The Hobart

The Night I Met the Aliens….Kind of

by Peter Carey
The Night I Met the Aliens….Kind of

Whether gullible, sceptical or somewhere in between, reported UFO sightings have long been a fascination. The well worn cliche ‘we are not alone’ still prompts the odd mention.

Much hysteria stems from HG Wells’ famous 1898 novel War Of the Worlds, adapted to script in Barrie Lyndon’s 1953 film, conceiving the idea of Martian invasions, to eradicate humans without discernible motives. Exacerbated by some low budget movies in the 1950s, alien invaders were depicted as aggressive and/ or speaking perfect English. Earlier, in 1938, at the Mercury Theatre Of The Air in New York, Orson Welles’ depiction was so convincingly produced, a false interpretation of its authenticity created public panic.

This genre was subsequently challenged for the first time in Hollywood history by Steven Spielberg’s movies Close Encounters and ET, both depicting aliens as friendly. As we’ve matured, we’ve become more intuitive to things that can rationally explain such phe­nomena observed in the skies or at the very least, encourage us to be objective. Remember what UFO actually stands for – Unidentified Flying Object – a flying object that initially, if ever, can be identified. Indeed, a significant departure from irrational conceptualisations of green Martians in flying saucers invading the earth.

In a recent Seven Network interview, UFO researcher, Ross Coulthart cited that converse to stories of men in black warning off witnesses in relation to the Roswell incident in New Mexico in 1947; today the Pentagon in Virginia, has, since 2017, operated a special unit devoted to this phenomenon and said to have video footage.

He also cited the Westall High School incident south east of Melbourne 1966, when some 200 teachers and students reportedly witnessed a disc like object hovering above the school oval and dis­appearing at a phenomenal speed which no earth based modern aircraft could ever achieve.

Closer to home, during an extended family party in the early hours of the morning in 1969, my cousins and I were stunned by a formation of lights with near perfect symmetry and a fiery tail, travelling north above the River Derwent at considerable altitude. Although subse­quently explained as a meteor shower, it proved the perfect catalyst for breaking up a party.

A recent consult with the Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre (TUFOIC) clarified that largely, thanks to a range of airport navigational personnel and caretakers at remote weather stations; approximately 90% of reported sightings are ultimately explained, especially with a myriad of sat­ellites and space junk orbiting the earth.

The best account was shared with me by a former abalone diver and skipper of a fishing boat called the Glen-Eden, when on a still and clear night in 1994 near Maatsuyker Island off Tasmania’s South Coast, he and his deck hand both wit­nessed what started as a dim light about 10 kms away. Initially assumed to be a mast light of another vessel; on approach, though binoculars, it manifested as a 25 metre wide domed object that rose 200 metres and remained for some 20 minutes.

It made no noise but significantly it shot out a beam of light at a 45 degree angle downwards, so bright it could be likened to burning magnesium, creating an inten­sity of brightness much like that of an arc welder and illuminating the surrounding islands. He also reported, much like the students of Westall did 28 years before, that as the Glen-Eden got within one kilometre, it instantaneously shot away in a south westerly direction at a 75 degree angle, with a constant speed, until it became a point of light among the stars over the course of 6-7 seconds. The beam of light sustained the same intensity of brightness over this period. What a night!

I would like to acknowledge the assis­tance of Rhys Escort in researching the account of the Glen-Eden incident.

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!