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.