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Westall 1966 UFO Incident - The Dandenong Journal

Most people around the world are aware of the Roswell incident in the 1950’s, yet until recently few people were aware that Australia had a similar incident in 1966, and which was witnessed by more than 200 people.

It seems to have been hushed up by the authorities at the time and was probably destined to be kept hidden until a recent documentary brought it to light. Some 40 years on, the search for answers continues.

The Westall incident stands out from most UFO sightings in that it happened in broad daylight, the object was seen close up, and the fact it was witnessed by a very large number of people – over 200 – for a period lasting about 20 minutes. Westall (now known as Clayton South) is a suburb of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia.

On April 6, 1966, students at Westall High School were playing on the sports field when they noticed something in the sky. As they watched, the metallic disk-shaped object, which was described by many as resembling a classic flying saucer, came closer and then swooped low over the school, causing some students to run in terror towards the classroom in fear that it might crash.

1966 Westall Incident - The Clayton Calendar

1966 Westall Incident - The Clayton Calendar

Andrew Greenwood, a science teacher, told The Dandenong Journal at the time that the object was a silvery-green disc.

As the word spread around the school children began pouring out of the classrooms. As the children and the science teacher watched on, the UFO then dropped behind a group of pine trees some 200 meters away. A large group of the children ran towards the pine trees, hoping to get a better look at the strange object that resembled something they”d only seen before in American sci-fi movies, but the object rose up again before they could reach it and it took off at high speed.

As the object gained altitude some witness accounts describe it as having been pursued from the scene by five unidentified airplanes, which circled the object.

A female teacher is also reported to have taken photos of the strange object. Her camera, containing the only known images of the UFO, was later confiscated by uniformed men and was never returned.

The incident made front-page news at the time, and students were even interviewed by the media and their stories relayed on the television news.

But then the story seems to have been almost forgotten entirely, despite the fact it’s probably one of the best UFO encounters in Australia’s history. Police and RAAF reports about the incident are either not being released or have been lost. A Channel 9 television news report about the encounter, featuring an interview with one of the eyewitnesses, student Joy Tighe, whom described the event for the reporter, has gone missing. Channel 9 reports that it was removed from their archive and not returned.

A recent documentary made on the incident gives one the overall feeling that after the incident was originally reported in the media, attempts were later made to make it disappear or to be dismissed entirely..

Most ordinary people in Melbourne today and who were not around at the time it happened most probably were unaware of the incident until the documentary aired on Australian television last year. Many of the Westall witnesses, now middle-aged men and women, said that they’ll never forget it and that it had changed how they viewed the world.

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Karen Banting

About Karen Banting

Karen Banting has written 26 posts in this blog.

Karen is an author & blogger with a lifelong interest in science & the paranormal.

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