The Australian UFO Research Network

by Diane Harrison


Hi folks, welcome to another issue of the AUFORN column.

The Fourth Australian National UFO Conference was held on the 5th and 6th of June 2004 in Campbelltown (NSW), Australia. Approximately 200 people attended the conference on each of the two days. The conference was very well attended with people coming from all over Australia. The majority of speakers were Australian with a great deal of interesting information to pass on. Invited International guests were Budd Hopkins and Leslie Keane from the USA.

Before I get started I would like to thank Robert Frola and Duncan Road, both editors of three wonderful and well known magazines here in Australia and overseas, for their sponsorship and donation of free advertising, which they placed in the their magazines many months in advance of the commencement of the Conference. I know personally how advertising expenses can drain a club's funds, so a “very big thank you guys”.

Day One started with Attila Kaldy, who was the MC for the duration of the conference and president of the ‘UFO Society of Western Sydney’ (UFOSWS), Wendy Burnham (President) and Elizabeth Budek from UFO Research (NSW). The UFOSWS co-hosted the conference with ‘UFO Research (NSW).

The first speaker on Day One was Debbie Payne, Media Liaison Director from the ‘Australian UFO Research Association’ (AURA) based in Adelaide. Debbie’s topic was on ‘The Australian Disclosure Project - What the Government has on UFOs’. For the past two years AURA has been searching the Australian National Archives for official records of UFO incidents.
This information can be viewed at these sites: and

During this time AURA has been actively searching the records of various Australian Government agencies. To date information has been obtained from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Australian Defence Science and Technical Organisation (DSTO), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Department of External Affairs, Department of Civil Aviation, Department of Supply, Woomera, South Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. AURA, through their searching, found files that related to a former group called the committee whose identity has yet to be identified.

Through AURA’s research spanning many hours of searching they interestingly uncovered documents to our own Australian governments involvement with a United Nations UFO study, which indicated over 133 countries had gathered many UFO reports. One of these reports indicated a project called “Project Moondust” which was set up to recover downed foreign space vehicles during the Korean War. Debbie then gave reference to four witnesses from Woomera who had observed a cigar-shaped object with portholes, moving very fast.

Debbie indicated AURA has uncovered many alleged UFO hot spots, for example Milne Bay area in Papua New Guinea. The Milne Bay report is very interesting as an object seen emerging from the water was said to have been witnessed by twelve people from the Croker Island Mission. Investigative officers were sent to the area this sighting from the HMAS Bass Navy Base.

Debbie then presented an official document, which indicated Frederick Valentich had been abducted by something. The Valentich case is one of Australia’s most mysterious cases. An Australian pilot who went missing over Bass Strait in 1977 was ‘abducted’ by something.

Audience comments: “Well presented, very informative, and I hope to hear more from Debbie at the next time.” Greg

The second speaker was Rex Gilroy with the topic ‘Aboriginal Abductions Past & Present’. Rex introduced Australian aboriginal myths and legends; myths relating to sky beings, ‘Moon Man’ and ‘Moon Woman’. Aboriginal myth of beings who descended to earth and created the first two human beings. Rex informed us that aboriginal elders spoke of tribes coming to earth from far-off galaxies and who abducted their tribe’s people.

This reminds me of an area I lived near in far north Queensland, a place called Black Mountain where an aboriginal tribe called the Kugga Yulangee spoke of their tribes people wandering off into the mountain never to be seen again.

Rex can be seen to be one of Australia’s most intrepid explorers in his field and over the year Rex has been challenged by the best. We have to pat Rex on the back for his resilience and standing his ground. “Well done Rex.”

Audience comments: “Well I found it hard to believe some of Rex’s stuff but I guess this is what it is all about, listening and disseminating the information for oneself.” Daniel

Next speaker was Sheryl Gottschall on the subject of ‘Exploring Open Contact’. Sheryl stated she felt a passion to explore open contact after reading many of George Adamski books.

Being a person who has had contact I was interested in listening to what Sheryl had to say and was keen to learn something new. Sheryl began her lecture with a brief description of what it would mean when all the population would know our civilisation had met up with an extraterrestrial race and what the acknowledgment of this would be if known worldwide. Sheryl adds “with full acknowledgement then there comes the cover-up.”

Cover-up’s! Sheryl now had my full attention. I was all ears ready to listen to any new information which might help me and other researchers uncover the UFO/ET cover up but unfortunately for me this was as far as Sheryl went on the subject, the use of the words only, bugger nothing new. Sheryl then went on to hypothesise on how (humanity), both individually and collectively, would respond to a worldwide event, asking the audience whether humanity had shown to have a good track record with ET contact experiences and if not then can we expect any better from an ET civilisation. Sheryl then went to articulate her perception of how we might expect open contact to come about and what the short term or long term effects on our world might be.

Audience comments: “Interesting but 30 years outdated.” Pam “Good, I would have liked to have heard more.” Dave

Next speaker was Budd Hopkins with the subject of his new book ‘Sight Unseen - Important New Abduction Cases’. Budd began with UFO history, the Betty and Barney Hill abduction that occurred in 1961 along with reported alien abductions dating back to the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

Budd’s PowerPoint presentation of new and old images of scoop marks and scars found on victims after an abduction experience was interesting. Budd spoke of an Australia family who had claimed to have been abducted whilst visiting a park near Brisbane. Budd presented some photos said to have been by the father of his wife and two children. Budd, after doing some investigating, revealed under hypnotic regression something really did happen to the mother and two children - they were taken up into an awaiting craft.

Audience comments: “Budd’s always interesting; willing to look at new ideas and concepts.” Robert

End of Day One: The last speaker for the day, Leslie Kean, an author and journalist from the USA, with her topic ‘The Cover-up of the Kecksburg, USA, UFO Crash Incident in 1965’.

Lesley spoke about the media and how limited their knowledge is on the UFO subject yet they continually choose to ridicule the people involved. Lesley then extended her comment and stated that the UFO community was its own worst enemy when it comes to dealing with the media. She showed some UFO media clips with interviews good and bad, which helped put her point across. I personally found Lesley to be a straight-shooter thinking first then firing from the hip. I like this in a person, as you know where you stand, but some may not. Lesley brought up some good and valid points about UFOs - the people and media involvement - so I was looking forward to the next part of her lecture on Sunday.

Audience comments: “Very interesting, excellent speaker knows her stuff.” Sally

See you in the next issue of the Ufologist Magazine for Part 2 of the Fourth Australian National UFO Conference 2004 Review.