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Tuesday, 24 November 1959

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - The Department of Air does exchange with other air forces information about unidentified flying objects. It exchanges information with the Royal Air Force and, particularly, with the United States Air Force which maintains a study research group on this subject. All well-reported sightings in Australia and its Territories are investigated by the Department of Air. The objects generally turn out to be weather balloons, high flying aircraft, stars, comets and things of that sort. The statistics on this subject show that only a very small percentage - something like 3 per cent. - of reported sightings of flying objects cannot be explained. I realize that in this age of technological mysteries it does not do to be sceptical about anything, but the honorable member may be interested to know that on the last occasion that I can recall on which a full-scale investigation was carried out into a sighting, which had taken place west of the Blue Mountains and had been reported by a number of people, the object in question was found to be the planet Venus setting.

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