December 16, 1972
Location: Garah, Australia
Hardy, a New England University Economics student was
working on a friend's farm, when he heard a noise and
saw an object that appeared to land. Then, a smaller object
flew towards the witness. It did not appear to be solid,
but the centre appeared to be more concentrated than the
rest of the white ball of light.
Bill Chalker, FSR Vol. 19 No. 5
DRIVER UNDER "COLD SCRUTINY" BY UFO
A young man's unnerving close encounter, near Garah, New
W C. Chalker
(Our contributor is Field Investigator and Liaison Officer
of the UFO Investigation Centre, Sydney, Australia.)
his 1972 summer vacation, Greg Hardy, a New England University
Economics student (from Grafton, N.S.W.) was working on
a friend's farm. The farm, operated by a Mr. Cook, is
situated roughly 13-14 miles from Garah and exactly 50
miles north-west of Moree, some 20 miles from the NSW-Queensland
border. The surrounding country is typical of western
NSW: flat, the monotony of the landscape being broken
only by bushland, which is fairly heavy in parts.
the night of December 15/16, Hardy was ploughing in weeds
in a paddock. The sky was clear with no visible cloud
cover. The moon was at about three-quarters phase and
the stars were clearly seen. Visibility was described
as being "perfect."
about 1.30 a.m. (December 16), Hardy stopped the tractor
near the access gate for a "smoke." He
then heard the noise of a high powered engine, sounding
something like a low-flying plane, or a semi-trailer cruising
nearby. His curiosity made him turn to investigate the
source of the noise, but nowhere could he make out any
light. All he could determine was that something was passing
by at low altitude. At first, the noise appeared to be
approaching from the direction of the Cook farm house.
It appeared to approach the road and follow it on the
opposite side towards Garah, roughly in a south-easterly
direction, and parallel to the powerlines running on each
side of the road.
500 yards down the road, the noise of the "motor"
cut out, de-accelerating, and dying gradually as it went
further away. Hardy stared up into the sky following the
direction of the sound, but nothing was to be seen. He
expected at least to see some black object pass by. In
this respect, he was adamant that if the noise had come
from a truck without its lights on, then he would still
have been able to see it in the clear moonlight. However,
it appeared to be passing by at some height, and of course,
invisible flying trucks are quite rare.
"noise" (which Hardy later stated that
he took to come from a "mothership"),
then appeared to land in an area obscured from his sight
by some fairly heavy bush about two miles down the road
on the left hand side.
thought little of the incident and began ploughing again.
Some five minutes later, he had reached a spot roughly
opposite the gate where he had heard the noise. It was
here that he first noticed a light approaching the tractor.
the tractor (but leaving the motor running), he watched
the object as it came towards him. He first saw it in
the paddock across the road, heading directly towards
the tractor in a straight line. He compared the light
to a car's headlight, but dismissed this knowing that
there was no road where it appeared to be, and since the
ground had been ploughed and was rather rough to drive
over, the light should have been bobbing up and down.
Instead, it was moving towards him at a steady height
of about ten feet, not hugging the terrain; the speed
was about 30-40 mph.
it neared, crossing the road, passing between the trees
and entering the paddock, he was able to discern that
the light came from a small circular object which had
what seemed to be a smaller concentrated light centre.
The bright light, which illuminated a wide area, appeared
to be radiating from the surface of the circular object
and not from the central mass.
the object was fifty yards away, it made a smooth turn,
heading now west-south-west. When it was just twenty yards
away from the witness, it stopped and hovered, still about
ten feet from the ground. It did not appear to be solid,
but the centre appeared to be more concentrated than the
rest of the white ball of light. The "shape"
of the sphere "was traced out by three (or four)
ill-defined lines on the outside of the object".
These "circles" or "ribs"
of relatively well-defined light, were geometrically spaced
apart at 120° to each other. All were vertical and
met at the top and the bottom of the object. The total
diameter was three feet, and the concentrated light centre,
enclosed by the "cage" of circles was
between eight and nine inches in diameter. Overall, the
light appeared to be constant, but the ground illumination
appeared to be flickering (this effect was hardly noticable
and may have been due to an optical aberration). The eye
level of the witness, sitting on the tractor, was about
seven feet from the ground, and the object was two or
three feet above his eye level, i.e. about ten feet from
the time the object entered the field, Hardy realised
that it was nothing natural. Alarm, mixed with curiosity,
rooted him to the spot. He said he had the feeling that
the object was coldly analysing and gathering information
hovered for about five seconds, then suddenly vanished.
The witness whirled about on the tractor seat, and saw
it reappear, further behind him and to ihe right, just
outside the paddock fence, still hovering at ten feet.
It continued moving away in the same direction, finally
disappearing in the distance.
was extremely shaken by the incident. He swiftly disconnected
the plough and hastened back to the farmhouse, where he
was met by the barking of dogs. Banging on the door, he
roused his bewildered colleague, Mr. Rowan Hickson (whose
shift he had taken over as Hickson had had little sleep).
The first thing the witness said was: "Where's
the shot gun?" Hickson noticed that Hardy looked
white in the face.
two returned to the scene of the sighting and by now Hickson
was a bit nervous. Nothing unusual was noticed, save the
silence of the place. During the previous night, the winds
had been quite gusty, but that night, conditions were
absolutely calm and clear. Once the area had been investigated,
Hickson returned to his sleep, while Hardy continued ploughing
- this time armed with a shot gun.
he had noticed that there were sheep at the other end
of the paddock. By the time he reached that end, everything
appeared quite normal. The sheep merely shuffled out of
the way of the approaching tractor. About five miles to
the south, he had noticed a house light earlier in the
night, but he didn't notice whether it had been on during
fact that the "noise" appeared to follow
the telephone wires which ran parallel to the left hand
side of the road is interesting. Another possible relationship
between UFOs and power lines was also revealed in a case
I investigated on the outskirts of Beaufort, Victoria
in July, 1969. A young man and his mother saw two circular
objects, apparently metallic, with visible portholes,
giving off a reddish glow. They flew parallel to some
three-tiered high tension powerlines, carrying 66,000
volts, only deviating from this parallel line of flight
when the witness's car approached. Both objects turned
towards the car, but when the engine was switched off,
immediately resumed their flight parallel to the powerlines.
John G. Fuller also noticed this perhaps tenuous interest
in powerlines displayed by UFOs during his investigations
for his book, Incident at Exeter. Physical evidence for
a direct relationship is insufficient, but merits further
investigation, particularly when one considers the numerous
so-called electro-magnetic (EM) effects on vehicles, such
as those reported in France early in 1972.
had started ploughing at about 11.00 p.m. on the Friday
night, and stresses that by 1.30 a.m., he was not showing
signs of excess fatigue. He admits that he was a little
tired but not to such an extent that his faculties were
impaired. Another important point is that the witness
is partially colour-blind (to bright surfaces in particular).
He would have been able to distinguish between red and
white, but the colour green would have been difficult
for him to recognise. With this in mind, he describes
the object as being a "white ball of light."
sighting couldn't conceivably be explained away as either
ball-lightning or swamp gas. Conditions were just not
present to give rise to them. Furthermore, the object
was well defined in shape and its movements certainly
not erratic. There was no body of stagnant water nearby;
all the dams are usually fit for drinking and the numerous
irrigation ditches are in constant use.
time later, the witness happened to be ploughing in the
area where he thought the "noise" had
landed. He made a casual inspection, but found nothing
has not seen UFOs on any previous occasion and his only
familiarity with the subject comes from reading Von Daniken's
books and various newspaper articles. He did not report
the incident to any authority, but mentioned it to a friend,
who pointed out that he and someone else had seen an identical
object sometime during November, 1972, about a month before
his sighting. The local newspaper, The Moree Champion,
records that on the same night, a local farmer saw an
identical object while driving in the area, some time
before Hardy had his encounter.
know the witness personally and feel that his observations
are accurate in most respects, consideration being made
for his colour-blindness. To add support to his evidence,
similar sightings in the area during November, 1972 have
been confirmed. A truck driver also claimed to have seen
the object early on that Saturday night.
26, 1968, 9.40 p.m. Mr. J.A. Wyatt and Christopher Bolton
were followed by a circular light while driving between
Maitland and Port Victoria, Yorke Peninsular, South Australia.
The UFO travelled parallel to them, in a south-westerly
direction, for about 9 miles, when the UFO made a sudden
half-circle-turn in front of their car. According to the
witnesses, "It came down at a very slight angle
towards us at a very fast rate. It got larger and larger
and changed colour from bright white to orange-red."
It came within 200-300 yards of the car and travelled
parallel to it. It sped off when the witnesses arrived
at Port Victoria where they contacted Constable D. Guerin,
but it returned, remaining in the sky for about 4 minutes.
5, 1972. For 13 miles, between Penrith and Windsor (suburbs
of Sydney), a Wahronga man driving home from work was
pursued by a blinding light, some 3 feet in diameter.
The object's distance from the car varied between a few
feet off its back bumper bar, to trailing about a quarter
of a mile behind. The man brought his car to a half just
outside Windsor, hopped out and stood ready with his car
spotlight to meet the object. But the UFO suddenly disappeared.