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Waving at the aliens - The Papua New Guinea UFO sightings

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posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 06:12 AM

In 1958 – 1959 there were over 60 reported UFO sightings in the Papa New Guinea area, and many of them occurred around Mount Pudi near the Boianai mission station. At that time, New Guinea was still part of Australia, and the Australian Anglican Church had many missionaries working there. One of them was Father William Booth Gill (1928 – 2007) and he was stationed at Boianai. He was also an UFO sceptic. On April 5 1959 he saw a light over Mount Pudi that moved extremely fast, and on June 21 his assistant Stephen Moi Gill saw an "inverted saucer" above the mission station. Father Gill wrote to his friend, reverend David Durie:

"I do not doubt the existence of these "things" (indeed I cannot, now that I have seen one for myself) but my simple mind still requires scientific evidence before I can accept the from- outer-space theory. I am inclined to believe that probably many UFOs are more likely some form of electric phenomena--or perhaps something brought about by the atom bomb explosions, etc. "

But Father Gill was about to experience something extraordinary. Only days later, June 26, he and several other witnesses had an astonishing UFO sighting:

Gill saw a bright white light in the north western sky. It appeared to be approaching the mission and hovering about 100 meters up. Eventually 38 people, including Gill, teachers Steven Gill Moi and Ananias Rarata, and Mrs Nessle Moi, gathered to watch the main UFO, which looked like a large, disc-shaped object. It was apparently solid and circular with a wide base and narrower upper deck. The object appeared to have four 'legs' underneath it. There also appeared to be about four 'panels' or 'portholes' on the side of the object, which seemed to glow a little brighter than the rest. At a number of intervals the object produced a shaft of blue light which shone upwards into the sky at an angle of about 45 degrees.

What looked like "men" came out of the object, onto what seemed to be a deck on top of it. There were four men in all, occasionally two, then one, then three, then four. The shaft of blue light and the 'men' disappeared. The object then moved through some clouds. There were other UFO sightings during the night. Gill described the weather as variable sky - scattered clouds to clear at first, becoming overcast after. He estimated the height of the clouds at about 600 meters. The first sighting over the sea, according to Rev. Gill, seemed to be about 150 meters above the water all times. The main UFO was clearly visible and seemed mostly stationary during the twenty-five minutes of observation.

Father Gill prepared a written report of the sighting, and twenty-five witnesses signed it. Gill also made a drawing of the largest UFO:

This was however just the beginning. The very next day, two of the smaller objects and the larger UFO with the human like figures returned at around 06:00. Father Gill wrote a statement about what happened:

"Large UFO first sighted by Annie Laurie at 6 p.m. in apparently same position as last night (26/6/59) only seemed a little smaller, when W.B.G. saw it at 6.02 p.m. I called Ananias and several others and we stood in the open to watch it. Although the sun had set it was still quite light for the following fifteen minutes. We watched figures appear on top- four of them - no doubt that they are human. Possibly the same object that I took to be the "Mother" ship last night. Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary.
One above the hills west, another overhead. On the large one two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the centre of the deck--were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or "setting up" something (not visible). One figure seemed to be standing looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same. Ananias waved both arms over his head then the two outside figures did the same. Ananias and self began waving our arms and all four now seemed to wave back. There seemed to be no doubt that our movements were answered. All mission boys made audible gasps (of either joy or surprise, perhaps both).
As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric Kodawara for a torch and directed a series of long dashes towards the UFO. After a minute or two of this, the UFO apparently acknowledged by making several wavering motions back and forth. Waving by us was repeated and this followed by more flashes of torch, then the UFO began slowly to become bigger, apparently coming in our direction. It ceased after perhaps half a minute and came no further. After a further two or three minutes the figures apparently lost interest in us for they disappeared "below" deck. At 6.25 p.m. two figures reappeared to carry on with whatever they were doing before the interruption. The blue spotlight came on for a few seconds twice in succession."

Artist's impression of the event:

Father Gill and the mission people called out and shouted at the men, and beckoned them to descend, but there was no response. Two smaller UFOs higher up remained stationary. By 6.30 p.m. the scene was largely unchanged, and Gill went to dinner. This may seem a strange thing to do, but Father Gill writes:

"Having had about four hours of this sight on Friday night, we were not nearly so interested when it returned on Saturday night, especially after we were unable to persuade it to land. You must also keep in mind that there was nothing eerie or otherworldly about any of this. It was all so ordinary, as ordinary as a Ford car. It looked a perfectly normal sort of object, an earth-made object. I realized, of course, that some people might think of this as a flying saucer but I took it to be some kind of hovercraft the Americans or even the Australians had built.
The figures inside looked perfectly human. In fact, I thought they were human, that if we got them to land we would find the pilots to be ordinary earthmen in military uniforms and we would have dinner with them."

(Continues in next post)

Edit: Fixed title.

[edit on 2-9-2008 by intrepid]

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 06:36 AM
Continued from first post:

At 7.00 p.m. the 'No. 1 UFO' was still present, although it appeared somewhat smaller. The group of observers went to church for evensong. After evensong, visibility was very limited with the sky covered in cloud. Nothing else was seen that evening. At 10.40 p.m., a very penetrating, 'earsplitting' explosion woke up people on the station. It sounded like it had come from just outside the window of the mission house. Gill felt it did not sound like a thunderclap. Nothing had been seen, but the whole sky was overcast. Other less compelling activity occurred the following night. Then it seemed the Boianai visitants had gone.

By the time of the sightings, Father Gill was already schedueled to return to Australia, where he continued to work as a teacher and in his travels visited South Australia, Tasmania, Perth, Western Australia, the Australian east coast to Cairns, Thailand and England (where he did educational survey work and temping at Magdelan College in Oxham during 1971). He visited the United States during 1977 and 1978, lecturing in Chicago at North Western University, about his 1959 UFO experience.

Father Gill also talked about his experience in a documentary – “UFOs are Here” made in 1977 by Guy Baskin. Listen to him talk about the sightings here:

From NICAP report about the sightings:

In his evaluation of the incidents, Dr. Donald H. MENZEL, a Harvard University astronomer who wrote three UFO debunking books, refers to the natives as 'uneducated" and to Father Grill as being their "great leader,'' to them "a holy man'' (implying that they were influenced in their testimony). He attributed the sightings to the plant Venus viewed myopically by Father Gill. Venus, he noted, was very conspicuous in the west setting about three hours after the sun. "I think it significant that, despite the brilliance of Venus, none of the sightings by Father Gill and the mission group refers to that planet."
Menzel then openly assumed that Father Gill was myopic and without glasses at the time, that he ''probably" had appreciable astigmatism as well (causing him to see a distorted image of Venus), plus blood cells on the retina producing illusory motion. He concluded. "Since a very simple hypothesis accounts, without any strain, for the reported observations. I shall henceforth consider the Father Gill case as solved. Moreover, 1 feel the same phenomena are responsible for some of the more spectacular unsolved cases in the Air Force files." (See HYNEK, J. A., The UFO experience, 1972.)
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the former Air Force UFO consultant, notes in rebuttal that Father Gill was wearing properly corrected glasses at the time and that "Venus was pointed out separately by Gill."
Although any prolonged series of UFO sightings with excited witnesses may be "contaminated'' by coincidental sightings of aircraft, meteors, or stars and planets glimpsed through moving cloud, the report of a large structured object (with humanoid figures) below a low overcast is not easily explainable.

Other sources and further reading:

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 06:56 AM
What a brilliant story.I think I remember hearing about this case ages ago.Seems to have got lost in the mists of time.An oldie but goodie,good post OP.

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 08:03 AM
An very well researched and documented case: some time ago, i had a quick look to some documentation online: i thought it was an interesting case, but lacking of informations though: but NOW that i've read the events as you layed them out, i have to say that this is an extraordinary case, thanks to your accuracy, your perseverance and your extraordinary will power. The OP is a very good example that shows how an apparently paltry case may turn out to be something absolutely worthy to be both studied and discussed: it is the exact opposite of those one line OPs introducing a crappy YouTube video whatsoever, anonymous etcetera: this is the type of work that ATS and ATSers deserve: i'm confident that it will be appreciated as it actually deserves and that it will encourage more members to choose this way of start a thread.
I am honored by your choice to share this excellent work in my forum:

[edit on 15/8/2008 by internos]

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 08:21 AM
reply to post by internos

Could'nt agree more Internos.This post is an example to us all and shows that hard work can really pay off.

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 09:58 AM
Great post, ziggystar60!

One more of those cases that I think are extremely important but that are usually less known and discussed, both by believers and by sceptics.

I think cases like this are the ones that can bring us nearer to the truth.


posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:32 AM
Thank you candyfloss, internos and ArMaP for your kind words! And I freely admit that I have been somewhat of a copy cat here - read internos' last thread, and you will soon understand where I got the inspiration from.

I first became aware of this intriguing case when I saw it mentioned very briefly in an article on a norwegian UFO website a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to find out more about it. And there is so much documentation on this case that the hardest part was actually to not make the OP too long! It is strange that these sighting seems to have been forgotten.

Regarding the UFO sightings themselves, this is the first case I have heard of which not only occured two days in a row, with some activity even the third day, but also lasted several hours. And I am amazed at the way the witnesses interacted with the unknown craft, which responded to their waving and flashes with a torch.

I have also thought a lot of the fact that Father Gill stated that he assumed the beings he saw were men, human beings, and that the craft was man made. Perhaps he was right? Was this UFO an excample of secret technology - as far back as in 1959?

Anyway, I think Father Gill was a very credible witness. I espescially noted the fact that even though he was a priest, he didn't seem to let religious theories about angels or heavenly bodies interfere with his observations. It is easy to imagine how a man of the church could have believed or claimed that his mission station was visited by angels - in his drawing of the craft and the four beings, they seem illuminated. Just like angels have been described through the ages...

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:52 AM
Thanks ziggystar60, great post of a case I hadn't heard of before.

Multiple sightings, multiple witnesses and UFO occupants- doesn't get much better than that!

It's amazing that sightings of UFO occupants back in the fifties, sixties and even earlier were of 'human like' entities whereas now it's nearly always the, love them or loathe them, 'grey' form.

Is it a change in visitors? or maybe a change in ourselves, seeing what we expect to see or what our fears dictate?

Anyway, good work

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:50 AM
Never heard of this case, but it's definitely a very credible one. It's also interesting to note that he tells of the sighting as almost normal, mundane, like a ford car, and that he says they were human. Wildly opposing from modern close up sighting of grays where the feeling is one of terror, or fright.

Perhaps two different visitors. Or possibly time travellers?

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by Seether

It is certainly an interesting theory that the beings on the craft could have been time travellers! And the possibility is perhaps not as far fetched as we may think. Professor Ronald L. Mallett at University of Connecticut has used Einstein’s equations to design a time machine with circulating laser beams. He and his team is still looking for funding, but he hopes to build and test the device in the next 10 years.

“Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing,” said Mallett, who published his first research on time travel in 2000 in Physics Letters. “The time machine we’ve designed uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time instead of using massive objects.”

To determine if time loops exist, Mallett is designing a desktop-sized device that will test his time-warping theory. By arranging mirrors, Mallett can make a circulating light beam which should warp surrounding space. Because some subatomic particles have extremely short lifetimes, Mallett hopes that he will observe these particles to exist for a longer time than expected when placed in the vicinity of the circulating light beam. A longer lifetime means that the particles must have flowed through a time loop into the future.

“Say you have a cup of coffee and a spoon,” Mallett explained to “The coffee is empty space, and the spoon is the circulating light beam. When you stir the coffee with the spoon, the coffee – or the empty space – gets twisted. Suppose you drop a sugar cube in the coffee. If empty space were twisting, you’d be able to detect it by observing a subatomic particle moving around in the space.”

And according to Einstein, whenever you do something to space, you also affect time. Twisting space causes time to be twisted, meaning you could theoretically walk through time as you walk through space.

CNN did an interview with professor Mallet last year:

An interesting explanation of Ronald Mallet's ideas on the History Channel:

Professor Ronald L. Mallett's home page:

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 08:26 PM
I'm surprised it took me so long to see this thread ziggystar. Very nicely presented.. star & flag

Although it rings vaguely familiar, I'm not well versed on this case so it was very informative to me! It's interesting how a lot of these sightings are return visits or multiple sightings by the same person. Could be a clue but I'm not really sure what it means....

I laughed at Menzel chalking it up as Venus..
Let's be honest. How can you mistake Venus for humanoids standing on a flying saucer waving back at you? Either this was a cult on some serious drugs, he's lying, or he interacted with something supernatural.

posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by ziggystar60

This is one of the best documented cases that the debunkers never discuss. You have many witnesses who have nothing to gain by lying, and you have a very convincing event. I heard of this one a long time ago, and always read it again when I come across it. It is one of the top ten cases of all time. Starred and Flagged.

posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by kidflash2008

Thank you for your interest! And also thank you to Scramjet!

I agree that this case is special - very unusual with sightings three days in a row and actual interacting with the aliens for long periods of time. Or were they humans, as Father Gill thought? I think that possibility is just as interesting as the alien theory!

[edit on 2-9-2008 by ziggystar60]

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 03:49 PM
A very interesting case - thanks a lot for sharing!

Since english is not my first language i have one question, just to make things clear for me. Is it true that in this case not one single Photo exist? 3 Days of sightings, several ours, a hole lot of people around and not one single photo? That sounds a little bit strange to me? Am i missing something?

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:30 PM
reply to post by imothop35

Hi, sorry for answering you so late. No, I have not been able to find any trace of photos taken during these sightings. But I don't think that is so strange - you have to remember that this happened in 1959, almost 50 years ago. Times were very different then, people didn't walk around with mobile phones, able to take photos anytime and anywhere...

But it certainoy would have been great to have photos of these amazing sightings, wouldn't it?

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:55 AM

Originally posted by ziggystar60
reply to post by imothop35

Hi, sorry for answering you so late. No, I have not been able to find any trace of photos taken during these sightings. But I don't think that is so strange - you have to remember that this happened in 1959, almost 50 years ago. Times were very different then, people didn't walk around with mobile phones, able to take photos anytime and anywhere...

I understand that times were different then. It is just hart to imagine that no one use to have a camera those days, at first view (or from a today point of view). But of course, i quess you're right.

But it certainoy would have been great to have photos of these amazing sightings, wouldn't it?

Oh yes, it would. But anyway, i think this case is strong enough even without any photo. Amazing case, again, thanks a lot for sharing it! (Starred and Flagged)

[edit on 6-9-2008 by imothop35]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 07:22 AM

Greg Bishop at the website "" has suggested a possible explanation for the Papua New Guinea sightings. I think the theory is very interesting, considering the fact that Father Gill and other witnesses had the impression that the UFO was manned by humans:

Was The "Father Gill" Sighting A Classified Aircraft?

What many may not know is that this event took place about 1200 miles from the United States military installation in the Kwajalein atoll, located in the Marshall Islands, which has been a semi-secret missile and rocket test facility since, coincidentally enough, 1959. Now, 1200 miles may seem like a long way, but in the geography of the immense South Pacific, as well as the distances covered by high speed aircraft and of course rockets, it’s a stone’s throw. New Guinea is also the nearest land that isn’t a micro-island in that area of the South Pacific (with the possible exception of Guam) which suggests that the object and apparent “crew” may have picked it in case they ran into any serious trouble with their equipment.

If you lend any credence to stories of unconventional aircraft (of the anti- or electro-gravitic type) and rumors about captured technology just after WWII, Gill and his fellow witnesses may have seen some sort of test flight stopover. Why the crew bothered to hover right over a beach in New Guinea in front of scores of witnesses is a question that remains unanswered.

Gill’s own account stresses the almost mundane nature of the encounter. There were no high-G or other strange movements made by the object. It apparently hovered over the small church complex and then slowly disappeared into the clouds. (There were two sightings on subsequent evenings.) During the second event, Gill went inside before the craft had left. While some investigators have expressed surprise that anyone would leave in the middle of such an extraordinary sight, Gill and his companions had been looking at the UFO for over four hours just the night before. After returning hand gestures and moving the object in answer to a flashlight, the “crew” had apparently lost interest in the witnesses as well, and repeated attempts to make it land were unsuccessful.


There is no good info I can easily find on exactly what was going on at Kwajalein during the late 1950s, but it would be a perfectly isolated location to stage tests of unconventional aerial platforms. The place is still shrouded in mystery, as the US Military has released little information on it, other than the fact that rockets are launched and tested there. It is currently home to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site.

Kwajalein Island:

Kwajalein Island is the southernmost, and the largest, of the islands in the Kwajalein atoll. The northernmost, and second largest, island is Roi-Namur.
The population of Kwajalein island is approximately 2,600, mostly Americans and a small number of Marshall Islanders and other nationals, all of whom have express permission from the U.S. Army to live there.
The primary mode of personal transportation is the bicycle and housing is free for most personnel, depending on contract or tour of duty.[1]

Current use by U.S. military
These are the two main islands used by the U.S. personnel and their families are accommodated in trailers or hard housing. Most unaccompanied personnel live in apartment style housing.
Since 1944, when American forces captured the atoll from the Japanese in the Battle of Kwajalein, it has been used for military purposes by the U.S., while escaping the fates of the nearby atolls of Bikini, Rongelap and Enewetak as the atoll has never been a site for nuclear detonations or covered with any significant nuclear fallout from the tests conducted during the 1940s and 1950s. It was, however, the main support site for this weapons-testing program, namely Operation Crossroads.

Testing sites
Eleven of the 97 islands are leased by the United States and are part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site (RTS), formerly known as Kwajalein Missile Range. RTS includes radar installations, optics, telemetry, and communications equipment which are used for ballistic missile and missile interceptor testing and space operations support. Kwajalein hosts one of five ground stations (others are at Diego Garcia, Ascension Island, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Hawaii) that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigational system.

More recently, the extensive infrastructure has attracted SpaceX, which built a commercial launch site on Omelek Island for its Falcon 1 rockets.

Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site

The Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, commonly referred to as the Reagan Test Site, is a missile test range in the Pacific Ocean. It covers about 750,000 square miles and includes rocket launch sites at the Kwajalein Atoll (on multiple islands), Wake Island, and Aur Atoll. It primarially functions as a test facility for U.S. missile defense and space research programs. The Reagan Test Site is the name of the range that is under the command of the US Army Kwajalein Atoll, or USAKA.

The mission control center, along with most of the personnel and infrastructure, is located at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands[1]. Eleven of the atoll's islands are operated by the U.S. military under a long term lease with the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Equipment installed at the test site includes various tracking radars, stationary and mobile telemetry, optical recording equipment and a secure fiberoptic data network via undersea cables. The Reagan Test Site also serves as a tracking station for manned space flight and NASA research projects.

Launch activities at the test site include ballistic missile tests, ABM interception tests, meteorological sounding rockets and a commercial spaceport for SpaceX at Omelek Island.

Link to SpaceX's website:

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:25 AM
"We watched figures appear on top- four of them - no doubt that they are human. Possibly the same object that I took to be the "Mother" ship last night. Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary."

I appreciate the time and effort put forth presenting this sighting and report. I only question the term used, " mother ship ",. Was Father Gill the one who coined this term, or was it used previously in other case reports during this time period?

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:45 AM
reply to post by sequence

The term "Mother" ship was used by Father Gill himself in the report he made after the sightings, this is confirmed by different sources. But I doubt that he was the one who "invented" the term. His sightings occured in 1959, and I am sure the term must have been used many, many times before that in connections with other UFO events. Though I have to confess that I don't know excactly when this term was first used.

Anyway, thanks for your interest and kind words!

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 10:53 AM
Thank you Ziggystar. After watching his interview, I find a childlike sweet quality of wonderment and truth in his spirit while describing his sighting. I see he has since passed over in the year 2007. Is there any interviews of this sweet person that may describe his feelings and thoughts about his sightings in his later years of life ? This is a fascinating story and I thank you for presenting his story.

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