Westall / Clayton South Incident (1966; Australia)

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The 1966 Westall UFO incident
Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Reporter: Florenz Ronn

Say the name Roswell and 774’s 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 0’clock 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.

"It’s 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, "I’m 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 haven’t been able to talk about it because no-one is interested." Interested people can contact Shane through the website link below.
http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/stories/s1549038.htm
source
 
From http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/ufo-r ... 2hfve.html

Be sure to click on the link to see artist rendition of playground

UFO returns to park
DateApril 8, 2013


The first time an unidentified flying object was seen in Clayton South, back in April 1966, it sparked mayhem, as dozens of screaming school children ran towards the pine grove where the silvery saucer-shaped object descended from the sky.

Almost five decades later, another UFO is scheduled to land in the same spot, but this time, the childish squeals should be excitement, not terror.

Capitalising on the notoriety of the biggest mass UFO sighting in Australian history, Kingston Council will in June install a $150,000 UFO-themed playground in Grange Reserve, featuring a 3.3 metre high spaceship big enough to hold seven children at a time. The silver spaceship, loosely inspired by the descriptions of witnesses back in 1966, will be trimmed with blue LED lighting, says Steve Perumal, the council officer who designed the park in collaboration with landscape design firm Urban Initiatives.



"We're effectively designing a UFO and hanging playground equipment off it," Mr Perumal said. Giant springs that resemble landing gear; climbing nets for invasion; red spiral slide for escape. And unlike that first flying saucer, this one complies with Australian safety standards.

Advertisement Signboards near the playground will sketch the details of what's known in UFO circles as Westall '66, when 90 witnesses, including a school class playing cricket on the oval, reported seeing up to three saucers either in the sky or landing in the reserve on a clear Wednesday morning about 11am, April 6, 1966. It's been the subject of several news reports and one 2011 documentary.

The UFO playground gives the 1966 sighting official validation, says Joy Clarke, 60, who was in form two at Westall High School when she saw "flying saucers" above the sports oval.

"It makes you feel like people believe that it did happen," said Ms Clarke, a sales rep. "For years and years we were made fun of. You got told: 'How crazy were you? What drugs were you on?' For God's sake, I was 12 and a half and at school. I wasn't dropping LSD."

Shane Ryan, the Canberra public servant who has spent the past eight years researching the incident, has long campaigned for commemoration on the site. "I think it was a UFO, which is not the same as saying it was an extraterrestial spacecraft," said Mr Ryan. "There is a core mystery here. Too many people saw it. I think it's something worth taking seriously".

Ms Clarke's childhood friend Terry Peck ran to the reserve just in time to see the silvery saucer rise silently from the ground, turn on its side and shoot across the sky.

"It'd be nice to hear something serious," she said, "someone come forward to explain it. We were all brainwashed, told it was nothing, some government experiment and we weren't to talk about it."

Ms Peck said she would have kept her silence "if I was the only one... I don't want family or friends thinking I was a nut case , but because there were so many of us. Look, it's factual. I saw it. There must be something if all these people who are quite smart saw it."
 
There used to be a playground in my home town which featured a flying saucer-shaped climbing frame. It was raised off the ground and big enough for several kids to hide inside.

I often wondered whose fantastic idea it was, and if the designer consciously intended to instill in children's minds the idea of a fully tangible and child-friendly alien spacecraft. :lol:
 
Never heard of this case before, there can't be many other UFO sightings with that many witnesses.
 
escargot1 said:
There used to be a playground in my home town which featured a flying saucer-shaped climbing frame. It was raised off the ground and big enough for several kids to hide inside.

I often wondered whose fantastic idea it was, and if the designer consciously intended to instill in children's minds the idea of a fully tangible and child-friendly alien spacecraft. :lol:

I've seen quite a few of those saucer climbing frames. I think they may be more common than you think.
 
The OP's link links to a documentary film due for release in June 2013 on Foxtel's SciFi channel.

http://www.westall66ufo.com.au/westall66ufo/#westall-66-trailer

It is an intriguing case, not because it enhances the likelihood of flying saucers, but because it is likely to be one the biggest cases of mass delusion in Australian history. I'd love to see evidence other than anecdotal that there was anything more than a helicopter or airship that grew in children's imagination into something wholely far-fetched, but the claims of government brainwashing, Agency threats and all that makes it all seem extremely dubious.
 
Mythopoeika said:
escargot1 said:
There used to be a playground in my home town which featured a flying saucer-shaped climbing frame. It was raised off the ground and big enough for several kids to hide inside.

I often wondered whose fantastic idea it was, and if the designer consciously intended to instill in children's minds the idea of a fully tangible and child-friendly alien spacecraft. :lol:

I've seen quite a few of those saucer climbing frames. I think they may be more common than you think.

You find them in Dublin as well.
 
The Westall case reminds me of my own sighting back in 1966, which had a number of vague similarities. I have related it on this forum previously, so apologies if you've heard it before.

I was ten years old, and me and my two friends saw a UFO high in the sky above the eastern suburbs of London. Broad daylight; all we could see was a white, motionless dot. I seem to remember that we pointed it out to some adults in the street, so maybe it counts as a 'mass sighting'. Slowly this dot moved across the sky, getting slightly larger, wider, and flatter, until it was almost the same shape as a classic flying saucer (as I remember it). We watched it go down into, or near, Epping Forest, at which time we could see it was a broad, white disk, maybe something like a parachute.

My much older brother came along at this point and identified it as a deflating weather balloon. Ever since that time I've accepted that identification, although I'm not sure why. I think they were somewhat more common in those days, and presumably my brother was reasonably familiar with them.

I'm pretty sure that if my brother hadn't come up with that identification, I would still believe that I'd seen a flying saucer to this day; his matter-of-fact explanation has influenced me towards skepticism all my life. Of course the possibility remains that he was wrong, and a flying saucer really did land in Epping Forest in 1966; but somehow I doubt it.

I am reasonably certain that if someone who was familiar with sky phenomena had been present at the Westall sighting, they might have been able to identify the 'saucer' in that case too; it could easily have been a weather balloon, or a parachute, or some other piece of man-made sky hardware that the observers were not familiar with.

Further Discussion:
Eburacum's Own Sighting (1966; Eastern London Suburbs)
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...n-sighting-1966-eastern-london-suburbs.68222/
 
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This post content transplanted from the Ariel School incident thread:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...chool-ufo-encounter-ruwa-zimbabwe-1994.62854/

Eburacum,
..The Rendlesham case and the Westall case seem very relevant. In both of those cases the story has changed from a distant encounter (at least 50 metres in Rendlesham, hundreds of metres in the Westall case) to 'nearly touching' or 'touching' the object...
What is the source (and date) of your version of the Westall story ?
INT21

See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westall_UFO

Andrew Greenwood, a science teacher, told The Dandenong Journal at the time that he saw a silvery-green disc. 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). After a short period (approximately 20 minutes) the object – with witnesses now numbering over 200 – then climbed at speed and departed towards the north-west. As the object gained altitude some accounts describe it as having been pursued from the scene by five unidentified aircraft which circled the object.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/...h/news-story/ba54dbec1130e3df8715c728e65bc028

“Some people say there was just one but I reckon there were three. They were hovering over the trees and then went down into the trees and disappeared for a minute or two then rose back up, sort of banked on its side and then took off at a 1000 miles per hour.

dc1de52e450455ff58280a336ad5c7fc


The only one that comes near a 'touch' is this one;
http://www.phils.com.au/Westall1966.htm

One of the students, a girl, ran towards the craft that had landed and reached it before the other students had arrived. She was found in a collapsed and dazed state. An ambulance was called and she was taken away to hospital.
=snip=
The student who was taken to hospital never returned to Westall High school.
Her family moved out of the family home that night, never to return.
When one of her very good friends called around to her house, which was very close to the school, a middle aged woman answered the door, someone she had not seen before, and told her “she does not live here” and that she “must have the wrong house”.

Now that is interesting. Improbable, but interesting.
 
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Fascinating case with some real truths at its core, and although there is zero evidence the ‘craft’ were extraterrestrial in origin they were certainly unexplained. The large number of - as yet still unaccounted for - Cesnas has echoes of the Cash - Landrum helicopters.

The witnesses are still very active on the internet and this wasn’t a very large school by all accounts. Therefore if a girl and her family vanished overnight then we should have a name for her, so has anyone come across her name?
 
I think the Cash Landrum case has since been debunked, alas. This one sounds more robust, though I suppose we shouldn't take anything for granted.
 
I think the Cash Landrum case has since been debunked, alas. This one sounds more robust, though I suppose we shouldn't take anything for granted.
I wasn't aware it had been 'debunked'.....how did they explain the illness of the two women involved..?
 
The 'fact' that there were aircraft following the 'object' suggests that this event has a mundane explanation. Memories of this vintage are notoriously unreliable, so it is entirely possible that there were no such aircraft.
 
Thanks for posting a longer version. I will be watching it!

It's actually one of those Youtube files which reaches the end and starts again. It is worth watching in HD, especially for the clever animations and unusually-sensitive tone, whatever your views on UFOs. :atom:
 
What kind of airship or helicopter leaves a circle like mark?

And what type of UFO looks so familiar and unthreatening that children rush towards it and dont hold backin wariness???
 
I wonder if anyone went out to the landing site with a geiger counter? Landing sites are often radioactive, and if the craft was giving off heat, there is the possibility there was ionizing radiation present, which is another point of proof.
What kind of airship or helicopter leaves a circle like mark?
To be fair, a chopper blades can produce a circular mark, but they don't leave radiation. I am presently of the opinion that we may be dealing with terrestrial origin experimental craft with utterly irresponsible nuclear engines, which is why they are secret.
And what type of UFO looks so familiar and unthreatening that children rush towards it and dont hold backin wariness???
When people gather in a group, as was indicated, they can mill about, being a bit braver than they might be if alone. There are reports of kids running screaming, as well as fainting during the incident. There was also a solid attempt to cover the whole thing up. Kids were punished for talking about it. One Yugoslavian family was semi-disappeared. A kid who witnessed the craft went over to that friend's house only to discover that there was a woman living there who was distinctly not Yugoslavian but English, who told her that her friend had never lived there. Very MIB, only also very clumsy. Obviously Melbournian MIBs don't get much action.
 
All I want to say is that after 55 years and 300 witnesses, the Westall High School UFO is still classified as a runaway weather balloon.

Ridiculous!
 
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Well, it is very similar to my sighting, also in 1966, which was a weather balloon.
 
Was a full, stand-alone documentary ever made about the Westfield school case…?
 
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