Its not all that often we hear about a mass UFO sighting from Australia, and one of the reasons we haven’t heard about this one is that it has been systemically suppressed. Perhaps by the Royal Australian Air Force, or perhaps by some other (potentially US) agency.
The case dates from 6th of April 1966 and occurred in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia at around 11:00 am near a school. More than 200 students and teachers at two Victorian schools witnessed unexplained flying objects descended into a nearby open grass field.
At about 11:00 am on Wednesday the 6th of April 1966 a class of students and their teacher where completing outdoor activities when a grey saucer-shaped craft, described as being constructed out of a single continuous sheet of metal and about twice the size of a family car, was seen near the school. According to witnesses the object was descending and then crossed and overflew the high school’s south-west corner, going in a south-easterly direction, before disappearing from sight as it descended behind a stand of trees and into a paddock at The Grange in front of the Westall State School (primary students).
There are a couple of interesting report surrounding this case. The first is that some of the students report that they ran after the craft on foot. The first group of students to get near of the craft were reportedly found unconscious on the ground by a later arriving group. Presumably having suffered some sort of affect due to their proximity to the craft.
A second oddity with the case is that there were a number of press interviews with the students outside of the school. However, when asked for the footage recorded on that night the TV studios were unable to locate the footage, instead finding an empty canister in the archive.
The students report that they were essentially bullied by various parties, including some of their teachers, into not talking about the incident. Being repeatedly told that it was simply weather balloons, or some other unconvincing explanation. The school was also visited by what may have been members of the Royal Australian Air Force, however some witnesses thought that they didn’t seem like military men. It would also have been difficult for the military to arrive as quickly as these men reportedly did. Leave the question as to who they were, and where they from some other agency that was operating in the area and aware of the UFO activity.
Perhaps the most concerning part of this case is the apparent case of a missing student. A student that was named Tanya was a member of the group of students that had got close to the UFO while it was on or near the ground. Tanya is reported to have suffered significant effects
“She was screaming and crying, talking gibberish. … I watched as paramedics tried to get Tanya into the ambulance. She didn’t want to go and put up a fight. I could still hear her screams as it drove away.”
We have been unable to verify whether a person did go missing on that day. Either way, the Westall mass sighting remains one of the most compelling UFO cases, and leave many questions unanswered.
Recent reports, published in the Herald Sun, suggest that the case might have been secret Australian Government radiation testing. Released documents suggest that the sighting was actually a high altitude balloon being used in the HIBAL program, a joint US-Australian program to monitor atmospheric radiation.
Can this explain the sighting? Perhaps it could. A balloon of this nature would look like a continuous metallic structure, lacking joins or other surface marks. The balloons are also filled with helium, which if leaking on the ground could have caused students to fall unconscious. There are however some problems.
Balloons don’t manoeuvre in the manor explained by the witnesses, they cannot rapidly change speed or direction, and if was damaged and leaking then it would be expected that it would remain on the ground. The balloons are also significantly larger than a family car when inflated, much larger than even a bus or large truck. Was it a balloon? Or is that simply a convenient and over used cover story. Perhaps we will never know. Who Tanya was, and what happened to her seems to us to be an obvious gap in this story that is waiting to be uncovered.