Tuesday, 17 January 2006-Reporter: Florenz Ronn
Say the name Roswell and 774ís Breakfast presenter Red Symons immediately thinks of metal objects shooting through the sky landing in the desert, and little green men coming out of them. But when you say the name Clayton South, you probably think pork buns, unless you were around in 1966 and were one of 200 people who witnessed the Westall UFO incident.
Shane Ryan is a researcher looking for eyewitnesses. "It happened on the Wednesday before Easter, April 6, 1966, about 11 0íclock in the morning. Around about 200 people, most of them students at what was then called Westall High School, were out for morning recess", says Shane. "Many saw the strange object descend behind pine trees in The Grange Reserve, and then later ascend and fly away at great speed. The people who ran over to the reserve found a huge ring in the paddock where the object had been seen. Some people reported five light aircraft following or chasing the object.
"Itís an interesting case because there was this trace left behind which not only those kids saw, but a whole number of people who came afterwards, after school and adults and so forth came down to have a look at it as well."
A crop circle perhaps? "Some people call it that," continues Shane, "Iím not sure that it was, but it was certainly a ring left behind in the grass. And the other fascinating aspect of the story is that some people talk about the area being cordoned off by people in uniform."
Several witnesses reported being spoken to by the RAAF or military, including the school's science teacher, who was apparently threatened by two RAAF officers under the Official Secrets Act, if he spoke in public about what he had seen. The high school authorities dealt very harshly with both students and staff in the wake of this event, and forbade any discussion about it.
Shane has now established an email discussion group to encourage people to come forward and tell their stories about that day. About 45 people have made contact thus far. A lot of former Westall school students and two or three of the teachers. This group is dedicated to those people who were involved in, or have an interest in the incident at Westall High School, in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton South. He is especially keen to hear from people from "the other side", that is from the side of the authorities who may have been involved that day, such as RAAF, police or army.
April 6, 2006, is the 40th anniversary of this fascinating story and, to mark the occasion, Shane is hoping to gather together interested persons and witnesses to the event. "Many of the people involved in this incident are, of course, still alive and some still live in the area. They havenít been able to talk about it because no-one is interested." Interested people can contact Shane through the website link below.
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