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The Westall Incident

  • Case Number: #0100
  • Date: 06 April 1966
  • Time: 11.00 am
  • Location: Westall, Victoria, Australia
  • Witness(es): Students & teachers from Westall School
  • Classification: DD - Daylight Discs
On the 6th of April, 1966 in the suburb of Westall in Melbourne, Australia, over two hundred people would claim they saw a flying saucer in an incident which lasted for about twenty minutes. Yet, the most unusual aspect of this mass encounter would be that with so many people claiming to have seen something, great efforts were made to keep the incident out of the public eye and silence those who attempted to talk about what they saw. Ridiculed and stigmatized, the witnesses, many being children from the local high school, would be muted by fear of the authorities and the principle of the school, and vital evidence would be deliberately excluded from government files that would be released years later.

Sighting after school time

At about eleven o clock on the morning in question, witnesses at Westall High School became aware of an object flying low in the sky not far from the school. Some of the students and a teacher were in a sports class in the Oval, which was the main yard and the sight if it brought them all to a standstill. Others saw it from classrooms and one witness tells of how a boy came bursting hysterically into her class shouting that there was a flying saucer outside. Not long after, the bell for the recess came and all the children who were not already outside rushed to the oval to see the flying craft. 
What they described was a large saucer shaped object of a grey with purple hue color, about the size of two family cars. 
Marilyn Smith, who was a pupil at the school, tells of how she ran out to the oval with many other children just in time to see the object flying towards a wooded area called the Grange. They gave chase as the object descended into the trees of the area and Marilyn goes on to describes how she and a friend got close to where it was, but her friend then went on ahead into the trees and by the time she caught her up the craft had again taken off. Marilyn says that later she found out that her friend had been found unconscious and was taken way in an ambulance. She would not return to school and she would never see the friend again.
westall ufoDrawing of the Westall flying saucer

Many witnesses claimed that when the object rose from the trees, it was followed by five unidentified aircraft, which encircled it. It then flew off out of sight in a North-West direction playing a sort of cat and mouse game, producing a light that streaked silently in the sky. The whole incident lasted approximately twenty minutes and when some of the students went to the place it had landed, they found that the grass had been flattened
Another teacher who was on yard duty that day missed the incident, but he remembers vividly what the science teacher, Andrew Greenwood, said to him as he came running back into the building. He said that he had saw it in the sky and it was hovering then flying fast with lights coming from it. 
Other witnesses included a local worker who saw the object flying, landing and then taking off again and another local man who claims to have seen two craft that had landed in a paddock and he managed to get about a meter away and could feel an immense heat coming of them. Before he could reach out to touch one of them, they rose up and flew away.

Other unusual stuff happened around the time of the incident also. Two days prior to the day in question, a man was driving his car along a road when up ahead he saw a craft with bright lights coming from under it. The lights seemed to have a magnetic pull and his own head lights were drawn into it. His car then began to pull to the side and he only narrowly missed a tree. He came out with the story when he found out that two days prior to his experience, a young man had been killed when his car had hit that exact same tree. A local woman had also taken a picture two days before of an unidentified craft flying in the sky. The image is very similar to what the children described seeing that day. 
The unusual thing with this case is that even though there was such a mass of witnesses, there were considerable restrictions put in place to prevent it becoming a big story in the public eye.

SILENCED BY THE PRINCIPAL

westall collegeWestall College todayWhen the children returned back at school after the object had vanished, there would have been an excitement in the air, but it was quickly dealt with by visitors to the school and the discipline of the teaching staff. 
At first the visitors, who were all dressed in suits and military type clothing, approached the adult witnesses to discuss the incident, then an assembly was called to inform the children that what they had seen had not been flying saucer, but an experimental weather balloon. They were also all told not to talk about the incident amongst themselves, out of school and especially to the press. One girl in particular, named Jacqueline Argent, remembered being called into the headmasters office and being talked to by two men in suits. They laughed at her story and asked her did she believe in little green men also. It was a clear tactic of bullying and making the girl question what she had seen. Jacqueline stated that by the time they had finished she left the room deeply upset and in tears. She believes that it was the Australian government using tactics to quieten the children into silence.

A teacher, who had managed to take some photographs of the object, was also approached and it was demanded that she hand over not only the film, but the entire camera. The science teacher who had been witness also claimed to have been visited in his home and threatened into silencewith the destruction of his teaching career and that they would say he was an alcoholic, even though he was not. 
Another strange cover up was in the paddock where the object had apparently landed. On the day a university student, Kevin Hurley, had seen flattened areas of grass at the spot, but then when he had returned there then next day, he was turned away by military men. They made it quite clear that he was not to enter the site, then another week later he returned again and was shocked to find all the grass had been cut shortand the patches where the circle imprints had been had been burned. 
There is also a lack of documentation evidence from the case. A checklist of UFO sightings kept by the Royal Australian Air force, from the year 1966, shows no evidence at all of an incident in the area on that day, though from the amount of witnesses it is obvious that there was. Bill Chalker, the UFO researcher also examined the released files years later and again found no trace of the incident. It would appear that most government agencies are lacking any documentation, which is highly unusual considering the amount of government personnel that were in the area on the day and for a period of time after.

THE COVER-UP

westall newspaperDandenog front page reporting the UFO sightingThe media was also relatively quiet about what had happened. While the Dandenog Journal published two front page stories on it, the only other was a small article on page six of a broad-sheet, which in a way corroborated with the government story of a weather balloon being released that morning and this was what the people saw. Two other papers just made light of the incident in cartoons and it was a surprise to everyone involved that The Sun News-Periodical took no interest in the story, which would have been something that they would usually pick up on quickly. Copies of the Dandenog Journal are still available to see in the local library today. 

GTV on channel nine did have interviews from the day with a pupil, Joy Tighe, saying what she had seen, but unfortunately a copy is not available as the channel say that it was taken from the archive and never returned. 
Though so many efforts have been made to silence the witnesses of that day in 1966, many are still adamant of what they saw and though they face ridicule by speaking out, they think it is important to do so.

 

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