Monday, August 24, 2015

'Unusual Aerial Sightings' Policy Cancellation? Not So Fast – Department of Defence

Annexe To Amb Si(Admin) 05-01 – Unusual Aerial Sightings
- click on image(s) to enlarge -

Paul Dean By Paul Dean

     Up until two years ago, Australia’s Department of Defence (DOD) maintained one scant policy regarding UFO sightings, or, as they term it, “Unusual Aerial Sightings” (UAS). It was titled Defence Instructions (General) ADMIN 55-1, Unusual Aerial Sightings Policy and, with minor changes in 1996 and 2000, had existed as a Defence Instruction (General) since 1994. I found out, inadvertently through other UFO research, that this policy was cancelled in May, 2013. In January 2015, I initiated a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DOD asking for all records that “went in to” cancelling this already near useless “policy”. I published two pieces on this sad and sorry matter in April and May. They can be seen here:

But was this really the last hoorah? Aside from the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) “Contacts of Interest” (COI) – the term given to unknown or unresponsive radar tracks picked up by various radar surveillance units of the 41 Wing – there are seemingly no channels within the DOD, at least not that I have yet found, that accept UFO sightings, study them, respond to witnesses, compile data, formulate reports and the like. It really does seem that the cancellation of Defence Instructions (General) ADMIN 55-1, Unusual Aerial Sightings Policy was the final say. No more policy paperwork. Cancelled. Indefinitely.

Except, one thing. There is still a “policy” after all. In fact there is quite a few.

In the 58 pages of documentation I received when I asked for all records related to the 2013 cancellation, I noted two passages of text which alluded to a possible continuation of the old policy in the form of SOP’s at RAAF bases. In military jargon, SOP stands for “Standard Operating Procedure”. On the 8th of July, 2015, I submitted an FOI request to the DOD asking what became of this proposal. On the 10th of August, at surprisingly no cost, I received a series of documents which were responsive to my request.

The first “file” is title RAAF BASE AMBERLY STANDING INSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION 05-01 DUTY MEMBER ANNEX E and at two pages contains a front cover, and a second page about the RAAF’s stance, at least at Amberley Air Force Base in Queensland, on reports or enquiries regarding “Unusual Aerial Sightings”. It is part of a larger “Standing Instruction” promulgated by the RAAF at the base. The text is extremely similar to the old, full Defence Instruction of the last two decades, and it states, in full:

1. In past the RAAF was responsible for handling a1l queries for Unusual Aerial Sightings (UAS) at an official level until J996 when the function ceased to operate. Scientific records suggested there was no compelling reason for the RAAF to continue to devote resources to recording and investigating of UAS.


2. The ADF does not accept reports on UAS. If the DM receives a phone call for a sighting, they are to refer the caller to local police authorities. The ADF does not have an affiliation with any existing civil UFO organisations.

3. Some UAS relate to events that have a defence, security or public safety implication which include man-made debris falling from space or burning aircraft. If members of the community have witnessed an occurrence of this type they are to contact the police or the civilian aviation authorities. Any identified aerial activity which appears to have an obvious
defence implication, will be investigated.

Media Organisations.

4. There are occasions when media organisations will seek information regarding a sighting or policy issues UAS. The DM is to obtain the media contact numbers and inform the ABXO on XXXXXXXXX The ABXO may then have the DM contact Defence Public Relations on XXXXXXXXX and pass on the media contact information or ABXO will advise DM to stand-down on the issue.

(Above, top is an image of the above mentioned page).
The above nonsense is so similar to the previous statements of the last 20 years, it is hard to tell the difference now between any of them. The only sliver of information that interests me is the statement Any identified aerial activity which appears to have an obvious defence implication, will be investigated. I mean, what constitutes an “obvious defence implication” and who makes such calls? Even though they are talking about “identified” aerial activity, I will be still looking into this matter in due course. Also, as a matter of interest, I clarified that “ABXO”, mentioned in the final paragraph, is merely short for Air Base Executive Officer.

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