VUFORS 40th Birthday
- (1957 - 1997)
President Judith Magee
On the 17th of February this year, VUFORS had its 40th Birthday.
When I joined this Organisation in 1958, it had not been long
since it had "broken away" from the Adelaide based
Australian Flying Saucer Research Society directed by
the late Fred Stone. When George Adamski, visited this country
in 1959 the subject of UFO's received considerable media coverage,
although I must say, mostly in 'send-up' form, and interest in
the subject was generated.
One of the first of some excellent reports was made by the
Rev. Gill in 1959 at his Mission Station in Papua New
Guinea, where he and thirty eight witnesses observed a large
UFO come down to within 400 feet of the mission station. He visited
us and gave a most interesting talk at Nicholas Hall in the City
of Melbourne. At that time our lending library was commenced
and became the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere
until some years later, when postage costs rose so prohibitively
that the service had to be curtailed and we 'lost' a large number
of books and out-of-print titles.
VUFORS was also holding meetings at Kelvin Hall in Russell
Street, Melbourne, which continued for some lengthy time, but
eventually the hall became too small and we had to look for larger
premises. It was not the easiest task to find a meeting hall
conveniently situated for easy access from all areas but the
Horticulture Hall was selected. It was there we held our first
exhibition which was considered successful.
We later progressed to the very comfortable National Mutual
Theatrette which was more centrally situated and where on one
occasion a witness told of her car being immobilized by a UFO
hovering above her, of communication by some means similar to
mental telepathy. "They" informed that tests she would
have would be negative which, six months later, proved to be
correct. "They" suggested she inform the Media which
was not interested so she contacted 3AW where we heard of her.
Her last message was that she was now in control and her car
started up 'as if she had turned the key'. There were to be a
couple of occasions when we met this witness for further investigation.
This experience did not have any lasting effect on her.
Another very dramatic and somewhat disastrous report was that
of Frederick Valentich (as described in our December '96
Bulletin), We had booked the Museum Theatrette for a meeting
which we expected to be a large gathering, but the Theatrette
was triple booked and they found us another venue which is our
current meeting place - the Royal Society.
The Royal Society is a very old organisation which was originally
formed to accommodate Professional people of the Invisible
College but since these professions have become 'respectable'
it is currently patronized by scientists from all persuasions,
including medical. Their facilities are excellent and although
the hall is quite small and our meetings well attended, we hope
we can continue to utilize this most prestigious venue.
During our 40 years, we have met, from many countries, some
excellent researchers who have learned that we are an organisation
not easily swayed from reality into believing that everything
reported is a genuine UFO.
Over the years we have had a series of extremely interesting
researchers from all over the world - some as follows:-
In 1967 Dr. James E. McDonald, Atmospheric Physicist,
visited this country on behalf of the U.S. Navy. He spent ten
days with our committee members, listening to tapes, travelling
to country areas with us to interview witnesses, and went home
very pleased with his visit. A book is now being written on him
and his Australian visit.
In 1973 Dr. J. Allen Hynek came to Melbourne for 3
or 4 days during which time we arranged a Reception at a city
Penthouse where he was able to interview witnesses of close encounters,
he listened to tapes, met the Rev. W. Gill and a number of our
members - some of whom are still with us - who spent much of
their time organising meals and refreshments for all.
In 1987 we had our first visit from an African researcher.
Up until that time we had not heard much about African reports,
but Mrs. Cynthia Hind who spoke at one of our meetings
soon altered that view and we often print material from her publication
in our Bulletin. We were very happy to have her spend some time
In 1991 Dr. Willy Smith of UNICAT fame and his wife
Terri visited Melbourne en route to Queensland for some scuba
diving and a visit to the Barrier Reef. Willy spoke at one of
our meetings and spent some time ,visiting privately and seeing
the sights. Quite a number of his "Pearls" have been
published in our Bulletin.
In 1992 Dewey Fournet and his wife Win (ex Australian)
came here on a visit to her folks. Dewey had been an Intelligence
Officer during the 1952, Washington radar/visual UFO flap. He
was also Liaison Officer for Project Blue Book so we were pleased
to be able to hear numerous accounts of his experiences there.
More recently a number of well known identities in the UFO
field of research came out to Australia for a Conference and
among them was Stanton Friedman, who is probably one of
the world's best speakers on the subject and who addressed a
large meeting at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne. The hall,
we were told, holds about 2,000 people and we must have had between
1,500 and 1,800 people present. The speaker stated later that
the quality and quantity of questions had surprised him as did
the interest until almost midnight. That meeting surpassed any
he had attended whilst in this country.
I would like to add here that most of the credit for these
visits goes to our Vice President/Investigator Mr. Paul Norman
who, in his travels, has met these people at Conferences overseas
and discussed Australian reports with them, thus raising their
interest in both UFO research and knowledge of the country.
Let us hope that this year we do not have the pestilent pranksters
of the past few years, taking directions off the "Net"
on how to make UFO's, then maybe we will have something more
substantial to investigate and perhaps by the Turn of the Century
we may have some of the answers, if not all!
Last Updated: March, 1998
Copyright © 1996 Victorian U.F.O.
Research Society Inc.
P.O. Box 1043 Moorabbin Victoria,
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