2000 in REVIEW
The year has been one of change for the Centre. A brand new executive committee to operate the Centre, the Ufologist Magazine as the medium for publishing Tasmanian sightings, and a return to the Glenorchy Library for member's meetings. However, there has been a fall in membership, it seems to have coincided with a fall in UFO sightings. Throughout the years sighting activity seems to act like a barometer, if sightings are up, membership tends to rise also. Another player on the scene of course is the Internet. Sightings and a mass of UFO information are now at anyone's fingertips, the need to belong to a UFO group to hear the latest news may have lost some of its appeal? Maybe more of a negative is the loss of our Northern Tasmania representative. The ability to have someone on the spot to interview witnesses and inspect sighting locations is of paramount importance.
Sightings wise the year 2000 was disappointing to say the least. Incoming
calls of nearly 100 was about average, but of these some 9 cases mainly
involving lights in the sky remain unexplained. Still, it seems to
have been quiet in many other locations around the world. However, the
year was not without its interesting moments. The warm January nights saw
streaks of light in Hobart’s southern skies, but the source was soon found
to be light reflections from squid boats operating in Storm Bay. The inevitable
hoax ‘balloon devices’ appeared with the early darkness of winter evenings.
A number of orange lights reported and video taped over Launceston received
press and TV coverage. Similar cases occurred over Devonport and Hobart.
A big meteor burnt up over North West Tasmania on June 10th. ‘Lighting up the Police switchboard’ reported the newspapers. The Police switchboard was in action again on July 10th. Hobart callers reported beams of lights moving about in the clouds to the north of the city. It was disappointment once again as the culprit was found to be a ‘skytracker’ searchlight operating at the opening of a private school's new performance centre.
“Troublesome lights’ reports to the Centre have almost been as interesting as the unexplained cases. At times great effort is made in tracking down the source of these ‘lights in the sky’ type reports. They have all the appearances of being some astronomical object or aircraft. The daytime report of pin points of light with trails that sound like an overflight.
A series of light masses passing over a Hobart suburban area. An apparent meteor that seems to change direction. In some of the cases one wonders how the Centre only received one caller regarding a report over a busy suburb Apparent air traffic that no one seems to be aware of.. However, the big danger is to label all these reports as UFOs. Using Ockham's Razor it is probable that the most likely explanation is in fact the explanation.
At a recent TUFOIC meeting, details were provided of the Mysterious Melodale affair. A series of paranormal events that occurred mostly between 1982 and 1997. A number of cases involving lights were reported during that time, strange dark shapes, poltergeist events, noises, animal reactions. The details of the completed investigation has now been added to our list of Publications. The result of many years of investigation, this could be a classic series of events.
2000. January 15th, 11.45pm. West Kentish
The witness looked out at the view of Mt. Roland from her house and noticed a line of 5 green light panels high on the mountainside. She called her husband to confirm what she was looking at. There were 5 rectangular panels, with a further smaller 5 lights to the left all at the same level. The witness estimated the length of the panels and lights at about 30 m. At first they took the lights to be on a new building, and after watching for some time took no further notice. An inspection the following day revealed nothing to explain the row of lights.
2000. February 18th, 12.30am. Park Beach.
The witness had not long been home when he took his dog outside for a run. Almost at once a flash high above caught his eye. He looked up and saw a large (Moon sized) orange light moving rapidly across the sky towards Lauderdale. It travelled in a straight line from about a 60 degree elevation to about 30 degrees. He was then surprised to see the light reverse direction instantly and come back across the southern sky. Almost at once it again reversed its flight path and went off to the south-west towards Cremorne before doing a final direction reversal disappearing into the south-east.
2000 May 15th. 9pm. Forth.
A motorist travelling east on the Old Bass Highway noticed what looked like a falling star come down behind a hill to the south. A glow appeared behind the hill, then the passenger saw the light return across the sky to the north. This series of events was repeated two more times with the light moving either south or towards the north. On the final sighting the passenger said the light came more from behind the car, paused for a few seconds then disappear northwards.
2000 May 25th. 1.45pm. Lutana.
The witness was hanging out the washing when she glanced skywards and noticed two bright lights against the blue sky. The lights were in the south and about half way up the sky. One light was higher than the other. At first they did not seem to move, then the higher light zig-zagged down to join the lower light. Once more the lights were still, then slowly they moved together towards the south-east. They looked to increase speed and gain elevation as they just vanished from sight. No aircraft were in the sighting area. A further case on July 1st reported small dots with tails passing high overhead, this may have been high flying aircraft.
2000 June 24th. 2.05am. Granton.
The witness was returning home to New Norfolk on the Northern Outlet. Just short of Granton two bright white lights were seen side by side just west of the highway. The motorist slowed almost a stop as the lights came lower and a rectangular shape could be seen with square windows or panels on the side of the object. The object seemed to hover briefly then went straight up into the clouds, illuminating them as it disappeared. The witness had the impression that the object was possibly above the roadside paddock. Checks for possible aircraft movements such as cargo planes or air ambulances proved negative.
2000 September 12th. 8.00pm. George Town.
Another of those troublesome lights that catch the attention. The witnesse’s young daughter pointed out what looked to be a shooting star. The bright star could be seen moving eastwards beneath the moon. However after moving horizontally for about 5 seconds the star stopped at about a 30 degree elevation in the south-east sky. Then it looked to dance about in the one spot before diminishing in size and fading out of sight.
2000 October 27th. 11.43pm. Cambridge.
A motorist travelling on the highway from Mornington to Cambridge contacted the Centre after noticing two lights in the north-east sky. He later ascertained the second light was an aircraft en-route to Hobart Airport. The first light proved more of a mystery. Initially a silver-white light could be seen beyond Breakneck Hill as the motorist headed towards Cambridge. Then an inbound aircraft flew beneath the light and disappeared to the south. As the witness travelled on the highway into the open countryside by Cambridge the silver-white light descended towards the Cambridge airstrip. However, it levelled out and moved across Barilla Bay in the direction of Penna at about a 20 degree elevation. The light then seemingly vanished in mid air. The Centre made extensive enquires into aircraft movements but no one seemed to be aware of any aircraft to account for the silver-white light.
2000. October 30th. Brighton.
A bright light seen by a Brighton resident appeared to have no explanation once the details had been obtained. The witness had gone outside for a smoke and was looking at the northern sky. He noticed a bright light low down and seemingly coming closer and gaining elevation as if to pass overhead. The light as it came closer was followed by two other similar lights on the same track. They were too far apart to be on the same object. The lights climbed up to a 60 degree elevation, paused, then turned and descended back to their original elevation. Again they paused as they turned a third corner in their triangle flight path before going away to the north and disappearing over the skyline. The 1 to 2 minute silent fly-past spooked the witness who went inside at once. Following astronomical and air traffic checks no explanation could be found.