R e s e a r c h
Martin SHOUGH & Wim VAN UTRECHT
Case #11 is a report written by R. S. WHYTE & S. CAIN of Tropical Traders & Patersons Ltd. It was published on p. 13 of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Australian Flying Saucer Review:
Approximately 6.30 p.m. on the 27th January, 1959 while bailing a boat out at Green Head anchorage (132 sea miles north of Perth, Western Australia) an object was noticed in the sky over the sea in a S.W. direction and was immediately taken without doubt to be a large aircraft directly approaching. No more notice was taken for a few minutes, but on looking up again the presumed aircraft had come much closer and was stationary, its appearance now was not that of an aircraft but a very large oval shaped object, dark grey to black in colour and while looking, six much smaller objects appeared to the right of it. These objects were not so defined in shape but gave the appearance of a burst of shell fire. All these objects stayed visible for at least five minutes, the largest being last to disappear in the direction it came from.
On going ashore a few minutes later, it was told to a crayfisherman and his wife (...) and on pointing out the direction a small object was again sighted looking like an aircraft a long way off; this gradually came towards us and then stopped, distance would be hard to estimate but would say 5 to 10 miles away and possibly 20,000 ft. high. While looking at this again more objects like aircraft in the distance were noticed. They increased in size and when on a level with the larger object they stopped coming. All these objects stayed for at least 5 minutes then gradually went back into the distance, the larger object being the last to fade away. While discussing this sighting, 5 to 10 minutes later on an object was again noticed in the distance and coming towards us, this sighting was as before with the smaller objects appearing soon after. On each of the three sightings the six smaller objects were in different formation. The three sightings were made over a period of approximately 30 minutes.
Objects as seen on each occasion at nearest point and approximate comparison in sizes. Note that this is just a schematic drawing, not a realistic rendering of the shape and outline of the objects (which, according to the report, "had the appearance of a burst of shell fire"). [From : Australian Flying Saucer Review 10th Anniversary Edition.]
My own feelings were that the large object had it been close overhead would have been very large.
These objects appeared as if they were observing the coast and left one with a feeling of fright. There was no noise, light or smoke from any of the objects.
Comment - The witness compares the aspect of the smaller objects to "a burst of shell fire". This is exactly how the objects seen in the 1954 Labrador case were described (Capt. HOWARD: "The whole set-up looked, at first glance, like a cluster of flak-bursts such as I had encountered several times over Europe during World War II"). The comparison with the shape of an approaching aircraft is also a returning element in a number of Dark Blob reports.
All "movements" seem to have occurred in the line of sight, which is compatible with a size-changing mirage image. A horizontal symmetry is also respected, which might suggest a double mirage in which secondary, often mirrored images appear on top of the miraged object. However, there are no islands or rock formations SW of Green Head, and with the Sun in the WSW and still quite high in the sky at 6:30 p.m. (10°), backlit cloud tops don't qualify very well as possible targets for a mirage. An alternative explanation would be distant lee wave clouds consecutively forming and dissipating in the tops of standing waves. But with no mountains anywhere near the indicated position of the objects, that idea too seems to fall short.