Thursday, March 22, 2012


I encourage you to follow the new site I have started focusing on SCIENCE and the UFO CONTROVERSY
I will be using the site to focus on the relationship between science and UFOs.  I will be highlighting the controversial history of science's interaction with the UFO controversy.  I am a strong advocate of the need for a serious and comprehensive engagement by science with the UFO mystery.

My background is in science.  I did an honours science degree at the University of New England at Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, majoring in chemistry and mathematics.  My working career has been in industry as a chemist, laboratory manager and quality assurance manager.

My interest in UFOs began in the mid1960s. By the time I was doing my university degree I was actively engaged in the so-called "forbidden science" of UFOs.  My background has served me well in focusing on a critical but open minded enquiry into the UFO subject. Science has always been an important reference point in my engagement with this controversial subject.

I plan to focus on the international story of science and the UFO controversy in that forum and will be promoting the position that a potent and well funded UFO science is a responsible and legitimate response to the extraordinary UFO phenomenon.  I will be also focusing on science and the UFO controversy with an Australian perspective in a regular column in the Australian newsstand publication UFOLOGIST.  Aspects of that column will appear on that site from time to time.


Mainstream science has not satisfactorily engaged with the UFO mystery.  The disappointing history of that engagement will be discussed there and what can be done and should be done will be covered there.

A number of recommended books are important primers for the focus of the site.  Each of these will be described in more detail in posts to follow. Join me in the exploration of this critically important focus - SCIENCE and the UFO CONTROVERSY

Saturday, March 03, 2012


In the March-April 2012 issue (Vol.15 No.6) of the Australian UFOLOGIST magazine my 5 page report "The Search for historical UFO Reports in Australia" appears.  It is a detailed account of search for pre-1947 UFO events in Australia. I encourage you to support the UFOLOGIST magazine by getting a copy through Australian newsagents or via the publisher Earthlink Publishing, PO Box 738, Jimboomba QLD 4280 Australia.  Also check UFOLOGIST magazine web site

In the article I describe the efforts over the years by various people, including myself, and list the historical cases that have emerged since the earliest attempts I could locate to find such cases - 1958 via early members of the Sydney based UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) - through to now.  Here are some extracts from my article:

Back in 1978, in an article entitled “Historical reports in Australia,” I included a reference to a possible UFO sighting during the 1861 Burke and Wills expedition, around June 23rd.  Within days both Burke and Wills would be dead, victims of an expedition gone wrong and paying the ultimate price in the harsh conditions of the Australian outback at Coopers Creek. 2011 was the 150th anniversary of the epic and tragic Burke and Wills expedition.

I have been interested in historical UFO events in Australia and the near region ever since I began my interest in UFOs. My initial conclusion back in 1978 was, Australia like many other counties has a rich crop of UFO sightings long before the modern popularisation of the mystery.  The UFO phenomenon seems to be as old as man himself.” In my original account I used “UFO phenomena” to equate with the likelihood that many things come together that are collectively called the UFO phenomenon, but I prefer to have the latter linking directly to the “core” unexplained and alien phenomenon.

“Historical reports in Australia” prepared by me in 1978 was expressed in various forms between 1978 and 1979 in the “LGM” – the little green magazine - as the ACOS (Australian Co-Ordination Section of the Center for UFO Studies) Bulletin was often called, along with some other brief historical collations.  It was the first focused piece that discussed historical Australian UFO sightings including circa 1830s – Oven River region of eastern Victoria; 1861 – Coopers Creek, central Australia; 1868 – Parramatta, NSW; 1879 – Freemantle, WA; 1881 – at sea between Melbourne and Sydney; 1890s – Orrorro and Moonta, SA; 1893 – central NSW; 1902 – eastern Australia “fireball” epidemic; 1902 – Adelaide SA observatory; 1909 “airship” & “mystery light” reports in New Zealand and Australia; before and after 1912 – Boulia, Qld with the Min Min reports; 1925 – near Moora, WA; 1931 – Francis Chichester’s Tasman sea sighting; 1932 0r 1933 – near Nambour, Qld; mid 1930s – central Qld; 1935 – Nobby’s Head, NSW “UFO photo”; 1944 – Bass Strait; and 2 events from 1947 – Greta Army camp, near Maitland, NSW, and near Newry, Victoria.  Those 19 references spanning the1830s to 1947 started a major quest by me to locate further reports. 

My “Historical reports in Australia article was reprinted a number of times including in the ACUFOS (Australian Centre for UFO Studies) Journal, Vol.2. No. 1 to 4, 1981, and in “UFOs over Australia edited by Mark Moravec & John Prytz (1985).

In 1981 I circulated a “Preliminary listing of Australian Historical UFO Events - Prehistory to 1949” to try to ignite interest in historical UFO cases. This sighting material was largely put together from diverse sources by Paul Cropper and me.  I choose the end year of 1949 because it seemed based on research at the time that 1950 marked the significant beginnings of the Australian UFO experience.  I listed the year, location and a few words about over 110 events, plus 56 New Zealand “airship” events from 1909, as well a few more Fortean or apparitional phenomena. 

I had thought with this extensive historical UFO sightings listing considerable interest would have been ignited.  Instead apart from some researchers passing on a small amount of material, generally speaking interest was non existent.  Rather than put out a detailed document at that point I chose instead to concentrate on detailed case studies of select compelling cases. From this approach emerged the 1868 Birmingham “UFO vision” and 1927 Fernvale documents:
“A UFO Vision? The mystery of ‘A machine to go through the air’, 1873, Parramatta, NSW, Australia, by Bill Chalker, UFORAN, Vol.3, No.1, Jan./Feb.1982. I also wrote a separate article on the 1868 affair for Fortean Times, “Encounter in the Outback”, September, 2002.
“The Terror Down Under”, by Bill Chalker, Fate, September, 1988 (re 1927 Fernvale, NSW, UFO milieu). A much more detailed account was to appear in the Fortean Times special issue devoted to the Mothman, but for whatever reason (possibly length) it did not appear despite being listed in 2 issues as coming in the next issue.  Further details passed onto me by Cecil McGann (the primary witness of the 1927 events) before he passed away, were incorporated into an extended document. 

In 1996 my book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO story” listed more than 19 historical UFO events: 1793 – Sydney; 1868 – the Birmingham “UFO vision”; 1873 – Birmingham’s “daylight disc”; 1878 – Goulburn “ghost light”; 1879 – Freemantle, WA; 1890s – Orrorro & Moonta SA “ghost lights”; 1893 – central NSW “paralysis” event; 1902 – Adelaide observatory “daylight disc” sighting;  1902 – “fireball” epidemic; the 1909 “airship” in New Zealand; 1909 – Australian reports; 1909 (should be 1910) Minderoo Station event; 1927 – Fernvale NSW events; 1931 – Chichester sighting; 1933 – abduction of aboriginal woman at Discovery Wells, WA (courtesy of Rex Gilroy); 1930s – WA aboriginal “entity” encounter; 1935 – Nobby’s Head “UFO” photo, and 1944 – Bass Strait; 1944 or 1945 – Christchurch NZ “entities”.

For me the 1868 Birmingham “UFO vision” and the 1927 Fernvale affair were the 2 standout historical Australian reports. They allowed very detailed research and investigations.  Of course many of the historical reports may be about natural or prosaic phenomena (these have a value all of their own), but many provocatively suggest indications of a much earlier UFO history than the watershed year of 1947.

The approximate 110 plus reports (not including the 1909 New Zealand “airship” reports) I listed in 1981 has been significantly expanded with my own further research over the past 3 decades, ably assisted by Paul Cropper.  We hope to publish a substantial document describing the extraordinary legacy of historical UFO reports in Australia and the near region.