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RAAF report of sighting of flying object



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MINISTERIAL PRESS RELEASE

FRIDAY 30th JULY, 1965

RAAF PR S/3907/65

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE PETER HOWSON. MP. MINISTER FOR' M R

RAAF REPORT ON SIGHTING OF FLYING OBJECT

The RAAF today released the following information on the reported

sighting of a flying object in the Canberra area on 15th July last· ■

The sighting was made by a number of people, including Department

of Civil Aviation officials, who were on duty at RAAF Base, Fairbaivn.

The RAAF said that while the sighting could not positively be

identified,its investigators believed there were several possible explan­

ations.

Firstly, the sighting could have been caused by the non-persistent

condensation trail of a high-flying jet aircraft.

Alternatively, the sighting could have been caused by the planet

Venus which is clearly visible during the day under some conditions and

whose·position approximated the direction of the sighting at the time.

A third possible explanation offered was that the sighting could

have been caused by a high altitude radar reflecting meteorological balloon

used in wind forecasting and prediction.

These balloons which are hydrogen filled, are sent to a high

altitude and axe clearly visible from long distances, due to the reflecting

sunlight. .

Furthermore, due to the varying moisture content in the air close

to the ground, they often appear very furry, or have a "halo-like" appearance

giving a very·distorted effect. They may also change colour. These

balloons are in use by the meteorological authorities in the general area

and a number are periodically released from Wagga NSW. On occasions under

the influence of strong winds., they have been known to travel considerable

distances.

The visibility at the time of the reported sighting was extremely

clear, with no cloud and the fact that the phenomena suddenly disappeared,

could be explained by the fact that these meteorological balloons normally

burst at varying altitudes.

The RAAF said that as announced previously the service receives

a considerable number of reports of unidentified objects from all sections

of the community and all these reports are investigated.

On many occasions they have turned out to be weather baileecs

high-flying aircraft, satellites, stars and meteors to mention a few, and over

the last few years, only three or four per-cent of sightings could not be

satisfactorily explained.

For further information s Department of Air, Directorate of Public Relations, Russell Offices, CANBERRA, ACT. Telephone No Working Hrs 652321-22-23 After Hours 47476 .