The continual upswing in UFO reports at this time was recalled by Edward Ruppelt who illustrated the progressive increase in activity by the amount of news clippings being forwarded to BLUE BOOK by the clipping service. Swollen envelopes were replaced by large manila envelopes, which in turn gave way to shoe boxes full.
Sideshow in Australia.
The first part of May was marked by a disturbance down under, a sideshow in the larger scheme of things but perhaps instructive in giving some clue to the attitude of the Australian government toward the UFO problem. A United Press dispatch datelined Sydney declared that a pair of airline pilots and a Royal Australian Air Force officer had watched a spectacular object that sped through Australian skies on a course between Parks and Sydney.
The most marvelous version of what zoomed through the sky that morning was that related by a Mr. William Anderson who asserted he viewed the UFO from a location on the out skirts of Sydney with two companions. Anderson was a witness to what he described as an "airship or flying submarine carrying winking colored lights." Before the vast bulk disappeared in the dark he estimated that it exceeded an airliner in size by three to four times.247
"Spaceships with lights?"
With Australian headlines shouting things like- "SPACESHIP WITH LIGHTS OVER VICTORIA," Australian Air Force Intelligence m the person of Wing Commander I. L. Campbell directed that newspaper stories of UFO manifestations on May 3rd be collected and studied, meteorologists consulted, and interrogations conducted if it was considered advisable When Lt. Colonel George A. Uhrich, the United States Air Force's Air Attache assigned to the American Embassy learned of the Australian Air Force UFO file being compiled he requested access to the material and forwarded selected ' excerpts to Project BLUE BOOK. The possibility the object had been a brilliant bolide was immediately apparent, yet the duration of the thing's passage was seven minutes, an incredible period of time* for a meteor. The Australian military took the case seriously enough to thoroughly interrogate Anderson.248 "
In the days following, similar observations were made by persons living in New South Wales and Victoria. One of these other" sightings that is available for study was of the flying saucer" type. A gentleman named Ron Dent, a former ????? claimed to have sighted a peculiar display 20,000 feet in the air over the Australian city of Varrgul in Victoria. Dent was quoted in the press as saying: "There was a bright disc followed by another with a tail. The discs seemed to play tag in the sky like two schoolboys. Then they both rose suddenly and seemed to merge into one disc before disappearing."249
One source claims: "Mr. R. M. Seymour, Superintendent of the Federal Civil Aviation Department's Air Traffic Control Branch, reported that Australian Intelligence Officers had refused the Department permission to investigate flying saucer reports on the ground that UFO's were 'security matters'."250