It may surprise some to know that Australia has had a long and exciting history with UFOs, or as they are known as in Australia, Unusual Aerial Sightings (UAS). Officially it is our esteemed RAAF who are responsible for investigating these delicate matters but departments like the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence (DSTI), also actively monitor the situation. In 1968 an ASIO scientist even made an official proposal for a special team to be commissioned to investigate UFO incidents around Australia. There does not seem to be any record of a response so one can only wonder whether or not the 'rapid intervention team' was ever formed.
The DSTI, which is a branch of Australia's Joint Intelligence Organisation, rely on the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) to make initial investigations which they follow up if necessary. Thus DAFI would hold the majority of UFO files. The RAAF also make their UFO investigations in conjunction with DAFI (Directorate of Air Force Intelligence). Nearly all RAAF files are held at the Department of Defence Russel Offices in Canberra. The RAAF have three categories of UFO files;
1. Unidentified Flying Objects - Reports of Sightings.
2. UFO - Enquires from members of the public / Organisations.
3. Investigation of Flying Saucers - Policy.
It has been reported that the RAAF keeps it's most highly classified reports and an extensive collection of UFO video films at East Sale, Victoria. But some UFO files are not held with the others. This list includes all incidents prior to 1955, which may have been officially destroyed, as well as several famous incidents in 1973/74, during a documented UFO 'flap' period in Australia. Also missing are government files relating to the North West Cape UFO sighting, wherein a full nuclear alert was issued at the base. Full nuclear alerts are about as serious as they come! On 25 October 1973, two US Navy personnel saw a UFO hovering near the US Naval Communication Station there. It was a large , black UFO sighted around 8km out to sea. One of the witnesses, a Lieutenant Commander, said; "After about 20 to 25 seconds the craft accelerated at unbelievable speed and disappeared to the north."
A UFO also hovered over the former British nuclear test site at Maralinga, South Australia, for fifteen minutes after several nuclear tests in September and October of 1957. The corporal at the base who made the report said the craft was a silver-blue metallic saucer, with portholes around it and was only 150 feet away at one stage. The UFO was also witnessed by several other military officers and a private air traffic control officer. The corporal had this to say; "I swear to you as a practising Christian this was no dream, no illusion, no fairy story - but a solid craft of metallic construction."
UFO / UAS records submitted through the Department of Aviation by non-military air traffic are held at the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, in Melbourne. Australia also has it's own SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) operation which is based at the Faculty of Informatics, Science and Technology, at the Campbelltown campus of the University of Western Sydney Macarthur. The centre's current SETI project is called Southern SERENDIP, and they use CSIRO's 64-metre radio telescope at Parkes, NSW. Southern SERENDIP was first connected to the Parkes Radio Telescope on 20 March, 1998 with the ability to scan eight million channels per second. This has now been upgraded to scans of 58 million channels per 1.7 seconds. Obviously the centre handles huge amounts of data and millions of slight radio signals so the equipment only registers radio signals in outer space that are at least twelve times the average of the closest 8,000 or so other signals.
Whatever all these government departments are interested in, one thing is for certain, they do not wish to share their findings with us, the public. In 1952, officers of the Department of Civil Aviation sought to establish a special bureau to collect and collate the facts on UFOs. The Government Cabinet directly issued instructions that the subject was a Security Service matter. All the Security Service spokesman said was that the Government were currently involved in some matters that required the aid of scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). In 1963, Senator J. L. Cavanagh asked for the Federal Government's dossier on UFOs to be made public. His request was refused by the Minister for Air at the time.
But there were many other influential people who believed that there was a cover-up in operation. Dr. Harry Messel, Professor of Physics at Sydney University, made the following report in 1965; "The facts about saucers were long tracked down and results have long been known in top secret defence circles of more countries than one." Also, in September 1952, the Civilian Saucer Investigation published an article about alien artefacts. In the article the editor, J. Sullivan, referred to a top-level meeting between western scientists and the 'gray' aliens that took place in the "Australian bush". But the current Government UFO Policy documents are simply not available for public access. Our worried governments throughout the twentieth century never saw fit to enlighten us with a confirmation of the existence of extra terrestrial life though one is not really necessary nowadays is it? We all know that they exist, aliens from other worlds and galaxies ARE here, today, now! They come and go as they please. They are hovering out in space asking themselves the same question our governments are (maybe), and that is, are the people of Earth ready for the big news, are we ready for the Intergalactic Age? Would the timid-minded slip into insanity? Would there be a revolution? Would we go to work on Monday? The problem is this; were we to enter the cosmic arena we would most certainly be a 'third-world' player. We would have nothing to offer unless perhaps our very moist planet, or maybe our artists and musicians? I wonder did some famous rock-stars really die early or were they in actual fact 'taken'? Of course we are joking but see the many theories in Who Are These Aliens Anyway to really get you wondering.
In Australia our government has deemed that only 3-4% of sightings could be possibly associated with possible aliens from other worlds. Even so, at the rate of well over a hundred UFO related cases per year, that still adds up to at least three or four real alien crafts per year dropping in. Yet nobody seems to be panicking! Satellites in orbit are commonly mistaken for UFOs all over the world so get to know what one looks like, there are plenty to see. That way you will know if it is a UFO that you are seeing, even if the authorities disagree (and they will!).
One place in Australia that has seen its fair share of UFO activity is Bass Strait. First the SS Amelia J. and then a search aircraft disappeared here in 1920, at the same time that strange lights were reported in the skies above. There were many unexplained reports of unidentifiable aircraft here especially during the early to mid 1900s. It is interesting to note that during World War 2, a total of seventeen aircraft vanished without a trace over Bass Strait yet there was never any enemy fighting anywhere close to the area.