Despite thousands of sightings across the country over decades, it’s the issue nobody likes to talk about – this is Australia’s secret UFO history.
Host of Aussie paranormal podcast Believe, Kade Moir has talked to dozens of people who have experienced encounters – and even abductions – over the two-year life of the show.
For many of them, it’s the first time they have ever talked about it – sometimes decades later.
“There are so many weird things happening across Australia that nobody gets to talk about, and I find people are almost relieved to talk about it,” he tells 7NEWS.com.au.
“I’ve spoken to people who have never talked about their experiences from 40 years ago, and it is genuinely a weight off their shoulders,” Moir says.
“And UFOs don’t discriminate, it’s police officers, truck drivers, stay at home mums, doctors … if you’re in the right place at the right time, you could be a witness too.”
Sasha – who doesn’t want to use her last name – has had many encounters in her 33 years.
After sharing her stories with Believe, she agreed to talk to 7NEWS.com.au and recounts one of her last experiences.
It was in 2011, on a clear day in Adelaide.
“I saw a metallic ball, just above Victoria Rd, coming from North Haven and heading to Port Adelaide. I was with a friend and her younger sisters,” Sasha says.
While she was unable to capture any footage herself, she believes a video posted to YouTube – and included on the series below – that day was of the same UFO.
Locations and times of day vary hugely, but Moir says there tend to be more sightings in country areas.
The area around former NSW gold mining town of Hills End is “insanely active”, but Central Victoria is also busy, so too Far North Queensland and country roads in South Australia.
Investigators at work
For those looking to drill deeper into their encounters, neuroscientist Dr Roger Stankovic is here to help.
The long-time Sydney uni researcher turned TAFE lecturer is also the Australia and New Zealand director of the Mutual UFO Network, a US based international organisation that researches UFO sightings.
Stankovic puts his steely scientific scepticism to work as a UFO investigator.
Over the past 20 years, the MUFON database has logged about 1000 sightings Australia-wide and Stankovic has looked into hundreds of them.
“We analyse the photos and videos, then out more information together,” Stankovic tells 7NEWS.com.au.
“We don’t get too many hoaxes and they are usually very obvious.”
And MUFON doesn’t muck about. The investigation involves interviews, picture and video analysis, close analysis of weather conditions, cross checks with flight path databases and even satellite tracking.
But despite all that work, there are a very large proportion of reported sightings MUFON simply cannot explain.
“About 5-to-10 per cent, we just cannot work out what the hell they are,” Stankovic says.
Recent MUFON cases on video
Moonie Ponds, Victoria, February 2019: Flying disc about 6 to 20 metres long travelling between 1000km to 1100km/h at very low altitude and making no sound. Flight data did not indicate any aircraft in the area at that time.
Seaford, South Australia, April 2018: Footage obtained from a dashcam accidentally moved so it pointed upwards showed a ‘small’ white luminous orb about 5m-10m in diameter appear at an altitude of 2000m and execute impossible manoeuvres. Flight data revealed no aircraft in the area at the time. No manipulation of the footage was revealed after careful MUFON analysis by US experts. Footage from other sources revealed the object punching a hole in the cloud as it passed through it.
Patrick Estate, Queensland, 2018: Slow motion video reveals a flat, disc-like object flying at trajectories unseen in animal life or human-made technology. No video manipulation detected.
Classic Oz files
Westall, Melbourne, April 6, 1966: Hundreds of students and teachers from the local state high school and primary school witness a strange craft descend into a nearby field. There was no civilian or military aircraft activity in the area at the time and the sighting has yet to be explained.
Somewhere over the Bass Strait, October 21, 1978: Pilot Frederick Valentich is on a training flight in a Cessna light aircraft. The 20-year-old reports being followed by a flying object about 300m above him and tells Melbourne Air Traffic control it is not an aircraft. He has not been heard of since and his disappearance has never been explained.
Nullabor Plain, somewhere in South Australia, January 20, 1988: Faye Knowles and her adult sons Patrick, Wayne and Sean are chased down the highway then lifted in the air by a large, glowing ball. When they report the incident to police in Ceduna, their car is badly, inexplicably dented.
Dandenong Ranges, near Belgrave, Victoria, August 8, 1993: Kelly Cahill and her husband see a large object hovering over the road. They go to take a look and meet others equally curious. All are abducted by aliens who leave small marks on their bodies. Cahill writes the 1996 book Encounter about the experience, which later features in The X-Files.
Sasha has had a number of encounters but the earliest one sticks in her mind.
It was December 1993 and Sasha was just six years old.
She, her little sister and mother were on their way from Adelaide to Whyalla to see her grandparents. They set out at night, in order to beat the traffic and the stinging summer sun.
Sasha and her sister looked out the back window and saw a very bright star that kept getting bigger.
“It was like a 50c coin that became a golf ball, then soccer ball,” Sasha tells 7NEWS.com.au
Over the next few minutes the ball shot forward in front of the car, hovered above the road and kept pace with Sasha and her family. Three smaller lights came out of it, danced around the biggest ball and then lined up behind it.
“At that point I just tucked my head behind the seat, crying,” she says.
It was too much for the now 33-year-old South Australian – she was so anxious she passed out and doesn’t remember much else. Occasionally she and her mum and sister talk about it, but not so much to other people.
But she is not alone – and neither are we.