Paranormal News

Experiencing UFO/UAP “Hotzones” — Mount Butler, Tyringham and the “Skinwalker” Beat – The OZ Files

I’ve been watching the second season of the Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. I have been a long time advocate of the worth of field examinations of localities that appear to present recurring manifestations of UFO, UAP and other unusual phenomena.  “Skinwalker” seems to present that range of phenomena and the principle of examining it in detail with a dedicated team, backed up by monitoring equipment is worthwhile. Bringing that situation into a series made for the History channel would be challenging, but the translation of the real situation to the series, seems to get diluted in the process of finding a format that both informs and entertains. Still, the show is an expression of the type of dynamic that may inform a real serious scientific examination of such locations. To me, the “Skinwalker” milieu may qualify as what I call a UFO “hot zone.” The show certainly makes me reflect on my own experiences in this type of situation.  Some of what I have seen on the show certainly causes me to remember my own “baptism of UFO fire” in the New England region of northern New South Wales, Australia, back in 1972 and 1973. What follows takes you on a deep dive into two UFO “hot zones.”

UFO “hot zones” are those areas where an extraordinary depth of the UFO phenomenon is experienced.  They are also UFO flap areas but are more accurately viewed as very localised “UFO flaps.”  Such areas offer us an extraordinary opportunity. One of the more frustrating aspects of the UFO phenomenon is its unpredictability.   One of the mainstays of the scientific method is the repeatable experiment.  In the case of an unpredictable and elusive phenomenon this is rather hard to organise.  Occasionally UFO phenomena occur in specific localities for an extended period. Such areas continue to regularly reveal manifestations of the UFO mystery and provide researchers like myself tantalising but generally frustrating opportunities to attempt real science.   The challenge for researchers is to locate such areas and to participate in an organised and instrumented way to document flaps in an objective manner. Such strategies provide researchers with potent opportunities for interacting with the UFO phenomenon.

Early on in my UFO investigations I was lucky enough to be involved in detailed on site investigations of two so-called UFO “hot zones,” centred near Mount Butler, Armidale and at Tyringham -Dundurrabin in the north east of NSW took place during the period of 1972 to 1973.   The Mount Butler flap featured an apparitional “possession” episode and extensive UFO activity restricted to a single rural property. The Tyringham – Dundurrabin flap involved a complex milieu of UFO events with possible psychic overtones. Unusual auditory phenomena and possibly related “electromagnetic” effects were also reported.

By the early 1970s I had thoroughly immersed myself in the exotic world of UFOs.  There was much that was rubbish and silly in the extreme, but through it all there was a compelling body of evidence for something that seemed truly anomalous.  I joined the Sydney based organisation UFOIC, the UFO Investigation Centre.  At that time, they did not seem to be investigating and researching the subject in the depth and manner I thought was appropriate.  I was more comfortable with the loose network of people I had developed on the north coast.  This expanded to include the New England region, when I went to Armidale, to further my academic studies at the University of New England.  I also joined the US organisation APRO,  the Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation, led by Coral and Jim Lorenzen.  Their international connections were exceptional and my association with them served to reinforce the international dimensions of the UFO “problem”.

 

Consideration of the UFO problem was far from my mind at twilight, on September 15th, 1972, as I was returning from a Chemistry practical class.  Weighing heavily on my mind was the thought of dinner and a chance to relax after an exhausting day.   What followed was therefore totally unexpected and came as a stunning surprise.

 

As I crossed the grounds of Earle Page College, my residence on campus, at about 5.50 pm, my attention was drawn to two students, not known to me, who were intent on something in the sky. As I drew closer to them their conversation could be heard.  ”Do you see that?” “Yes”, said the other, “But I don’t want to.”  Curious I turned in the direction of their gazes and saw what appeared to be a metallic egg-shaped object traversing the twilight sky, north to south.  It was moving in a horizontal trajectory, at a speed roughly that of a low flying light plane.

 

The object was in my view for about 15 seconds, until it was obscured by college buildings.  I rushed through the college buildings, and out to the other side, which afforded a clear panoramic view for some considerable distance.   To my surprise, the aerial object was not in sight.

 

It had an apparent angular size at arms length of about one inch, and gave me the subjective impression of a sizeable object flying at several hundred feet.  Obviously there was no way of being certain of that impression.  The object appeared to be completely silent, in contrast to the noisy aircraft that frequently pass over the university.  To my eye, its shape was very well defined, with no surface protrusions noticeable.

 

What was it?  I was never able to identify the object, despite attempts to reconcile it with aircraft, balloons and similar prosaic explanations. Any of these possibilities should have been still observable as I came through the college buildings.

 

I was puzzled. ”UFOs” had been in the news that week, but much of the coverage was of a dubious nature.  The focus of the media attention was on “a bright silvery light”, observed on several consecutive mornings at Taree, on the mid north coast of New South Wales.  The afternoon papers in Sydney, particularly the “Daily Mirror”, were having a field day, complete with front page photos and huge headlines about the aerial “mystery”.   The details available made me wonder if news was a little slow down in “the big smoke”.  I was able to quickly confirm my own hypothesis, that the early morning apparition was “the queen of UFO misidentifications”, namely Venus. Predictably when this became clear to the tabloid press, the prominence given to the answer was a lot less than the original coverage.  There was intriguing activity happening elsewhere in Australia at that time, but it did not get the attention it deserved.

 

Earlier on the same day of my sighting, a student told me of some unusual events that had occurred at about 3 am that morning on a property to the west of Armidale – Mount Butler – and apparently involved a bizarre apparition, looking like “a monk in a shroud”.   The student was acquainted with me through meetings of the fledging university psychic phenomena society.  I had been co-opted to chair its “ghost and poltergeist” subcommittee, which I saw as an opportunity for a net to catch all manner of “fringe” phenomena, and hopefully some UFO phenomena.

Later when I further clarified details the event seemed to involve a bizarre form of apparitional “possession” at a site that became haunted by UFOs.   The Mount Butler affair would show that the dimensions of UFO problem were far from clear and the best approach was to be both critical and open minded.

 

Had I know what would unfold I would have investigated this experience immediately.  However, circumstances prevented an investigation from being completed until the end of 1973.  By then the milieu that had focused on Mount Butler involved far more than a strange encounter with a bizarre entity.  The area had become the focus of UFO activity which seemed to center around one individual.

During the early morning darkness of September 15th– the same day as my “daylight disc sighting” – three university students were in their lodgings on the Mount Butler property, engaged in conversation and musical relaxation.  A commotion was heard amongst the farm animals outside. One of them went outside to investigate. What he saw caused him to call the others outside.  There floating in a slow semi-circle near the house, was a monk-like apparition.  No limbs were noticed and a black void was present where the face would have been.

 

One of the students, Greg, apparently made a sudden move, and the other two thought they saw the apparition vanish in a flash of light.  It was their impression this flash of light traveled towards Greg and entered him at chest height. Puzzled, the two men went over to Greg and found him in a much distressed state.  He was shaking almost uncontrollably and was inarticulate, except for garbled attempts to convey that he was “really sick inside.” His friends helped him inside.  He stayed in much the same condition until they ventured outside again.  Two of the farm horses galloped up to meet them.  One of them, a favorite of Greg’s, came up to him and the other two students then thought they saw a flash of light leave Greg, enter the horse and then leave it, dissipating finally into the night.  The horse reared up and fled.  The two men now found that Greg was no longer distressed.  The two friends came to think that the apparition was the spirit of Greg’s father, who had died a few months earlier, and it had “possessed” him.  Whatever the explanation, my investigations made me feel that the students had had a genuinely unsettling experience.  

 

Graham, another student, started living at the property during 1973.  He began to see some strange sights, particularly since he had started finishing late as a cleaner in town.  During 1973 he had at least 8 UFO sightings.  I found his retelling convincing as he took me to each of the locations involved.   One, unknown to him, provided a sense of authentication for his experiences.  

 

Late in March, 1973, he was coming home from university, at about 1.30 am, after completing a radio program on the student radio network.  He drove out of town, along the Bundurra road, the turned to the left onto the road that eventually leads to the Mount Butler property.  Just as he passed the university ionosphere research receiver – a grid system of metal poles – he stopped to answer a call of nature: “I was just sort of looking at the sky, and I … noticed that the sky was sort of shifting … About 5 or 6 lights … were just sort of moving slowly … in a curve (formation)… like 5 lights in an arc …They were sort of only fractionally moving…. they moved very slowly for about 5 minutes …. then all of a sudden, they just sort of all slide around out of the arc, into a straight line … and they all just … seemed to accelerate(towards the south).…”

The Sydney group UFO Research Projects of Australia (UFORPA), coordinated by Frankh Wilks, logged a report at Rozelle, NSW, between 1.00 and 1.30 am, on March 24th, 1973, of 5 flat yellow lights travelling in a loose V or “arc” formation moving quickly from south to north.  This report was not publicised and only became known to me through being listed in the short-lived and limited circulation UFO Network newsletter. Graham certainly would not have been aware of this event.    

 

Graham also saw two other different types of UFOs on a number of occasions – “golden balls” and what he labeled green “plasmic balls”.  Once he saw 3 of the “golden balls” jumping around on top of trees. They appeared to zoom about each other for about a 10-minute period.  The green lights were often closer but seemed to be generally of short duration.  The first time he saw one of these was very vivid to him.  It seemed to be a spinning circular mass, apparently about 2 metres in diameter, which zoomed across the trees in front of him.  He smelt a “burnt air” smell (ozone?) and observed a sort of light trail.  Graham thought the green “plasmic ball” – “a sort of green comet” – was only about a 100 metres away and about 10 metres in the air.  About 2 weeks later all the leaves along the side of the trees the “ball” passed went brown leaving a very clear effect which lasted for a few months. 

 

His most spectacular sighting occurred during early October, 1973.  Returning home after his cleaning job, he was on the dirt road opposite the research station receiver again: “… right in the middle of the windscreen …. it just seemed to float up…. I stopped the car immediately … this thing … the best I could described it, was like a cigar, or like a French loaf …. It was fairly regular in shape, except it was sort of tapered at the ends, and on each end of it, there seemed to be a type of yellow light, but one end was sort of greeny and one end was red, and the middle seemed to be the same yellow …. It didn’tseem very far away.  There was no impression of movement or sound … I watched it for about 10 to 15 seconds (positioned in an oblique orientation) and then it rotated itself 4 times….”  It then seemed to suddenly shoot off up at an oblique angle and disappear into the night.  

 

Other unusual phenomena also occurred at the farm that may have fallen into “earth energy” type episodes – one involving an early evening experience – the “strangest day” – when the mountain “spoke.”  A distinct humming turned into a “bush chant” impacting on the 3 people who experienced it as a tremendous feeling of euphoria.  Graham likened it like “the hillside was singing in a choir.”  The others felt a sense of communication.  As they came down off the mountainside and returned to barn area of the property they were astonished to witness about 10 “falling stars” zooming across the evening sky.  Graham concluded, “We just went to see the sunset, like we normally do … and the mountain spoke to us … it was just a sense of humming, a sense of power, manifesting itself in noise, and then it changed from a sort of familiar noise, like a generator noise to a more, sort of human, more vocal noise – a wash of sound … to the others it was more crudely primitive.”  To the group was distinctly far stranger than a typical Australian bush hum, like cicadas and other sources of bush noise.   Others reported strange phenomena like impressions of “space or time warps” on the property, where a particular locality would change significantly in perspective.  Some areas of landscape seemed to quiver as if it seemed to want to shift around.  Shifting ones location would return the effect to normal.  Could this area be seen, given more recent parlance, as a “portal”?

 

Whatever was going on, the Mount Butler area certainly seemed to be the focus of some strange UFO and possibly paranormal phenomena. It was a locality which to me qualified as another Australian UFO “hot zone.” While I have investigated many other localised flap areas such as the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Kempsey, Coonabarabran, St. George, Tully, and Leitchville-Echuca, and gathered information about others such as the Grampians, Wycliffe Well and Toowoomba, none came close to the intensity of personal experience that I experienced during the 1973 Tyringham flap.

 

Locals started observing unusual light phenomena and other strange occurrences.   Fortunately details about the situation came to my notice shortly after they began.  Indeed, I was eventually able to witness some of the range of apparently anomalous activity in the area, including unusual aerial lights and objects, and auditory phenomena.  I was fortunate that the strange activity persisted for months and knowledge of it remained largely limited to locals and me and a few other UFO researchers.   It was both an intriguing and bizarre time.  

I had no idea that the phone message waiting for me at the University of New England would usher me into an extraordinary situation.  After several calls with Warwick Ford, a Dorrigo district electronics technician, it appeared that there seemed to be recurring unusual nocturnal light activity in the remote area of Tyringham and Dundurrabin, both small timber towns, approximately 57 miles from Armidale, on the Ebor road to Grafton.  This had begun on May 29th, 1973, when Warwick’s wife, Sandra, had noticed “a very agile object, with very bright flashing lights” (red and blue), which seemed to variously zigzag or make vertical or horizontal accelerated movements.  Sandra, Warwick and their border, Jill Cotmore, from their “Mollydale” property, just ENE of Tyringham, saw the strange nocturnal light displays on consecutive nights. Others in the area also noticed them.  Indeed, on May 31st, a Tyringham local, Marwin Copland, managed to photograph the lights.  On that night, at least 9 adults in 4 independent groups watched the “antics” of 2 very agile lights for over an hour.  Marwin succeeded in capturing the light’s performances on 5 photos.  During that time, it had moved down obliquely over a large angular distance, on 3 to 4 occasions, disappearing behind the mountain range to the NNE. 

It was this preliminary information that drew me to the area on June 11th.  By then it was clear that some sort of localised UFO flap was underway.  I was flat out that day interviewing locals who had witnessed UFO activity in the area. Eventually I would visit the area on June 17th, June 22nd, June 24th, and for an extended visit from August 19thto 29th.   During that time, I learnt that apart from the inevitable misinterpretations of prosaic nocturnal sky phenomena, something quite striking was going on.  Over several months I was able to gather information on 44 nocturnal light reports and 23 reports of what seemed to be unexplained aerial objects.  There seemed to be 5 clear reports of apparent UFO landings, and another 15 possible landing reports, the latter usually featuring anomalous nocturnal lights going down behind hills or mountains.  With these we were never certain if we were dealing with apparent landings.  Other unusual events also occurred, including strange auditory phenomena, electrical-type clock stopping incidents, and what seemed to be psychic or paranormal events.  

While intriguing in its own right, what fascinated me even more was that for the first time in my experience I was present on site during a UFO flap, and actually witnessed a range of apparently anomalous activity.   While most of this activity was happening in an elusive and erratic way, it never the less provided me with sufficient evidence, much of it based on personal experience, to satisfy myself that something truly extraordinary was going on. From a scientific point of view, it had a sense of being repeatable, at least allowing myself and others to witness a measure of what was going on.  

It was this preliminary information that drew me to the area on June 11th.  By then it was clear that some sort of localised UFO flap was underway.  I was flat out that day interviewing locals who had witnessed UFO activity in the area. Eventually I would visit the area on June 17th, June 22nd, June 24th, and for an extended visit from August 19thto 29th.   During that time, I learnt that apart from the inevitable misinterpretations of prosaic nocturnal sky phenomena, something quite striking was going on.  Over several months I was able to gather information on 44 nocturnal light reports and 23 reports of what seemed to be unexplained aerial objects.  There seemed to be 5 clear reports of apparent UFO landings, and another 15 possible landing reports, the latter usually featuring anomalous nocturnal lights going down behind hills or mountains.  With these we were never certain if we were dealing with apparent landings.  Other unusual events also occurred, including strange auditory phenomena, electrical-type clock stopping incidents, and what seemed to be psychic or paranormal events.  

While intriguing in its own right, what fascinated me even more was that for the first time in my experience I was present on site during a UFO flap, and actually witnessed a range of apparently anomalous activity.   While most of this activity was happening in an elusive and erratic way, it never the less provided me with sufficient evidence, much of it based on personal experience, to satisfy myself that something truly extraordinary was going on. From a scientific point of view, it had a sense of being repeatable, at least allowing myself and others to witness a measure of what was going on.  

It was this preliminary information that drew me to the area on June 11th.  By then it was clear that some sort of localised UFO flap was underway.  I was flat out that day interviewing locals who had witnessed UFO activity in the area. Eventually I would visit the area on June 17th, June 22nd, June 24th, and for an extended visit from August 19thto 29th.   During that time, I learnt that apart from the inevitable misinterpretations of prosaic nocturnal sky phenomena, something quite striking was going on.  Over several months I was able to gather information on 44 nocturnal light reports and 23 reports of what seemed to be unexplained aerial objects.  There seemed to be 5 clear reports of apparent UFO landings, and another 15 possible landing reports, the latter usually featuring anomalous nocturnal lights going down behind hills or mountains.  With these we were never certain if we were dealing with apparent landings.  Other unusual events also occurred, including strange auditory phenomena, electrical-type clock stopping incidents, and what seemed to be psychic or paranormal events.  

While intriguing in its own right, what fascinated me even more was that for the first time in my experience I was present on site during a UFO flap, and actually witnessed a range of apparently anomalous activity.   While most of this activity was happening in an elusive and erratic way, it never the less provided me with sufficient evidence, much of it based on personal experience, to satisfy myself that something truly extraordinary was going on. From a scientific point of view, it had a sense of being repeatable, at least allowing myself and others to witness a measure of what was going on.  

A selection of events from my involvement in examining what went on at Tryingham during my most intense investigations there in 1973 are described here.

Two UFOs were seen at about 11 pm on Saturday June 21973, by the people at Mollydale, at magnetic N and NW (which put these objects over major high power tension lines connecting Armidale and Grafton.  These lines run directly across the Ford property).  Marwin Copland at Tyringham also witnessed part of this activity.  The NW object joined the N one preforming synchronous “antics” (i.e. horizontal zigzags, backwards and forwards, and vertical & horizontal accelerations etc.). Then one came over to the SSW, stopped, did a loop-the-loop (of sorts), and then dropped like a stone, lighting up the area behind a mountain range locally known as Boney Mountain, with a brilliant blue-white light.   It appeared as though the UFO flew horizontally across a substantial part of the sky at high speed (in 1-2 seconds), gave the distinct impression to the observers that perhaps it saw something (or its objective), overshot the mark, looped up and back, to re-align the spot (in 4-5 seconds) compensated by moving forward a little, then dropped like a stone on “target”.   This observation is particularly striking in that the trajectory of the light was truly anomalous.  I was not able to fit this motion into anything conventional.

Marwin Copland, Jill Cotmore, Sandra and Warwick Ford, drove out behind Boney Mountain, following Sheep Station Creek road.  When they got close to the “assumed” landing area, they noticed that the compass was spinning wildly.   Spotlights were used to check the immediate area.   Nothing was found.  They drove on, and the compass returned to normal, so they returned to Tyringham.  A subsequent check in the same area indicated no effects on the marine compass used.  The majority of subsequent observations were centred in the direction of Boney Mountain. During all my investigations, it was difficult to determine how far behind the mountain this and subsequent “landings” were being made. Some seemed close, indeed on or on the far side slopes, while others appeared to be a great distance away, even though in some cases the objects seen would have been very large. Therefore, no estimates could be made with regard to the size of most of the objects seen.

On several nights during that week, the Fords had heard strange droning noise apparently coming up the access road to the farmhouse. The noises sound like large trucks, making a constant noise.  The Fords would go out to look and although the noise persisted and sounded as if it was approaching, they never saw anything.  The road is quiet rough and a heavy vehicle would find gear changes a necessity, which would result in a pitch change.   None was ever noticed.   The sound usually suddenly stopped.  The witnesses were quite familiar with regular truck noises, which they often heard travelling along the main road, about a mile from the farmhouse. These sounds were christened as “phantom trucks”.  They were usually quite obviously emanating from a source either on or quite close to the ground.  The area lay in a high altitude aircraft traffic corridor.  Some RAAF jets occasionally made low level flyovers but both these and the high level flyovers were easily identifiable both by sight and sound.   Their sounds were usually quite distorted by echo and atmospheric effects.

On Friday, June 8that about 9 pm, a group of 6 boys, along with Mrs. Dorrington, from nearby Dundurrabin, saw a circular object, yellow and red, with alternating red and green lights, following what appeared to be a military jet in a NW- direction.  The jet and the object, apparently following only some 100 yards behind, came from the direction of Tyringham. The jet passed over Dundurrabin, apparently oblivious to the object trailing it.   The strange object however came to a sudden halt over the town, and “hovered” there for another half an hour.  Mrs. Dorrington gave up watching and went inside, but the boys claimed that soon after, it started to move and finally disappeared in a westerly direction.

Early on Saturday morning, June 9thbefore dawn, Dale Dorrington had to go to the toilet, so his mother accompanied him out to the back yard.  Together they saw a rotating circular object in the NW, at about 45 degree elevation, flashing red and green lights.  A globular uneven lemony coloured object, extended from the bottom of the object on the end of a yellow “tongue”.  It extended to almost twice the diameter of the main object for about 10 to 15 seconds, and then was “sucked” back into the perfectly circular object again.   The main object appeared to have “spears” of light radiating from its surface.  It disappeared in the WNW.

At about 12.30 am, June 14th, Trevor Butler, a local blacksmith and welder, was driving from Bostobrick to Tyringham.   Initially in the NW sky at about 45 degree elevation above the roadside forest, he saw a large circular object with a green light and a brilliant red rotating light.  On top of the object a lemon light was noticeable.   Butler drove along slowly following the gently winding bumpy, gravel road, keeping the object in view.   It appeared to keep pace with his car, staying above the trees, to the front and the right-hand side of the road.  After about 20 minutes Butler had reached the outskirts of Tyringham.   At about 2 or 3 hundred yards from his house he pulled up and climbed up onto a small hill.  By then the object had appeared to have swung around to the right, putting it over Boney Mountain almost directly to the west.   He estimated that the object was hovering over the mountain at about 200 or 300 feet above the trees.  The object then appeared to move down slowly in a pendulum motion, with an associated constant “bullroarer-like” noise.   Butler also likened it to the sound of a flicked ruler vibrating on a hard  surface.  It disappeared behind the mountain with a small quivering motion, lighting up a dead tree as it went.  The sound quickly diminished, then there was just the almost inaudible sound of the creek, between the witness and the mountain.  

When I was interviewing Mr. Butler on June 17thmy friend Janice queried the feasibility of he being able to declare that the UFO came down so close to the mountain. Butler had said that it appeared that the object had come down just on the far side ridge of the mountain.  The estimation in his opinion was strengthened by the fact that the object appeared to actually light up the dead tree.  He vigorously objected, becoming almost hostile (perhaps a little hurt by a woman questioning his ability to make accurate observations), and the whole interview, made me feel that his story was in fact his perceptions of a real event.

At the “Mollydale” property at about 8 pm, June 21st, Warwick Ford and his brother Greg, had just got into a car, when they saw a large oval red glow, flashing and slowly moving in an undulating jerking motion, between trees some 100 yards from the farmhouse.   It stopped, hovering and lighting up the trees around it.  The men drove the car up quickly to within 50 yards of the phenomenon.   They turned high beam of the car light on it.  It immediately disappeared.  The whole observation lasted for about a minute.  Subsequent investigations of the area, including one by myself the next day, did not uncover anything of significant ant value, although an area consistent with the spot, at which the UFO appeared to hover, was greyer in colour and the grass a lot thinner.  

Perhaps as a possible supporting event, Mrs. Lindout, the Dundurrabin postmistress, heard strange noises at about 2 am, either that same morning or the subsequent morning.   She described them as being like a very close heavy helicopter.  At the same time she noticed an eerie “suspended moon light” coming through her bedroom window.  Next morning, she noticed that her clock had stopped for half an hour some time during the night. The clock ran by a battery.

Several groups of people driving, at about 6 p.m., on June 16th, made independent observations of a strange object resting on top of the mountain behind the small timber town of Bostobrick, on the road from Tyringham to Dorrigo.   The top of the mountain stands at some 3300 feet above sea level. One couple, Sandra Ford and Jill Cotmore, were driving to Dorrigo, when they saw the object – a vertically elongated red object- on their right, apparently resting on the top of the mountain.    At first they surmised that it was a fire but they soon dismissed this idea.  Initially they could only see the bright red thick column of light, and then 6 “squarish” lights were noticed around its base. The bright red elongated top alternately glowed brightly then dimmed, with the base lights continually flashing. Then the whole “object” went out for about 2 minutes, and then it came back on.  They watched it for another 10 minutes, until they lost might of it near North Dorrigo.  At the top of MacDowell’s Hill, near Dorrigo, the couple saw a yellow oval object, some 5 times larger than a star, drop out of the sky.  It appeared to come down in about the same position, as the earlier object had been noticed.

The combination of persistent bad weather during July and University studies prevented me from investigating the site of the Bostobrick mountain “landing”, until late August, when in the company of one of the witnesses, Jill Cotmore, I made the climb to the summit.  Once we were on the top of the mountain it was not difficult to see how the object had been seen over a wide area.   We found an area that seemed to be consistent with the locality of the object. Evidence of burning was present, but the ambiguous nature of the site and the time that had elapsed made it of limited value.

North of the two villages of Tyringham and Dundurrabin, during March and April 1973, the Thompson family – Bill and Dorothy, and their 4 children (2boys and 2 girls) started experiencing strange phenomena, at their Cockatoo Creek property, just NE of Billy’s Creek.  The observation of green lights and flashes close to the property was followed soon after by the sound of a noise like a humming “fridge”.   It lasted for about 20 minutes, and then it would stop, and then return. The noise was heard on numerous nights.  No source could be determined.

 

On an overcast night, Bill went out once again, to check the humming, and found farm animals (cattle and horses) moaning and considerably agitated. In contrast, the dogs were bunched up unusually subdued, in a corner of the house.   On the third night, Bill had got up out of bed, a little annoyed, to investigate the noise.   At the end of the bed, he noticed a volume of cold air, quite distinct in its confined and formed presence.  Outside the air was quiet warm.  The column of cold air seemed to dissipate with the humming.  The noise had been heard over I5 times during the 6-month period up to August.   On a number of foggy nights moving green lights were seen usually in close association with the humming noise. On one occasion a green diffuse ball of light flashed passed the house disappearing into the fog.

 

The noise returned the next night, and once again the following night, both times at about 2 a.m.  Bill went on one of the clear nights to investigate the source of the noise.   It always appeared to be concentrated over the house, seemingly directly above it, at about 100 feet.   The sound was likened to the humming of a “dynamo”, but everything, including a nearby signal box was checked.

The audio phenomena seemed to reoccur, periodically at 2 or 3 night intervals, every 3 or 4 weeks.  The phenomena more or less persisted for several months even up to August, during my extended field trip to the area.  During August it was heard several times.  July proved to be the most unnerving month for the family because the noise persisted on several occasions, often during heavy fog periods, and persistent rain.  

At a loss for an explanation, in terms of mundane physical phenomena, and seeing that the humming vibrating noise could be perhaps erroneously connected with subdued poltergeist activity, I decided to look at any aspects, even those of a perhaps unrelated psychic nature.  This course of action introduced a new and perhaps patently bizarre aspect to my investigations in the area.   The only member of the family, who exhibited some sort of psychic background, was the mother, Dorothy.  She intimated several strange incidents to me including suggestions of precognition, Deja-vu, and a near death type of experience.

The following incident seemed to be more pertinent to the UFO activity unravelling around Tyringham and Dundurrabin, to the south.   While living Sydney, Dorothy had an unfathomable preoccupation with “day-dreams” of transparent peopled discs.  These seem to come in unrelated impressions, often quite vivid.  She had no explanation for these “dream impressions”, for she gave next to no thought to UFO and kindred phenomena.  Interestingly enough, Warwick Ford, indicated to me, that during his childhood, he had had “dream” impressions of men in silver clothes in transparent objects.   We will see later that Warwick’s wife, Sandra, had similar dream impressions, which had a bizarre connection with me.

At her Sydney residence, Dorothy would often look outside her window “dreaming”, and she would get the impression of a country scene – grassed bushland.   This only occurred when she used to look out a northern window. She would see “missiles” soaring about the sky.  Once again there seemed to be no point or recognizable stimuli to produce such an impression.   Soon after, near the end of I972, the family moved to Cockatoo Creek.  Her husband soon started making extensions to the house and had built on a new kitchen on the northern side of the house.  Just after these extensions were completed, Dorothy was standing at the kitchen window facing north. She suddenly realised that this was exactly the same country scene she had often seen in her Sydney suburban “daydream” impressions, but without the missiles.  At first this scared her a little, and at the time vaguely interpreted the precognitive impressions as some sign of visitations of this type in the area (i.e. the “missiles”). Within 5 or 6 months the immediate area would be besieged by “unknown missiles” – UFOs.

Greg Hardy, a fellow university student, and I were at Tyringham on June 24th.  With Jill Cotmore we observed some unusual light activity.   Other locals joined us and during the evening we observed a number of curious aerial lights.  However, it was after 10.30 pm, when most locals had retired, then Greg and I witnessed more striking phenomena.   We noticed an unusual glow and a strange related and changing light display.  We attempted to get closer, but failing torchlight and retreating farm animals passing nearby in the dark, encouraged us to return to our car.   While I was trying to find fresh batteries, Greg alerted me to the approach of a strange repetitive noise.  It sounded like very heavy “clomping”, “thudding” noises.  These seem to turn towards us, and came right at us.  Greg turned on the car headlights and I used the torch.  Nothing could be seen, save a mob of cattle moving away to our far right.  I had spent enough time in the area to familiarise myself with the wide range of night noises, particular from cattle, horses, and kangaroos.  This strange noise was unlike anything we had heard before and since.  It was quite unsettling.  The lights could no longer be seen.  Subsequent searches of the area revealed that the strange display we saw was over a thick rain forest area that falls rapidly away into a steep ravine. We could not see any way how a prosaic source could account for the light phenomena we observed.

On about June 25th, members of the Dorrington family, at Dundurrabin, observed a large disc-shaped UFO, for about 15 minutes, between 6.30 and 7.00 pm.  It hovered over Boney Mountain.  The whole of the object was surrounded by a green glow.  There appeared to be a rotating brilliant red around the middle of the object.    A V-shaped green “solid” beam seemed to oscillate up and down, more than a dozen times, before retracting into the main object.  It disappeared from view, after 15 minutes, by moving straight down behind the mountain.  The relative size estimates pointed out to be on site made for a very large object.

On a Wednesday, during July (probably July 18th), a married couple from Dorrigo, with their young daughter, were returning from Sydney, via Armidale, on a dark drizzly night. By about 9.30 pm, they were a few miles out of Ebor. Suddenly on the dark road ahead they saw a group of blinking white lights, with light radiating out at all angles.  These lights were alternately pulsating in a confused and meaningless sequence.  After apparently sitting on the road for about 5 to 10 seconds, the group of lights moved off slowly to the right, then travelling up at an oblique angle, they disappeared over trees on the top of a hill.  The witnesses felt the strange object had been resting on the dirt road ahead of them.  

At about 7.I5 pm, August 4th, 2 teenagers, John Shaw and Noel Boyde, were driving to Deervale, when they saw a cone-shaped light, in the west, at about 30 degrees elevation above the horizon.   It had a red top, a green bottom and a bright yellow base light.   The object appeared to hover for about 25 minutes, with a rocking motion being noticed through low-powered binoculars.  At arms length the object was the size of about one third to one quarter of a thumb.  It disappeared suddenly at 7.45 pm.  I contacted the farm owner whose property the object was apparently hovering.  He knew nothing about it.

On August 7th, at about 9 pm, Marwin Copland, at Tyringham, had just stepped out of his house.  He immediately noticed a huge brilliant white light, over the left-hand ridge of Boney Mountain, almost due west of his house.   He soon noticed that at the top of the brilliant V-shaped light, there was a small orange “knob”, which appeared to be “relatively insignificant” compared to the brilliant white light. Copland called his wife, and together they watched the display for about 5 minutes.  The light suddenly “switched” off, leaving nothing but the orange “knob” sitting in the sky.  It then moved straight down, disappearing behind Boney Mountain in 4 or 5 seconds.  Copland kept on watching the area for almost 2 hours.  He was about to give up watching, when he saw an orange glow developing apparently just behind Boney Mountain in the spot the orange “knob” disappeared.  The glow appeared to build up, slowly moving up. It appeared as if the source of the glow was about to come into view, but then it slowly went down behind the mountain again, with the night sky returning to its normal darkness. This observation quite “startled” Copland and his wife.  It had been the most obviously alien thing, he had seen to date, and it was not funny to him, to have something like that being soon so close. But it occurred to him that whatever these things were, they were apparently not hostile. He had pointed out that he had enjoyed watching the “UFOs” over the past few months, and even photographing them, but most of the earlier sightings had consisted of agile manoeuvring bright lights and as such appeared to constitute little in terms of possible hostile intentions.  This sighting made him think twice.

On August 19th, I was with a group of people at Dundurrabin, at about 7.20 pm.  We had arrived due to a call a few minutes before about UFO sightings in the area.  We noticed what I took to be a planet in the sky.  However, others saw it rapidly fall behind the mountain. Then over 5 minutes we all witnessed a phenomenon similar to what Marwin Copland saw on August 7th.  A glow slowly built up at the point where the “planet” had dropped down behind.  This developed to a point where a substantial glow was present.  We expected the source to appear over the mountain, but it began to recede and finally disappeared.

One of the most extraordinary nights for me personally in the Tyringham flap took place on August 23rd.  At about midnight, from the Mollydale property house, I noticed a bright white light in the SSE between trees.  There were no observable scintillation effects, but at one point there appeared to be a weak beam of light emanating from this light.  The beam appeared to play over the house area of the “Mollydale” farm.  It exhibited perceptible flashing, but this could have been attributable to optical effects.   Both the light and beam suddenly disappeared.

At 12.15 am, a dull silvery object passed overhead, from about the SSE position of the previously observed light, to the SW where its trajectory, was obscured by trees.  The object was not a bright light source and did not trail any sort of vapour.  It appeared to be a consistent solid body, with a relative diameter at arms length of about ¾ of an inch.  It was inconsistent with a satellite and seemed to be moving quite a bit faster than “Skylab”, which I had seen pass over on several occasions, from several different locations.

A few minutes later while standing at the wire house gate, I experienced a strikingly localised body of cold air about me.  I stepped back 2 or 3 feet and was back into the warmer air I had been in.   I was soon able to determine that this distinct body of cold air was of a quite definite and rigid confined volume.  It had appeared quite suddenly, and after a few minutes dissipated very quickly.  Being a little tired by this stage, I put this down to perhaps misperception or a physiological aberration, but at the time I felt my faculties were quite sharp.  I retired soon after this at about 12.40 pm.   Some 10 to 20 minutes after I had gone to sleep at the back of the house – Warwick Ford’s “Mollydale” – Warwick heard a weird whirring sound (quite like the other “phantom      truck noises heard already), coming apparently from about 400 yards from the house in the direction of the water pump (the scene of a multiple witnessed sighting of 2 oblong lights some 3 weeks earlier).   He noted that the electric clock indicated the time as 11.40 pm, but as it was known to be over an hour slow, the time of this incident was between 12.50 and 1.00 am.  The noise consisted of a fluttering harmonic pitch, lasting for some 20 minutes, and increasing and decreasing in “revs”, associated with the distance – 400 cycles/second – similar to a generator (Warwick is a electrical technician hence the analogy).  As the pitch increased the sound “softened”.  This continued as if the source of the noise was moving about. The frequency was annoyingly loud at times, and Warwick confessed that the noise frightened him a little. Although it sounded as if “it” was moving about some 400 yards to half a mile away, Warwick first thought it was a truck, but there was no echo effects or gear changes, which would be necessary for a truck to navigate the road through the area.  In fact a truck did pass during the night among the road, about half to one mile away, and the effects described were noticed.  I had become very familiar with the area by this stage. Echo effects and gear changes were necessitated by the area concerned.  Similarly planes that passed over had their engine noises distorted considerably, because of atmospheric effects.   After the first 30 seconds to a minute of the noise, Warwick checked the electric clock. The humming was quite loud.   He saw the second hand titter a little from side to side, then stop. He listened for another 15 to 20 minutes and saw nothing. As he was about to get me the noise died away.

Warwick’s wife, Sandra had been a little sick at the time with flu, and early in the night she experienced some sort of dream impression, the likes of which she had never had before, even when the flap was at its height.  She had never had any conscious inclination to have such a mental “impression”.   The “dream impression” occurred at about the time I was outside (experiencing the cold column of air, and observing the light and the dull silvery object passing overhead), i.e., at about midnight.  Sandra was half awake, feeling listless, when she “saw” distinctly the impression of a peopled transparent disc, observed in the “negative”, in the “classical” edge-on position.  Sandra estimated the disc to be about 10 feet in diameter.  She had the impression of little structural material being involved in the object, and that the 2 or more occupants were apparently at work, comfortably inside the transparent disc.  Sandra said she first “saw” the disc near the water tank (quite close to where I was at the time in reality).  It followed the old fence line of the grass, travelling at about 10 feet above the ground, finally disappearing over the hills in the SSE.  Sandra emphasised that the impression was quiet vivid, but thought there was little value in me being interested in her “dreams”.

At about 4 am, I was woken up by a constant droning noise, like a plane passing nearby at a low altitude, but with no attendant echo effects.  Once again as with the previous night the sound seemed to come from the direction of the well.  Jill Cotmore also heard it.   I could not determine the source of the strange auditory phenomenon.    I told Warwick about it in the morning without mentioning the time it had occurred.   Warwick indicated that the electric clock had stopped again that night at about 3.20 am.  He added that a little earlier during the night he had noticed that the house had vibrated perceptibly during 2, 3 to 5 second intervals, while a low droning noise was heard. 

The value of this in-depth field study of an extended and confined flap of UFO sightings and other anomalous phenomena is self-evident. It provided a situation in which a continued and dynamic study of UFO phenomena could take place. From a personal point of view, it provided, in a sense, a “repeatable experiment” in that personal observations of UFO phenomena and experiences of anomalous phenomena occurred. A connection between UFO activity and psychic phenomena was suggested by the nature of some of the perhaps unrelated events, but the connection based on the evidence compiled in this particular area can only be considered as being at best circumstantial.  A number of possible factors are worth noting as being possibly relevant: 

(1) the isolation of the area. The observable trends of the UFO phenomenon suggest that generally UFOs tend to be seen in isolated areas.  The Tyringham-Dundurrabin area is thinly populated and the surrounding country is quite rugged, 

(2) the area is apparently rich in a wide variety of precious ores and minerals – uranium, limestone, and magnesium, etc., but their situation makes it uneconomic to mine, 

(3) major high-tension feeder power lines pass through the area from Armidale to Grafton.  The lines, in fact, pass across the “Mollydale” property only a few hundred yards from the farmhouse. 

(4) Warwick Ford was a ham-radio operator, and had been using VHF radio transmission.

Some or none of these factors may be of relevance to understanding the nature of the strange phenomena that focused on this area during 1973.  There is some evidence of earlier activity, with strange auditory phenomena – like “the roar of an aeroplane engine or an approaching hurricane” – being described as early as 1928.  

Since those extraordinary days of the 1973 Tyringham UFO “hot zone” I have returned to the area on a number of occasions, noting occasional activity, but never the intensity of those wild days and nights.  

During a return visit in 2010, I learnt of a near close encounter just over the hill behind the local Tyringham store from late in 2009.  Most of the people who witnessed the UFO apparitions of 1973 with me are no longer in the area.  So it seems a new generation of witnesses might be beginning to witness the haunting presence or memory of this “hot zone.”  Still these are isolated events.  Nothing suggests a return to the heady days of 1973 but the watching and monitoring continues …. just in case.  Here was a very small community of a few houses and a store on the back road between Grafton and Armidale, which for me back in 1973, became an extraordinary experience of what it was like to be caught up in a real UFO “hot zone.” So I feel an affinity for the Skinwalker milieu, even if some of its multi-media manifestations might get “lost in translation.” My exposure to the milieus of Mount Bulter and Tyringham inform that experience – two old favourite UFO haunts of mine.

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