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The Alberton UFO footage, Australia, 1967:

On an evening in May or June 1967, a South Australian couple who wanted to remain anonymous, M. Mathews and his wife Eve, observed a UFO and took a photographic UFO sequence of it.

In this page:

Click! The events.
Click! A frame from the footage under the microscope.
Click! Frames from the footage.
Click! References

A frame from the film under the microscope:

The events:

On an evening in May or June 1967, Mr. and Mrs. Mathews has just returned to their home in Alberton, South Australia, and were preparing themselves to get to bed early, after watching some television for a while. At one time they went outdoors, during a commercial break on television, to get some fresh air.

Mr. Mathews had been lent an 8 mm movie camera from his brother, which he had used to film an eclipse, and he had it with him because he was cleaning it when he had some break time. As soon as they were out, their attention was drawn to a light at their right to the east in the sky.

The object was at about 15-20 degrees above the horizon, lower than the full moon that was shining at that time, and it appeared as a brilliant arrangement of rings of light, slightly larger than the moon and Mr. Mathews estimated that it was no more than one mile away.

The object was stationary and completely silent. It was bather in a haze of blue light, and Mrs. Mathews had the impression that it had a concentric ring around its circumference.

They thought it may be some unusual but mundane astronomical phenomenon unknown to them.

While Mrs. Mathews decided to shoot a photograph of it, Mr. Mathews decided to take some footage of it with the movie camera, so he shot 2.5 seconds of film.

Thinking it was no more than a mundane astronomical phenomenon, both Mr. and Mrs. Mathews returned indoors and resumed watching TV. Half an hour later they returned outside to check if it was still there, but there was nothing remaining. Then then forgot about it and went to bed.

It was only 8 months later, on January 8, 1968, when they received the developed film back, that the sighting they had completely forgotten came back in their minds. They said that even then, they nearly missed the short 2.5 seconds footage; which was between a scene of bees pollinating flowers and children at play.

However, Mr. Mathews made some thinking on the observation and finally decided to report it to a local ufology group in South Australia, hoping they could tell him what he had filmed.

The ufology group inspected the original footage frame by frame, and of course did not see how it could have been some mundane astronomical phenomenon. They forwarded the footage to Bruce Cathie, a former airline pilot and UFO witness who became an active ufologist and wrote several books on the topic.

Ten of the frames were sent to a ufology research group in the US who had some equipment for close inspection and enhancement. Unfortunately the frames became completely damage due to incompetent handling by the persons to whom it was entrusted, and a controversy started on who the culprit were, according to ufologist Robert Frola:

"A series of claims and denials regarding the film whereabouts caused months of delay. A court case ensued in October 1969 and it was revealed that the film had been damaged accidentally during processing, and the film strip was eventually returned in totally worthless condition, having sustained damage along its entire length. Later it was revealed that the analyst was a NASA employee, and that his house and property were under government protection."

"More intrigue was to come. On December 19, 1969, the completed analysis, presumably performed before the film was destroyed, and not yet disclosed to either of the UFO investigative bodies, was delivered to a large US magazines upon request by the editor. Requests for the original manuscript, on January 16 and 17, 1970, were met with denials of the manuscripts existence, and that there was no written evidence of its receipt by the magazine in the first place. However, on January 18, written evidence was produced, promising delivery from the analyst, and on January 22, five days later, the entire document was found mysteriously on the editors desk, the magazine claiming it had been misplaced!"

Apparently, the analysis of these ten frames before it was lost was done using microscopic enlargement and it revealed "a circular craft free from protrusions." The interpretation was that the craft was motionless, facing the camera with an illuminated compartment window emanating a bluish light, and a series of dark portholes running around the entire illuminated circumference.

Series, printout during analysis.

As can be seen on the series of these 10 frames, reproduced above, a light is easily seen changing position between frames 8 and 9 and 10. It was estimated to be possibly some sort of searchlight beam used by the craft to explore the environment:

"This beam appears to be intelligently controlled and looks like some form of searchlight scanning the night sky and its surroundings. Frame 10 reveals a great deal of difference in the position of this beam, and it appears that it has gained in intensity and moved rapidly. No light beam is visible in frames 1-7."

It was said that the shadow feature in the middle of the lighted area apparent at the front can be interpreted as being possibly the silhouette of an occupant of the craft, apparently standing and looking out:

"1000 times magnification of this window clearly reveals a back-lighted silhouette, and it was found that the entire film sequence had this feature. This was made visible by the changes in density of the figure throughout the sequence."

Damaged film.

Frames and enlargements from the film, in chronological order:



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This page was last updated on October 7, 2004.