A treasured item in my library of UFO literature is a yellowing copy of the February 1955 issue of “Flying Saucer Magazine” published back then by noted ‘father’ of Australian UFO Research Edgar R. Jarrold, then director of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau, at Fairfield in Sydney’s west.
In this issue we find the following old, but still interesting reports…
Melbourne, July 11th 1954:
A flash of crimson light which residents said, “burst from the skies” lit up miles of earth and sky at 8.30pm. People said that a red light “radiated across the earth” without any slightest sound accompanying the phenomenon.
Mr Leo Hammett of Millers Road, Altona, said that the ground “suddenly burst alight at his feet” turning bright red and pale pink. He looked skywards in time to see a brilliant flaring flash from which smoke drifted as he watched. There was no report or crash.
Two sisters, Misses Joan and Marlene Walsh, also of Altona, said that the ground turned “blood red” at their feet. They described the object as a giant globe.
Police, military and Weather Bureau officials could offer no explanation.
Melbourne, July 12th 1954:
At exactly the same time, 8.30pm and at the same locality above seaside suburbs, for the second time a flaring crimson light exploded in the sky over Melbourne.
Witnesses described the explosion as “noiseless and spooky” and said that this time the core of the flash was several hundred yards long, lighting up the entire horizon for miles. It “burst from the centre like an atomic bomb, mushrooming into brilliant red and leaving wisps of smoke behind”.
The red light appeared like a giant photographic flash another witness reported.
Military, police and Weather Bureau officials were again unable to offer any explanation.
Wonthaggi Victoria, August 27th 1954:
Ground observers of a glowing orange brilliant object which came into view from the west at 8.30pm claimed that as a Melbourne-bound aircraft passed it five minutes later “it seemed to become tinged with green”.
The object, in view for 25 minutes “turned white suddenly” then vanished to the north.
Wonthaggi Victoria, September 9th 1954:
Two carloads of people trailed a saucer which hovered over the vicinity of the town for more than an hour. First appearing a dark red colour which faded to orange then brightened again, the object seemed to the witnesses to be much higher in the sky than the object seen approximately a fortnight previously.
The object disappeared in the direction of Melbourne, moving slowly.
Ten years later UFOs were still being regularly reported seen in Victorian skies. 1965 was an especially good year as the following accounts show.
On the night of March 3rd Miss C. Heyde of Melbourne was watching the heavens with her telescope when she spotted a circular light with a reddish core. She followed its movements across the sky for an hour before it finally disappeared.
At Welchpool on the evening of March 20th Mr and Mrs I.D. Scott spotted a yellow, zigzagging light which hovered for six minutes, eventually rising and vanishing.
Then on the night of March 25th the Scotts observed another strange moving light over Welchpool, which hovered for six minutes before vanishing.
Nothing more was reported until May the 25th, when three men, Jack Tilden, Eric Johnson and John Burke sighted a 50ft width, metallic disc-shaped craft with three rows of round windows, moving with a hissing sound over farmland near Horsham, Western Victoria.
Then on May 25th at Gruyere, Central Victoria, three other men, A.F. Robertson, F. Jacobs and D. Barnes observed a metallic, grey-coloured, saucer-shaped object for 10 seconds flying at the speed of an airliner at a height of 2,000ft.
Five months later in October a farmer discovered a huge ‘saucer’ depression and strange pad-like impressions encircling it, on a back paddock of his property near Ballarat, west of Melbourne. It appeared to him that some mystery object had landed there the night before. This incident came just a few days after the sighting, on October 5th by two people, E. Carroll and D. Jones, of four saucer-shaped craft “about the size of airliners” [they said], flying in a ‘diamond’ formation over Ballarat.
Two months later, on December 11th Radio Station 3TR received a report that a white, disc-shaped object with clearly defined edges, had been seen the previous day by the staff of Gabo island Lighthouse, just south of the New South Wales border. The craft, they all agreed, just “appeared”, as if out of nowhere off the island, moved slowly above the ocean for five minutes, then just Switched off”, disappearing “in a flash” as they said. It would appear that the eyewitnesses observed an extra-terrestrial spacecraft that had appeared from out of and flew back into a “time window”.
1965 might have been one of the best years for Victorian UFO activity in the 1960’s, yet there appear to have been many sightings made in Tasmania at this time also.
On July 16th that year at Devonport on the north coast, Mrs R. Devlin and Mrs V. Kowarzik observed in broad daylight, two silvery, round objects, one smaller than the other, darting about in the sky above town. They observed the objects for 20 minutes until they disappeared from view.
During August several campers, while based on the shore of the Great Lake, one night observed several silver-glowing “flying saucer” type craft moving up to a thousand feet over the lake, coming from the south. The craft remained in a cluster formation throughout the time of the sighting, and disappeared over the Western Tiers in the direction of Westbury.
A huge “doughnut” shaped, yellowish-glowing craft was claimed observed hovering over the Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast around dawn on 12th February 1966, by several startled onlookers. The craft hovered at cloud-level for some 25 minutes as about a dozen smaller objects appeared to emerge from openings around the “mother ship” to fly off in different directions. The people thought the huge airship to be about 300ft across. It then rose swiftly out of sight.