Australian Flying Saucer Review, December 1959 Vol. 1 No 1
Tape recorded interview by
The Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society &
The UFO Investigation Center of New South Wales.
Transcript of Father William Gill interview.
Q: Father Gill will you be kind enough to let us know the nature
of your activities in recent years in Papus?
A: I have been on the staff of the Anglican Mission in Papua for
thirteen years - my many interest up there has been educational
work, and I have been working mainly on the north-east coast of
Papua, in Goodenough Bay area, about ninety miles from Samaria
Q: Father Gill, we understand you, or your mission folk, had a
series of interesting experiences during the month of June -
when, and on what days did these occur? Also what did you think
about unidentified flying objects before your experience?
A: Until my sighting I thought UFOs were a figment of
imagination or some electrical phenomenon. Well, the first
sighting occurred over Waimera about twenty miles from us. It
was observed by Dr. Ken Houston at a place called Waimera, near
Tagora, and that was late November of last year. At Boianai
itself, where I'm working, the first recored incident was on the
night of Sunday, 21st June. My own observations began on 26th
June and extended over a number of days.
Q; Take them, then in date order, when did the first sighting
that you you saw occur?
A: That was on the 26th June, at 6.45 p.m, and it continued
until 11.04 p.m.
Q: Over which direction was the object seen?
A: Milne bay district, over Boianai.
Q: Did the object - appear solid? Metallic? Gaseous?
A: Well, it appeared solid, certainly not transparent nor
gaseous; we just assume it was metallic from our own experience
of things that travel and carry men.
Q: Was any sound perceptible?
Q: Did the object change colour?
A: yes, it changed from a brilliant white light when it was far
off, to a dull yellow, or perhaps pale orange, when it was
Q: Did the object hover, or remain motionless at any time?
A: It both hovered and remained stationary.
Q: What was its speed in flight?
A: Much faster than a passenger plane.
Q: The height you mentioned was a couple of thousand feet.
Which of the following objects held at arm's length would you
described as apparent size? - grapefruit? A: Yes.
Q: describe the weather?
A: Well, the weather varied over the four hour period. I have
recorded here. At the beginning, at 6.45 p.m, there were patches
of low cloud over Tagora and Menapi, that is west and east of
us, and clear overhead. At 7.10 i was recorded that cloud
ceiling overhead was at about 2000 feet... I may mention that at
this time the object was under cloud over the west at Tagora. At
8.50 cloud was forming again overhead, and for the next hour or
so there were patches of cloud over the sky, then at 10.50 we
recorded we had heavy rain at 11.04 - that's when we finished
Q: What were you doing at the time you saw the object, and how
did you happen to notice it?
A: I came out of the dining room after dinner and casually
glanced at the sky with the purpose, I suppose, of seeing Venus.
Well, I saw Venus bit also saw this sparkling object which was
to me peculiar because it sparkled, and because it was very,
very bright, and it was above Venus and so that caused me to
watch it for a while, then I saw it descend towards us.
Q: Were there any witnesses to this?
A: yes, there were thirty-eight of us.
Q: What further remarks would you make regarding this first
sighting of yours?
A: Well, of course, the whole thing was most extraordinary; the
fact that we saw what appeared to be humans beings on it, I
think, is the important thing. It is certainly the important and
exciting thing to us. They were not noticeable at first - they
came down, the object came down at about, I should say, 400
feet, maybe 450 feet, perhaps less, maybe 300 feet. It is very
difficult to judge at that time of night and not having
experience in measuring elevation, it's purely guess- work, but
as we watcheed it, men came out from this object, and appeared
on top of it on what seemed to be a deck on top of the huge
disk. There were four men in all, occasionally two, then one,
then three, then four - we noticed the various times that men
appeared, and when one, two and three appeared and one and two,
and then numbers one, three, four and two and so on. And then
later all those witnesses who are quite sure that our records
were right, they agreed with them, and saw these men at the same
time as I did - they were able to sign their names as witnesses
of what we assume was human activity or beings of some sort on
the object itself.
Another peculiar thing about it was this shaft of blue light
which emanated from what appeared to be the center of the deck.
Now from time to time men, these men, seemed to be working at
something on the deck; they'd bend forward and appear to
manipulate something on the deck, and then straighten themselves
up occasionally, would turn around in our direction, this blue
light - rather like a thin spotlight emanated skywards to stay
on for a second or two, and then switch off. I recorded the
times that we saw that blue light come on and off - for the rest
of the night. After all that activity it ascended and remained
Q: What did the craft look like?
A: Like a disk with smaller round superstructure, then again on
top of that another kind of superstructure - round rather like
the bridge on a boat. Underneath it had four legs in pairs
pointing diagonally downwards these appeared to be fixed, not
retractable, and looked the same on the two nights - rather like
tripods. On second night the pencil beam came on again for a few
seconds, twice in succession.
Q: Do you have any clues to the dimensions of the object?
A: I'm very poor mathematician but I, at time, dared to say that
it was about thirty-five to forty feet at the base and perhaps
twenty feet at the top.
Q: Did you try to establish contact with the pilots of the
A: We did. As one of the men seemed to lean over as though over
a rail and look down on us, I waved one hand overhead and the
figure did the same as though a skipper on a boat waving to
someone on a wharf. Couldn't see the rail but he seemed to lean
over something with arms over it... could see him from just
below waist up. Ananias, the teacher, waved both hands overhead
and the two outside figures seemed to wave back - no doubt that
movement made by arms was answered by the figures.
Q: What was the reaction by the native at signals?
A: Surprised and delighted. Small mission boys called out -
everyone beckoned to invite the beings down but no audible
responses....no expressions discernible on the face of the men -
rather like players on a football field at night.
Q: Did the machine cause any noise?
A: No engine noise heard at any time by anyone during the whole
series of sightings.
Q: We understand you tired to signal; the beings with a
A: Yes, we flashed the light and the object swung like a
pendulum, presumably in recognition. When we flashed the
torchlight towards the ground and we actually thought it was
going to land but it didn't.
We were all very disappointed about that.
A big thanks to Diane Harrison
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