Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Has The Westall UFO Incident Been Solved?

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Is 'Project HIBAL' The Answer To The Westall UFO Incident?

Project HIBAL - the answer to Westall? - files destroyed

By Keith Basterfield
UFOs - Scientific Research


      A research project I conducted a little while ago, concerned Project HIBAL, which launched high altitude balloons from 1960 onwards from Mildura, and several other Australian locations. In previous posts, I provided details of the HIBAL program, and suggested these very large balloons might explain some UAP sightings from that era.

In addition, while conducting a cold case investigation of the 6 April 1966, Westall case, I began to look for a Project which involved the former Australian Department of Supply (DOS) (Westall researcher Shane Ryan was contacted by the family of a former DOS employee who maintained their father knew the solution to Westall); the American government (some Westall witnesses reported people wearing what some professionals have described as American uniforms); a light aircraft (Westall witnesses maintained several light aircraft circled the UAP); and some form of flying object, which could have come down near Westall High School. This cold case investigation brought me right back to Project HIBAL!

These very large balloons lifted a heavy payload high above the Earth. A "chase" aircraft followed each flight, and "cut down" the balloon via radio signal. The payload (weighing about 200kgs) then dropped to Earth, below a 12m diameter parachute, taking an hour to get to the ground. The balloon went on to land elsewhere. Chase vehicles with DOS personnel then retrieved the payload.

. . .

A Working Hypothesis

As a result of my intensive research, I developed a working hypothesis. In summary, it was "Could a Project HIBAL balloon's payload and 12 metre parachute, and subsequent retrieval of the payload by a ground crew, have caused the Westall incident?"

There was a HIBAL balloon scheduled for launch on 5 April 1966, flight 292 of the series. Flights were quite often delayed by a day due to too strong winds on proposed launch dates. The Westall incident occurred on 6 April 1966.

As part of my research, I located the logbook of the pilot of the chase plane (now deceased). Strangely, there was a logbook entry for flight 291 and one for flight 293, but no entry for flight 292! . . .

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