Wing Commander Paget discussed the RAAF’s investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects – UFO’s. UFO sightings became common during the Cold War (1945–90) against a background of political and military tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies. The anxiety and paranoia generated by espionage, weapons and satellite tests found expression in Hollywood science fiction films depicting humanity under attack from hostile aliens determined to destroy the American (and by association, the Australian) way of life. In the 1950’s, the Australian government in concert with the governments of UK and the USA, decided that informed investigation should be undertaken. By the 1970s, UFO sightings had become so commonplace that the Royal Australian Air Force, charged with the responsibility of investigating such phenomena, provided pro-forma questionnaires to members of the public who reported seeing a UFO, and published summaries of recent sightings. There was some justification. From 1952 to 1963 the British Government, with the agreement and support of Australia, had conducted nuclear tests at three sites in Australia and was highly sensitive, even in those pre-satellite days, to the dangers of espionage from the air. However, it was concluded that after years of investigation that nothing had arisen to support the possibility of interlopers from other planets having visited us.
Duration is 23 minutes.
Note that photos and diagrams referred to in this address are not included in this audio-only podcast.