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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 with us.

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, Australia 3189

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