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UFOs in the daily Press:

Australian UFO footage, 2002:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, written by Alexa Moses, on September 14, 2002.

Look, up in the sky

One Saturday in October 1976, three men from Sydney drove down the South Coast of NSW. For 21-year-old Nick Flaskas and Frank Zonaras, 20, it was a brief holiday between university semesters. For Frank's younger brother Bill, it was a way to while away an idle weekend. To get the approval of their parents, Flaskas and Zonaras had turned their holiday into a quasi-scientific excursion: they were going to film an eclipse of the sun.

The scientific community were gathering in Bombala to see the eclipse, but when the trio asked around, locals said they would get a better view at an isolated point in Ben Boyd National Park.

The group arrived at the point before 4pm, parked the car, and walked down to the cliff, which faced the ocean. It was a clear afternoon, the ocean was smooth and the location was so remote it was like, Flaskas says, "the other side of the moon".

Turning their backs to the ocean, Zonaras and Flaskas began to set up their cameras: Zonaras was using his new Super 8 video camera, and Flaskas was working the stills camera.

Bill was chucking stones off the cliff into the ocean. Suddenly, he called to the others to turn around. Flaskas and Zonaras turned and saw the objects in the sky.

"There were two prominent objects and four smaller ones," Flaskas says.

"The main object looked like a bell. Dome-shaped, a dark grey bell. And as we were watching it, it looked like it was moving, first towards us and then away from us. It was about 15 degrees above the horizon."

The pair swung their cameras around to capture the objects on film.

"Meanwhile the solar eclipse was starting so we thought, we'd better do the eclipse as well or we'll get into trouble with our parents," Zonaras says. So they turned the cameras around and quickly filmed the eclipse.

When they looked oceanwards again, the mysterious objects had disappeared.

More than 25 years later, the pair have created a Web site to tell of their experience. Marketed for an American audience, features pay-per-view of the footage that Zonaras took at Ben Boyd National Park. It costs $US9.90 ($18.20) to view the film. The site also includes other case studies, an area for visitors' UFO stories, and a guest book.

The pair have appeared on ABC's Couchman show in 1991, and a television show called The Extraordinary in 1994.

Zonaras is now a Sydney accountant, and Flaskas the manager of a car yard. As they discuss their experience, they interrupt, squabble over details and finish each other's sentences like a well-worn comedy act.

When asked if they believe in intelligent extra-terrestrial life, Flaskas says "of course" but Zonaras just looks sheepish. Do they find it embarrassing to talk about?

"No," Flaskas says, at the same time that Zonaras says "yes". They both laugh.

"I had clients in New Zealand, and after this television show we were on was shown in New Zealand they came back and sung that song at me," Zonaras says, singing the theme from The Twilight Zone.

"And you do our tax returns, they ask me?" he says.

Zonaras originally wanted to forget about the sighting. After all, it was his footage and he had a career in accounting to think about.

Now, with the ability to stream video on the Internet, and a hefty dose of persuasion from Flaskas, Zonaras agreed to get involved again. A healthy cash-flow opportunity was waiting to be realised. was created with the help of the director of Triode Internet, Paul Black, who programmed the back end of the site. Video producer George Kolovos designed the hub and worked on the streaming technology for video.

However, so far the site hasn't been an other- worldly success. Traffic has been humble since it launched in March, with around 35 unique visitors a day. It may also reflect a common response to the story they have received from people since the event. The vision of two grown men in suits claiming to have seen UFOs is somewhat hard to swallow. Flaskas nods vigorously, having met with this reaction before.

"But if you study any of the serious literature in all cultures in all civilisations, there have been these sightings," Flaskas says.

"From the Incas to 40,000-year-old Aboriginal paintings - there have always been references to these objects."

Why do they think those objects were at Ben Boyd National Park?

"I firmly believe those objects were there to see exactly what we were there to see, which was an eclipse of the sun," Flaskas says.

"And they were offshore so maybe they wouldn't be spotted. As the shadow came across the land they would then travel with the shadow," he says.

Whatever they saw when they were university students, Flaskas and Zonaras have never seen anything like it again. But they do have plans.

"On December 4 this year, there is another eclipse of the sun," Flaskas says.

Excited, Zonaras forgets his embarrassment for a moment and says they are planning another trip.

"The circumstances are almost identical, it's on land, over the ocean, it's crossing the Australian continent at about one minute to 6pm on December 4 in South Australia," Zonaras says.

"The objects may be there again, [or] they may not be," Flaskas interrupts, but Zonaras continues over him.

"And this time," he says, "we might hire some super-duper equipment and see what we film."

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