Friday, October 28, 2011

"Destroyed" Frederick Valentich file turns up

Hi all

Appendix six to the final report on the Disclosure Australia Project's five year search for Australian government UFO files concerned the disappearance of Frederick Valentich (click here) on 21 October 1978. While looking through Australian government files for UFO related material, the Project also kept an eye out for any papers concerning Frederick Valentich.

On 10 August 2004, I submitted an FOI request to the federal Department of Transport requesting a copy of their accident/incident investigation report on Valentich - their file reference V116/783/1047. Their reply on 1 September 2004 in part read "I understand that file V116/783/1047 has been destroyed by the National Archives of Australia." An electronic search of the NAA's records failed to find any trace of this file. It did indeed appear that it was no longer with us.

Fast forward to earlier tonight, when I was browsing the NAA website and to my amazement there was file - safely in the Archives!

File series B1497 control symbol V116/783/1047 DSJ - Cape Otway to King Island. 21 October 1978 - Aircraft missing (Valentich). Date range 1978-1992. Barcode 10491375. Location - Melbourne.

There was one hitch thought, the status of the file is shown as "closed." This in theory means that although the file is in the NAA you can't access it. Then I noticed that the reason for it being closed was that in 2008 when the status was shown as closed, the 30 year rule did not apply. Via the Archive Act you can only access files with papers on them providing they are more than 30 years old.

Now it is 2011, so one should be able to access papers on the file provided they are dated 1978, 1979 or 1980. The Archives still won't let you access papers less than 30 years old.

Needless to say, I have just lodged an application for access to the files, which should get me the 1978-1980 papers.  This process can take up to three months, so I will keep you posted. However, finally we might get to see what the Department of Transport's investigation found.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yowies on the move


I thought sightings of Australian Yowies were a a thing of the past. But number 278 of the English Fortean Times magazine (September 2011 page 19) carried an article which read:

"Just before 2.30am on 17 May 2011, while driving south along the Pacific Highway north of Grafton in New South Wales, Australia, a professional driver identified in media reports only as Dean took the Centenary Drive bypass, and moments later he clearly saw in the middle of the road, just up ahead what seemed at first to be a large person stooped over, wearing a big overcoat.

"But as his headlights illuminated it, this hitherto bipedal entity dropped down onto all fours and swiftly bounded into the scrub fringing the road. Slowing down, Dean peered into the bushes, and saw the entity silhouetted against the sky. "It had an almost sort of a square, shaggy block head sitting straight on its shoulders - I'm a pretty big guy but it made me absolutely awestruck how huge its body was." He said "It had its arm up against a tree and it had about a foot of hair hanging from under its biceps."

He estimated it was at least 6 feet (1.8m) tall and seemed to be covered in jet-black hair. At the time of his sighting, he had never heard of the Yowie - Australia's very own supposed man-beast."

Where do you report strange entity sightings to?

Suppose you were out one day in a remote locality and saw what you took to be a strange entity. Where would you report it to? You might talk to the local ghost society; a big cat organisation; a UFO group or a paranormal research society.

I recently read an article in issue 278 September 2011 of the English Fortean Times magazine pages 56-57, written by Merrily Harpur, about sightings of strange creatures in modern Britain.

"People who see them often report them to the national ABC research group Big Cats in Britain, for want of anyone else to tell."

Reports cited in the article include a Gotham farmer's description of an animal "Very large, the size of a small bull - six feet (1.8m) long; very muscular build, with a huge head and its tongue hanging out..." It had a long tail and it ran at speed as they chased it in the Land Rover, "clearing a six foot (1.8m) fence with ease."

Another report came in September 2002 from an Army commander on Salisbury Plains. A commander in a tank on exercises reported "...a large ape-like creature. It looked scared...Its fur was similar to an orang-utan in colour, and the length and flow of it. Its face looked black, or darkish, but I couldn't see its facial was very fast and seemed to run with large strides...Its height...must have been 6 feet plus."

Even weirder was a report from a Canadian woman living in Lancashire, who on 19 March 2001, reported  that while sitting in a car about midnight, by a lake she and her husband heard what sounded like the tide hitting a sea wall. Then they saw "...a strange animal crawling around...the shape and outline of the animal was quite different to a fox...It hopped once then stopped...we turned on our headlights...It was about the size of a medium-sized dog, except for its legs, which seemed to be much too long for its body. Its limbs were twisted and gnarled...It was brownish in colour, with no fur at all, and I do not recall a tail or was best described as 'Gollum' ( a character from the Lord of the Rings movies)...It looked up at us...It had a face, almost human-like but deformed in a way...It crawled away eventually..."