Close Encounter of the Second Kind
A 1980 UFO sighting in the Nambrok- Kilmany area put us on the map in the UFO stakes and this close encounter is widely regarded as one of the best pieces of evidence for the existence of UFOs in Australia. We were contacted by an elderly farm worker George Blackwell on September 30, 1980 after he claimed to have seen a flying saucer in the early hours of the morning at the "Whiteacres" property where he worked. The property is on the south side of the Princes Highway, virtually opposite the Maffra-Rosedale Rd turn-off.
He told of being awoken about 1am by bellowing cattle and a strange whistling noise. He went out to investigate and saw the UFO with flashing lights about 150m away travelling a couple of metres off the ground. The object hovered over a 10,000 gallon water tank about 400m away and then settled on the ground nearby.
Blackwell went inside, got dressed and drove a farm motorbike down the paddock to investigate. He estimated the craft to be about 3m (10ft) high and about 8m (26ft) across with flashing blue and orange lights around the mid section. After opening the gate into the paddock in which it was sitting, he rode the bike directly at the UFO and when about 50m away, the whistling noise increased in intensity like a jet engine. The UFO then rose in the air, throwing cow pats and stones outwards as it rose. It then slowly flew close to the farm shed and flew away.
On inspection next morning the water tank, which had been full the day before, was almost empty. After our reporter’s original interview, I notified Paul Norman of the Victorian UFO Society that the sighting was worth investigating. He arrived at our office the next day, a small man with an American accent, wearing a dark green suit. This brought much mirth to skeptics in the office who for years thereafter referred to him as a “little green man” or “The Martian”. Norman’s tests at the site found no radiation but there was a small burnt ring of grass and evidence that cow pats had all been overturned around this ring where the UFO has been sitting.
George Blackwell made a model of what he had seen and presented it to the gathered media. It looked like something a primary school student would have put together if asked to make a flying saucer. Blackwell was a highly religious man who did not drink and could not take the taunts he received from friends and acquaintances at the local cattle markets. Suggestions he had been dreaming, drinking, seeing things or hallucinating hit him hard and he left the district. I recall seeing an article some years later about the UFO siting which mentioned he was living somewhere along the Murray River. Interestingly, a woman at the Kilmany store about 6km away reported to have seen strange flashing lights flying about half an hour before Blackwell was woken. Coverage of this UFO also resulted in a Bushy Park woman reporting as similar encounter which had happened a couple of years earlier.
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