|THE JOINT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AND UFOS
A file titled “Scientific Intelligence General Unidentified Flying Objects” series JIO63 control symbol 3092/2/000 previously revealed that in 1957 the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence had asked the Joint Intelligence Bureau to take over investigations into UFOs.
This JIB file stated that “The matter will be listed for consideration by the Joint Intelligence Committee at an early date” agendum no. 71/1957.
Who was the Joint Intelligence Committee? Folio 88 of file series A1838, control symbol TS663/4 Part 3 (in 1957) states that:
“The Joint Intelligence Committee formed part of the Australian Joint Service machinery, and is responsible to the Defence Committee. It comprises the Director of Naval Intelligence, the Director of Military Intelligence, The Director of Intelligence RAAF, a representative of the Department of External Affairs, and the Controller Joint Services organizations who also represents the Department of Defence..
“The function of the Committee includes all matters of Joint Intelligence Policy, control through the Controller of Joint Services Organisations of intelligence policy of the Joint Intelligence machinery; propagation of reports, appreciations etc as may be required; liaison with the Joint Planning Committee and the appropriate scientific advisory body.”
The attendees list for the 10 October 2007 meeting was:
Group Captain A D Henderson, Director of Air Force intelligence
A P Fleming, Controller, Joint Services Organisation
W H King, Director Joint Intelligence Bureau
Colonel T F B MacAdie, Director of Military Intelligence
T W Cutts, Representing Department of External Affairs
Commander D J Beckley, Representing Director of Naval intelligence.
Agendum item 71/1957 went to the Joint Intelligence Committee on Tuesday 22 October 1957. A copy of the agenda was found on file series A1838 control symbol 663/4/1/ Part 1 titled “Australian Defence Organisation Joint Intelligence Committee Business papers.” Item 5 was “Investigations into Reports of Unidentified Flying Objects”. The meeting was held in room 108 ‘A’ block (New wing) at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. The distribution list on the agenda shows copies of the agenda went to “List ‘B’; ASIO & E L D White Esq.”
Unfortunately a search of this file and also two other files:
- A1838 TS652/3/2 Part 2 “Australian Defence Organisation Joint Intelligence committee Minutes
- A1838 TS663/4 Part 3 Australian Defence Organisation Joint Intelligence committee”
failed to locate a copy of the minutes of the meeting, so no record of the discussions or outcomes are available from these files.
However, on the front cover of file series JIO63, control symbol 3092/2/000, there is a notation to the effect that the matter “Will be put on agenda of next STISC meeting.” This noted is date 1 November 1957 and is signed “Sc I O” presumably short hand for Scientific Intelligence Officer. R H Mathams was the JIB Scientific Intelligence Officer at the time.
What was the STISC? The STISC was the Scientific and Technical Intelligence sub-committee of the Joint Intelligence Committee. No mention of STISC agenda, business papers or minutes can be found on any file so far examined. A 1960 list of STISC members showed the following:
R H Mathams (Chairman) Head, Scientific Intelligence Branch, JIB
Lt Cdr K J Price, Naval Representative, Joint Intelligence Branch
Major K Whyte, GSO2 M.18 Directorate of Military Intelligence
Sqn Ldr P T V Jessop, Guided Weapons Section, Department of Air, Melbourne.
G C Shaefer, Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Department of Supply.
No record of any STISC material can be found in the National Archives of Australia Recordsearch, so for now the trail goes cold.
A check of the above mentioned three files failed to locate any other JIC agenda items relating to UFOs between the years 1955 and 1961.