We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Father William Gill Sighting

  • Case Number: #0126
  • Date: 26 June 1959
  • Time: 6:55 pm.
  • Location: Boianai Mission, Papua New-Guinea
  • Witness(es): Father William Gill and many more
  • Classification: CE-III - Sighting With Entities
In the remote village of Boianai on Papua New-Guinea, during the April and June of 1959, a series of extraordinary UFO sightings would go on to become one of the most celebrated cases for the study of such phenomena. At the time, the islands were still under the control of Australia and many members from the Anglican Church were sent to carry out missionary work. One of these missionaries was a Father William Gill, who was a very well respected member of the community to which he was assigned. Because of his religious belief, being a devoted church worker, Father William Gill was a UFO sceptic, but that would soon change when he would have a close encounter with not only a craft, but also with beings that he saw within it.
Papua New Guinea was a hive of UFO sightings over the years of 1958-1959. Over those two years there were over sixty UFO sightings, with most of these being in the Mount Pudi region. The first sighting of Father William Gill would take place on the 5th April 1959, when he noticed there was a very bright and fast moving light travelling across the Mount Pudi area, which was an inhabited mountain. Thinking not much of it, Father Gill went back to his normal routine. It was not until about a month later, when his assistant, Stephen Moi, claimed that he had witnessed a saucer shaped object, flying over the skies of the missionary. Being so skeptical, Father Gill still dismissed the incidents and blamed them on atmospheric or electrical phenomena in the sky. Soon enough though, other events would take place that would make Father Gill question his skepticism and admit that he had borne witness to a UFO sighting. It was on the 26th June that another incident occurred.
It was approximately six forty-five pm, when Father Gill noticed again a bright light in the sky to the north-west of the village. Soon, the word had spread throughout the small community and many others had joined Father Gill and were watching the light in the sky. All in all it would be thirty-eight people who could account for what was seen on that occasion. These would include, Stephen Moi, Ananias Rarata and Mrs. Nessle Moi. Later the witnesses would describe how as the light got a little closer, they could make it out has being roughly the size of five full moons that were lined up against each other. It was in the shape of a disc, with a smaller round superstructure on the top, like the bridge of a boat. Underneath it had four legs that were in pairs and coming down in a diagonal manner. All of the witnesses that had gathered then continued to watch the craft as it hovered in complete silence. They were all then shocked and amazed as they made out four humanoid shaped figures on the top part of the craft. They all said that it appeared as if these figures were carrying out work on-board the craft and would move about as if carrying out duties, bending and reaching about inside the craft. One of them would disappear and then come back into view. There was also a blue light that would shine up from the craft at regular intervals. This spectacle would go on for about forty-five minutes until about seven-thirty, when it rose higher into the sky, becoming obscured by clouds and then disappearing out of view. It was then an hour later at eight-thirty that a number of smaller objects returned to the skies over the mission. A further twenty minutes later the larger object from earlier in the night came back over. This new sequence of events would carry on for a further four hours, then at approximately ten-fifty that night the clouds began to get thicker and they obscured the craft and the smaller ones and they went completely out of sight. That night Father Gill wrote down an account of all that he and the people of the village had witnessed and twenty-five of them signed it.

Interaction between witnesses and entities

That evenings sighting was not to be the only one that occurred over the village. The next evening at about six o'clock, a number of smaller craft appeared along with the larger one that had been there the night previously. As the craft hovered, again silently, about three to four hundred feet away, the beings were again visible in the top part of the craft. It then appeared as if one of the being lent over a sort of rail and looked down toward the people on the ground. On seeing this, Father Gill waved up to them and to his total amazement, the being waved back. Father Gill would later say that it was like a skipper on a boat waving back to someone who was stood on the wharf. Ananias then waved to the beings using his two hands and again the beings did the same back to them. This waving between the two then continued for a while. Eric Kodawara then waved a torch towards the craft and as if in acknowledgement back to them, the craft went into a movement like a swinging pendulum. He then shone the torch to the ground, to see if he could encourage the craft to land on the ground but the craft did not react to this. Throughout the whole encounter, many of the indigenous people of the village would gesture for the craft to land, but they did not get a response. The children of the village were also said to be excited by the happenings and would cry out at the craft. Father Gill then said that he went inside and had some food and when he returned sometime after, the craft was still there but had rose further away. The village continued after this with its normal routine and had its evening church service. At seven forty-five when they came out of the building, the craft had gone from view. At eleven-thirty that night, while most of the community was in the mission, a loud bang was heard on the roof. The group ran outside and saw four of the crafts high up in the sky. The next morning the roof of the mission was checked, but there was no evident damage.

Theories of explanation to the UFO sighting

There have been many explanations from skeptics about what could have caused the sightings during those two months. Dr. Donald H. Menzel would say that Father William Gill was suffering from Myopia, which is nearsightedness, and he was not wearing his corrective lenses. He claims that he could have mistook Venus for the craft, which was visible during those nights. Menzel also made the comment that the people of the Papua New-Guinea village were ignorant to the outside world like Father William Gill and that due to their worship of him, he could have easily influenced them into believing what they saw was what he thought. Father Gill dismisses these supposed explanations and insists that not only was he wearing his corrective lenses, but also he was also fully aware of where Venus was and the craft was not it. It was not long after the incident when Father Gill returned to Australia. On doing so he reported the event to the appropriate authorities. All who met and interviewed Father Gill regarded him as an intelligent and impressive man and he appeared to be a credible source that would not make up such a story, especially with his strong religious beliefs. Father Gill’s story and the records he had made at the time soon made it to the media and by the August of that year the story would cause a media sensation. Father Gill’s account would be told many times and he would be interviewed on a number of occasions for different programs. The members of very well respected civilian groups of UFO researchers: The Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society stated: "Gill's reports constitute the most remarkable testimony of intensive UFO activity ever reported to civilian investigators. They were unique because for the first time, credible witnesses had reported the presence of humanoid beings associated with UFO's."
In a letter wrote to a friend, Father William Gill said: ‘I do not doubt the existence of these “things” (indeed I cannot, now that I have seen one for myself)'. In another letter to the friend he wrote: 'Life is strange, isn't it? Yesterday I wrote you a letter, (which I still intend sending you) expressing opinions regarding The UFO's. Now, less than twenty-four hours later I have changed my views somewhat. Last night we at Boianai experienced about four hours of UFO activity, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are handled by beings of some kind.' Whatever it was that Father William Gill and the inhabitants saw over the course of those months, it is clear that the incident changed the skeptical views of the missionary.

Share this sighting