UFOIC - the UFO Investigation Centre (1956 - 2006) - an extraordinary odyssey
Back in May this year I gave a lecture presentation to the 2006 National UFO conference held at Campbelltown entitled "UFOIC - the UFO Investigation Centre (1956-2006) - an extraordinary odyssey" which had the following abstract:
Through the lens of the evolution of the Sydney based group UFOIC from 1956 to 2006 (fifty years), from historical to current cases and research, a rich harvest of UFO material is presented. History, controversy and research is covered in roughly equal measure. The 1868 Parramatta case will be covered, along with the 1927 Fernvale affair - a "prophecy" of the coming of the "flying saucer era" twenty years later in 1947, and the Mothman Prophecy events of around 1967. A Chinese connection - a "Dragon Seed" - will be examined from its earliest manifestation through the pioneer UFOIC researcher Andrew Tomas through to my research in more recent times, through to the strange breakthrough research into the unusual rare Chinese ethnic minority DNA turning up in the "Hair of the Alien" saga - a wild ride through an extraordinary odyssey spanning more than half a century.The group UFOIC has had a long complex and fascinating history. It emerged out of the original Australian flying saucer group, pioneer researcher Edgar Jarrold's Australian Flying Saucer Bureau (AFSB), based in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). Andrew Tomas joined AFSB in January 1954. The group attracted future UFOIC members such as Dr. Clifford and Dr. Miran Lindtner. With the departure of Edgar Jarrold in curious circumstances, Andrew Tomas reorganised the remenants of AFSB as a NSW state branch of Fred Stone's Adelaide based Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (AFSRS). In November 1956 the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) was formed from this history, with Dr. Clifford serving at its first president until December 1958. Dr. J. Greenwell was briefly president, then Dr. Miran Lindtner took up the group presidency, continuing an energetic and dynamic period of research and investigation, until his untimely accidental death in 1969. Fred Phillips took over as President in this difficult time. The group went into a bit of a decline but by 1973 it had been reorganised and energised under the leadership of David Buching. By 1975-76 Michael Smyth and I were cordinating the groups activities. In line with some other state groups, we adopted the group name UFO Research, with a NSW identification - UFO Research (NSW).
By the early 1980s the group was reconfigured, adopting a networking type approach, rather than continuing the traditional public group format. This change worked well with a good working relationship with the national networking organisation ACUFOS - the Australian Centre for UFO Studies - and later with UFORA (UFO Research Australia) when ACUFOS became a shell of its original self.
The original UFOIC name was readopted in 1991 when a name change was forced by a new group registering the UFO Research (NSW). UFOIC continued its research and investigation, preferring a successful model of a "low profile" active network, rather than a public relations group format. This approach has served the group well and continues today under my direction. I originally joined UFOIC back in the late 1960s as a country member, joining the committee in 1975 when I moved to Sydney.
This brief outline of the history of UFOIC reveals a complex but fascinating evolution, driven by changing research and investigation strategies and focuses. Many striking UFO cases have been undertaken by the group during its rich history. UFOIC has made a potent contribution to UFO investigation and research in Australia.
I am currently researching a history of UFOIC and would welcome contact and contributions to this effort from past members and observers of the group.
Photos: Bill Chalker lecturing on UFOIC's history in May 2006; UFOIC in 1957 - (right to left) Dr. Miran Lindtner, Fred Phillips, Andrew Tomas & Gordon Deller (People, 1957); UFOIC publication - UFO Bulletin March 1958 illustrating "the holy grail of Australian ufology" - the famous 1953 PNG Drury UFO film incident; UFOIC - six years of the Australian Flying Saucer Review; one of the 1978 UFOIC/UFOR(NSW) publications I edited.