Australian UFO Researcher
Bill Chalker


by Bill Chalker

During the winter of 1947, a young woman with her son, was driving home in a Buick motor car to Newry from nearby Maffra, Victoria. Years later, the witness described to me what followed: "It was dark early, and I was moving fast, due to indications of a storm. We rounded a corner, and there was a field of maize on the right, ... and this dazzling golden ball in front of me... "All I saw was a golden glowing sphere on the road, or rather hovering inches above it... "I was scared stiff, I could not stop the car, wind buffeted the strong old car, and small gum tree branches and maize and debri hit the windows and the windscreen, some flying off again, but more sticking. It seemed like a whirlwind... "... I could not avoid collision... I could only look at the road below it, as it was blinding light. I could not see the whole of the sphere that close. At the point of impact, it seemed to roll to one side - the high embankment side and vanish, behind the tall maize. The car went through, the wind ceased, the debri ceased, all was peace." (1)


At about 2 am, one morning during 1947, an enlisted man was on picket line duty in Greta Army camp, near Maitland, NSW.

"... I had just reached the end of my picket line which ended 100 yards opposite the main railway line when I noticed a light in the sky approaching from the west. As it drew near, I saw what looked like a silver dome shaped disc. Under the disc there was blue flames. It did not fly in in a straight line. It was flying in a zig-zag line as it approached (witness sketch shows an undulating curved "z" movement - B.C.), leaving behind a faint yellow or gold trail.

"There was a solid cloud bank nearly overhead, stretching away to the east. As the UFO flew above this cloud I could see the glow from the flame in the cloud. Then all of a sudden, the clouds overhead were lit up. The light was so strong, I could see everything around me, even the trees on the other side of the railway line ... Then the light faded out. That was all I saw ... I did not hear a sound from it." (2)

During one very clear night in 1947, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Flight Sergeant Leslie W. Bastin and his daughter, Jean, witnessed a strange sight. From the back of their home at Lawson, in the Blue Mountains, to the west of Sydney, the Bastins could see quite a distance.

Years later Jean recalled the experience for me:

"Hovering over the gully was a pewter type metal structure, with a domed top and slightly less domed on the bottom, with a flange around the centre of it. "Lights were visible above the flanged section. These were of a fluorescent nature, orange and lime green in hue. "It stayed there for around about half an hour, then silently and quickly it departed, leaving my father and I mystified."

Flight Sergeant Bastin was stationed at Richmond and worked with aircraft all the time. He knew a lot about weather balloons, but could not explain the observation he and his daughter had made. Jean felt sure he had reported the incident to his superiors in the RAAF. (3)


A 71 year old woman wrote in 1978, how at the age of 40, "at the end of June 1947 I was on the Bondi Beach taking fresh air as usual at about nine o'clock in the evening. "Then I heard of a kind of noise above me - humming sound, droning - and then I saw "The air ship" the shape appeared like a cigar or dirigible, having the colour of the clear sky, very pale blue. "The ship stayed with me for only a few minutes, then disappeared in the dark sky..." (4)


The Grafton local paper, "The Daily Examiner" recorded the following in its Thursday, July 10, 1947 edition: "Mysterious discs resembling the "flying saucers" reported from other parts of the world have been seen in Grafton. Mr. W. Quinlan of Grafton, while on the river yesterday afternoon reported the presence of shining formations in the air about 2.30 pm.

"Mr. Quinlan with his wife and son were spending the afternoon on the river in a boat. "I was looking in the air at a plane which had previously departed from South Grafton, and I noticed this shiny thing." "He described them as being transparent and disc-like in shape. They appeared to be caught in the eddy of the wind. "Mr. Quinlan pointed out the objects to some officers of the S.S. Ulmarra which had just secured to the Grafton wharf."

A follow up story in the July 11th edition provide a probable explanation:


"Mr. C. Seymour of C.R.C.C. (Clarence River County Council - B.C.) was playing bowls on the South Grafton links when the New England Airways plane left the aerodrome and circled the town on Wednesday afternoon. "He said after the aircraft had attained a fairly high altitude a supply of dodgers advertising the passenger service was released. These floated gently about in the breeze for some time and had probably given rise to the reports of the disc-like objects."

(1) Correspondence with the witness during December, 1977 (Bill
(2) Letter from witness to the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC),
Sydney, NSW, dated 26/8/71.
(3) Letter to Bill Chalker from Jean Bastin, 11/2/83.
(4) Letter from Mrs. A. N_______ to UFOIC, dated 10/9/78


In a letter written to UFOIC in 1968, Edward V. Blow described an experience that occurred in Malta. He was 17 at the time: "In August, 1947, a cylindrical object of great brilliance was observed by many persons including myself moving at great speed and at an angle of about 60o from an easterly direction to the northwest. The time was around 7 pm."

Mr. Blow added, "Official report:- 1. Meteorological balloon. 2. Reflected sunlight from the fuelage of an airliner." He indicate, "This could not have been the case because there were no planes of such speed at that time."

Source: Letter to UFOIC, Sydney, NSW, dated 30/1/68.


The Grafton Daily Examiner of July 12, 1947, carried a AAP report from Tokyo:

"Flying saucers have now appeared over Japan. The first flight was reported by a police officer at Kagoshima, in southern Kyushu...

"The police officer Shigeru Arrifuku, who made the report, said that while on duty shortly after midnight on the morning of July 9, he saw some hyphen-shaped brilliant objects flying over Kagoshima Bay in a wave-like manner. The objects were flying north west at about 3000 feet. "Kayashima weather Bureau said the "saucers" might have been balloons released by the Bureau after midnight."


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