The Knowles family encounter of January 20th, 1988, may be the most famous alleged UFO sighting to take place on the Nullarbor Plain, but there have been many other claimed sightings. There have also been allegations of UFO crashes and military retrieval operations.
Keith Basterfield, one of Australia's leading UFO researchers, received a personal communication in 1992, pertaining to an alleged UFO incident on the Nullarbor Plains, which occurred in the October or November of 1970. Two people traversing the Nullarbor in a van, became aware of a brilliant, white light above their vehicle. The driver was unable to control either the vehicle's steering or velocity. Interestingly, in light of the Knowles family's experience near Mundrabilla in 1988, the occupants were certain the van was up in the air for some time. When they eventually found themselves back on the highway, they were missing approximately thirty two hours of time, and both their watches had stopped.
Two men travelling along the Eyre Highway late one night in 1977, were startled when a purple and green fireball crashed to earth nearby. When they reached the impact site, they claimed they discovered a round craft, with its door open. They then apparently entered the craft, and discovered two humanoid creatures within. One humanoid was dead, but another appeared to be injured and squealing in pain. The witnesses claimed the beings were around four and a half feet tall, were pot-bellied, with huge, black eyes and long, skinny arms. The alleged humanoids had no discernable ears or hair. The two men claimed they were frightened, and bade a hasty retreat from the wrecked craft. They ran straight into some military personnel, who immediately arrested them and escorted them from the site.
Prominent Australian ufologist, Bill Chalker, was told a similar tale of an event which occurred in 1977, a little north of the Eyre Highway, near the border between the states of South Australia and Western Australia. This UFO was also first spotted as a purple and green fireball which fell to earth. Bill Chalker's informant claimed to have been directly involved in the incident, something which it has not been possible to verify.
According to the informant, a military crash retrieval team arrived at the scene within hours. They discovered a large, damaged craft, which bore no resemblance to any known conventional aircraft. Triangular in shape, it was smaller than a commercial airliner. Charcoal-grey debris has been strewn around the site.
Upon arriving at the scene, the informant was told that two personnel had already entered the downed craft. One of them, serving with the transport division of the Australian army, emerged from the strange craft looking rather dazed. Apparently, one of the craft's crew was still alive. The soldier underwent an immediate decontamination procedure.
A dead being was found inside the craft, but another creature squealed as if in pain. Pot-bellied, they had unusually long, thin arms, and appeared to be around 4ft 6in to 5ft tall. Earless and hairless, they had huge, black eyes. The informant claimed the site was totally cleaned up, to eradicate any sign of a crash. The retrieval operation itself was alleged to have been conducted under the auspices of a joint US-Australian operation, the purpose of which was to recover alien technology and life-forms. Bill Chalker was unable to verify his informant's credentials, for fear of drawing unwelcome attention to the individual. As a result, he erred on the side of caution, and treated the tale as interesting, but one to be viewed with a healthy dash of scepticism. It is interesting that two apparently separate sources describe a similar purple-green fireball and similar beings, despite discrepancies in the description of the craft.
On January 20th, 1988, the same night as the Knowles family experience examined in Part 1 and Part 2 of this article, a Tasmanian man and his girlfriend travelled along the Eyre Highway. At a point somewhere between Penong and Ceduna, the man heard a loud thump directly above their vehicle.
"At first I thought it was the gas bottle on top of the car, but there's no way it could come off because it's screwed down", the witness stated. For the next fifteen minutes, he saw numerous bright white lights shooting earthwards from the sky. Amazingly, his girlfriend remained asleep as their car was battered by violent winds which blew items off the roof and bent the aerial over completely. The witness stated that the winds continued for approximately one hour, blowing their vehicle all over the highway."It frightened the living daylights out of me," he stated. It is unteresting that this incident happened less than three hours before the Knowles family incident, and less than 400 kilometres away.
On Dec 22nd, 1992, a witness known only as John H saw nine satellite-like objects between the hours of 21.00 and 23.00, close to Kelmscott, Western Australia. He was surprised to see one of the objecsts deviate from its south to north flightpath, to head north-west. John H, a trucker, had driven across the Nullarbor Plains many times over the years. On three occasions, he claimed to have seen the elusive Min Min lights. His most impressive sighting of these lights occurred in the September of 1973. A white light zigzagged in front of his truck and all over the road. He also stated that as he slept one night, in the Mundrabilla Roadhouse's parking area, something violently rocked his truck a number of times. He immediately investigated, but found no-one around.
Another unusual event occurred on the Nullarbor, on May 16th 1992, some fifty kilometres west of Cocklediddy, Western Australia. At around 19.15, two people travelled across the Nullarbor, on an inky-black, chilly night. They were shocked to see a dome-shaped object at the roadside, just a few metres ahead of their vehicle. The stationary, silent vehicle glowed a bright red colour. As they drew alongside it, it totally vanished. When they glanced in their rear view mirror, they noticed a pale, pinkish glow, high up in the sky, which rapidly headed westwards, before fading from view. The witnesses both stated they had become uncomfortably hot, despite the chill of the night.
Two men submitted an undated report, detailing how they had been travelling across the Nullarbor, when their ute's engine and lights suddenly cut out. Suspecting a simple electrical or mechanical problem, they got out to investigate, but their torch wouldn't work. When they looked above them, they spotted a large, silent, airborne object suspended an estimated 30-60m overhead. Red, green and yellow lights rotated around the flat underside of the object. After some ten minutes or so, it eventually moved, slowly at first, before accelerating from the scene at high speed. As soon as the object departed, the ute's lights came back on and the men were able to drive away normally.
A more recent report relates mysterious events which occurred on the Eyre Highway, near Eucla, one night in February 2006.
Two female friends drove along an isolated stretch of the highway. The passenger breastfed her baby, as her friend drove. Their two young sons slept on the back seat. The passenger entered into a peculiar, dissociative state, much of which she cannot recall. But she remembered some vague and confused events. She recalled being forced backwards onto her seat, and experienced pain and inflammation in her vagina. She described herself as feeling as if she had just been violated. To her horror, she also began menstruating unexpectedly. Another memory was of her friend screaming at something outside their stationary car, which she could not see. The friend claimed she could see blue-skinned men with small, peculiar-looking noses. The children appeared to sleep through it all.
They came to from their dissociative state, to discover they were no longer travelling, but simply sitting in their vehicle at the side of the highway. In a state of total panic, they arrived home in Melbourne in record time. But the horror was not yet over. The youngest child had a nightmare that night, involving blue men with peculiar, small noses. He related how the men said hello to him, before taking the two women up into the clouds. The woman passenger apparently had a very similar experience in the Nullarbor in 1998, whereby she fell into a dissociative state, suffered a sense of violation, and began menstruating unexpectedly. Her only other memory of that event was a very bright light following and pacing the car.
So it seems the Nullarbor Plain, and the Eyre Highway in particular, has an extensive history of strange occurrences. Are unknown craft really traversing the Nullarbor and terrorising unwitting travellers? Is there some undocumented natural phenomenon at work, which, in the dead of night, in a desolate, desert area, scares people into believing they have seen UFOs? Or maybe exhaustion and isolation simply warp their perceptions of common sights and phenomena? Whatever the answer, it would appear that travelling across the Nullarbor at night, is not something to be undertaken lightly.
UFOs on the Nullarbor Plain (Part 1)
UFOs on the Nullarbor Plain (Part 2)