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The Bourkes Flat UFO Case

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posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 09:09 AM
Another UFO case from Australia with physical traces and a possible related death.

At about 8 pm, on April 4th, 1966, Ron Sullivan, a steel construction businessman from Maryborough, was travelling on a straight sealed section of the Dunolly-St.Arnaud road, near Bourkes Flat, in central country Victoria. Ahead in a paddock off to his right, Sullivan observed an unusual light. He first took it to be a tractor, engaged in night ploughing, but as he drew closer, Sullivan began to see a most unusual light display, located at ground level. The following things happened quickly as he drew closer to the scene, and then passed it. Sullivan was paying attention to both the light display in the paddock on his right and the road when he observed the following sequence of light display in the strange phenomenon in the paddock.

Here are a couple of sketches drawn up by Ron Sullivan
(Apologies for the size, it's all I could find so far)

Initially, as he approached Sullivan saw a white phosphorous type of light on the ground that appeared to be about 15 feet in diameter. "It opened up and there was another white oval on top of it, about 30 feet (in height, coming down making the shape of a cone (with a) 15 feet bottom diameter and 20 feet to diameter - and in that cone were tubes of coloured lights - all the lights as you see as you look through the spectrum ("all the colours of the rainbow") ... red, blue, indigo and purple ... travelling up and down ... or they seem to be... from the small oval to the bigger oval at the top. They were going up and down in shafts. Then gradually the top seemed to come to meet the bottom ... They seemed to close in ... making a transition of one light oval -- similar to first view -- everything then just disappeared." The last thing Sullivan saw of the light display was "just a spot on the ground -- a light spot, become smaller and smaller, to nothing." Meanwhile, as he was driving, he observed that his car headlight beams suddenly appeared to be pointing in a direction off to the right in the direction of the strange light display and also seemed to be, bending back on an axis with the object in the paddock. As he got closer, the angle of bending of his car's headlight beams became more acute. He thought his car must have been heading off the road to the right, and immediately compensated by turning it to the left. He found he was now heading directly towards a tree on the left hand side of the road. Sullivan turned the car to the right to regain the direction of travel along the straight section of road, thoroughly confused and leaving behind the display in the paddock.

Quite an unusual experience, this is the first I've heard of head lights bending towards a UFO before, I'm not too what to make of it really.

What's got my interest peaked though, is that another driver on the same stretch of road, Gary Taylor, died two days later. Furthermore he hit the same tree that Sullivan swerved to miss.

Could he have experienced the same phenomena as Ron?
Unfortunately that's one question we won't get an answer to.

The other thing of interest is the physical trace found after the event, a small depression about 70 yards directly across from the above mentioned tree.
It was a little over 3 feet in diameter and only a few inches in depth. The depression was cleanly scooped out of the sandy soil with no apparent debris around it. There were no human or animal tracks around the area.

Ron Examining the depression:

If anyone else has any more to add to this case, as there isn't a whole lot of information out there, it would be greatly appreciated!


[edit on 27/10/09 by Chadwickus]

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 09:40 AM
Just done a little digging and it seems there is another well documented "light bending" UFO sighting.

Here's a thread about it done by Easynow:

Norwood , Ohio 1949 UFO Searchlight Incident

[edit on 27/10/09 by Chadwickus]

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 09:45 AM
I'm from Vic. Never heard of this case but I think it lies near to the infamous Westall High School case of the same year. S many reports like this seem to come from this no man's land area outside Melbourn'e suburban ring. It is a strange are, very flat and the roads are long and featureless in a lot of areas.
So why do these cases so ofter happen in these oddly baron and featureless landscapes? A frind from there bought this up recently. There are some famous cases near the Dandenongs too.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by serpentine

There have been a few odd sightings in the country Victoria area in 1966, including the 1966 Westall UFO Incident

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 10:29 AM
I'm quite interested to know the geology of the area, to see if there's the possibility of ancient microbial gas deposits. I was thinking about natural explanations (other than heat - like a shimmering road) that could act like a lens making the light appear to bend. If there was a significant outpouring it could have poisoned the air, potentially causing the crash two days later, and or significant hallucinations.

Against the idea of gas is:

Inflammability - I'd have thought a mixture that wouldn't kill, and significant enough to 'bend' light, would be a good fuel-air mix. There was no explosion caused by the car.

Brevity - If there were enough gas to cause symptoms like hallucination I'd have thought there would be other symptoms such as vomiting or vertigo.

Use of the road - if the road was well used I'd have thought there would be more people with similar stories. Unless the gas dissipated during the day because of sunlight heat.

Smell - no reports of sulphide smells.

Light? - I do not know enough to say that a gas could have such an effect on light.

But I'd still like to rule out gas.

The component of ancient microbial gas I had in mind specifically with regards of hallucinations was hydrogen sulphide, combined with lack of oxygen:

Hydrogen sulphide.

Combined with a larger proportion of methane.

I still think I'm probably wrong. There would be other cases, if not in this incident, but elsewhere in the world. Just putting it out there

[edit on 27-10-2009 by jackphotohobby]

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by jackphotohobby

That is an interesting theory, I'm not too sure of the geological profile of the area but here is a map of where I think the sighting too place, going by the description.


The google streetview car has been down this road too, I'm certain it' changed quite a bit over the last 43 years.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 11:07 AM
Yes, The Westall High School case is fascinating, especially because there are so many witnnesses and they all stand by their story 40 yrs later. The ufo there was accompanied by a bunh of light aircraft, which the local airforce bases and airfields claimed to know nothing about. Even if it was a psy op it is still one of the great urban stories of the era.
I am researching the Kelly Cahill case in Narre Warren from '93. She claims other female witnesses also suffered physical damage.
Wa sthis ever debunked? It would seem that if the doctors confirmed the story it would be another remarkable case from this region.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by Chadwickus

I've done a little searching about the geology of the area. There's nothing that stands out to indicate gas deposits or that sort of thing. But most of the stuff is about mining. So don't know, probably not.

Interestingly in the the Narre Warrencase (Dandenongs, Victoria, between Belgrave and Fountain Gate):


I referred Kelly Cahill, who proved to be central to the unravelling of an independently witnessed CE3 event with apparent "abduction" dimensions, to John Auchettl and his group Phenomena Research Australia (PRA). They had 2 different laboratories confirm a number of unusual anomalies and magnetic problems at the apparent site of the UFO landing. There appeared to be some interesting changes in soil chemistry -- an above average sulphur content, the presence of pyrene (which occurs in coal tar and is also obtained by the destructive hydrogenation of hard coal) and tannic acid - in a crescent shaped indentation. There was a triangle formation of dead grass on the ground, spaced out in the site. The apparent physical effects at the site of this UFO event seem to had a destructive effect on the grass. ...

Which actually fits a gas hypothesis better, hydrogen sulphide could kill plants immediately exposed to it, plus the above average sulphur content and pyrene. Meaning sickness, vivid hallucinations, smells, etc. Reading one of the online reports of that incident there's stuff to indicate gas.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 01:42 PM
The Cahill case is a great story, and I believe she toured the US and wrote "the book". I don't automatically dismiss her story because she has gained financially from it, she seems genuine in interviews. However there were I think 3 cars with couples/families who all witnessed the large landed ufo in the field. What I am intrigued about is if her story is considered credible by the doctors and police involved, and if the other witnesses did come forward.

I know the thread is about this different case, however it seems the southern state of Victoria has some very established ufo abduction stories with real evidence that has been taken seriously by authorities at the time.

I remember as a child in the early 80's there was fear and heated debate amongst regular folk in reaction to a series of incidences, starting with the Valentich Bass Strait disappearance and the Mornington missing time couple.

That said I know of no official line on these events, they seem to drift into folklore even when they were taken very seriously at the time.

MSM followed up on stories and even non believers were mystified.

Are there any other Victorians reading this thread?

Anyway thanks for bringing a ne story to light.

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 01:53 AM
reply to post by Chadwickus

good story Chadwickus,

interesting description from the witness about the object. other than the cone shape i can't think of any other cases where witnesses described something like that. must have been a spectacular thing to see.

the light bending is really strange , almost as if the car lights were being attracted to the object in some way. it seems the car lights were much more mis directed than the light in the Norwood case but either way it's something i have no explanation for. i would be very interested to read about any other cases that had this light bending anomaly reported.

thanks for the thread, great job S+F

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by jackphotohobby

The only problem with it being some sort of gas is there should be traces of it around still.

Unless it's turning on and off somehow...

posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 01:50 AM
Interesting case Chad. I wonder if the object was responsible for some major gravitational effects that bent the light? I hope we can dig up more info on this one. Unless this guy was savvy in science, I doubt he could have fathomed as much... which leads me to believe that he did experience something strange out there.


posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:11 AM

This great but unfortunately unknown case defiantly deserves more attention that it has got so far. Nice work Chad! Australia sure has some interesting cases, and the gravitational effects IRM brought up are interesting, I will definitely have to look into this one more. I think I told you this before but thanks for sharing this and S/F...

It is work like this that makes the UFO forum legit and I;no WE ALL thank you and everyone for taking the time to present these cases that otherwise would never be known outside of a few towns in the local area. Not only that, but for presenting them in such a scientific and thus unbiased manner, which is the only way to proceed with our subject matter.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 10:12 AM
reply to post by jkrog08

Thanks Jkrog, I wish I had more to add to the case.

I'm in the process of Finding some of Bill Chalkers books, he covers this case along with a few others of interest. So I might be able to add more later.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by Chadwickus

Just to say g'day to a fellow sandgroper and s & f !

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 01:55 AM
As far as I know, there isn't much gas in the area. Lots of old gold mines, as it is part of the area known as the 'Golden Triangle' from an age long gone.

I know there's black panthers running around, at least a little south towards Maryborough.

I've never seen anything unusual in the skies for all of the nights that I've been camping in that general area... You can find some nice places in the district where it is possible to disconnect from the everyday world.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 09:31 PM
I met Ron Sullivan, my sister was dating his son, but I did not know he had experienced this encounter, only that he was suffering from a nervous complaint.
Interestingly my own family had an experience close to Maryborough in 1963, we were taken aboard a craft. I was very young and yet rememberd all whilst my family who were frozen had no memory.
Dad had a vague memory of being in a nightclub of shining metal and lights with statues after I prodded him a couple of years ago.
Interesting to think of a nightclub in the middleof the bush in 1963.
I remembered those statues as what I always reffered to as living marble staues with black holes for eye's.
No one rembered how the car or family got home, only that wenever drove the car again and that the top of the vehicle had the paint burned off from the roof down tot he door handles.
Several neighbours also had encounters a the same location with reports of bending lights. All crashed into the same tree.
a few of these died whilst 2 others were admitted to an assylum.
All these cases were after my families encounter. I found some info about the encounter in a UFO book and learned the same thing was happening in France about 10 Miles from CLunies whilst we were about 10 miles from Clunes.

posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 05:58 AM
reply to post by Chadwickus

Chadwickus, great thread mate and a truly interesting UFO incident - couldn't see it already being posted so here's a video interview with the witness Ron Sullivan - he sounds like a pretty stand up kind of guy and I don't think he's making it up.

See 6:30


posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 06:39 PM

Good thread. For other Australian material please take a look at

I have been taking a look at some "cold cases" from the RAAF's own UFO files eg:

and other sources eg:

Happy reading.

posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 07:31 PM
Thanks for this. I hadn't heard of the light-bending phenomena before. If true then it supports the idea that some UFOs warp space.

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