This article was published in the daily newspaper The Mercury, Hobarth, Tasmania, February 19, 2005.
Mystery of UFO deepens
The status of an unidentified flying object seen above the Midland Highway Monday night remains a mystery.
Co-ordinator of UFO Reports and Sightings Tasmania Keith Roberts said yesterday the report now fell into the 5 per cent of UFO sightings which could not be explained.
"We checked up with the airport, helicopter companies, crop dusters, the Navy and the Department of Defence and drew a blank with all of them," Mr Roberts said.
"Out of 100 reports, there is usually a ready explanation for 80 per cent and further investigations explain another 15 per cent.
"This report, however, falls into the 5 per cent which are not explained. But we are ready to receive more information which can help."
Monday night's report was made by a 43-year-old Kingston woman who was driving north on the highway with her sister and a friend.
They first spotted a bright light near Brighton about midnight but by the time they were near the Bothwell turnoff the bright light appeared to be heading towards them.
The woman, who said she was not one to believe in aliens, said the object was about half the size of a house and had one red pulsating light on one side and a similar blue light on the other. They had pulled over and got out of the car, and within minutes the object was hovering about 30m above the ground less than 300m away.
She said the craft was shaped like an AFL football as it came towards them, but when it was closer she guessed it was saucer shaped.
Mr Roberts said he hoped other people would come forward with information on the sighting.
"At the moment we are left with an unexplained object," Mr Roberts said.
"There was a similar sighting in the same area in the 1970s, when a driver saw a bright mass of light before his car conked out."