Go Back Report # 278



According to the summary, we have to wait until January 23rd, 1964, for the first official “unknown” in the RAAF Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) files. For a list of “Aerial sightings,” it is unusual for it was reported as located in water. The summary describes the report as follows:       

“Seen at sea by crew of a vessel NE point of Groote Eylandt, WA. Large lights in water, made compass go ‘Haywire.’ Shadow in centre of lights rotated clockwise, causing lights to pulsate.”

Biologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, lists it in his book Invisible Residents – A Disquisition upon Certain Matters Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life under the Waters of This Earth in a listing of submarine “Lightwheels.” Sanderson sourced his brief listing from a newspaper article.

The Air Force Intelligence files hold a report of the unusual sighting made by the crew of the landing craft Loellen M. The incident was located between Cape Grey and the northeast point of Groote Eylandt, a large island on the western side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory. The official summary incorrectly lists the incident as occurring in “WA” (Western Australia). The report mentions that the vessel encountered a number of submarine “light patches”:        

C. W.____ turned on the compass light and found the vessel approx. 60° off course. The compass went ‘Haywire.’        

As soon as he had corrected the vessel as best he could, he switched off the compass light and found the unnatural light was about 6 ft. on the starboard side. The light was in the water. It was described as a ghostly white light; in the centre was a shadow which rotated in a clockwise direction causing the light to pulsate. The light appeared to draw away to the stern. It is estimated that it was miles across and a few hundred yards through 

       “The light on the water passed about 100 yards to port. As the barge began to return to course, another light was seen coming at the barge at an angle of about 45° which [sic? – with?] the bow. It came to within inches of the starboard side and appeared to rebound at 45° with the stern and moved away. It disappeared in a few seconds....

       All lights were the same colour, with this strange rotating shadow, causing the lights to pulsate. The pulsations timed at 12 for 9 seconds, then completely irregular, then settled down to 12 for 9 seconds.    

       “The compass swung out of control, but became worse as the light approached …       

       This is a fascinating report, but its origins may lie in some form of extraordinary bioluminescence.                                                                                                                                

This reference courtesy of UFO researcher Bill Chalker of Australia and his contribution to website: http://www.project1947.com/forum/bcoz5.htm#groote      

UFOCAT PRN – 135236

UFOCAT URN – NONE    Newspaper - The Australian of May 15, 1968

UFOCAT URN – 081400 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, p. 112, © 1970

UFOCAT URN – 135236 UFOs over the Southern Hemisphere by Michael Hervey, p. 204, ©1975

UFOCAT URN – 169851 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # 06462, © 2002      

Note: Sanderson’s original reference was “Some Australian Sightings” (taken from Department of Air files), bylined by John Hallows, in an unidentified Australian newspaper (probably Victoria). The paper in question is The Australian of May 15, 1968, as relayed to me in an e-mail by Bill Chalker. (-CF-)  

Australia - Western Australia

Groote Eylandt             Latitude 14-00 S, Longitude 136-40 E (D-M) [Island]

Cape Grey                    Latitude 13-00 S, Longitude 136-40 E

Gulf of Carpentaria       Latitude 14-00 S, Longitude 139-00 E

Reference: Australia Gazetteer, prepared in the Office of Geography, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., June 1957

UFO Location (UFOCAT) Latitude 13.83 S, Longitude 137.50 E           


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