This article was published in the daily newspaper Northern Territory News, Australia, July 22, 2005
Australia releases classified UFO documents
Secret documents released by Northern Territory government reveal a mass of UFO sightings across the Top End, many of them unexplained.
The documents, declassified after 30 years under lock and key, detail a listing of UFO incidents across the Territory by a wide range of 'sighters,' including RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] crews and weather forecasters."
The files were classified and only became available from the National Archives in Darwin after 20 years.
One sighting by the crew of an RAAF Hercules in Darwin in 1968 also appeared on radar although no human aircraft was identified in the area at the time.
The crew described a series of lights which crossed their takeoff path from Darwin Airport with no visible fuselage or structure. RAAF Command in Sydney, Australia's largest city, said the intruder might have been a foreign aircraft.
"The fact that the sighting was made by an RAAF aircrew and detected by the aircraft's radar leave very little doubt...(that something) was in the area," RAAF Command said, "As the aircraft has not been identified, a violation of national air space cannot be discounted."
Another of the secret documents, obtained by the Australian UFO Research Association, describes a sighting by a weather bureau forecaster at Daly Waters, N.T. in November 1966. The forecaster was tracking a weather balloon with a theodolite when he noticed a high-flying object in the sky. He reported sighting a metallic-grey, oblong object at high altitude.
A check with the aircraft control office in Darwin revealed there was no aircraft in the area at the time.
A third file reports the sighting of a saucer-shaped object by a group of women in Alice Springs in 1967. The women spotted the UFO in the middle of the sky and said it was a silver colour with a copper hand around the centre.
UFO archivist Dominic McNamara said there were many N.T. sightings but most were unsubstantiated.
"The Northern Territory is a hot-spot for sightings particularly because of its remoteness," McNamara said, But the cases show people actually see unidentified objects and can describe those over the area that stand out."
He said tracking down the files was an arduous task because a serial number needed to be quoted to obtain any files. So he cross-referenced files from related items, eventually narrowing the field to 170 documents."