Thursday, July 21, 2005

Top-End X-Files Revealed

X-Files On Black

SECRET documents released by the Northern Territory Government reveal a mass of UFO sightings across the Top End, many of them unexplained.

By Eric Tlozek

      The documents - declassified after 30 years under lock and key - detail a history of UFO activity across the Territory by a wide range of 'sighters', including RAAF crews and weather forecasters.

     The files were classified and only became available to the public from the National Archives in Darwin, after 30 years.

     One sighting, by the crew of a RAAF Hercules in Darwin in 1968, also appeared on radar, although no known aircraft was identified in the area at the time.

     The crew described a series of lights which crossed their take-off path from Darwin airport, with no visible fuselage or structure. RAAF command in Sydney said the contact may have been a foreign aircraft.

     "The fact the sighting was made by an RAAF aircrew and detected by the aircraft's radar leaves very little doubt ... (that something) was in the area," RAAF command said.

     "As the aircraft has not been identified, a violation of our national airspace 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 in November, 1966.

     The forecaster was tracking a weather balloon with a theodolite when he noticed a flying object in the sky.

     He reported sighting a metallic-grey, oblong object flying at high altitude.

     A check with the aircraft control office in Darwin revealed there were no aircraft in the area at the time.

     A third file reports the sighting of a saucer-shaped object by a group of nurses in Alice Springs in 1967.

     The nurses spotted the UFO in the middle of the day and said it was a silver colour with a copper band around the centre.

     UFO archivist Dominic McNamara said there were many NT sightings but most were unsubstantiated.

     "The NT is a hot-spot for sightings particularly because of its remoteness," Mr McNamara said.

     "But the cases where people actually see substantial objects and can describe them are the ones that stand out."

     He said tracking down the files was an arduous task because a serial number needed to be quoted to retrieve any file.

     So he cross-referenced files from related items, eventually narrowing the field to 170 documents.

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