Australian UFO Researcher
Bill Chalker


Keith Basterfield & Bill Chalker

Excerpted, with permission, from;
(A "book on disk", compiled by Vladimir and Pony Godic.)
(C) Copyright, 1989, by UFO Research Australia)
Copying and/or storage of this article by any media, without full credit to UFORA and the original authors, is prohibited.

A very spectacular event is reported to have occurred in the early hours of September 30, 1980, on a property known as "White-Acres," some 8km from Rosedale, Victoria, Australia. Investigations were conducted by a number of people and, in view of the apparent magnitude of the event, Bill Chalker, Gary Little and Keith Basterfield co-investigated the case.

The Event As Related

The percipient, a 54 year old farm hand and caretaker of the "White-Acres" property, 19km west of Sale, Victoria, went to bed at 2230hrs on September 29, 1980, and experienced no trouble in sleeping. At 0100hrs, September 30 (daylight saving), he awoke and immediately heard a noise like a screeching whistle, unlike the noise of anything on the nearby road. It should be said that the Princess Highway, a main road Melbourne to Sydney, carrying interstate traffic, runs right alongside the house where he lay sleeping.

There were also noises of cattle bellowing and a horse running around in apparent panic. He looked at his bedside spring wound clock after switching on the bedroom light and noted the time. He then went outside the back door, still in his night attire, to see what was the matter with the stock. From the back door the view is obstructed by adjacent posts and sheeting, so, in order to have a clear view, he stood up on a wooden rail just outside the door.

Immediately he observed, out of the corner of his eye, an object moving from his right to left. Its estimated height was 8-10 feet (1) above the ground. As he stood there and watched it, it appeared to pass between a shed and a Cyprus hedge (estimated distance about 500 feet) and then between a silo and a tree. When behind the shed he states that part of the object was below his line of sight of the shed roof.

At first he had thought it was an aircraft in distress, but when clearly in view by the silo, he saw there were no wings and no tail, and he described it as a domed object with a white top. It had orange and blue lights on its surface and he estimated its diameter at about 26 feet. Its height was given as about 15 feet. The object then progressed over a paddock, passed by a haystack and appeared to rest over a distant, open-topped, concrete 10,000 gallon water tank for an estimated minute before moving to a stationary position apparently on the ground to the left of the tank as viewed from the house. Total time between initial view and on the ground was put at 2 minutes.

He commented that there did not appear to be any illumination of the ground as it passed over, but the object gave out light at its own height.

The Percipient Approaches

The witness decided to investigate as there had been reports of rustling of stock in the area and his stock were obviously disturbed. He returned to the house and dressed. Within 5 minutes he came outside, got on his red coloured Suzuki 100 motorbike, started it up and commenced to ride up a lane to the area where the object was still visible on the ground, making an audible whistling noise. Stopping to open a gate he saw a cow obviously disturbed and frothing at the mouth. This cow came through the open gate and, according to the witness, proceeded to hide itself under an adjacent shed. Riding further up, to another gate, he entered into the paddock with the object in it.

On Site

As he approached the UFO from 50 yards away, to the point where he stopped, 50 feet from it, he commented that he had an unusual body sensation, feeling "like a jelly on a plate," everything was trembling. Having stopped 50 feet, or so, from the object, he sat on his bike with the engine still running (there were no effects on his bike at all) and headlight on. He rested the bike by placing his two feet on the ground.

The UFO remained sitting on the ground, still making a whistling noise. The witness maintains he could not go any closer to it due to the intensity of the noise. In fact he says he sat on the bike with his ears covered by his hands. Duration of this portion of the observation was put at about 3 minutes.

The object itself seemed to consist of two sections - a white dome on top and a larger orange section underneath. Around this bottom section there appeared to be circular windows or lights. Suddenly, the noise level increased to "an awful scream," something like a black tube appeared around the base of the UFO, and this seemed to inflate to a tremendous size, just beyond the diameter of the object. There was a tremendous "bang," and a blast of air and heat came from it. This blast almost knocked him off his bike. The UFO lifted up and gradually rolled off the spot going eastwards.

The bike's headlight illuminated the base of the object as it moved away, enabling the percipient to observe that the black "tube" seemed to be deflating towards the centre of the base. Also around the rim of the base were six evenly spaced "spokes" or V-shaped "things."

At about 30 feet out from where it had sat, and at a height of 8-10 feet, the object fell silent. At this stage the reporter states material fell away from the underside of it. This material looked like stones, cape weed and cow paddies.

The witness rode onto the spot it had left, and sat there stunned, watching as the object left towards due east. Gradually it faded away, becoming smaller and smaller in angular size until it was lost to sight.

The night was clear, calm and moonlit. In the moonlight he could see a marking, a "ring" of "black" grass, about 30 feet across.

Back Home

Still stunned, he managed to ride back to the house where he saw the time was 0150hrs by the bedroom clock. He had a cup of coffee. It was then that he noticed his 6-7 year old, water resistant, stainless steel Taiwanese spring wound Timex watch had stopped at 0110hrs. He took it off his wrist and placed it on the table. After a few minutes it started again. However, when he put it on his arm it stopped again within 10 minutes. This sequence of stopping on arm, and going on table, happened on and off over the next three days, then the watch returned to normal. The witness commented that the watch had been reliable before and had been since.

We saw that the watch hour and minute hands were marked by old style luminescent paint and asked if he had noted anything abnormal about the intensity of the paint's illumination in the dark. He replied that there had been no noticeable difference before or after the event.

Following looking at the watch, he went to lie down on his bed, without taking off his clothes, but was unable to get back to sleep properly, chewing things over in his mind. His legs were shaky.

At about 5a.m. he arose and decided to return to the paddock where he had observed the object. With daylight, he found a ring standing out quite clearly in the precise spot where the object had been. The surrounding paddock was a blanket of yellow flowers, but on the ground the mark was near black or brown, consisting of grass flattened in an anti- clockwise direction, to a width of 18 inches. Inside the ring only green grass remained. The yellow flowers had been removed. Total diameter of the trace was 28 feet. Evenly spaced within the perimeter of the ring were six "spokes" of relatively undamaged grass.

In a definite path leading out of the spot to the east was debris, according to the reporter, the debris which he had seen falling from underneath the object. The witness stated that, while he was inspecting the mark, a truck driver, who had stopped his vehicle on the main road, came across to him in the paddock. This man related that he had been followed by an object from Traralgon to Rosedale at about 0100hrs that same morning.

Later That Morning

At about 0900hrs the owner of the property arrived on a regular visit and asked the witness what was wrong with him as he was as white as a sheet. The witness told him that he had something to show him and together they inspected the mark. The owner reported the incident to the local paper and an account appeared on the front page of the "Gippsland Times" of October 1, 1980.

The Tank

The witness relates that he had noted that the 12 foot high, 8 foot wide, concrete water tank had been full the day before (September 29, 1980), and held about 10,000 gallons of water which is pumped by a wind pump through an incoming one and a half inch pipe. Once full, it is used as a summer reservoir. A valve is closed and water bypasses the tank and is pumped out by 1 inch pipe directly to the area around the house.

When it was inspected on the day of the event, he states that a) about 10,000 gallons of water had gone, and b) in the centre of the tank the muddy residue on the bottom was piled up (the outlet is on the side not in the centre), to a height of perhaps two feet, and c) there was algae, which had been floating on the top of the water, stuck on the walls near the top hanging upwards. It was estimated that it would take 72 hours or so to empty the tank by normal pipe means.

Additional Comments

Another effect noted was that by lunchtime, on the same morning, a strip (a chain wide) of grass beneath the path of the object - from tree to hayrick, and from fence (by the top gate to the paddock where the object had been) to the tank, was noticeable.

By 1100hrs the same morning, the witness says he developed a headache, which persisted until about 1500hrs when it went. He said he didn't normally suffer from headaches, but that he encountered a sharp, constant pain across his forehead above the eyes and also at the top of his head.

For the next 7-8 days, these headaches came between 1100 and 1500hrs each day and not even an aspro would clear them up. Also, for the 7-8 days after the event, he couldn't sleep properly. He would wake up in a sweat. He ate meals in the mornings but experienced vomiting and diarrhoea each time. Evening meals caused no problems. He did not seek medical advice.

On the 7th or 8th night, he had a vivid dream of seeing the object again and of holding an old fashioned shotgun. He awoke from the dream with a start and from about this time onwards recovered normal health.

The Stock

On the night of the event, immediately upon awakening, the witness heard the bellowing of cattle and the sound of a horse racing around. Looking outside, he noticed cattle up one corner of an adjacent paddock and a horse running anti-clockwise in a small paddock at the back of the house.

Later, as mentioned, he found one cow hiding under a shed. Cattle were still being rounded up to the east, at the end of the large paddock, up to a week later. The witness also maintained that the stock would not go near the mark.


Following the discovery of the mark, many people inspected it, including one inspection, about two weeks after the event, by Paul Norman (VUFORS (2) vice-president and MUFON state representative for Victoria) and his VUFORS associate Pat Gildea.

The authors, together with Gary Little of Melbourne, conducted an on-site investigation during December 1980. Although he had received visits from all sorts of people, the witness provided an in-depth report of his experience and a six hour interview and inspection ensued. The party went through the event step by step and inspected the marking. When viewed three months after the event, there was present a vaguely defined area of bare earth/grass of approximately 28 feet across. The paddock vegetation had been cut and new clover growth was regrowing in places in the paddock, but only in one corner of the marking. Soil and rock samples were taken for analysis but the results were indeterminate.

The owner of the property was talked to, and copies of relevant local papers were obtained. Inquiries were made to locate a GTV 9 news report film of the mark taken within a few days, the truck driver, accurate weather details for the time, and to ascertain any abnormalities in the soil.

In total, the event reported includes many extraordinary elements, including a one witness close encounter, a UFO - apparently correlated physical ground trace, effects on the reporter and his watch, other trace effects, effect on stock, the disappearance of 10,000 gallons of water from a tank, and possibly a secondary reporter.

Further ostensibly unusual events were reported, or came to light, in the Gippsland area of Victoria, in the few months that followed the event. These included further reports of "ground traces," UFO reports and water losses.

(1) The witness gave all his estimates in the imperial system and they have been left here for accuracy.

(2) VUFORS - Victorian UFO Research Society


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