A Suburban UFO Mystery
A Suburban UFO Mystery
The Westall UFO is a sighting which took place on April 6th, 1966 when a class of students and a teacher from Westall High School observed a grey saucer shaped craft with a slight purple hue within the sky.
The total number of witnesses numbered over 200 and they watched this craft being pursued by five unidentified aircraft which circled this object.
It is believed by many that this particular sighting, like many others, was covered-up.
At approximately 11.00 am on Wednesday, 6 April 1966, a class of
students and a teacher from Westall High School (now Westall Secondary
College) were just completing sports on the main oval when an object,
described as being a grey saucer shaped craft with a slight purple hue
and being about twice the size of a family car, was alleged to have been
Witness descriptions were mixed: Andrew Greenwood, a science
teacher, told The Dandenong Journal at the time that he saw a
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
As the object gained altitude some accounts describe it as
having been pursued from the scene by five unidentified aircraft which
circled the object.
The Dandenong Journal covered the encounter in detail and ran two front page stories. The first was on April 14th and the next was on April 21st.
The Age ran a very small article about the Westall incident on April 7th, 1966, on page 6: "Object Perhaps Balloon - An unidentified flying object seen over the Clayton-Moorabbin area yesterday morning might have been a weather balloon. Hundreds of children and a number of teachers at Westall School, Clayton, watched the object during morning break."
The newspaper also said a number of small aeroplanes circled around it. However, a check later showed that no commercial, private or RAAF pilots had reported anything unusual in the area.
The Weather Bureau released a balloon at Laverton at 8:30 am and the westerly wind blowing at the time could have moved it into the area where the sighting was reported.
Witnesses and researchers were surprised when The Sun News-Pictorial (a tabloid) ran no story, yet The Age (a broadsheet) did.
The Sun and The Herald newspapers, while not mentioning the Westall incident, both published cartoons in the following day's editions that made light of the flying saucer phenomena.
GTV Channel 9 television also ran a news report about the encounter. A student, Joy Tighe, described the event for the reporter.
However, a copy of this film is not available. Channel 9 reports that it was removed from their archive and not returned.
The alleged sighting was investigated by two groups: The Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) and Phenomena Research Australia (PRA). Both groups described it as being one of Australia's major unexplained UFO cases.
The VFSRS team arrived on the site on April 8th and spoke to students and viewed the ground mark. The VFSRS printed an image and a small report in their magazine "Australian UFO Bulletin" in December 2000.
An investigator, Brian Boyle (PRA), arrived at the site on 9 April with four army investigators. Boyle did a number of interviews, which he recorded on tape, over a number of days and took samples from the ground mark. These investigators were able to speak to many of the witnesses as it was over the Easter holidays (8–11 April).