Published: 1:33 PM 3/5/2014
Classified reports of flying saucers and UFOs will be revealed at the National Archives in Adelaide on Wednesday, March 5.
Nick Gleghorn, director of the South Australian office of the National Archives, will explore the topic of flying saucers and UFO sightings in Australia.
The very first assembly of people wanting to know the truth behind flying saucers and UFO sightings happened in Melbourne in March 1949. The meeting happened at the federal government's newly established Aeronautical Research Laboratory (ARL).
There 23 UFO enthusiasts from different countries and local groups who attended the congregation - the British Interplanetary Society, Royal Aeronautical Society (RAS), Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Army Research Establishment.
The congregation of UFO enthusiasts was then called Aeronautical & Meteorological Phenomena Research (AMPR), led by Brian Boyle and Jack Seers.
Ever since, Defence had been serious about its research efforts, delving into the mystery of flying saucers and UFOs, even with Minister for Air, William McMahon saying that "the problem is still one for psychologists than for defence authorities."
"But the Australian defence authorities obviously took sightings seriously. Naval intelligence shared their pilot's report with RAAF intelligence and it wasn't long before the RAAF had pro-forma documents where the intricate details of eye-witness accounts could be recorded," Mr. Gleghorn said.
Mr. Gleghorn has been investigating testimonies from eyewitness reports and letters and newspaper stories that document the Australian government's attitude to UFO sightings since the 1940s.
"Public interest in UFOs was especially high from the 1950s to the 1970s and many people reported sightings to government authorities,' said Nick. 'It's fascinating to read the reports but also interesting to see the official correspondence behind the scene. For example, who would have thought the future Governor-General Lord Casey would have had such an open mind on flying saucers?"