Friday, January 12, 2007

UFOIC 1969 Classic - the north coast NSW UFO "nest" saga

1969 - the north coast of New South Wales (NSW) was the scene of widespread UFO reports and physical trace finds - "UFO nests". One of them was my primary entry point into the physical dimensions of the UFO phenomenon. I joined the curious throng that descended upon the strange crop damage site at Bungawalban, on the property of local parliamentarian Ian Robinson. The story became a nationwide media sensation. I would later learn of striking UFO encounters in the region such as at Harwood Island that seemed to involve levitation of the witness caught in the beam of light from a disc shaped craft. UFOIC actively investigated some of these reports.
Drawing copyright Bill Chalker UFOIC Photo: Sydney Sun newspaper 24 April 1969

UFOIC 1957 Classic

I have reproduced UFOIC's Andrew Tomas' account of an early classic UFO saga from the pages of the Australian Flying Saucer Review, September 1960 - then a collaborative affair of 3 groups - the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC), the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VUFORS) & the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau (QFSRB) A detailed account of these famous sightings appeared in UFOIC's earlier publication the UFO Bulletin, particularly the September 1957 issue, where it was concluded:
(The sightings) prove that a certain percentage of Katoomba sightings represents genuine UFO phenomena.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

UFOIC history roll call - the early years (1954-1969)

I joined UFOIC as a country member in 1969. Looking back over its early years the group's history can be fleshed out through its publications and other primary source material. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the people involved in this early era over the years, including Michael Duggan, Fred Phillips, Bill Moser, Nevill Drury and Tas Homan.

I have listed some of the key people from this early period of UFOIC. While some may have passed away I would be grateful if anyone can advise me of details about any of them or any others:

Andrew Tomas
Dr. W.P. Clifford
Michael Duggan
Fred Phillips
Dr. Miran Lindtner
David Moore
John Matasin
Tas V. Homan
Harry O'Brien
George Tararin
Mel Woods
Mr. Mueller-Sorau
Jack Thomas
John Derry
Judith Croser
Dr. J. Greenwell
T.W. Dutton
Noel Wheeler
Mr. J. Gjerki
Ken Hatton
Jack Kunst
John Mats
Mr. P.A. Edwards
Mr. S. Belin
Mr. E. Sayers
Dr. Don Herbison Evans
Mr. R. De Cusack
Mr. J. Blattman

UFO case material from Phase 1 (1952-1955) of UFOIC - its prehistory

Reproduced here is the cover of the March 1958 issue of the UFOIC UFO Bulletin. The cover depicts the famous Drury film case of August 1953. The bulletin editor Andrew Tomas wrote:
The sketch was made from actual frames of the picture by Mr. A.P. Tomas (the editor) when he was Sydney Observer of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau.
The affair assumed the apocryphal dimensions of a UFO "holy grail" saga with the "disappearance" of the footage. It occupied the attention of pioneer researcher Edgar Jarrold and numerous researchers in the decades that followed, including myself.
The controversy about the Drury UFO film can be followed in an extensively illustrated two part article I wrote for the Australasian Ufologist in 2001 - "The Drury UFO Film Affair - a study of a celebrated Australian Case". The text of the article can be accessed either via my OZ Files web site or via my UFO article archive at AUFORN link.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The evolution of UFOIC

The group UFOIC has had 6 distinct phases in its evolution:

(1) 1952-1955 Edgar Jarrold's group the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau formed in July 1952. It was initially a one man operation. In January 1954 Andrew Tomas became AFSB's "Sydney observer" and an assistant to Edgar Jarrold. 6 issues of the Australian Flying Saucer Magazine (May 1953, August 1953, November 1953, March 1954, August 1954 and February 1955). Other future key UFOIC members became members of this first public Australian flying saucer group, including Dr. W.P. Clifford and Dr. Miran Lindtner. By July 1955 Jarrold had abandoned his AFSB work. Sydney based UFO work was adrift.

(2) 1955-1956 Andrew Tomas accepted the idea of making a New South Wales (NSW) state branch of the South Australia state based Australian Flying Saucer Research Society which was run by Fred Stone. This was a short lived arrangement. Soon the members from the remenants of the AFSB and those of the AFSRS (NSW) branch sort to establish themselves as an independent group.

(3) 1956- 1969 In November 1956 the group UFOIC continued the Sydney based UFO work first begun by Jarrold and Tomas. Dr. Clifford became the first UFOIC president, followed briefly by Dr. J. Greenwell (December 1958 to 27 February 1959).* Dr. Miran Lindtner then took on the UFOIC presidency position, continuing an energetic and dynamic period of research and investigation, until his accidental death in 1969. Fred Phillips took over as president. UFOIC published the UFO Bulletin (June 1957?, September 1957, December 1957, March 1958, June 1958, September 1958, January 1959, April 1959 and July 1959). In cooperation initially with the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) and later also with the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau, UFOIC published the Australian Flying Saucer Review (January 1960, April 1960, September 1960, February 1961, July 1961, January 1962 and November 1962). The interstate cooperative effort lapsed. VFSRS began publishing its own Australian Flying Saucer Review Victorian edition in May 1964 . UFOIC published 3 issues of its own NSW edition (June 1965, November 1966 and the much delayed December 1969 issue). UFOIC also began publishing the UFOIC Newsletter beginning with Issue 1 in March 1964 and with Issue 26 by December 1969.

(4) 1970 - 1974 A transitional period followed, punctuated by some internal difficulties and cooperation & discord with the UFORPA (UFO Research Projects of Australia) group run by Frankh Wilks. Out of this process emerged a revitalised UFOIC committee with an energetic investigative team lead by David Buching. It continued the UFOIC Newsletter run beginning with issue 40 in May/June 1974. By this stage the position of president was largely honorary with Fred Phillips continuing in the role. The actual running of the group was undertaken by the newer members of the committee.

(5) 1975 - 1980 By 1975-76 Michael Smyth and Bill Chalker were coordinating the UFOIC group's activities. In line with a trend established by some other state groups UFOIC changed its name to UFO Research (NSW) . Fred Phillips continue as honarary president for a number of years. The last UFOIC Newsletter was issue 50 of January - February 1977 and the newsletter format continued with issue 51 appearing under the name UFO Newsletter (UFO Research (NSW)) in May 1977. Its name was changed for one issue to the Australian UFO Newsletter in the double issue N0.54 & 55 dated July - August 1978. With the No. 56 & 57 double issue dated January - February 1979 the name Australian UFO Researcher was adopted which continued until issue 60 dated November - December 1979. The Sydney based group as UFOIC and UFOR(NSW) had published 57 issues between 1964 and 1979 (3 issues 54&55, 56&57 and 58&59 were double issues) in a continuous numbered run. In 1980 UFO Research (NSW) (aka UFOIC) joined forces with the cooperative publishing venture UFO Research Australian Newsletter (UFORAN) edited by Vladimir Godic.

(6) 1981 - 2007 By the early 1980s the group was reconfigured, adopting a networking type approach, rather than continuing the traditional public group format. This change worked well with a good working relationship with national networking efforts, initially with the Australian Centre for UFO Studies (ACUFOS) and then UFO Research Australia (UFORA) from 1984 to 1995. The originial group name UFOIC was readopted in 1991 when a name change was forced by a new group registering the name UFO Research (NSW) as a business name. UFOIC continued its research and investigation, preferring a successful model of a "low profile" active network, rather than a public relations group format. This approach has served the group well and continues today under the ongoing direction of researcher Bill Chalker.

The brief outline of the evolution of the Sydney based group UFOIC reveals a complex and fascinating development, driven by changing research and investigation strategies and focuses. Many striking UFO cases have been investigated by the group during its rich half century history. UFOIC has made a potent contribution to UFO investigation and research in Australia.

* Correction (6 March 2007): Dr. Lindtner did not become UFOIC president in December 1958. The January 1959 issue of the UFOIC UFO Bulletin (page 18) indicates "At the annual Meeting held by UFOIC in December 1958 Dr. John Greenwell was elected President." The following issue (April 1959) reports "For personal reasons Dr. J. Greenwell has resigned from his post of President. His place has been taken by Dr. M. Lindtner, a man well-versed in science with a thorough knowledge of "ufology"." This transition appears to have occurred on 27 February 1959, as elaborated in my 6 March 2007 post "UFOIC and the 1959 Adamski visit". Because of the brief tenure of Dr. Greenwell as UFOIC president it seems I inadvertently introduced the December 1958 date for Dr. Lindtner's start as UFOIC president. I thank a very helpful early member of UFOIC for supplying information that helped correct the group history and also explain the apparent background to it.

The writer Bill Chalker is currently researching a history of UFOIC and would welcome contact and contributions to this effort from past members and observers of the group.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) 1956 to now

This site is devoted to the Sydney Australia based UFO group UFOIC - the UFO Investigation Centre. It will be used to describe the history, research and investigation activities of the group.

During May 2006 Bill Chalker the long time coordinator of UFOIC gave a lecture on the group entitled "UFOIC - the UFO Investigation Centre (1956 - 2006) - an extraordinary odyssey" which had the following abstract:
Through the lens of the evolution of the Sydney based group UFOIC from 1956 to 2006 (fifty years), from historical to current cases and research, a rich harvest of UFO material is presented. History, controversy and research is covered in roughly equal measure. The 1868 Parramatta case will be covered, along with the 1927 Fernvale affair - a "prophecy" of the coming of the "flying saucer era" twenty years later in 1947, and the Mothman Prophecy events of around 1967. A Chinese connection - a "Dragon Seed" - will be examined from its earliest manifestation through the pioneer UFOIC researcher Andrew Tomas through to my research in more recent times, through to the strange breakthrough research into the unusual rare Chinese ethnic minority DNA turning up in the "Hair of the Alien" saga - a wild ride through an extraordinary odyssey spanning more than half a century.