Strange Phenomena June 1979

Queensland UFO's

By Rex Gilroy

Nestles Chocolate Factory {1978} Gympie

It was hovering about half a mile above trees and looked something like a big straw hat in appearance." That was how workers at the Nestles chocolate factory at Gympie, Queensland, described the large object seen over the city early in June 1978. The object was first sighted by three employees who, having their lunch break, had walked outside the factory to sit in the grounds. It was then that, towards the north-west of the factory about 2 miles away, they sighted the mysterious object which they later said was about the size of a house. Raising the alarm among other factory workers, the factory grounds were soon filled by other employees watching the strange craft. About the same period as the Gympie mass Ufo sighting, in the St Lucas area of Brisbane, Mr Lionel Fifield was driving with two friends on the Moggil Road. The time was about 2am when they spotted two blue/red lights moving in a zig-zag fashion across the sky from the east {kenmore district} towards St Lucia. The lights hovered, then began to fade, then slowly brightened again and resumed movement. The lights stayed around in the sky until about 6am when they finally disappeared.

Queensland Investigations

Queensland seems singled out from al the vast expanse of Australia as a major area for unidentified flying object activity{with the notable exception of the Blue Mountains area west of Sydney}major parts of Queensland for UFO activity being Cairns, Tully, Rockhampton and Gympie, where numerous sightings have been frequently reported. In the course of an expedition to far north Queensland during May/June 1978, my wife Heather and I interviewed many people who had reported seeing UFO's and, as a surprise finale to our trip, our homeward journey followed hot on the heels of a UFO "fly past" which commencing around Cairns did not abate with our return home to Katoomba-but more anon. Here then are some of the many reports gathered by me in the course of my Queensland investigation.

Cairns {1957}

Mr Tom Robinson , a Cairns sugar cane farmer, about May 1957 had an experience which he recalls vividly. The time was about 7.30 pm on a Sunday night. He was standing outside on the verandah enjoying the cool air after a very hot day. Tom was called to the telephone. As he lifted the receiver his father suddenly called out to say he was watching a brilliant starlike light moving across the sky from the south. Tom's father lined up the strange light with a verandah post and realised that it was moving towards him. There was no sound coming from the the object which, as it approached the farm, became larger and was seem to emit flame. The object then began to pick up speed and turned at a 90 degree angle and floated across the farm going eastward.

Tom was still using the telephone when his father called out again " Come quickly-theres a plane on fire," which was what Tom believed it to was. The mysterious object had by now landed behind a canefied on the east side of the Robertson property, between cane and a stand of timber on a headland {ie, the cleared area around the outside of a canefield}. There was still no sound. As Tom and his father waited speechless outside their house to see what the object would do next, it suddenly rose like "a big flickering full moon." It rose to about 20 ft above the cane and started to move in a northwest direction and dropped again. It rose again and dropped a second time.

Each time it had risen up it appeared to be a little bit smaller, Tom observed. By now the canefield was set alight by the mystery object, which was casting aglow over the canefield and the Robertson house. Tom's two dogs had by now appeared and, thinking that the object was a car coming towards the house rang outside the house barking. By now the object was 80 metres away. Then the object suddenly dropped again into the cane field and rose up again. By this time it had become very small. it drifted up like a balloon to the northwest to disappear. Tom later investigated the whole area but could not find any trace of the object's landing.

Longreach {1966}

Mysterious lights and objects in the sky have been repeatedly sighted in recent years throughout the Cairns-Atherton-Gordonvale districts-in fact those areas have a history of Ufo activity stretching back many years. Mr R.G. Smith of Longreach near Winton in western Queensland was driving a tractor on his farm one midnight in 1966, and was in the process of excavating a dam for his cattle when above in the clear starry sky he saw a bright starlike light descending towards him. The object descended very close to him and, after hovering above him, headed away in another direction. About the same period in that district another farmer also in the process of driving a tractor on his property late at night, saw the same object descending out of the sky towards him. As the bright starlike object approached his tractor, the farmer sensing danger, left his tractor and began running in the direction of his house. The object was seen to hover above his tractor before rising high into the air and flying off at a phenomenal speed too the west.

Saucer Rings {1966}

That year, 1966, a considerable number of " saucer rings" were discovered in the Tully, Cairns and Innisfail districts, which prompted the Department of Primary Industries to send an official to inspect the circular arrangements. Despite traces of radioactivity around the sites, and other mysterious "calling cards" of the space aliens, the official explanation released to the media was that the circular formations had been made by hordes of migrating ducks.

Cattle Station {1977}

While in Cairns I interviewed Mrs D . Teluk, who related to me the following story which took place about mid-1977 on her husbands cattle station situated near Charters Towers. The time was around 7 pm on a dark night when their farm hand, a man named "Rolley", had been costeening the ground with a bulldozer for mineral traces on their property. As he was some distance from the farmhouse he had a motorbike near the tractor. He finished his work and then rode his bike back towards the farmhouse. On the way he passed thick scrub. Here he caught sight of a strange object amid the trees. In the darkness he could only discern that it was a dark object emitting flashing red and blue lights.He started his bike and left the area in haste to tell the Teluks what he had seen. "He looked white as a sheet," Mrs Teluk said,as Rolley related his sightings to her husband Jerry. Jerry then returned in the family Toyota too the spot where Rolley had been, but found nothing. However over the next few days they learnt that other farmers had also reported seeing the same object flying around the countryside.

Mount Gravat Landing?{1970}

Did a UFO land in scrub-surrounding farming property outside Mount Gravat sough of Brisbane in 1970? That is another question which still puzzles Mr and Mrs R. G. Gordon, the owners. One morning Mr Gordon went to inspect cattle in a corner paddock of his 3 acre property when he discovered three strange circular markings on the ground, each 6ft apart from the others in a triangular formation. The circles were two feet wide and the ground around the outside of each circle was burnt. Mr Gordon called his wife to have a look and both agreed that the marks had not been there when they were rounding up stock at the same spot the afternoon before. Neighbours later reported having seen a strange glowing object in the night sky moving over the Mount Gravat area.


Mrs Gay Stewart was standing outside her house at 9pm eighteen years ago on a farm property at Cullamulla in south-west Queensland, when she saw coming from the south, a red-coloured glowing object the size of a star which seemed to "shoot across the sky northwards at a phenomenal speed," as she said later. The mystery object disappeared over the northern horizon then stopped, and after remaining stationary for a few minutes, began moving off again at a slow pace. Mrs Stewart who happened to be on her own at the time, watched mystified as the red-glowing object made several circular movements across the sky, taking a couple of hours to do so before moving southward to finally disappear in that direction.

Toowoomba {1977}

Mr Trevor Jordan of Toowoomba has had two experiences with UFO's. One night in January 1977 while he was out in scrub on a pig shooting trip, Trevor was standing in a clearing of brigalow scrub when he sighted a bright red object "the size of a football" and at a distance of half a mile to the east. The object changed to green then into lemon. It then began pulsating an came down to treetop level.Trevor observed the strange object for ten minutes until it flew off slowly northwards. Trevor had his first sighting in 1968. He was at Sommerset Dam up from Esk on the Brisbane River one late afternoon and the weather was cloudy and grey, with rain threatening. Trevor was setting up his camera equipment for the purpose of photographing the reflection of the shore line trees in the water. I was using Agfa CT18 slide film, after having shot the photographs of the dam I wanted, which included some of the far end of the dam with the sky in the background. I packed up and went home. "However, days later when I received my slides in the mail I discovered upon viewing them that in the long distance shots I had taken of the far end of the dam, one slide showed seven disk-shaped objects in the sky overhead. A Ufologist who examined the slide estimated the objects to be about 30ft wide and 'perhaps scouting ships from a mothership'.'


During a visit to Gympie north of Brisbane in April 1976 I was fortunate to obtain a number of UFO incidents in that district. The Gympie district has been a veritable hotbed of Ufo activity going back many years. Eighteen years ago Mrs Waller of Wolvi a few miles east of Gympie, was standing on her verandah at 3am. Her home is situated at the base of Wolvi Mountain facing east. A light appeared over the mountain, so bright that it lit up the whole area "like dawn over the mountain," as Mrs Waller said later.

She described the object as being a "fluorescent globe," a very bright white light. The object hovered for three minutes above the Waller farm before moving fairly fast in a northerly direction returning soon after to sink down behind Wolvi Mountain.

Christmas {1974}

In Christmas 1974 four young people-three of them adults, a man and two women together with a 14 year old girl, were driving in two cars, one being driven by the man with the others in the second car. They were driving towards Gunalda. Upon stopping to open a farm gate the man noticed a strange starlike object in the sky above and drew the attention of the others to it.The time was 7.40. The object moved in an up and down motion emitting no sound. The object appeared to be losing altitude. As it approached the earth the motorists were able to get a good look at the object. It appeared, they all later agreed to be cone-shaped, emitting a whitish glow, but with a greenish taillight behind it. As the object got closer to earth the glow lit up the surrounding countryside like moonlight on an otherwise dark moonless night. The object then moved off towards the Theebine district northwest of Gympie, to vanish over thickly wooded hills in the distance.

Gympie {1942}

During 1942, about 8am one morning many Gympie residents sighted a saucer-shaped craft flying very low over the town. One of these eyewitnesses, Mr Oscar K. Meredith, described the object to me. "Underneath it was a large round copper-coloured wheel-shape , semi-flat and emitting a light green flame{like burning copper}directly underneath". It appeared to be 50ft across and perhaps 15-20ft thick. "The object appeared to me as if it were automatically piloted by a force field that followed the contours of the earth."

Close Encounter Near Gympie{1956}

Oscars brother, Allan Merideth, had an even more remarkable experience with a UFO 23 years ago in 1956, At the time one afternoon he was on his parent's farm in a lonely area to the northwest of Gympie. He was 16 at the time. The day of his "close encounter" he was alone, the rest of the family having gone into town. He was sitting inside the house when he heard aloud rumbling sound coming from outside. Upon going to investigate the noise he saw, coming across the sky from the south and descending low above the trees, a saucer-shaped craft. The object then emitted a high-pitched noise. The object had a blue-green light beneath and was of faded aluminium in appearance. Fumes emitted from the craft which smelt like burning rubber and the air seemed polluted about the farm.

Allan almost collapsed for a moment, finding it hard to breath. The saucer-shaped craft continued northwards over the farm then returned, flying across the far eastern end of the farm property southward. Cattle all over the extensive farm property were by now running all over the area in panic, some had dropped in their tracks through a lack of oxygen. Then the strange craft flew southwards out of sight. Many people reported seeing the mysterious saucer, and Allan was one of the many interviewed later by army personnel. He was virtually told to forget what he had seen. The object was a "weather balloon" he was informed.

Tin Can Bay

Tin Can Bay some 35 miles east of Gympie on the coast had also had its fair share on Unidentified Flying Objects. Mr Neil Gerard lived at Tin Can Bay 20 years ago when a Ufo landed it was said, upon the roof of a house late one night, leaving the roof paint burned. The Ufo had appeared in the sky as a shooting flare-like object. It descended on to the roof emitting a starlike glow and then immediately took off into the sky. Neil Gerard has had two Ufo experiences himself. He was driving with a friend, Neil Starberg, to Brisbane one night in 1976 on the main highway. About 7 pm they sighted a glowing dull gold-coloured object which appeared to be stationary and about a mile above a roadside pine forest. The location was 35 miles north of Brisbane. Shortly after sighting it, the object vanished.

Stationary Light {1978}

Neil Gerard was standing outside in the backyard of his house{he now lives in Gympie} about 11pm in April 1978. He was watering flowers in his garden when he saw a bright stationary light in the sky to the north. It began to move away southward after remaining stationary for up to half an hour.

Gympie Ufo Disintergrates

Another interesting Ufo report from Gympie concerns the apparent disintegration of a mysterious flying object a few years ago, and which was witnessed by many people.

Tin Can Bay {Saucer with Dome}

At Tin Can Bay a few years ago, a saucer-shaped Ufo emitting a star-like glow, and with a dome on top and lights around its side, flew over Crab Creek, startling many night-time fishermen. The craft hovered over the inlet, forcing the fishermen to leave the area in a panic. After ten minutes the Ufo rose into the air and left the area.

Gympie Hospital Sighting

Thirty years ago Mrs Z. Kay was a patient in a Gympie hospital. During the early hours of the morning while it was still dark, she happened to be awake when she saw through the window next to her bed, a glowing red light hovering close to the ground. The object although some distance away, was too big for an aeroplane. It began moving away from the north-west to south-east and increased speed as it did so. Mrs Kay watched the object through the window as it seemed to stop in mid-air for a moment, and then resumed flying until it disappeared rapidly over the horizon.

Mount Archer {Rockhampton}

Rockhampton, like Gympie, has a long history of excessive UFO activity. Mount Archer which overlooks the city of Rockhampton to the east has been the scene of numerous sightings of strange lights in the sky and other phenomena. On the 7th of August 1978 a group of several white glowing objects was seen to fly across Rockhampton. For 20 minutes the objects flew around the Rockhampton area, and for a time seemed to hover over Mount Archer before flying off northward. During 1968 a mysterious moving white light flew over Rockhampton one midnight. The same object headed south to Maryborough where it was seen by Keith Lohrisch and his wife Julie as they were driving toward their home in Maryborough. Sighting the object they stopped the car and got out of it for a better look. Deciding it to be a UFO they "hot footed" it home where they rang the police. They were told that at least another ten people had seen the mysterious light.

UFO Flypast

Earlier in this article I stated that a Ufo "flypast" followed the course of the homeward trip from our far north Queensland expedition of May-July 1978. It all began shortly before we left Cairns on June 16. Three mysterious lights were seen in the night sky above Cairns by many people, alternating between green and red, and pulsating. On July 19th we arrived in Rockhampton while the district was in the excitement of a "UFO flap." It appeared that the same three lights were seen over Mount Archer and other parts of the district, often performing aerial manouvers impossible for any earth aircraft. A couple of days later after arriving in Maryborough we heard over the radio that "three mysterious lights had been seen in the sky over Maryborough and that they had earlier been seen coming down the coast."

By the time we arrived in Gympie a day later we learnt from local ufologists that these same lights had been seen the night before over Gympie. A few days later when we reached Brisbane, radio stations had reported sightings of the three lights which had come in from the sea in the night before to move across Brisbane. About 5.30 am on the morning of 25th June 1978, the three mysterious pulsating red-green lights were seen by many people over Tingalpa outside Brisbane. They too 1 and a half minutes to pass over the Brisbane district going south, but in a peculiar zig-zag movement. No earth-based aircraft were in the region at the time.

These lights were also seen at Ganalda a few days before and they remained there for three nights. Eagle Farm airport, bombarded with enquiries, could give no rational explanation for the mystery objects. After leaving Brisbane, my wife Heather and I arrived in Kyogle in northern NSW. Here we learned that the same UFO'S had appeared high over the township, on one instance they were seen to fly low over the countryside from Kyogle up to Lismore where they performed a number of aerial movements impossible for earth aircraft. Casino also was paid a visit by these mystery craft where a number of eyewitnesses later agreed that at least one of the craft was the familiar saucer-shape and at least 50 ft wide.

Two days after leaving Kyogle I found out that the three mystery objects had been sighted also over Newcastle {where the saucer-shape of all three were confirmed} heading south. By the time we arrived home in Katoomba the three objects had been reported seen over Sydney, with reports also coming from the Lower Blue Mountains west of Sydney. We learned later that they were also sighted moving down the far south coast of NSW, where people at Wollongong, Moruya, Bateman's Bay and Eden also reported seeing them. Whatever their purpose was remains a mystery. Rex Gilroy is Director of Mt York Natural History Museum, Mt Victoria NSW, and Kedumba Nature Display, Kedumba Emporium Echo Point, Katoomba NSW.

Strange Phenomena September 1979

Australia's Lost Civilisation

By Rex Gilroy

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