Go Back Report # 348


(By a Staff Writer)

   Over a period of about two months, back in 1961, Mr. Harold “Mick” Coombes, a ganger on the NSW Railways, twice saw objects in the sky over Menindee Lake which he now firmly believes were flying saucers.            

   He was in the company of three other men on both occasions—Mr. A. Adams (now living in Broken Hill), Michael J. Curran of Menindee and George Simpson, now at Ivanhoe.   
   The sightings took place in broad daylight, at “dinnertime” as the men were sitting beside the “old line” that skirted the lake’s shore close down near the water’s edge.   
   On the first occasion there was a clear sky overhead and the men looked up from their lunch to see a white object “shaped like a saucer” travel across the sky at very high speed.


   “It was coming from the direction of the weir1,” said Mr. Coombes, “and travelling in a straight line, it disappeared in a few seconds.”          
   “There was no smoke trail coming from it, nor a vapor trail [contrail] as from a high-flying aircraft.”         
   “We commented on this amongst ourselves a number of times. Then about two months later, in the same place and at about the same time, we were eating our lunch again, and we heard a splash out on the lake.


   “Looking through the trees that line the lake and with a bit of a swell up on the water, we couldn’t see the object, which must have been lying very low to the lake surface.”    
   A few minutes later all the men saw it take off again, slanting away on a diagonal climb like a plane.        
   “But it was not a plane—I am certain of that,” said Mr. Coombes. “Travelling away from us, it disappeared in seconds.”       
   There was not sufficient wind at the time for it to have been a meteorological balloon, the railway men said, meaning that in a high wind a balloon might have landed and been blown off again at a rising angle.           
   “Besides, it traveled too fast for any balloon,” he declared.
   He said, in appearance, it had looked just like the object seen two months before.          
   Mr. Coombes is at present working at the engineer’s office in the old Crystal Street railway station.


   Mr. Martin Pavlovich, a Menindee fisherman, has thought quite a lot about flying saucers since he heard the railwaymen’s story.     
   And he has come up with an interesting explanation of the flying saucers.
   Like a lot of other people, he now believes they come from another stellar system.        
   But he thinks that the beings in them come here for “weekend excursions,” travelling at incredible rates of speed until they reach the earth’s atmosphere.       
   “I think they look upon us like a ‘Disneyland’ because we are so backward in our development,” was how Mr. Pavlovich summed up his views. “They think we’re quaint.”   
   On the face of it, this seems as a sensible a theory as others put forward by the U.S. Air Force many years ago. [end of incomplete scanned article]           

Reference for the above text is: News clip from the Barrier Truth, Broken Hill, N.S.W., Australia, dated June 23, 1966. From Ivan T. Sanderson’s collection of papers, forwarded to me (CF) by Jan Aldrich. 

Note 1:           
1. A fence or wattle placed in a stream to catch or retain fish.           
2. A dam placed across a river or canal to raise or divert the water, as for a millrace, or to regulate or measure the flow.    
Reference: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/weir    

UFOCAT PRN – 76809          
UFOCAT URN – NONE   News clip: Barrier Truth, Broken Hill, N.S.W., Australia, 23 June 1966 
UFOCAT URN – 076809 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, p. 228, © 1970     
UFOCAT URN – 169891 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # XXXXXX, © 2002       

North America – Australia, New South Wales  
Menindee           Latitude 32-23-34 S, Longitude 142-25-06 E (D-M-S) [populated place]      
Menindee Lake   Latitude 32-19-54 S, Longitude 142-20-05 E [lake – Lake Menindee]          
Broken Hill         Latitude 31-57-42 S, Longitude 141-27-36 E [populated place]        
Ivanhoe             Latitude 32-54-01 S, Longitude 144-18-05 E [populated place]       
Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/    

This appears to be the closest weir:

Darling River at Menindee Upstream
Weir 21
Latitude 32-26-07 S, Longitude 142-22-48 E (D-M-S) [dam]

Reference: http://riverdata.mdba.gov.au/sitereports/425012/mdba_425012_site_report.html        

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