Saturday, September 17, 2011

DATA-NET: On The Road Again In Queensland.

This is an incident from the April 1970 edition of DATA-NET. It's one I'd read before at CUFOS. I've not seen it mentioned anywhere else, though surely it must be [I mean as a case report rather than just a listing in Mark Rodeghier's catalog of "electromagnetic" Vehicle Interference Reports. Mark cites this same entry from DATA-NET as his source]. The case, to me, is astonishing, and cries out for more coverage. At a minimum there must be an investigative interview somewhere, perhaps in an old Queensland Flying Saucer group newsletter [unfortunately pretty rare in my resource collection]. Thankfully, the DATA-NET article is long for that publication's typical entries.

Here's the case: On the evening of March 19th, 1969, a woman was well into a 1300 mile drive from Cairns to Brisbane, Australia. With her were her children, understandably asleep. She was nearing Gladstone [having just passed Marmor and Mt. Larcom] in Queensland with 500 miles still to go. There is nothing in the narrative, by the way, which says that she drove this whole thing in one go, nor that she was in any way unalert. In fact much of the experience takes place outside the car, as you will see. "Highway Hypnosis" is, thereby, an unlikely ingredient in this story.

The first thing that is astonishing is that she begins to hear a "distant" and intermittent "radio broadcast" despite her car having no radio. This excited her with a sense of wonder. Following the piecemeal "news", there was a musical tune of some kind. This now worried her a bit, as she wondered if the experience might be premonitionary, and she slowed the car, fearing a possible accident [though there had been no traffic for awhile.]

She kept on at a reduced speed of 40mph for a time and then noticed a light pacing her car off to the side past the trees. It turned and came towards her. She thought: "could this be a flying saucer??" That scared her and she slowed nearly to a stop. The light pulsated as it came on.

The lady, now thoroughly afraid, stopped her vehicle and decided to turn around to go back to the nearest passed town, Mt. Larcom, and stay the night. Just as she was to return, another vehicle came up from the lane that she had been on [i.e. from behind her original path going towards Gladstone]. Our lady flashed her lights and the oncoming car stopped.

It was another single woman. This new arrival seemed to know a lot about UFOs and had a very relaxed confident manner about the UFO presence. She convinced our first lady to turn back around and they'd drive in tandem onwards toward Gladstone. As they began to proceed, the UFO came closer until it was over the other woman's car. Now alarmed herself, she and our first lady braked to a stop and both got out and talked. The UFO-savvy lady said that if they turned off their lights it would go away. Our lady watched the thing closely. It was about automobile-sized and had several porthole-like lights. The second lady relaxed a bit when the UFO moved to the side, and wanted to watch what she said "was something wonderful that we probably would never see again". Our first lady was not so sure, as she wanted to get going on her trip home, and she was noticing a strange pulsing of her new companion's car lights when the object itself pulsed. They drove off finally, our first lady driving in the "wrong" lane as there was no traffic and she distrusted the way her companion's car was pulsating its headlights.

The second woman apparently never understood what our lady was talking about [re: her headlights] and seemed somewhat non-plussed from then on out. Our lady reported that the object continued to fly along beside them at about 100 yards distance as they drove towards Gladstone. Apparently, the thing would send out a "streak" of light horizontally [though not it seems directed at the cars], and simultaneously her companion's car lights would broaden. Then, even more astonishingly, the object would send out a streak of light upwards, and her companion's car headlights "would streak up".

Then she says this: "It appeared to be a pattern. A lengthening of the vertical shaft of light, followed by a horizontal lengthening, alternatively." Our witness is apparently describing the famous and highly strange UFO-associated phenomenon of "solid", cut-off, extendible light beams.

As they drew near Gladstone, the UFO rapidly soared off into the sky, looking like a star at height. The UFO-savvy lady took our witness' name and address and said she'd contact her. That never happened, sadly, or we'd have a lot solider case with two independent witnesses on record. Our lady stayed overnight in Gladstone and drove on to Brisbane. There she reported the experience, and was apparently visited by the Australian military. They wanted to inspect her vehicle, and later told her that she needed a new alternator for her electric system. She had no idea what that could have had to do with her UFO encounter as it was the other lady's lights which were pulsing. The DATA-NET correspondent seems to have visited the anonymous witness and made a recording of his interview, which was the basis for this report. He describes her as "an ordinary housewife who speaks with no frills, and is apparently telling the event exactly as she remembers it happening". He reports that she has talked to very few people and seeks no publicity.

So, what have we here? My intuition is: a very good high strangeness UFO encounter with critical "missing witness" testimony. Still, it seems a case worth keeping in the pile of "good" UFO incidents and it is a shame that it remains a hidden rough gemstone waiting for the rest of the testimony.


  1. Hiya Prof, in my younger days I worked in the building trade and would sometimes be so knackered that I heard the radio playing in the van on the way home. The boss at the time never had the radio on but exhaustion somehow led to my hearing music that was just barely audible. It wasn't a frequent thing, but sprung to mind in light of the witness' account of hearing radio.

    Elements of the account reflect that other Australian case where Ron Sullivan described headlights being somehow bent by interaction with a UFO.

    Do you also get a sense of deja vu with the account? By this I mean the few accounts where either the primary witness or bystanders swap phone numbers and promise to get in touch in the future. I wonder if they sleep on it and somehow explain the incidents away or conclude that nothing will be accomplished anyway? Such experiences are so removed from normality that they could conceivably awake and dismiss the events as foolishness on their part.

    It's regrettable because they could have validated their experience in the cold light of day.

    Incidentally, have you asked Keith Basterfield about the case?

  2. I've had the "distant not quite there" music/sound sensation in very quiet or low bombardment environments, yes. It mostly conjured up hearing of the people whose teeth actually resonated somehow with radio waves. Of course there is the more spectacular idea of abductions being preceded by a series of tones [that used to be a big deal idea before Budd Hopkins narrowed down the concept of what CE4s "should" consist of.]

    This and the Taize, France experience are I believe the only ones that come to mind with bent light like the Aussie bent headlights case.... hmmm...I'm wrong about that. There are a few others [ex. Trancas, ARG and some other "solid light" affairs.]

    The non-follow-up on a UFO co-witness doesn't surprise me. People get up in the morning and decide that even if real it's not worth the trouble.

    I have not asked any of the Aussies. I lost touch with Keith long ago. My better shot would be with Bill Chalker, but he's so busy with his own "chases" that I'd feel a bit wrong leaning on our friendship. Maybe. When he gets his chapter finished for our book...maybe. Coincidentally though, Barry Greenwood might look into the local Aussie papers of the time for me on this --- I sort-of "soft" asked him.

  3. P.S. what I REALLY wish is that I could transfer over to someone younger than I and more energetic, both my files and my contacts [my memories if possible] and let a fresh generation and mind carry on. Being "north" of 70 is not conducive to warrioring it out any longer. If I hadn't stuffed my head [and life] so full of this anomalistic material already, I'd never be able to produce this blog.

  4. Although I’m looking forward to the history/ governmental involvement book, what about an autobiography (thus enabling you to share your views and memories)? Although this blogg contains many of your views/ opinions, a book would ensure that such views, memories and opinions are not lost to history. I would certainly appreciate and would be willing to purchase such a book.

    Best wishes

    Lee Dines

  5. Well, nice of you....but I couldn't do anything as egocentric as that, just wouldn't feel "clean". Even when a person tries hard an autobiography gets inevitably too self-focussed. A compromise might be a long session of UFO oral history [again] with Tom Tulien or someone like Tom.

  6. Prof, in your blogs more than any other, I share your concerns about where your archives will go and what will become of your recollections and experience. For example, Mark Rodegher has most of the CUFOS archives boxed up in a spare room.

    'North of seventy' these days is getting to be upper middle-age and a bad back isn't too much in the scheme of things. I've got one through sciatica and give it a hard time by swimming it into submission most days.

    I'm going to hit you with some of my impressions about your posts, research and papers. Personally, I don't handle compliments very well and if you're the same, stop reading and delete this post. It'll be brief!

    The most admirable quality is how you've refrained from being side-tracked into petty arguments with fellow researchers. This shouldn't be remarkable, but it is in ufology. You've shared your experience, thoughts and research with modesty and helped to support interest in the subject. Again, this shouldn't be remarkable and yet it is. Your papers have been academic and your blog posts are conversational and accessible to your readers.

    Altogether, you've added substance to the field and me and other readers look forward to each new post. Keep plugging away because there's an audience out here that enjoys them.

    Now if it comes to chiding, I've mentioned it before. You should be interviewed by someone like Tim Binnall. He has the knack of doing justice to the subject and letting the interviewee speak.

  7. Thanks for the kindness. All that I can really promise is to hold true to my olde professor's sacred duty to share all the knowledge with you folks that I can muster. I've tried to give every bit of "insider" stuff that I can --- even to scanning some original resources so you can "see it for yourself". I will confess to you that I am holding back a [very] few comments about certain researchers' work out of sensitivity to them, and I believe that staying with the positive side of UFOlogy [which is plenty robust] is the right way to go anyway. For anyone concerned about what I'm holding back, don't be. I have included the "data" on these matters in depth to certain close friends, so it won't die with me. And, in my estimation, the actual UFOlogical side of what it represents is not core to my understanding to our field. I.E. it has nothing to do with the mountain of great cases and good studies done on them which powerfully anchor our understanding of UFOs.



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