We’re a big fan of the Westall UFO incident here at P.TV. Most UFO sightings — like most cryptid encounters — are purportedly witnessed by at most two or three people, and usually under circumstances in which the thing couldn’t be seen with any clarity. What makes Westall different is that — on that sunny day in 1966 — a UFO was seen in broad daylight by over 200 witnesses. Over 50 years after that silvery object flew over a school in Victoria, we still don’t have any solid answers as to what went on (although there is a very tantalising theory that it was a top-secret high-altitude radiation testing balloon).
One of the more mysterious aspects of the sighting is that a number of the witness reports claimed to have seen several light aircraft in pursuit of the object, but the pilots were never identified or interviewed at the time, and had never successfully been tracked down by researchers since.
A story run in the Dandenong Journal a week after the incident described witnesses giving “corroborating descriptions” of “a round humped object with a flat base being circled by what appeared to be light aircraft.”
Shane Ryan, a Westall researcher whose efforts to figure out what the hell happened are the focus of the documentary Westall ’66, reckons he might have finally managed to track one of the pilots down.
Ryan told 9 News that he’s trying to organise a chance to chat with him: “Another piece of information has come through that somebody who lived locally to Westall at the time has said he knows personally one of the seven pilots who was up in the air from Moorabbin Airport and were witnesses to what happened that day. He knows personally the one pilot who got closest to the object and actually tried to chase it. This man is still alive and living in a nursing home.”
Maybe we’ll finally find out what the fuck that thing was or, maybe, we’ll find out some guy doesn’t remember what he was doing 53 years ago.