Wednesday, 10 December 2014

More Official Contradictions From the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

          “I’ve just been advised that the first POC for UFO/UAE sightings at Airservices Australia is the NOC Supervisor....”

- Squadron Leader Jodie Hatch, Royal Australian Air Force

That’s weird. Firstly, myself, and others, have been repeatedly told in official correspondence from both the Defence Department and Airservices Australia, that no one uses the term “UFO”. Secondly, no one in Defence or Aviation officialdom has ever mentioned the term “UAE”, despite repeated and reasonable enquiries into such terminology matters.

To further elaborate, on the 15th of July, 2013, I submitted a request for certain materials held by the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety (DDAAFS) under the Freedom of Information Act. It appears, despite my paying of search fees, plus assurances from the RAAF’s Director of Coordination, Group Captain Barbara Courtney, that this request was not handled with due diligence; but that is a topic for a later blogpost. In the handling of that FOI request, Defence produced a large number of internal emails and documents, some of held under the banner of a so-called ‘corporate file’. On the 8th of April, 2014, I requested that file, ironically, under the FOI Act. Essentially, I was doing an FOI request for the file which contained some of the documents created during an FOI request! That request was successful, and I obtained dozens of pages of internal emails and other documents regarding my earlier request. One of the many emails that stood out is a 22nd July, 2013 email from one Squadron Leader Jodie Hatch to the Director of the Defence FOI Branch which stated:

“I’ve just been advised that the first POC for UFO/UAE sightings at Airservices Australia is the NOC Supervisor XXXXXXXX”

The actual email is imaged below.

             That a RAAF Squadron Leader used the term “UFO/UAE” – whether it be in a Defence or Airservices Australia setting – is at complete odds with what I have been told in previous communications with both entities, as we shall see.

Firstly, in telephone correspondence on 12th April, 2013, I was told by an Airservices Australia’s public relations staffer that they do not have a specific terminology for UFO’s. Secondly, on the 6th of August, 2013, I sent a letter to the Chief of Air, RAAF, asking what “terms and terminology” for UFO’s were used to by Defence in any and all Defence settings. On the 15th of August, 2013 I received a letter from Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, RAAF, on behalf of the Chief of Air. The only term actually offered to me was the rather dry phrase “Violation of Controlled Airspace” – and that was only the term used in a technical setting when an unknown aircraft violated controlled airspace. In other words, Defence ignored my very reasonable questions.

            So, now, in regards to the above internal Defence email, we have a situation where a RAAF Squadron Leader is using the term “UFO/UAE”, which of course brings into question, to put it mildly, what I had been officially told by both Defence and Airservices over a year ago. The term “UFO” is clearly “Unidentified Flying Object”. The term “UAE”, I assume, is something along the lines of “Unknown” or “Unusual” “Aerial Event”. Either way, what I have been told before about UFO terminology is shown to be complete nonsense.

Furthermore, note the sentence in the email says:

“…first POC for UFO/UAE sightings at Airservices Australia is the NOC Supervisor XXXXXXXX”

Hold on.. This is new.. “POC” stands for “Point of Contact” and the “NOC” is the “National Operations Center”. Up until now none of this was known to UFO researchers, despite clear and fair enquiries in the past. The notion that the “NOC Supervisor” handles UFO events is of great interest to me and my cohorts have already started investigating this matter. As for the “UFO/UAE” terminology issue, I judged by the fact that Squadron Leader Jodie Hatch was discussing Airservices Australia in her email that the terms were indeed Airservices Australia’s. I sent the Airservices Legal branch a letter on the 16 September, 2014, containing a copy of the Defence email as well as an explanation of the situation. I asked a number of questions, including the obvious one:

“Does the term “UFO/UAE” stand for “Unidentified Flying Object/Unknown Aerial Events” or “Unidentified Flying Object/Unusual Aerial Events” ?   The difference here is of course just one word: ‘Unknown’ or ‘Unusual’. I wish to learn which one is utilised.”

            On the 8th of October, 2014, I received the following correspondence:

“Your inquiry regarding UFO/UAE sightings was forwarded to Corporate and Industry Affairs for coordination of a response. Please find attached response to each of your questions. Information was obtained from both our National Operations Centre and from our Safety, Environment and Assurance business group.”

Attached was a copy of my questions, in PDF form, and finally, I thought, we may have an answer. In the attachment was a copy of my original questions, with answers below each. The key question was answered as below:

“Q1. Does the term “UFO/UAE” stand for “Unidentified Flying Object/Unknown Aerial Events” or “Unidentified Flying Object/Unusual Aerial Events”? The difference here is of course just one word: ‘Unknown’ or ‘Unusual’. I wish to learn which one is utilised."

“Answer: Airservices does not have a formal definition.”

        Thus, the entire matter is dismissed in one line. Taken at face value, this must mean that Squadron Leader Jodie Hatch was actually using internal Defence terminology in her email. I have written to the Melissa Davidson, Assistant Director, Freedom of Information, Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication Division to ask what, indeed, Defence was talking about in relation to “UFO/UAE” sightings. The fact that Defence has stated repeatedly, to me and other researchers, that they do not use the term “UFO”, one has to assume that someone, probably Defence, is not being entirely honest with us. This is not surprising. For seventy years we have been playing an endless game of hide-and-seek with authorities on this matter. And that game clearly continues today.             

Monday, 8 December 2014

Extraordinary UFO/UAP Sighting: Final Report

An Investigation Report On An Unusual Event, South Coast NSW, 29 MAY 2014. Paul Dean, Keith Basterfield and Unnamed Associate, December 2014



           In my previous blog post I gave some preliminary details of a rather extraordinary case which landed in my lap last month. I enlisted the help of Keith Basterfield and a researcher who wishes to remain unknown at this time. At the request of the witnesses I cannot be more specific about the location, or, provide personal details about the witnesses. I spent several hours in email, telephone and in-person communication with both witnesses. I have no doubt that the witnesses have been open, and forthcoming with all details surrounding the event. They have been overwhelmingly responsive to my many questions, and they have been rather pleasantly surprised that someone would take them so seriously. They have supplied a map of the property and its surroundings to us; plus provided copies of ground level photographs of the locality. However, for transparency purposes in terms of this investigation report, we, the authors as listed above, need to advise readers that we have not been able to visit the property; nor conduct a door to door cold call to determine if there were any more observers of the event. In addition, we have not been able to contact local news media looking for additional witnesses. The account therefore stands on the verbal testimony of the witnesses, whom we have no reason to disbelieve. Here then, is a more detailed account of the event, than provided for in the preliminary report; plus investigation notes; discussion and analysis. What happened in the early hours of that night, Thursday 29 May 2014, when the witnesses were sitting outside watching the clear, moonless sky in a rural area of scattered dairy farms?

What happened?

There were several stages to the events and these will be listed below, in the order in which they occurred:

1. A hazy, white, foggy light became visible in the distance, to the west. "It was just over the hill so we could only see a misty glow at first, below the false horizon formed by the hill. It kind of looked like a house on fire, but less red/orange and more white...It's a hilly area and it was so dark (no Moon) so it's hard to be precise...It looked as though it was down in the valley but I could not see an actual source of the hazy light...To me it looked like the glow caused by a bright outside light belonging to a house, exaggerated by the mist that came with it."

2. This foggy light became larger/more obvious. "In the distance the haze grew from the size of my thumb nail, then eventually stretched to the size of my thumb...We were not looking at it consistently as we kept chatting, then each time we glanced over (about 3 times overall) it had changed significantly each time..."

3. The white hue became a red hue/fog. It seemed to "split." Instead of a vague fog, it became a row of about ten, red and blue circular lights lined up, with a bright white beam, at the front. Asked about this formation of lights, the response was "They started out in a row...then seemed to rally around a central, larger craft with a stronger white light on the front, like an eye. The smaller "escorts" had lights which were alternating between red and blue, like a slowly rotating police light but with with some occasional green thrown in...They seemed to compact together and surround/follow the white beam as it was scanning the hills/valley."

This "thing" then "...scanned the terrain of the hills and valley, just opposite to us, very low to the ground (around tree level) shining this incredible bright white light through the trees to the ground, as well as in front of itself. It was so bright it would have been able to see about 400 meters ahead. The red and blue lights were hovering around it. Whatever it was, it was looking for something...Also it made this weird oscillating sound that terrified us. It definitely was not a helicopter...It scanned in a grid pattern at what seemed to be a constant speed of around 80 km/hr.". This "scanning" light "At first, it looked like a bright motorbike light, as it came out of the scrub in the distance. When it was closer, or when it got more "active" it seemed brighter, more like a single train headlight. Quite a focused beam but definitely spreading and slightly conical...It had a back and forth motion, quite regular, like it was covering all the terrain as it ran through its "search pattern" through the valley. It never seemed more than 20 metres off the ground, except when it occasionally traversed over the tree tops."

4. "If that wasn't enough, at the same time this was happening, all around us was this foggy hazy light...this "fog" was coming from these 3 different rhombus shapes, 1 green, 1 yellow and 1 red. They had cross hatching effects/sort of laser light effects creating their shape and overlapping one another. I estimate it would have been about 10-20 metres above us. It was just hovering there above us, making no wind/breeze or anything. It was basically just this maelstrom of lights and terrifying noise. We're pretty sure the noise was coming from the scanning light and not the one above us, but can't be 100% as obviously they were "working" together.

The female witness paid more attention to the "thing" that appeared to be close and almost overhead of them. The male witness stated "That was definitely a different craft...I paid it very little attention due to my focus on the other objects. I do remember the fog which came with it and the way the lights cut through the layers of fog like lasers at a music festival...I don't think I looked up at it properly..."

5. "...the really bright light that was scanning the terrain was getting closer to us and its spotlight was scanning in our direction. By this point I was so scared I thought I was about to have a heart attack as it shone its light on us." The two witnesses decided to retreat into the nearby house.

6. They stayed inside the house for an estimated 40 minutes. During this time the noise went away. "The noise continued for maybe 5 minutes, may be longer with the odd random beam flicking past the window. It seemed to take 20 minutes to half an hour before the sound had faded into the distance and another 40 minutes for me to build up the guts to go back outside." Then, on going outside, "...there was still some light activity, going on on the other side of the valley/hill, except instead of the really bright light making noise/scanning, there was lots of little ones. We watched for a while, then they quickly joined together to make "one" and left the mountain and as it did so. all the dogs within a few kilometers started to howl."  That was the end of the event. 

In a piece of rather detailed sketching art, the female witness drew a picture of the event in a notepad, and I have been furnished with that imagery for everyone to ponder. Below is a copy of the drawing.

What did the witnesses think it was at the time?

1. Regarding the initial haze/fog. "1) It's the neighbours back sensor light (over the hill behind us). 2) It's a car headlights coming around the road."

2. Regarding the circular lights. "It must be a milk truck/cattle truck (it's dairy country)..."

3. Once the lights compacted. "It must be a farmer on his quad bike..."

4. On the end lights. "...we rationally thought that maybe there were a whole bunch of farmers running around with flashlights..."


How does one go about investigating such an account, where you do not have on-site access, or the ability to conduct on-site checks with the neighbours, or through the media? In the end, it boils down to checking the information provided by the witnesses, against potentially mundane explanations, to try and eliminate these as a source of the observations. A check of the lunar cycle revealed that there was a new Moon on 29 May 2014, so there would be no Moon in the sky in the early hours of that night. A check of the weather for the nearest Bureau of Meteorology site, which was 24 kilometers away, showed that the cloud cover was most likely 1/8th at that time. Winds were light. At 3pm on 28 May, 19km/hr from the NNE and at 9am on 29 May, 20 km/hr from the SW. Thus the best estimate from this data would be relatively clear skies at 2am on the 29 May. There is no radar coverage available of this area, so there was not an opportunity to obtain this via an FOI request.

Discussion and Analysis

One of the authors, Keith, commented as follows:

1. The usual suspects, such as stars, planets, meteors, aircraft etc. seem not to apply here, due to the direction, movement and description of the phenomenon.

2. The report initially came to us via a Facebook account. The witnesses responded to an email inquiry, and then followed up with detailed descriptions via email, telephone and in person.

3. Keith notes that the detailed accounts supplied include what J Allen Hynek used to call an escalation of hypotheses. That is, at several points during the event, the witnesses tried to provide themselves with rational, non UAP explanations for what they were seeing. The witnesses now believe that they have ruled out any conventional explanations.

4. We can suggest only one conventional explanation which sceptics will put forward. This covers only some of the data points and would of necessity involve misperception by the witnesses. Could it be that they did indeed misperceive an "official search operation" of some kind? The fact that there were no roads in the area where the light was scanning, would not preclude a ground search, perhaps supported by a helicopter. The male witness at one stage in his account told one of the authors (PD) that "We quizzed a local farmer...he'd woken up to the sound of a helicopter at around 2am on the night in question." The male witness also stated, about the end of the event. "There seemed to be smaller lights amongst the distant scrub for 10 or 15 minutes, moving around randomly like men with torches."

Against this generalised explanation, one needs to match the witnesses' detailed description of the number and movements of the light sources, particularly the female witness' account of the close, nearly overhead extended angular diameter "object". All in all, on the supplied data, I'd be inclined to assign a low possibility (though not negligible) to this search operation hypothesis.

I checked with both NSW Police and an person in a current Army Aviation role, and found that helicopters are required to have the standard red and green navigational lights showing, and do not use blue lights. In addition, as the witnesses were outside for some time before the event began, where would a fully crewed helicopter suddenly come from? Overall, the witnesses dismiss the idea of a search operation and any involvement of a helicopter.

5. Another thought by one of the authors, Keith, regarding the close, almost overhead light display (reported in detail by one of the witnesses) was the possibility that could it have been a display of the Aurora Australis? These displays feature red and green, laser like rays, and are seen to the south (the light display was to their south). It also had an extended angular size of perhaps 5-10 degrees (as do Aurora.) The Aurora prediction service issued a bulletin dated 29 May 2014 alerting observers to the fact that auroral displays were to be expected in coming months. One of the authors (PD) put this hypothesis to the female witness, who said no, it was not an aurora.


We studied this case from quite a few angles. I, along with Keith and the other researcher who wishes to remain unknown by name for now, all agree with me that this event is very hard to explain in terms of the mundane or man-made. Thus, this case should be considered as an example of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Extraordinary UFO/UAP Sighting and Beginning Of Investigations

             As part of any serious study of the UFO/UAP matter, sooner or later an undertaking of in-depth case investigation is obviously essential. As a member of Victorian UFO Action (VUFOA), as well as an instigator of a new national sightings database with colleague Keith Basterfield, I have recently spent much time studying a number of cases, both old and new, many of which I will be publishing either by myself, or with Keith, or with VUFOA. I have spent considerable time working on such cases as the North West Cape US Navy sighting of 1973, right through to the 2014 “near miss” between a passenger plane and an “unknown object” over Perth - “unknown object” being the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s terminology - not mine.

            I have recently worked on one of the most unusual cases I’ve ever heard from Australia, or certainly one of the most unusual in recent times. In mid-2014, on the south-east coast of NSW, two people were into well into a long-term house-sitting stint on large rural property. On the 29th of May, around 2am, whilst talking and watching the sky for meteors, planets, etc the woman first noticed a hazy, white, foggy light in the distance. She drew her partner’s attention to it, and over the next two minutes it became larger in size. At this point, they considered the possibility that it might be the neighbour’s backyard sensor light or a small fire. After four minutes it was still growing in size. They then considered whether or not it might be car headlights. At this point, suddenly the white hue became a red hue/fog. At the same time it seemed to split.

It became a row of about ten red and blue, circular lights lined up, with a bright white beam at the front. As they were new to the area they continued to look for a logical explanation. Then the row of white, blue and red lights suddenly compacted itself whilst an incredibly loud noise commenced. The witnesses’ best guesstimate as to the distance to the object, was 900 metres. In the witness’ own words “It then scanned the terrain of the hills and the valley just opposite us, very low to the ground (around tree level) shining this incredibly bright white light through the trees to the ground, as well as in front of itself.” The red and blue lights hovered around it. By this time both witnesses were terrified by the weird, oscillating sound and the foggy, hazy light, all around them.

So, there was the row of lights some distance away, plus all around them was a foggy, hazy light. This fog, quite a distinct phenomenon from the first event, was coming from “...three different rhombus shapes, 1 green, 1 yellow and 1 red. They had  cross hatching effects, sort of laser light effects creating their shape and overlapping one another. I estimate it would have been 10-20 metres above us.” There was no air turbulence felt. “We’re pretty sure the noise was coming from the scanning light and not the one above us...” At this point, the scanning light came closer to them and they ran into the house and did not look out for 40 minutes, even after the noise ceased. They then noted some light activity still going on on the other side of the valley; little lights joined together and left the area. Suddenly all the dogs in the area began to howl. The area surrounding the house has some paddocks, but is mostly bushland.

Working with the witnesses, we are now looking at all possibilities, but initial investigations indicate a very real and very tangible event did occur. I have already mounted investigations with some government agencies and a study of the geographical area in question. The witnesses wish to remain anonymous. Privacy is essential for a number of reasons.  A full report will be published soon. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Ministry of Defence, Britain: You Can't Have It Both Ways

MoD Discovers 18 New Files With Defence Implications

In 2008 Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) famously announced that the entirety of their yet unreleased files which related directly to the UFO matter would be declassified and made public over a number of years. This process was supposedly completed in June, 2013 with the release of the last batch of files to the British National Archives. It was one of the largest reviews of MoD files on such a narrow topic in decades. The public and the press were told that this laborious task effectively concluded the MoD’s holding of classified UFO files.

Unfortunately, we have been misinformed.

On the 25th of August, 2014, researcher Andy Russell submitted an enquiry to the MoD regarding the holding of unreleased UFO files. His stimulus for this action seems to have been a review of the well-known and well-verified claims of retired United States Air Force (USAF) Sgt. John Burroughs regarding the Bentwaters Air Force Base/Rendlesham Forest UFO events of 1980. The enquiry to the MoD was treated as a submission under the British Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and was duly replied to by the FOI desk on the 11th of September, 2014. A web-based image of the reply letter, as mandated, also appeared on the MoD's FOI responses of the week listings. In this reply letter, with the name of the enquirer redacted (blacked out) a short excerpt of the original letter to the MoD is included. It sums up the request as follows:

"Whether documents covering the period 1971-76 and 1996-2000 titled 'UFO policy' and three other documents covering the periods June-Dec 2000, Dec 2000-Mar 2004 and March 2004 exist, and if so are they still 'classified'."

The MoD’s 2 page response, with page 1 included below, outlines that a number of files – 18 to be exact – were indeed found within the MoD’s systems; and, as we shall see, they may be rather significant. The MoD’s response also stated that the files will be released to the The National Archives. However, no one at the MoD or the National Archives will be working up a sweat to redact, declassify and open them for public consumption because the time frame for this process is indicated to take around 9 months. Nick Pope, former Intelligence Officer, Secretariat AS 2a, Air Staff, Ministry Defence, had this to say:

"This is a huge embarrassment for the MoD and will have UFO enthusiasts up in arms. When the government said that all its UFO files had been released, conspiracy theorists didn't believe everything had been made public and it turns out they were right. The 18 files include ones from RAF radar specialists and from the ultra-secretive Defence Intelligence Staff, so there may be some fascinating revelations still to come." 

As for the actual MoD response discussed above, I have imaged it here:

           If this isn't enough to raise the eyebrows of UFO researchers, the second page of the MoD’s response most certainly will. Unlike previously released UFO files – the vast majority of which contain civilian reports, standard internal memoranda, enquiries from the public, etc – that have titles as innocuous as "DEFE-24-2019-1", these 18 newly "discovered" file titles appear to be much more specific, and, quite possibly contain some of what we cherish: rare, verifiable, undeniable evidence that something pretty noteworthy is being monitored in the skies and investigated by certain specialized agencies within a modern defence establishment. The second page of the MoD's response is imaged below. One only needs to study some of the acronyms and terminology in the titles to realise that there is much we have not been told, as we shall see.

So, the eighteen new files themselves are some time away from being made public, albeit with what I suspect will be a great deal of redaction. But what can we postulate is contained within them in the here-and-now? I have had a close look at the filing codes and file titles of these eighteen files and some of them are quite interesting indeed. The list itself:

11. 2GP(BP)/88772/10/ISTAR UFO REPORTS
12. M9/18 Defence Policy Issues UFOs
13. D/DS8/75/2/1 UFO Reports Correspondence
14. D/DI55/108/15 UFO Policy 1971-96
15. D/DI55/108/15 UFO Policy 1996-2000
16. D/DI55/108/15 UAP Policy June-Dec 2000
17. D/DI55/108/15 UAP Policy Dec 2000-March 2004
18. D/DI55/108/15 UAP Policy March 2004

The first thing that stands out here is that the file titles are unlike almost any of the previously released S4 (Air), S6 (Air), DS8 and AS 2a Air Staff files, which have titles like "DEFE-24-2019-1". Five of the files contain the "DI55" which means the creating agency was the ultra-secretive DI55 unit, one of about 80 small cells within Defence Science and Technical Intelligence (DSTI), one of the larger branches of the Defence Intelligence Staff. Most readers will know that DI55, of course, has been found to be very much active in the collecting, collating and investigation of UFO reports and other materials (radar imaging, statistical data, etc) for decades, despite blunt denials throughout the 1980's. So one shouldn't be surprised that their little posse has  been outed.. again.

Being more specific, what actually "jumped out" in these eighteen new files, however, was the term "ADGE", with the term "UFO REPORTS" coming straight after. Air Defence Ground Environment (ADGE) is a top echelon term used to describe, in a round about way, the physical and, to a lesser extent, non-physical make-up of an entire "Air Defence Region" (ADR) or regional "Recognized Air Picture" (RAP). Sometimes called a "system of systems" ADGE can be considered an integrated and multi-layered web of ground-based long range radar networks, coupled with airborne early warning systems and even civilian Air Traffic Control networks. The term is most commonly used in the written doctrine of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) operations and directives. One cannot be forgiven for pondering the possibility that these files, which, lets face it, contain the terms "ADGE" and "UFO Reports" in the same title, contain cases where UFO events have seemingly come up in the UK's Air Defence Region (UKADR), or, maybe, have occurred across Europe and somehow involved the MoD.

The next thing that jumps out in the file titling of these eighteen new finds is the term "ISTAR". The actual file title is  "2GP(BP)/88772/10/ISTAR UFO REPORTS". "ISTAR" stands for "Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance" and is a war-fighting and wide-area battle-management concept that oversees, if you like, the linking of real-time intelligence (signals intelligence, telemetry data, etc) with overhead surveillance and reconnaissance, to produce a usable battle picture for war-fighters in the far flung operations arena. Once again, once must wonder why the term "ISTAR" and "UFO REPORTS" come up in the same title.

Whatever the contents of these files, the same tired old story is playing out again. Our continuing to have to play this game of hide-and-seek insults the intelligence of UFO researchers and government officials alike, whether they be military, intelligence, agency, or otherwise. In regards to the MoD specifically, I often go back to an extraordinary admission contained within the MoD’s Defence Intelligence Staff’s “Project Condign”, or, for the proper title, “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region, Scientific & Technical Memorandum - No. 55/2/00”. Released, albeit with the usual redactions, on May 15th, 2006, the publication, compiled in 2000 and originally classified SECRET UK EYES ONLY, states, as many of you will know, on page four of the Executive Summary:

"The phenomenon presents itself as having exceptional capabilities. That unidentified aerial phenomenon exists is indisputable. It is credited with the ability to hover, land, take off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish. They can reportedly alter their direction of flight suddenly and clearly, characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile, either manned or unmanned."

Project Condign was, of course, commissioned and conducted by DI55, DIS in great secrecy. After decades of MoD denials and downplaying, one is right to ask why the decision was made to commission and conduct a study into UFO’s – or, as Condign terms them, “UAP” or “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”, at such a late stage? And, if there was nothing to hide, why the great sensitivity? Indeed, the MoD insisted, on a number of occasions, both in Parliamentary Answers and statements issued to the media, that they had never, and were not, carried out, or were carrying out, any detail examination of the issue. One wonders just how much more UFO material is kept under lock-and-key within the MoD’s vast structuring. For example, we know that the Royal Navy (RN) has managed to keep a stunningly tight lid on their UFO files, once held with Admiralty Board no less, before being compartmented deeper still in the late 1980’s. Then there was the discovery of UFO investigation conducted at the RAF’s Low Flying Complaints Department in the 1970’s and beyond. Even Ralph Noyes, former Head of Defence Secretariat 8, MoD, who was supposed to be aware of all UFO investigative capacity within the UK’s military and intelligence community during his tour of duty, was astonished to find he was not being kept in the loop with regards to the big picture. One wonders, after the latest files are released, will the MoD once again claim that they have truly declassified all their UFO material? Or will we play another few games of hide-and-seek?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Even Winston Churchill Was Misinformed Of The Facts

               I am often asked questions along the lines of “How do you know your being misinformed?” or “Are you sure you’re being lied to?” The answers are simple. I can prove it through the study of declassified documents and other official material sourced directly from those attempting the ruse. All serious UFO researchers are faced with the same questions, and often the responses are gleefully accompanied by the whipping out of formally classified government documents which have been begrudgingly released from as far back as the 1950’s right through to this very day. And we are spoilt for choice. It could be a copy of the infamous United States Air Force (USAF) “Bolender Memo”; or any of the newer Joint US-Canadian Communications Instructions Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings (CIRVIS) for “Unidentified Flying Objects” Regulations; or a copy of any the British Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) DI55 documents that mention UFO’s. Whatever the example(s), any number of hundreds upon hundreds of once-classified documents, even entire files numbering in the dozens of pages, and usually only released decades after creation, plus other material, prove that the nonsense contained within certain agencies’ official media releases and public statements is absolute misinformation, disinformation, and lies. In my last post I eluded to the fact that Sir Winston Churchill may have been misinformed about the UFO issue; and that if the Prime Minister of Britain is misinformed, or outright lied to, what hope do civilian researchers have?

           On the 28th of July, 1952, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill became concerned enough about the growing number of credible UFO reports that he wrote a Prime Ministers Personal Minute (found in the file “PREM 11/855 Defence Research” at the old Public Records Office, London) to both the Secretary of State for Air, and to Lord Cherwell (Frederick Lindemann, Churchill’s Scientific Advisor). It famously reads:

“What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the                       truth? Let me have a report at your convenience.”

On the 9th of August, 1952, the Air Ministry wrote back:

“The various reports about unidentified flying objects, described by the Press as ‘flying saucers’, were the subject of a full Intelligence study in 1951. The conclusions reached (based upon William of Occam's Razor) were that all the incidents reported could be explained by one or other of the following causes:-
 (a) Known astronomical or meteorological phenomena
 (b) Mistaken identification of conventional aircraft, balloons, birds, etc.
 (c) Optical illusions and psychological delusions
 (d) Deliberate hoaxes.
2. The Americans, who carried out a similar investigation in 1948/9, reached a similar conclusion.
3. Nothing has happened since 1951 to make the Air Staff change their opinion, and, to judge from recent Press statements, the same is true in America.”

A copy of this report was sent to Lord Cherwell, who wrote to the Prime Minister on the 14th of August, 1952 stating:

“I have seen the Secretary of State’s Minutes to you on flying saucers and I agree     entirely with his conclusions”

The Prime Minister was misinformed. Firstly, the Air Staff were, in fact, unable to explain all the incidences. Secondly, the American’s had not whatsoever “reached a similar conclusion.”.

             In a letter (a copy of which UFO researcher Timothy Good has in his possession) from Group Captain Harold Collins, who was the Deputy Director of Intelligence at the Air Ministry, to Ralph Noyes, who was the Head of Defence Secretariat 8 (DS8) an air intelligence Directorate in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the results of early Air Ministry findings at that time was:

“….we prepared a paper which divided the more recent reports into four classifications:
(1)   Some 35% that could be immediately discounted.
(2)   Some 25% for which we were able to find a definite or probably explanation.
(3)   Some 30% where there was no corroboration of there was doubts about the report and for which we could find no explanation.
(4)   Some 10% where the reporter was well qualified, ie Farnborough test pilot, etc, where there was corroboration and where the report itself carried conviction; but where we could find no explanation.

These figures are rather at odds with what Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was handed, of that there is no doubt.

             More importantly, as for the American’s “reaching a similar conclusion”, nothing could be further from the truth. An Air Intelligence Report, classified TOP SECRET until 1985, titled “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States [Air Intelligence Report 100-203-79]”, which was written by the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Director Intelligence and the United States Navy’s (USN) Office of Naval Intelligence, concluded in 1948:

“The frequency of reported sightings, the similarity in many of the characteristics attributed to the observed objects and the quality of observers considered as a whole, support the contention that some type of flying object has been observed … The origin of the devices is not ascertainable.”

On Sep 23rd, 1947 Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining, Head of the USAF’s huge Air Material Command (AMC), wrote (after receiving alarming UFO reports from down the line) the infamous “Twining Memo” to Gen. George Schulgen, Commanding General of the USAF.   The 3 page memorandum, classified SECRET, states:

            “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.”  

Furthermore, at the time of Churchill’s enquiry, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) memorandum, written by H. Marshall Chadwell, the Assistant Director of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) confirms that: 

          “Since 1947, Air Technical Intelligence Center has received approximately 1500 official reports of sightings … During 1952 alone, official reports totalled 250. Of the 1500 reports, Air Force carries 20 percent as unexplained and of those received from January through July 1952 it carries 28 percent unexplained.”

            With this official, formally documentation, it becomes impossible to conclude that the Prime Minister was being properly informed of the true situation. For starters, the Air Ministry’s own statistical information is at odds with what Churchill was told in the Aug 9th reply. As for the statement “The Americans, who carried out a similar investigation in 1948/9, reached a similar conclusion” - even the most boneheaded sceptic has to concede that the hitherto classified documents I have included here tell a vastly different story. The question remains, did the Air Ministry deliberately misinform the Prime Minister? Or was the information he was given merely administrative bungling? Probably the latter. However, as I will elaborate on in future posts, this is only one documented occasion where political figures, military top brass, Congressmen, Lords, etc have been given suspect material. So one does wonder. As for the American’s in this case.. Did Britain’s Air Ministry receive dishonest information from whoever they enquired with in Washington DC on Churchill’s behalf? Or did the Air Ministry receive correct, alarming conclusions, and subsequently misinform the Prime Minister for reasons only they know? Whatever the answers, sceptics and debunkers take note: Do not try and tell patient researchers that the official response to the UFO matter is black-and-white. And, as I have said before, if leaders like Sir Prime Minister Winston Churchill was given the run-around as far back as 1952, civilian researchers nowadays have a rather large task on their hands indeed.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Getting Straight Answers From The Royal Australian 

Air Force

             “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of its controlled airspace...”

              - Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force

             Indeed. This, and other misleading statements, formed the body of a 14th August, 2013 reply letter from the one Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to my very specific inquiries sent to the Office of the Chief of Air Force on 6th August, 2013, as we shall see.

             Obtaining correct terms, terminology and references for any topic dealt with in officialdom is vital when forming requests for documented materials under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Already aware that there are a myriad of official terms, terminology and references used for UFO’s within other agencies the world over, I wanted to confirm what Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD), especially the RAAF, currently uses in different settings (be they air defence radar environments, pilot-controller radio communications, air safety incident databases, etc) before drafting a series of detailed and unambiguous FOI requests for documents held by our DoD. In a detailed letter to the Chief of Air, I outlined some current terms and references which are explicitly known to be officially used around the world for serious UFO events. For instance, air-and-space environment monitoring systems within United States Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPACOM) 50th Space Wing use the term “Uncorrelated Target” for any unknown or unusual bogey which may present itself above North America. In France, pilot’s – both military and civilian – use a phrase which translates as “Unregistered Traffic” or “Unknown Traffic”. Other examples abound. Thus, with this information laid out for the Chief of Air in my very reasonable letter to his Office, along with a series of even more reasonable questions, I believed that I was going to be furnished with direct and honest answers. Below is the actual reply letter I received:

            I received this extraordinary correspondence in my letterbox on the 15th of August, 2013 from the above mentioned Director of Coordination, RAAF, on behalf of the Chief of Air. Note the first paragraph stated:

           “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of it’s controlled airspace nor does it monitor unidentified aircraft when airspace is deactivated. However, if an aircraft enters active controlled airspace without a clearance it is termed a ‘Violation of Controlled Airspace’. An Air Safety Occurrence Report is raised on each violation and forwarded to the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety of filing.”

Thus, my detailed enquires are dismissed in three sentences.

           Firstly, not once in my enquiry letter did I specifically ask about airspace. What I did ask about is all terms, terminology and references for UFO events – be they unknown or unidentified aircraft, aircraft operating illegally, re-entry of space debris bodies, or anything else stranger still; and in all settings – pilot voice transmissions, training manuals for defence aviators, etc. However, one has to go with the reply that was given to me, and the terminology they offered is ‘Violation of Controlled Airspace’. Are we to assume then that an Australian Army helicopter pilot would state to controllers: “What traffic do we have up here with us… I have a violation of controlled airspace flying with me on my port side!”  The notion that a pilot would use a phrase such as ‘violation of controlled airspace’ to describe another aircraft is, of course, ludicrous. I have since found out, through dealings with three current members of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) that a few terms would be used by personal, which include, predictably, ‘unknown’ and ‘unidentified aircraft’. Furthermore, I have since found out that the RAAF’s 41 Wing, one of four Wings that make up the Surveillance and Response Group, use the terms ‘Contact of Interest’ and ‘Critical Contact of Interest’. I have also seen the term ‘Uncooperative Target Infringement’ in an internal DoD email. So much for the Director of Coordination’s efforts to detail this information to me.

              Secondly, and of somewhat more importance, was the statement “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of it’s controlled airspace…”. This seems completely unrealistic. The RAAF would be in a sorry state indeed if it didn’t monitor any unknown aircraft in uncontrolled airspace. The No. 1 Radar Surveillance Unit (1RSU), within 41 Wing, operates the Jinadalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) which has cost taxpayers a rather large sum of money if it is not used for the precise purpose it was developed for: peering down on massive swathes of land and sea, the vast majority of which is considered uncontrolled airspace. Obviously this is not the case, and I will be discussing JORN in future posts. More specifically, in regards to an actual example of the RAAF monitoring uncontrolled airspace for unidentified aircraft, take a following section of an RAAF Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which raised an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Sydney in 2007 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit:

C1252/07 REVIEW C1241/07
ADIZ ESTABLISHMENT FROM 0708292300 TO 0709101400

So, here we see an example of the RAAF monitoring uncontrolled airspace, and it does not take a genius to realise that they would have been doing so to, amongst other things maybe, monitor unknown aircraft or suspiciously behaving aircraft during this time.

              Thirdly, the reply letter sent to me also states “An Air Safety Occurrence Report is raised…” for airspace violations and is “forwarded to the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety of filing.”. This is essentially correct, it seems, as I have confirmed the issue with two sources for which I am grateful. However, the term “Air Safety Occurrence Report” may be, in fact, actually known as an “Aviation Safety Occurrence Report”. The terms “air” and “aviation” are, of course, interchangeable, so, while me highlighting this matter here may seem pedantic, when one is attempting to gain information for future FOI Requests, every single detail counts. Requesting a document that does not technically exist is obviously not in the best interests of anyone.

           The above examples of clear misrepresentation of facts by the RAAF is not evidence of a cover-up of any UFO activity which may be occurring in Australia’s airspace. It is, however, an example of fob-off and lethargy in dealing with a serious researcher who is asking very reasonable questions to the very people he pays to employ. Of course, there are the bewildering number of documented examples where outright lies have been dealt out by such agencies regarding the UFO matter; and not involving just civilian researchers. There has been around the globe, as many of you will know, a succession of Prime Ministers, Defence Ministers, Presidents, Chief’s of Air Staff, Commander-in-Chief’s of Unified or Joint Commands, Secretary’s of Defence or Intelligence, etc who have been deliberately misled and lied to by the few that know more about the UFO matter than they care to let on – and that’s putting it mildly. I will be, in future, documenting some such examples which have come directly from government archives. Knowing that such leaders and military top brass  have been given the run-around does not bode well for anyone else attempting to obtain some honest answers. After all, if the great Winston Churchill was misled by the British Air Ministry during his Prime Ministership, as can be found in a ten page file at the Public Records Office in Kew, England, what chance does a civilian researcher have?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Introduction to New Blog “UFOs – Documenting The Evidence”

         "I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark; on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law."                               

-     John Podesta, former White House Chief-of-Staff to President  Bill Clinton

            My name is Paul Dean. I am a Melbourne based researcher who has spent 22 years studying masses of verifiable and ever-stronger evidence that unidentified and unexplainable events have occurred, and continue to occur, in our atmosphere. This evidence essentially entails the reality of what we term Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).  Such evidence includes reviewable radar imagery, formally classified military, intelligence and civil agency documents (now numbering in the hundreds of thousands of pages) and recorded testimony from extremely reliable and credible persons associated with the UFO matter at an official level. I am not interested in outrageous, unverifiable and unsubstantiated claims made by people. I have little time for the more “fringe” elements of the field. Nor do I have time for what veteran researcher Bill Chalker accurately calls “UFO theatre”: the entertainment spectre of the UFO subject, most of which is utter nonsense and does great damage to serious research. I purely look at the compelling and reviewable evidence which is increasingly on the table.

In this blog I will be presenting, on at least a weekly basis, wholly new information regarding certain aspects of the UFO phenomenon, and, especially, the evidence that so supports it. I will be discussing, if not actually presenting in uploaded image form, documents I have obtained from Australia’s various authorities under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Archives Act. I will be presenting information gleaned from interviews with persons directly or indirectly related to the UFO matter. Some of the information I will be detailing in the near future on this blog may be somewhat surprising, and certainly unknown to others in the field.

In my mid-teens and early-twenties, I leaned towards common thoughts regarding the UFO issue: Most, maybe all UFO events can be explained by myriad natural phenomena: misidentified aircraft; astronomical bodies; hoaxes; hallucinations and the like. Only when I started reviewing declassified government documents and listening to persons directly involved with the issue did I begin to run out of explanations. I now find the evidence so consistent and overwhelming that no reasonably intelligent person can deny that something amiss is happening in our skies. The gigantic numbers of released files directly dealing with the UFO matter plainly demonstrate that a not-so-insignificant number of government agencies have closely watched the matter, studied it and reached startling conclusions – conclusions most certainly kept well out of the public sphere.

"I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark; on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law."

With these explosive words, John Podesta, the former White House Chief-of-Staff (and most trusted aide) to former President Bill Clinton, surprised audiences at Washington DC’s National Press Club during a filmed press conference organised by the Coalition for Freedom of Information in 2002. They were yet another official, current and high-level confirmation that our governments work actively in this field to hide information from the public.

Another potent statement that springs to mind appeared in the Forward of Timothy Good’s ground-breaking 590 page book Above Top Secret: The World Wide UFO Cover-Up. Admiral Peter Hill-Norton, recently retired Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, could not be clearer:

"The evidence that there are objects which have been seen in our atmosphere, and even on terra firma, that cannot be accounted for either as manmade objects or as any physical force or effect known to our scientists, seems to me to be overwhelming. A very large number of sightings have been vouched for by persons whose credentials seem to me unimpeachable. It is striking that so many have been trained observers, such as police officers and airline or military pilots. Their observations have in many instances been supported either by technical means such as radar or, even more convincingly, by interference with electrical apparatus of one sort or another."

If only there were a handful of statements ‘doing the rounds’ like these, one may find more palatable explanations for them. But there are not just a few of these recorded, verifiable pieces of spoken or written testimony by such high-placed people: There are hundreds.

When asked why I am so interested in the UFO matter probably my most central answer is that I have the sort of mind that wants things satisfactorily explained, and the one aspect of this whole matter which is starkly clear to me is that UFO’s, and the official response from government agencies, have not been explained to my satisfaction. It is as simple as that. When I say that I have studied this matter for 22 years, I actually mean it. I have had to learn about everything from military chains-of-command to air defence capabilities; from angular velocity to aviation safety regulations; from military document classification to atmospheric physics. I have had correspondence and engagement with Australia’s Minister for Defence; the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Directorate of Coordination; Emergency Management Australia (EMA), within the Attorney General’s Department; The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Strategic Command; The Department of Defence’s Freedom of Information Directorate; Victoria Police; the Civilian Aviation Safety Authority (CASA); Airservices Australia (AsA); the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau; the National Archives of Australia (NAA); the Freedom of Information Office of the United States Navy (USN); the Navy History and Heritage Command of the USN; America’s North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD); the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Air Force Space Command; the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom; and a raft of other government offices, bureaus, cells, agencies and units throughout the Australia and the world.

I wish to firstly thank long time researcher Keith Basterfield for working with me so closely over the past two years. Our cooperation and specific endeavours have become intertwined to the point that our work is one-in-the-same. I also want to thank my wife Olivia for encouraging me to keep digging. I can also add research Bill Chalker to my list of acknowledgments for his knowledge and support. In Australian governance I am indebted to a number of persons who have assisted me. In no special order I wish to thank: Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force; Group Captain Catherine Wallis, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force; Captain Simon Bateman, Director of Navy Communications and Coordination, Royal Australian Navy; Melissa Davidson, Assistant Director, Freedom of Information, Department of Defence; Daniel O'Malley, Communications Officer, Australian Transport Safety Bureau; John Taylor, Principal Lawyer, Australian Transport Safety Bureau; Steve Neal, Section Head, Government, Industry and Community Relations Section, Civil Aviation Safety Authority; Rod Dudfield, Director Freedom of Information, Department of Defence; and Dan Gleeson, Director of Communication Emergency Management Australia. I also wish to thank the members of Victorian UFO Action, an organisation which I am a member of, playing the role of researcher and historian. Finally, I must express my warmest gratitude to those in current defence and intelligence roles who have helped but, sensibly, cannot be named.

           From overseas, I have been greatly aided by: Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, Air Component Commander, Joint Forces, New Zealand Defence Force; Piet Viviers, Manager, Flight Operations, Civil Aviation Authority, South Africa; Dyanne Bain, Program Information Officer, Civil Aviation Secretariat, Transport Canada; Andrew Badham, Air Traffic Management Safety Specialist, Aerodromes and Air Traffic Standards Division, Civil Aviation Authority, UK; and Chris Knapp, Aircraft Control Instructor, Royal New Zealand Navy.