Published: 3:03 AM 8/30/2014
PAUL Dean, 35, from Nunawading, is a senior researcher with Victorian UFO Action, a group dedicated to investigating UFO sightings. He has spent decades searching for the truth about reports of unidentified flying objects.
As told to SARAH MARINOS, this is a SnapShot glimpse into Paulís extraordinary life:
FROM as far back as I can remember I was always technically and scientifically minded. As a kid growing up in the eastern suburbs, I enjoyed learning about physics, astronomy and aviation.
But when I was 13 a close family member told me something that triggered my lifelong interest in UFOs. He told me about a sighting near Shepparton in 1975.
He was 25 years old then and in the army and as he was driving alone one night he saw a massive white light through the trees ahead.
It looked like a train headlight but as the light rose higher into the sky he thought instead that there must be something like a grain silo ahead with a bright white light on top.
As the light rose even higher in the sky he thought it had to be a helicopter with a searchlight, but there was no sound of rotors turning.
He drove underneath this thing and while he knew there was a craft above him ó this intensely bright orb ó he couldnít figure out what it was. All of a sudden his whole car lit up and this object shone a light directly on his car. He remembers driving out of there as fast as he could and he stands by that story today.
Around this time I was at my best friendís house and an item came on the news about the disappearance of the pilot, Frederick Valentich. His small plane left Moorabbin Airport in 1978 and during that flight Valentich radioed air traffic control in Melbourne and reported a craft harassing him.
He described it as long with a green light on top and his last words were ďthat strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. Itís hovering and itís not an aircraft.Ē Then he disappeared.
So I started reading books about UFOs and what struck me was that some of the people reporting serious UFO encounters ó not fanciful stories of flying saucers and little green men but reports of highly unusual and unexplainable aircraft in our skies ó were flight instructors, combat pilots, air traffic controllers, aerospace experts and scientists, and even they couldnít explain what theyíd seen.
About four years ago I began to delve even deeper into UFO investigations and Iíve uncovered documents from government agencies around the world that offer some ridiculous explanations for these sightings.
For example, in 2002, while radar technicians in Greenland were fixing a radar system, they were buzzed for 20 to 30 seconds by a UFO hovering above them before it shot off at massive speed. The official explanation was this was a meteorite, but meteorites usually last for a few seconds, they donít hover and they donít take off in an upward direction.
Iím a painter and decorator but in my free time Iíve spent hours in my study tracing once-classified documents and officials with knowledge of UFO incidents. About two years ago, using the National Archives in Australia, I uncovered a series of declassified papers relating to UFO sightings from government agencies that hadnít been opened by the public before.
Iíve got 240,000 pages of UFO documents from all over the world. Some include comments from very senior whistleblowers who admit their job has been to cover up the existence of UFOs. Over the years, Iíve been in touch with people who work deep inside agencies and government departments who talk to me anonymously to help my research.
One former air force captain in the US confirmed to me that there was a serious UFO event outside Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico in 1980, for example. He sent me an email confirming ďyes, there was an object and it landed.Ē
He said there was radar imaging of that object and that tests on soil traces where the object landed show the soil was from nowhere nearby. Witnesses were polygraph-tested and those tests indicated they were telling the truth about seeing an unknown object zigzag around the place and then take off at phenomenal speed.
I certainly donít read about UFOs constantly. I lead a normal life. I work, Iím married and I have two little girls, but I think there are many files about credible UFO incidents that are still being kept secret ó and Iím determined to find out as much as I can.
Iím a highly sceptical person but in the face of constant admissions by high-ranking officials, and through the discovery of so many documents, I believe something unusual is flying around out there.
About two weeks after I met my wife I told her that I study something a bit unusual. Sheís very supportive of my research. Sheís doing a law degree and while she studies that, I write to authorities for information, study my files, track down experts and search for new evidence.
I donít tell everyone what I do. Some people tell me UFOs donít exist but they havenít seen the information that Iíve seen. I always tell doubters to read about the Japan Airlines flight over Alaska in 1986.
Two radars on the ground picked up a UFO in front of that plane and the pilots were shouting into their radio to get this thing away from them. Years later a federal aviation administrator admitted that he helped cover up that incident.
I think weíre not told the truth about UFOs because governments donít know what to do about them. But surely the people who report these unusual sightings should be vindicated.
All those people whoíve sometimes been ridiculed deserve answers and the truth.