In 1983, Williamtown RAAF Base was involved in a UFO operation.
A previous story on this operation, sourced from secret government documents made public in 2012, said a pair of Mirage jets were on alert to intercept UFOs that year, under Operation Close Encounter.
We can reveal that jets were actually scrambled to chase a UFO during that operation. Welcome to the Topics X-Files.
Geoff Masters is our witness.
“The jets came over towards my home [at Tarro] in an attempt to chase or maybe force a UFO to land,” he said.
“Whatever they were trying to do, it turned into a comedy of cat and mouse for close on 10 minutes before the Jets gave up and went back to Williamtown base.
“My son and I both watched this event.”
Geoff said the UFO appeared to be a “typical flat saucer shape”.
Soon after they spotted the UFO, the jets arrived on the scene. “It was like watching a game,” Geoff, now of Edgeworth, said.
“When the jets got too close, this UFO just changed position in the blink of an eye.”
The Newcastle Herald reported in 2012 on the National Archives of Australia releasing secret UFO files, including a 1983 incident involving Williamtown.
The papers, stamped “restricted”, told how Operation Close Encounter was launched by No.3 Control and Reporting Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown on June 30, 1983.
Unidentified radar contacts were seen on screens at Mascot. Senior air controllers at Mascot reported that the UFOs were travelling at speeds of between 1100kmh and 6500kmh at high altitude about 70 to 150 nautical miles north of Sydney. Port Stephens is about 80 nautical miles from Sydney.
The secret papers stated that jets were not to be scrambled unless UFOs were spotted on radar screens at RAAF Williamtown or any radar other than Sydney. But the secret papers didn’t reveal that jets were scrambled. Geoff’s story suggests they were.
Geoff said there were reports that a UFO buzzed Amberley Raaf Base in Queensland on the same night. He wondered whether it was the same UFO.
“When the Jets went back to Williamtown air base, the UFO sped off north at a speed you could not describe,” he said.
It was travelling so fast, the UFO could have arrived at Amberley in a few minutes or less, he said.
An Orange Ball
Geoff said he also saw a UFO from the headland near Norah Head Lighthouse on the Central Coast in 1962 or 1963.
“A mate and I were putting our fishing gear into the back of his ute. When I finished and looked up over my friend’s shoulder, I saw a huge orange ball around 250 metres to 300 metres off the headland,” he said.
“It was close to 100 metres in diameter, with a large beam going down into the water. There was not a sound, nothing. After a few minutes, the beam went out and the UFO started to move very slowly southward, not much faster than walking pace. After it travelled about 50 metres, it took off like a shot. It went from gold in colour to white and, within the blink of an eye, it was a spot no bigger than a normal star just sitting above the south end of the horizon. After a few more minutes, it shot off along the horizon at the same height and stopped at the northern end of the horizon. Its next move was back to the exact same spot where we first saw it. That was enough for us. We hit the road home vowing never to tell anyone. My friend died 15 years later. I asked his wife if he had ever said anything to her about the day we went to Norah Head fishing. All she would say was ‘yes’.”
Williamtown in the ‘60s
Topics wrote on Tuesday about a UFO sighting at Highfields. In response, Candice Goodwin posted this on Facebook: “My grandfather, who is now in his 80s, worked at Williamtown RAAF base in the ‘60s as a bartender and lived on the base.
“Late one night he was about to close up, with just him and one pilot left at the bar. The pilot and my grandfather stepped outside to have a cigarette together.”
The pair saw something in the sky.
“Pop said he had never seen anything like it in all his life. It moved so fast. The pilot rang the tower from the bar phone to ask them if it was theirs. The tower confirmed it was seen and it wasn’t theirs.
“My pop has never been one to lie about anything or have any reason to. If the ‘men in black’ are reading this, don't go after him because he is old. This stuff has been happening around Newcastle forever.
“Back in 2007, I saw one hover directly over the freeway for a few brief seconds near Mooney Mooney Bridge. This thing was the length of three houses and shot off almost quicker than I could blink and it frightened the life out of me.
“There were about 100 other cars that would have witnessed it, too. I didn't report it for fear of sounding mental or being silenced. They are out there.”