Westall UFO encounter is an event claimed to have occurred on 6
April 1966 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
11.00 am, for about 20 minutes, more than 200 students and teachers
at two Victorian state schools allegedly witnessed an unexplained
flying object that descended into a nearby open wild grass field.
The paddock was adjacent to a grove of pine trees in an area known
as The Grange (now a nature reserve). The object then
ascended in a north-westerly direction over the suburb of Clayton South, Victoria, Australia.
At approximately 11.00 am on Wednesday, 6 April 1966, a class of
students and a teacher from Westall High School (now Westall Secondary College
just completing sports on the main oval when an object, described
as being a grey saucer shaped craft, with a slight purple hue and
being about twice the size of a family car, was sighted. Witness
descriptions were mixed: Andrew Greenwood, a science teacher, told
"The Dandenong Journal" at the time that he saw a silvery-green
disc. According to witnesses the object was descending and then
crossed and overflew the high school's south-west corner, going in
a south-easterly direction, before disappearing from sight as it
descended behind a stand of trees and into a paddock at The Grange
in front of the Westall State
(primary students). After a short period (approximately
20 minutes) the object - with witnesses now numbering over 200 -
then climbed at speed and departed towards the north-west. As the
object gained altitude some accounts describe it as having been
pursued from the scene by five unidentified aircraft which circled
On Sunday, 9 April, the scene was investigated by uniformed men -
thought to have been from the Australian Army and RAAF
. The local police also visited the location.
Witnesses report that samples were taken and the landing site was
then burnt. However, some report that the grass was burnt by the
farmer who owned the land to stop the children from entering his
property. Several of the witnesses report that they were questioned
by the authorities or warned against speaking out about what they
had seen. The school headmaster, Frank Samblebe, also prohibited
discussion of the event. No record of this encounter was preserved
in the National Archives of Australia or in the Army or RAAF files.
Although government reports are held by some researchers, to date
they have never been released.
"The Dandenong Journal" covered the encounter in detail and ran two
front page stories (see images). The first was on 14 April and the
next was on 21 April..
"The Age" ran a very small article about the Westall incident on
Thursday, 7 April 1966, page 6.
"OBJECT PERHAPS BALLOON - An unidentified flying object seen over
the Clayton-Moorabbin area yesterday morning might have been a
weather balloon. Hundreds of children and a number of teachers at
Westall School, Clayton, watched the object during morning
break.They said a number of small aeroplanes circled around it.
However, a check later showed that no commercial, private or
pilots had reported anything unusual in
the area.The Weather Bureau released a balloon at Laverton at 8:30
a.m., and the westerly wind blowing at the time could have moved it
into the area where the sighting was reported". Witnesses and
researchers were surprised when "The Sun News-Pictorial
" (a tabloid)
ran no story, yet "The Age
" (a broadsheet)
"The Sun" and "The Herald" newspapers, whilst not mentioning the
Westall incident, both published cartoons in the following day's
editions that made light of the flying saucer phenomena.
GTV Channel 9
television also ran a news report about the encounter.
student, Joy Tighe, described the event for the reporter. However,
a copy of this tape is not available. Channel 9 reports that it was
removed from their archive and not returned.
The sighting was investigated by two groups: The Victorian Flying
Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) and Phenomena Research Australia
(PRA). Both groups described it as being one of Australia's major
unexplained UFO cases. The VFSRS team arrived on the site on 8
April and spoke to students and viewed the ground mark. The VFSRS
printed an image and a small report in their magazine "Australian
UFO Bulletin" in December 2000. An investigator, Brian Boyle (PRA),
arrived at the site on 9 April with four army investigators.. Boyle
did a number of interviews (reel tape) over a number of days and
took samples from the ground mark. These investigators were able to
speak to many of the witnesses as it was over the Easter holidays
A witness reunion was held at Westall Tennis Club Hall, on 8 April
2006, to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the
Although some witnesses reported five Cessna-type aircraft around
the object, investigators were unable to find any record of such
aircraft. Moorabbin Airport, which is 4.76 km (south-west) from the location,
was checked but no aircraft from that airport entered the
also reported no
military activity in that area.
the object as potentially having been an experimental military