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A very well documented Australian Aircraft UFO encounter is that of Lt. J. O'Farrell on the night of 31st August, 1954, when he was flying a Sea Fury aircraft over southern New South Wales, Australia. Two objects were not only sighted by the pilot, but were also tracked by radar at the Royal Australian Navy Air Station at Nowra. The objects were travelling at an incredible speed, and it is unlikely that there were even any secret experimental craft this advanced in 1954.

In this file:

Click! The events.
Click! The Nowra 1954 radar case, by Dr. James E. McDonald (This page).
Click! The Nowra 1954 radar case, by Project 1947.

Extract of Dr. James E: McDonald presentation:

This is an extract of the statement submitted by James E. McDonald, Senior Physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and professor, Department of Meteorology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics at July 29, 1968, Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects, Rayburn Bldg., Washington, D.C.

2. Case 36. Nowra, Australia, September, 1954:

The first UFO case to command general press attention in the Australian area seems to have been a combined radar-visual sighting wherein the pilot of a Hawker Seafury from Nowra Naval Air Station visually observed two unknown objects near him as he flew from Canberra to Nowra (Ref. 43). Press descriptions revealed only that the pilot said "the two strange aircraft resembling flying saucers" were capable of speeds much beyond his Seafury fighter. He saw them flying nearby and contacted Nowra radar to ask if they had him on their scope; they informed him that they had three separate returns, at which juncture he described the unidentified objects. Under instructions from the Nowra radar operator, he executed certain maneuvers to identify himself on the scope. This confirmed the scope-identity of his aircraft vs. the unknowns. As he executed the test maneuvers, the two unknowns moved away and disappeared. No explanation of this incident was offered by Naval authorities after it was widely reported in Australian and New Zealand papers about three months after it occurred.


It is mildly amusing that the press accounts indicated that

"the pilot, fearing that he might be ragged in the wardroom on his return if he abruptly reported flying saucers, called Nowra by radio and asked whether the radar screen showed his aircraft."

Only after getting word of three, not one, radar blips in his locality did he radio the information on the unknowns, whose configuration was not publicly released. This is in good accord with my own direct experience in interviewing Australian UFO witnesses in 1967; they are no more willing than Americans to be ridiculed for seeing something that is not supposed to exist.

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This page was last updated on September 23, 2002.