events also captured the public attention. The X-Files appears to have made the most impact, but for all this most of the public are still loath to report events of high strangeness, even the investigators they think will "laugh at them" and not believe their encounters. The year also saw a wide range of publications in the print media, catering for just about any taste. Books were available covering, crashed saucers, government cover-ups, alien abductions, hidden bases, and more.
On an Australian note Bill Chalker's publication "The OZ Files" gave an excellent coverage of the UFO phenomenon in Australia, well worth purchasing for those who want to know what has happened closer to home. Other books have come from Stanton Freidman on Roswell and Majestic12, whilst Nick Pope's stories from inside the British Government make for interesting reading. Local media coverage during 1995 was virtually zero: the opposite was true for 1996. The Launceston Examiner gave the Centre able assistance with items at the time of the Tamar valley cases in May. This was followed up by an excellent report on the main Midland Highway sighting by the Hobart Mercury. The only negative note was the continued insistence by some journalist to link the "Slime Reports" of November with the UFO phenomenon. Other general stories on the subject appeared during the year. TUFOIC executives were also interviewed on the radio a number of times as sightings caught the public eye.
A number of Conferences were held during the year but, due to family commitments and costs no TUFOIC members were able to attend. This is regretted as the conferences had high profile speakers plus an opportunity to strengthen ties with fellow investigators and groups. Another disappointment on the Australian scene is the emergence of the Hotline telephone numbers. Many would-be witnesses who enquire where to make sighting reports are only advised of the expensive Hotline contact rather that the local Investigation group in their state.
UFO sightings have made a return to the world-wide scene although if it was not for the Internet, one would not be aware of this. Increased activity has come from Europe, the Americas, and of course Australia. Our annual listing of cases from fellow groups and the media usually makes a page in length.
This year we could fill up six pages. The surge of UFO sightings seems to have come from just about everywhere. The Gosford area of New South Wales started it all over New Year, then as the year progressed Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia all reported sightings.
Membership has shown some increase whilst the Centre has also regained a Northern Representative. However, the death during the year of Ron Jolly (ex President) was a loss that the group will find hard to fill. Ron held the position of President for many years and was always available to performs tasks for the Centre.
TASMANIAN REPORTS STATISTICS FOR 1996
Total Reports - 175
Astronomical - 58
Aircraft - 13
Satellites - 10
Meteorological - 3
Balloons - 8
Ground lights/Flares - 8
Insufficient Info - 19
Under Investigation - 5
Slime Deposits - 5
Unidentified - 46
TASMANIAN SIGHTINGS 1996
The increase in reports late in 1995 almost overran the Centre in 1996 with the most UFO sightings since the mid '70s. On average, we received a call every second day from the public; at times it was difficult to follow up all the reports. The UFO component for the year will probably settle near the 50 mark. Following the nature of UFO investigations a number of cases are still to be completed whilst others from earlier years have still to be followed up.
The UFO cases appeared to come in three bursts, first January to February, then May to June, followed by October to November later in the year. Generally sightings occurred from most parts of the state with the exception of the east Coast and far North-East. The first calls were Nocturnal Lights cases in the Derwent Valley and areas about Hobart, plus Close Encounters in the Huon. A few cases came out of the North which then exploded into a rash of sightings centred on the Tamar Valley during May to June. Sightings returned to the South in October and November but events occurred elsewhere at widespread locations in the North.
Some features were noted during the year. In the Tamar Valley reports of a misty daytime cylinder to cigar shape object appeared during the daytime, and it was sometimes associated with a misty appearance and had a penchant for just disappearing into thin air. Another tendency was for witnesses to have repeated sightings from the same locality. This type of incident occurred from Fentonbury, Huon, the Tamar Valley, Forest Vale, Bridgewater, and Cornwall.
May, with 12 reports was the month with most sightings, followed by January with 7, then March and November with 6 each. Just how many UFO sightings went unreported we can only guess at, but in all probability, the Centre only saw the tip of the iceberg.
"Nocturnal Lights in the South"
Following a lift in cases in the second half of 1995 little occurred over the New Year period. First indication of things to come were a series of calls in the south of the state about lights that performed various moves that were hard to describe away as satellites etc:
Seven reports came in quick succession over the period January 17th to 21st, one of the sightings from Warrane being in the same area as three cases in the suburb in 1995 (Annual report 1996).
Initial reports were from the Derwent Valley late on the evening of January 17th. Several witnesses watched star-like lights moving on a track into the south-west sky. Between lights number 2 and 3 there seemed to be explosions of light as if the lights were firing at each other. The explosions appeared near each light as a white, orange, and red flash.
About the same time as the Derwent Valley report, several children from Kingston told their parents of watching star like lights in the sky. A light with a fuzzy glow was noticed moving across and down the sky until it merged with a larger stationary light. There was a flash and three lights were now visible, two of these soon disappeared. However, a third light (possibly the first noted) could be seen moving away across the sky in a wobbly motion.
Two nights later on the 19th, further reports came from the Derwent Valley. Between 11 to 11.30pm, lights were seen moving towards the south west. The lights were side by side, then one light moved ahead or slowed for the second light to catch up. The lights moved about erratically and crossed over paths as they disappeared away into the sky.
The same night at about the same time two witness in Claremont reported seeing two lights moving across the sky towards the west. The lights when overhead crossed over their paths; one light went into the north east whilst the other was joined by a third light as it went away to the west.
Yet a third erratic light report came from the north on the 21st. Two youths fishing at Windermere on the Tamar River watched a flashing star-like light approach from the north and fade away to the south. As the light crossed the sky it moved in a zigzag motion.
A further Nocturnal Light report from Gagebrook was reported on February 13th about 9.15pm. M had been out in his backyard and could not help noticing a very large and bright white light to his south-west. This light was in view for the next 35 minutes as it moved north, dropped to a 30 degree elevation, then went back up to 70 degrees. From this point it went straight down, stopping and flashing Colours at one point. Then it went behind the Dromedary Hills lighting up the hills before it was lost from view.
"Object Over Highway"
In the later half of 1995 three UFO sightings were logged from the Warrane suburb of Hobart, and on January 21st, the Centre received its 4th case. D was driving home from work on the Tasman Highway just after midnight. He was some 2 km from the Tasman Bridge when he noticed something ahead over the highway. D said he could see a rectangular shape with a slope on its left side. Most noticeable was a white flashing light moving across the lower part of the object. As D slowed down for a better look he also noticed a large egg-shaped light outside the main rectangle. This light was somehow moving clockwise around the object. The object which was in view for several minutes retained its position ahead of D as he approached the Tasman Bridge. After driving beneath the underpass just east of the bridge D was unable to locate the object any more. D said he saw only one other vehicle. This was near the start of the sighting, a motorist looked to be getting out of his car to view the object in the sky. The Centre was unable to locate any air traffic in the area.
"Lake Country Cases"
For a moment it looked as if the Centre was going to have a run of cases from the Lake Country. Two reports came to hand from the same area but then nothing else eventuated.
Two fishermen on Lake Sorell's northern shore reported a sighting soon after dark on the evening of January 18th. They noticed two bright white lights in the western sky. The lights which gave the impression of pointing down were slowly loosing elevation until they were just 10 degrees above the western skyline. The witnesses kept a watch on the lights for some time but, they remained in the same location. Eventually they rose back up into the sky. As they did so a reddish light looked to appear from behind the lights. It performed some erratic moves to the south then returned to the parent lights. This performance was repeated two more times. After this the lights seemed to recede to the north-west. They were still visible as a distant light when the fishermen retired for the night.
Just over a month later on February 25th, and only a few kilometres away from the January sightings another two witnesses reported a strange light. Late that night R and his son noticed what they took to be a bright star low in the eastern sky. They took more interest when they saw it grow in size until it was about quarter moon sized. To their surprise the bright white triangular shape commenced a movement along the skyline as it headed in a south to south-east direction. The object looked to move in a wavy motion as it gradually went away, finally being obscured by nearby hillsides.
"Close Encounters in the Huon"
Unbeknown to the Centre, some strange events were unfolding in the Huon Valley. Quite by chance late in the year the Centre heard secondhand about the sightings and was able to follow up with details from the major witness involved. Other rumoured sightings took place about the same time but not enough data could be obtained on these cases, although a number could have been due to meteors or satellite re-entry. One has to say there seemed to be a lot of astronomical activity.
The first Huon Valley event occurred during January when L was travelling home from a friend's at about 10.30pm. Some lights were noticed in the west, which looked to be descending and moving along above hills to the west. By the time L arrived home an object was visible in a dip in the hills to the north. A silver white elliptical to dome-shaped mass of light could be seen. It had a beam of light pointing towards the ground. There were also a number of coloured lights that were moving anti-clockwise around the lower side of the object. The object was still there when L went to bed.
In February, L moved to a nearby farm and it was here that two strange encounters involving figures was to occur. M, who owned the property, later told the Centre that his father visiting at Christmas (1995) had told him he had seen a UFO over the hill by the farm. M had written this off as his father was not familiar with the area. However, later in the year, he had woken one night to find his room brilliantly illuminated. He did not look out and after a few minutes it all went dark again.
L says that about 2am she had woken up to find her room all lit up. She had a feeling that she should get up and go outside; if nothing else she would locate the source of the light. L went out onto the verandah overlooking the garden and nearby paddock some 50 metre distant. In the garden she saw a tall thin figure, and in the paddock behind was a long brilliant white object or mass of light, which was illuminating the area. L also recalled there was a metallic type smell a bit like burnt wiring.
L still had a feeling to go down into the garden and proceeded down the steps until she was only 2 or 3 metres from the figure. The figure meanwhile had beckoned her with its left arm and as she came down the steps it had moved back. The figure was well over 2 metres tall and rather thin. It had long wrap around eyes that sloped up at the side of the head. Suddenly L felt frightened and accordingly she retreated back onto the verandah. The figure was still there so she grabbed some furniture from the verandah and threw it into the garden to scare off the figure. The commotion woke up M who looked out to see L on the verandah. At once he went out finding L in a disturbed condition but seeing no figures or light sources. L says that the figure just seemed to disappear when M came outside.
A week or so later the whole episode was to be repeated. Once again L had woken in the early hours with a telepathic feeling to go outside. On reaching the verandah the same or similar figure was standing in the garden near the house. This time, however, there was no light mass in the paddock but there were two smaller figures with the tall figure. L did notice there was the same metallic smell as in the previous encounter. The tall figure stood out against the background as it was surrounded by a mist effect. It also had on a silver-one piece covering with a band around the waist. The smaller figures were half the height of the tall figure. They had dark round eyes with a round body and small arms and legs. The little figures were blue/green in colour. They were placed on each side of the tall figure and seemed busy with jerky moves as they looked about. One figure had a trowel-like instrument which it kept pointing towards the ground.
L had the same feeling as in the first encounter, that she should follow the figures. this time L did not leave the verandah and after watching for a few minutes she returned inside. Once inside she locked the door and looked out the windows; however, she could no longer locate the figures.
No traces of the encounters were found in the garden or the paddock, although L says the horses in the paddock on both occasions were seen to be running about and not asleep as usual. L who had previously been employed in the media said she had no more than average interest in the UFO phenomenon. Subsequently she had contacted her brother who had sent her some books and she had also taken extra interest in sightings and watching the night sky.
"Northern UFO Flap"
What started as a series of unconnected events early in the year became a surge of sightings during May. However, as is often the case with UFO reporting and investigations, it can take months to collect all the data and in fact sightings often come to hand many months (or years) later. Sightings occurred maybe as early as January in the Tamar Valley area but it was not until May that sightings peaked. Only a few isolated UFO reports came from elsewhere in the state despite a good coverage in the media on events.
The central location for sightings appeared to be the Swan Point area with the initial case occurring on February 7th sometime after 8.30pm. Three lights, each as big as a car were clustered together about 20 metres above the water of the Tamar River. These yellow white lights were so bright they hurt the eyes to look at them. A soft generator sound like a refrigerator running could be heard as the lights came a bit closer to the witness. Then they just went out as if turned off like a light and nothing more could be seen.
More lights were reported on February 29th at 10.20pm. A family of six at nearby Robigana reported sighting a mystery light whilst they were watching the clear night sky. A white light with a blue pulse had appeared in the north-west sky. The pulsing light was moving towards the east. The children had seen the light first and called it to the attention of adult members of the family. The light had travelled to a position virtually overhead where it had stopped in the sky for about five seconds. The light had proceeded straight up at an increasing speed, the pulsations seeming to slow as the light went faster. Within five to ten seconds it was no longer visible.
The action moved south of Launceston in March with reports of bright orange lights. R told the Centre of two sightings out towards the Western Tiers, one about the middle of the month and the second late in March.
The first UFO report occurred about 10.30pm when R and a friend saw a round orange light in the sky towards Blackwood Creek. The light was stationary but the surprising thing was its departure. After being in view for about 10 minutes it just went up and away over the top of the 1200 metre range and was out of sight in seconds. A similar orange light was seen later in the month, this time it was over the Bracknell area. Once again the light moved off towards the Tiers, but within a couple of minutes it had reappeared moving back on a path towards the east. It now had more of an oval shape and was a red colour casting a glow around itself. The light did a turn and moved away into the north disappearing into a long thin cloud.
About the same time late on the evening of March 25th a witness reported seeing a bright orange light to the south of Evandale. After some time the light changed into four lights, one on top with three below. The lights moved away towards the southern horizon and were lost from sight.
Early April saw a turn in events as two car pacing reports came to the Centre's attention. Car pacing's, a phenomenon that had been common in the 1970s had only been reported occasionally since then. Mrs. H told how she was returning to her home near Deloraine about 7.15pm one evening in early April. She was a couple of kilometres from home passing through an area of open paddocks when a cobalt blue light appeared to her right (north). It looked to be only a small ball of light with a teardrop shape and a tail to the rear. Mrs. H felt that it was so close she could have almost touched the ball. She was travelling at 80 kph but the light just remained in the same position just alongside the car. The light which was there for a couple of minutes almost had a mesmerising effect on the witness. In fact she lost sight of it when she glanced back at the road and found she had wandered into the centre of the road. Mrs. H took her eyes off the light as she rounded a curve and when she looked to her right there was nothing to be seen. The following day Mrs. H noticed she had a brown mark on the top of her right wrist. It was a couple of centimetres long. It faded after the application of some skin cream.
The second car pace report occurred on the evening of April 4th when Miss J and her friend were travelling to the East Coast. They had a brief encounter with a speeding light about 9pm.. They were driving along the Fingal Main Road on a straight section near the Mt Nicholas turnoff some 10 k west of St Marys. At first she and her companion thought someone was 'tailgating' their car. Two white lights with a blue aura had moved up rapidly behind their car. Miss J looked out through the back window to see the lights merge into one light and seemingly take up a position only a metre from the rear window of the car. No other detail could be made up due to the brightness of the light. The next thing J says was that the light just went up and above the car. At once the car and immediate area were lit up by a bright light. She tried to locate what was above the car but could not see anything. In a few more seconds the light just went out and all returned to normal. The sighting had lasted about 30 to 40 seconds in all. No other traffic was noted at the time although they could see car lights well to the rear after the sighting had concluded.
"Tamar Flap Peaks."
The Northern Flap peaked during the month of May, nine cases occurring between the 22nd and 26th. A feature during the period were the day time reports of the mystery cloud and cylinder.
A large proportion of the UFO reports came out of the West Tamar area. An article in the Launceston Examiner of June 9th provided details of sightings by Ruth McAuley from her home at Swan Point. The first case on May 8th started when her dog Ellie had let out a strange growl. Mrs. McAuley had taken the dog to the door and noticed out to the north a huge light dropping down over the water. Through binoculars she could make out an orange coloured cone radiating yellow, green, and red fingers. It took up a position over the river and was hovering as she looked at it, then it seemed to be spinning as it started to move. After about two minutes it went straight up, slightly left of its descent, then just disappeared into nothing.
A week later at 7.40pm on May 15th the UFO was back. Again Ellie was growling as if she sensed something. Mrs. McAuley looked out to see a bright light over the river, and this time she was able to call her husband to view the light. A very bright yellow to white shape was only a few hundred metres away over the river. The light hovered briefly lighting up a pylon 200 metres away from the house. As it moved towards the hills to the east a soft sound like a generator could be heard. Much to their surprise the light speared straight up into the night sky and shrank to nothing.
Whilst returning home on May 22nd about 3.30pm the McAuleys noted from near Brady's Lookout what appeared to be a vapour trail to the north. However, instead of dissipating it glowed like a huge orange to copper upright cigar. Then it just disappeared in a matter of seconds.
The similarity to later cases is interesting. But more was to come that evening about 11 PM. Ellie was again growling at the front door. Letting her out Mrs. McAuley saw a huge circular white to yellow light to the south-west. This light was very low in the sky and approaching fast. Mrs. McAuley decided to try and get the light on a photograph and so she ran in to find her camera. On returning outside she found the UFO was overhead. She could hear a muted generator sound from the object which was now more cigar-shaped and was surrounded by a smoky coloured vapour. The object continued its movement across the river away to the north- east. As Mrs. McAuley lined the UFO up for a photograph and pressed the button it just seemed to disappear in an instant.
The same evening as the McAuley sighting another report came from nearby Robigana. T and his wife were travelling from Robigana to Beauty Point just after 6.30pm. As they left Robigana T had noticed a bright light travelling fast from the south-east to north-west. The blue circular shape had an orange top with an estimated size of 4 times Venus. As they headed north the light crossed ahead of T's car, then it halted in the sky and started to pulse from blue to white. T hoped they would get closer to the light as they neared the Batman Bridge and although the object rose and fell a few times in the sky it always remained well ahead. When he arrived at the intersection near the Batman Bridge and turned for Beauty Point T had to look away from the object. When he looked back there was nothing to see.
Following publicity on recent events in the Launceston Examiner more UFO reports surfaced; some of these were the mystery daytime cylinder with its associated vapour. Possibly Mrs. W and her family from west Launceston may have had such a sighting on May 24th just before 7am. She reported they had seen an oval shape in the clear morning sky at first it had been taken for a cloud. The object was a long oval shape, pinkish in colour at first with a grey line across its base. As they watched the colour changed more to a silvery grey with some glow about it. The object remained in the same place in the eastern sky for about 20 minutes. Suddenly it departed towards the east. The object was out of sight in 3 or 4 seconds as it just shot off to the east disappearing behind a hill near Mt Barrow.
That evening yet another UFO was sighted , this time from a farm east of Scottsdale, almost in the area towards which the West Launceston object had departed. Miss R tells how she and her sister were lying in bed about 10.15pm just looking out at the night sky. Her sister pointed out a bright star in the northern sky and as they tried to work out which star it was they noticed that it was moving. As it approached they could see it moving up the sky towards them and changing in shape. They could now see a bright yellow light flanked on the left by a blue flashing light. When it was apparent it was going to pass overhead they opened the window for a better view. As it silently went over they saw a triangular pattern of lights. There were two large yellow lights at the front, these were followed on either side by a blue light and two red lights. The blue lights; Miss R noted, were no longer flashing. They ran at once to their brother's bedroom on the opposite side of the house and were able to pick up the lights to the south. The lights passed away behind trees in that direction and were not seen again. A nearby resident told the family of seeing a bright white light about that time. The light was low towards the farm. The resident had gone out for a look but was unable to locate the light.
May Day for UFOs."
The following day, May 25th proved to be a busy one with three sightings. It started with a daytime sighting of the mystery cylinder, a possible car pace, and another UFO over the West Tamar.
Mrs. K told how she and her husband were travelling into Launceston on the Bass Highway just before noon. Nearing Prospect a glint of sunshine caught her attention. To the south-east Mrs. K saw in a clear blue sky a cylinder shape in a horizontal position. The cylinder did not appear to be moving and was shiny silver grey in colour. There was a thin type of vapour coming from the end facing to the east. The manner of the cylinder's disappearance puzzled the witness most of all. The cylinder was obscured from view for a second or two by a tree branch, in that fraction of time it just disappeared!
That evening about 7.15pm Mrs. A was returning home to George Town along the Weymouth and Bridport Roads. She was following her husband as they took the family cars home. As they headed down the Weymouth Road she noticed a bright yellow light appear to the rear of her car. Mrs. A was frightened when the elliptical light then took up a position on the driver's side of the car. Despite turning onto the Bridport Road and heading west the object just remained alongside the car, keeping pace just above the roadside trees. The moon, Mrs. A recalled, was clearly visible in the sky above the object. Mrs. A said she was too scared to look at the object all the time but it was there out the corner of her eye all the way. Eventually they reached the intersection with the West Tamar Highway. Mrs. A said she had a good look before turning north, then she found that the UFO was no longer visible. Arriving home she told her husband what had happened. They returned along the road but saw nothing.
Around 8.30pm that evening a Beauty Point resident reported an orange glowing triangular to cone shape low down towards the direction of Sidmouth. The shape became brighter and dimmer over a period of nearly one and a half hours. For a period 5 or 6 very bright blue and red lights appeared below the main shape. These lights faded out after some four minutes, or they moved to the left of the triangle as some other lights were seen in this area. The orange triangle remained in view but it eventually faded and the witness was not sure how it disappeared.
On May 26th around noon the mystery cloud was again seen against the background of a clear blue sky, this time by two witnesses in Launceston. Visible in the sky was a vertical cylinder shape which resembled a cloud. At the top there was a lighter patch which gave the impression of a hole. The cylinder did not move in the few minutes that it was in the sky. However, its disappearance was similar to a number of other sightings. The witnesses looked away for a few seconds and when they looked for the cylinder again it was nowhere to be seen.
"Grand Finale to Northern Flap."
One of the major reports of UFOs from the Launceston area in the May to June period seemed to herald the close of the flap. Early on the afternoon of June 10th (about 2-3pm) Andrew Souto and Simone Woolnough had an experience they will not forget in a hurry. The day following their sighting they contacted the Centre with initial details on the UFO sighting. This enabled a quick follow up with Launceston Airport, an interview with the witnesses, whilst an excellent article subsequently appeared in the Hobart Mercury. Simon Bevilaqua, the Mercury's Launceston reporter, also interviewed some of the witnesses of the mystery cylinder and was as equally puzzled as TUFOIC's investigators.
Whilst driving past Symmons Plains, heading north on the Midland Highway the witnesses had their first sight of a bright white something in the sky. As they drove on it resolved into a white but narrow horseshoe shape hovering in the clear blue northern sky ahead. It then looked to move more away to the distant north-east. Several minutes later it had returned to its position over the road ahead. Andrew and Simone were now just south of the Evandale turn off. At this stage the UFO changed into a solid white object as the centre of the horseshoe was now filled in. The object started to lose elevation, coming down so low that the trees and power lines to the right of the road were now behind it. It was no more than 500 metres ahead of the witnesses, so Simone speeded up to try and get even closer .At this point they tried to take a photograph from the moving car. They were not very successful as the flash went off and the photograph is also blurred due to the movement of the car. However, before they could approach the location of the UFO it once more receded into the sky, moving off at a fair speed towards the Ben Lomond range. As it crossed the sky it looked to pass not very far from a light aircraft going into Launceston Airport. The object had disappeared by the time they reached Perth, but, they decided to go to the Airport. At the Airport they enquired about air traffic in the area but did not get much response to their story. Heading on home down the old highway the same or similar white line appeared in the sky ahead for a second time. It was at first moving down towards the ground, then it changed into a cigar shape and moved away into the northern sky. after some 5 minutes or more it could no longer be seen.
The following day around 8.30pm a witness at Bell Bay saw a dull grey dome-shaped object with a number of white and green lights along its base. The object was stationary at first, then it started an arc across the sky in the direction of the witness. As the almost moon-width shape approached, the witness decided to retreat indoors and failed to see in what manner the object moved off.
The Centre received able assistance from the Launceston "Examiner" which ran a number of "On the Spot" items in the paper, plus passing on contact points for a number of the witnesses. This was complimented by an overall cover on the flap by a later article in the "Mercury". Every effort was made by the Centre to uncover an explanation for the sightings but to date the cases remained unexplained. The concentration of reports in the Launceston area was also a feature of the flap.
Whilst the Northern Flap was progressing a number of other sightings occurred elsewhere. A Kettering witness on March 10th about 5pm saw two flashing silvery white lights moving south across a cloudy sky. What really caught his attention was when the lights separated diagonally very quickly, then just as quickly moved back together and continued on their original path. They disappeared into the hazy sky.
The Centre spent a lot of effort investigating the next sighting from Rosebery. The sighting occurred at 11.20am on March 11th. Enquires were made with local and interstate air traffic controls but no air traffic movements were known of in the area at the time of the sighting. The T family who were visiting Rosebery had seen a metallic shiny object rising in the south-western sky. It was so shiny and at first no definite shape could be made out. Then it hovered and seemed to be laying horizontally. It had a rectangular shape with pointed protrusions beneath. No other features could be distinguished. Then the silent object gained elevation as it commenced a movement towards the south-east. After a few minutes it had been obscured by mountains in that direction. The Centre and local newspaper checked into local and high flying aircraft in the area but drew a blank.
A noise like the quick release of air from a tyre alerted Mr C and his son to a bright orange glow outside their Carlton Beach home just after midnight on March 23rd. Looking out Mr C saw a bright round yellow to orange shape with two lesser white lights on either side. The object was visible in a stationary position above garden trees. Mr C went to wake his wife but, by the time they looked outside the object was moving away to the west south-west. Trees in that direction finally blocked off any further view of the lights. As in the Rosebery report the Centre made considerable effort to check out air traffic movements in the area but once again none were reported at that time.
One report outside of the May Northern Flap came from a Hobart suburb on May 23rd. A young boy (11) ran home to tell his family of a weird whirring noise he heard whilst en route to the nearby shop. Looking up above he had seen a circular shape, it was silver in colour with a ring of red and purple lights. The object was not moving and the young boy ran home to call out some other witnesses. By the time he had aroused attention the object was no longer visible.
The remaining case on July 20th was from a trainee pilot who was flying evening circuits near Hobart Airport between 6 and 9pm. Whilst flying on the circuit she had noticed a bright white light in the northern sky. This light seemed always to be to the rear of the aircraft despite the direction they were heading. The circuit took the trainee on various headings, whilst heading south the light was to the rear of the aircraft (north), then when heading north it was still to the rear (south). After landing the witness pointed out the light to the north to a couple of other people. Whilst they watched, the light appeared to gain elevation and receded into the northern sky until it was longer visible.
The North-West Coast
The Centre does not receive a great many reports from the state's North-West Coast. There are a number of reasons for this, we are not in the local telephone directory, the distance from Hobart, and there are only a few members on the Coast. Local calls are probably directed to the mainland UFO Hotline whilst the local media rarely pass on sightings.
After a lull in the sightings we received a report on September 10th from a motorist travelling from Devonport to Launceston. Mrs. H often travels at night in connection with her work. She has driven from such areas as the West Coast over the years and never noticed anything particularly strange. However about 10.30pm she set off for home in Launceston from Port Sorell. When a few kilometres from the Bass Highway she noticed what she took to be an aircraft approaching Devonport Airport. In the sky out over Bass Strait was a bright green and white set of lights, then it looked to be falling out of sight so Mrs. H took it to be a shooting star. As she travelled south on the highway Mrs. H was surprised and a bit disturbed to see the light had reappeared ahead of her car. sometimes it was to the right of the road and at other times it was to the left. Not far from Elizabeth Town she again saw it suddenly fall from the sky. This time it came so low that it was obscured by nearby pine trees. Soon afterwards Mrs. H noticed it was back in the sky again. This continued all the way to Launceston with the light remaining ahead of the car on one side of the road or another. Mrs. H was also puzzled a few times when bright white lights appeared ahead as if a motor vehicle was approaching. She dipped her car lights but nothing came past. The light was still visible from her Launceston home in the southern sky but Mrs. H was too tired to watch what happened to the light.
Attention moved further along the coast in September with two sightings from Burnie, then a third October case from Wynyard. Mrs. L was returning home on September 18th around 11.40pm. She was heading into Burnie along the Bass Highway near West Park when a line of lights caught her attention. At the time it was raining and there had been a thunderstorm. Mrs. L saw a line of four or five very bright orange lights out over the sea. They seemed to be just above the water and only a short distance from the shore. The lights did not appear to be moving and with the rough conditions it was unlikely any vessel would be that close to the shore. Mrs. L glanced away for a second and when she looked back the lights had gone.
A few days later the Burnie Advocate reported on Mrs. Walker's sighting on September 24th at 10.15pm. Mr. Walker had been looking for the Russian space station Mir but instead saw something unexplainable. He reported seeing a bright orange and yellow light moving rapidly up and down in the southern sky. The light then suddenly departed into the north western sky at high speed, it was out of sight in a matter of seconds.
A month later on October 22nd D was travelling home past Wynyard at 8.42pm. She noticed flashing lights to the north of the road and slowed down as something seemed to be approaching from that direction. Visible was a brilliant white light that seemed to be in the centre of a grey shaped object, the top of which was not clearly defined. Either side of the central light were now steady red and blue lights. The object was now within 500 metres of the witness and looks to be n only a few metres above the roadside paddock. D felt panicky at this stage and hurried off. As she does so she noticed a white van coming to a stop and assumed someone else has seen the UFO. The next day she returned to the sighting point but there were no traces in the paddock. She also contacted the Police but they had not received any other reports of lights in the area. The Centre followed up for aircraft movements on that evening but none occurred at the time of the sighting.
October and November
Following an easing in reports there was more activity towards the later part of the year, much of it created by the flurry of interest from the "Slime Reports". A few cases were under investigation but the Slime coverage in the media started an avalanche of calls, many of which had no connection with the UFO phenomenon. However, a number of puzzling sightings came to hand. Mrs. J of Molesworth told of some strange lights she and her husband saw whilst driving home in the early hours of August 31st. They saw a cluster of white star-like lights just above a hill towards Collins Cap. The lights seemed to be in an area surrounded by a pink glow. The lights which were in view for over 5 minutes just kept darting about in a random manner before they just disappeared out of the sky.
Another nocturnal light report came from a Fern Tree resident on November 2nd around 9pm. A light that looked to be a satellite was noticed moving in a NNE direction, then the light faded as if disappearing into the distance. However, the witnesses were surprised when the light performed a U turn and travelled back in a southerly direction, getting faster and fading out of sight.
A more complex series of sightings resulting from the Slime publicity was to originate from a number of Bridgewater witnesses. On the evening of October 10th several travellers in a motor vehicle on Hobart's Northern Outlet noticed a strange object seemingly pacing their car. The bright glowing oval shape with a flattened base moved across to the west. When it moved it adopted a more front down and back up position. The object did not disappear but returned into the view ahead as the witnesses approached Bridgewater. then it shot off towards Mt Dromedary and was out of sight in seconds, travelling like a bullet, one witness reported.
The following evening the witnesses were returning home again on the Highway and sure enough about the same area they noticed the bright oval UFO. This time it moved about in the sky as they dropped off a friend at Brighton, and it was still visible when they reached home in Bridgewater. Watching from their home they could hear a roaring jet-like noise which seemed to be coming from the oval shape which was now low in the north-east sky. The noise also made their dog howl. The UFO seemed to drop down as if to land in paddocks beyond the rise to the north-east, it disappeared from sight and was not seen again. Mrs. M's next door neighbour said if the UFO was seen again she should let him know. The next evening (October 12th) A from next door was just driving up to his home when he saw the glowing oval to the south-east. At the same time Mrs. M also saw the UFO in the sky. Together with A they watched the object dart off into the sky then come back again soon after to a position over Cove Hill. It performed this move several times. When it moved A said it looked more elongated like a blimp shape. Again a noise could be heard coming from the direction of the object which was now shinning a beam down towards the hillside. Finally the object just shot off to the east and was out of sight in seconds. A said he tried to take a video of the object but nothing came out although the moon and stars could be seen when they replayed the video. Mrs. M said she called Hobart Airport and the Army at the time of the sightings but no one could come up with an explanation.
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