29 May 2012


A Strange New Device of You Americans

from Allen J. Hynecks, ‘The Hyneck Ufo Report’

The classic account of Father William Melchior Gill, an Anglican priest stationed at the mission of Boianai in Papua, New Guinea, has been published in several places. However, the most extensive account, by the Reverend R. G.  Crotwell, has unfortunately not had the wide circulation that it deserves.  In various forms, it was privately circulated and then published in Flying Saucer Review, Special Issue No.  4, August 1 971.  More recently, A. H. Lawson, professor of English at California State University at Long Beach, has published a fifty-page treatise on the Father Gill case, reprinting the study by Reverend Crutwell.[1]

The Blue Book material on the case is almost entirely from the Air Attache in Australia, and does contain much of the same material appearing in Rev.  Crotwell's treatise.  What is different is Blue Book's "attitude" toward the case, which they dismiss as "misinterpretation of astronomical bodies" despite the fact that many of the observations were made under an overcast sky.  The Australian Air Force evaluation was no more satisfying: "RAAF could come to no definite conclusion on the report, and inquiries within the United Kingdom and the United States had no clues or answers.  As a result, these sightings have been classified as aerial phenomena [sic] but most probably they were reflections off a cloud of a major light source of unknown origin."

This case has always intrigued me and I was therefore rateful when the opportunity presented itself to visit Boianai with Rev. Crutwell. We located six of the original witnesses and even though the sighting was by then fifteen years old (it took place in the latter part of June 1959), the event was rendered in great detail.  Rev.  Crutwell was to act as my interpreter with the natives.  At first, many of them felt that I represented a government authority, and would not open up; but after a while the information flowed freely.  How accurately, I have, of course, no way of knowing.  But from the facial expressions and gestures of the natives, I sensed that the event had been real as far as they were concerned.

The reader should bear in mind that in addition to the Father Gill sighting, there were sixty-one others that year in the same general area.  The following table shows that the distribution of the majority according to locality:
















The rest of the sightings were fairly well distributed around the eastern tip of Papua.

When the famous sightings occurred at Boianai on June 26 and 27, 1959, Rev. Crutwell was away on a walking tour of the mountain stations in the Dago Country. While he was away, Father Gill wrote the following letter to his old friend and confidant, the Reverend D. Durry at St.  Aidan's in Dagura:

Dear David:

Life is strange, isn't it?  Yesterday, I wrote you a letter (which I still intend to send you) expressing opinions on UFOs.[2]  Not less than twenty-four hours later I had changed my views somewhat.  Last night, we at Boianai experienced about four hours of UFO activity, and there is no doubt whatever that they are handled by beings of some kind.  At times it was absolutely breathtaking.

There have been many references to Father Gill's careful note-taking while the event was in progress.  This in itself is most unusual, especially when a flashlight was needed to record most of his observations.  But I know Father Gill as a painstaking, methodical, and unexcitable person—just the sort to stand calmly by and take notes at e height of the exciting action.  The Blue Book files contain these notes, since they were officially reported to the project by the Air Attache in Australia.  Just a few will suffice to highlight the action:



Time p.m.


Patches of low cloud 6.45
Sighted bright white light from front door. Direction N.W.
Clear over Dogura and Menapi 6.50
Call Stephen and Eric Langford
  6.50 Stephen arrives. Confirms not star – like the other night. Coming closer, not so bright. Coming down. (500'?)Orange? Deep yellow?
  6.52 Send Eric to call people. One object on top, move – man? Now 3 men – moving, glowing, doing something on deck. Gone.
  7.00 Men 1 and 2 again.
  7.04 Gone again.
Cloud ceiling covered sky c. 2000 ft. 7.10 Men 1, 3, 4, 2 (appeared in that order) Thin electric blue spotlight. Men gone. Spotlight still there.
  7.12 Men 1 and 2 appeared – blue light.
  7.20 U.F.O. goes through cloud.


Gill had drawings made and obtained the signatures of witnesses.  There were thirty-eight in all, of whom twenty-five signed the report (the children were excluded).  Apart from Gill, the witnesses included five Papuan teachers and three medical assistants.

Father Gill told me, as he has told others, of the first sighting of the bright light.  He had just had dinner, and as he came out the front door of the mission house he glanced up at the sky and saw Venus, but in addition to Venus he saw a bright white light, somewhat above Venus.  Part of the sighting was made under an overcast sky, with the objects ascending and descending through clouds, casting bright haloes on clouds as they passed through!

Blue Book labeled the sighting ‘stars and planets.’ But how could this have been possible? In all my career as an astonomer, I have yet to observe stars or planets appearing to descend through clouds to a height of less than two thousand feet, illuminating the clouds as they did so.  In addition, Father Gill estimated the height of the disc to be three to four hundred feet, and its apparent diameter about five inches at arm's length.  Teacher Stephen said that if he put his hand out closed, it would cover about half of it.  I have yet to see Venus appearing larger than my fist.

Father Gill's account continues:

As we watched it, men came out from this object and appeared on the top of it, on what appeared to be a deck on top of the huge disc.  There were four men in all, occasionally two, then one, then three, then four: we noted the various times the men appeared.  And then later on all those witnesses who were quite sure that our records were right, and that they agreed [they] saw the men at the same time that I did were able to sign their names as witnesses of what we assumed to be human activity or beings of some sort on the object itself.

The next night was even more interesting!  One of the natives, Annie Laurie Borowa, ran into Father Gill's study in great excitement and asked him to come outdoors.  The sighting he made then rules out Venus even more completely.  Gill's first notes were at 6:02 P.M.  when the sun, close to the equator, would not yet have set, although it would have been behind the mountains.  Under no circumstances would Venus have been bright enough in the daytime sky to have caused all that excitement among the natives.  Again we have Gill's own words:

.  .  .  We stood in the open to watch.  Although the sun had set (behind the mountains), it was quite light for the following fifteen minutes.  We watched figures appear on top-four of them-there was no doubt that they were human.  This is possibly the same object that I took to be the "mother ship" last night. Two smaller UFOs were seen at the sarne time, stationary, one over the hills, west, and one overhead. On the large one, two of the figures. seemed to be doing something in the center of the deck-they were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or setting up something.  One figure seemed to be standing, looking down on us (a group of about a dozen).

Now comes the climax.  Father Gill stretched his arm above his head and waved.  To his surprise, the figure waved back.  One of his companions waved both arms over his head and then the two outside figures did the same.  There was more waving and now all four of the beings seemed to wave back!

There seemed to be no doubt that our movements were answered.  All the mission boys made audible gasps.

As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric 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 waving motions back and forth (in a sideways direction, like a pendulum).  The waving by us was repeated and this was followed by more passes with the torch and then the UFO began to become slowly bigger, apparently coming in our direction.  It ceased after perhaps half a minute and came on no · further.  After a further two or three minutes, the figures apparently lost interest in us for they disappeared below deck.

Father Gill also indicated that the whole group had begun to shout and to make beckoning motions to the men to descend, but there was absolutely no response, other than that already noted.  Finally, there were no sounds whatever emanating from either the beings or their machine.

What Father Gill's notes state next has caused much controversy.  At 6: 30 P.M., he went in to dinner.  How is it, skeptics ask, that in the midst of all this commotion, a person could calmly go in to dinner?  One would really have to know Father Gill to understand this.  He is a calm man—a man who takes things in his stride: furthermore, this was the second night of apparitions and he had watched for four and one-half hours the night before. When I spoke with Father Gill in Melbourne, I did, however, ask him about this.  His response was: "Looking back, I sometimes wonder about this myself.  I thought, too, that it might be just a new device of you Americans." According to his notes, he came out from dinner at 7 P.M. and the UFO was still present, although it appeared somewhat smaller.  Then, everyone went into church for evensong.  This fact also seems incredible to skeptics; but, for the Boianai group, going in to dinner and to evensong was a part of a rigid daily routine, something one did without question.

I am reminded of a letter I received from an English schoolboy many years ago, describing a typical Daylight Disc, which he stated came down in a sort of “falling leaf motion." It apparently came down too slowly, for he wrote: "And then it was time for tea"—and he went inside, leaving the disc to its own devices.  Perhaps we shall never be able to account for human behavior, especially the British!

After evensong, the visibility was poor, the sky was covered with clouds, and no UFOs were in sight. At 10:40 P.M., Gill's notes read:

"A terrific explosion just outside the mission house.  Nothing seen."

According to Crutwell's account, the explosion made Gill jump out of bed and gave him a tremendous shock.  Remembering the UFO, he rushed out to see what had happened, but saw nothing unusual.  The explosion, however, had awakened everyone on the station.  Whether this "penetrating, ear-splitting,” explosion had anything to do with the UFO is obviously conjectural.  It was just one additional item to be added to the bizarre catalogue of events.

The five dozen or so separate events in Papua in 1959 perhaps lie too far back in time for any reliable documentation now.  Undoubtedly much data of potential scientific value was lost by the refusal of the military to conduct any sort of scientific investigation when the events were fresh.

There is, however, one humorous sidelight: At precisely the same time that the events were occurring at Boianai on the 26th, a trader from Samurai, Ernie Evenett, saw an object approach from the north and heading northeast.  It was greenish and very bright, with a trail of white flame behind it.  It looked like a shooting star.

It descended quite close to me, appearing larger and larger and slowing down until it hovered about five hundred feet above me at an angle of about forty-five degrees.  The light on it faded out except for the portholes which were brightly illuminated.  The object had a silhouette of a rugby football, and had a kind of ring or band around it with four or five semi-dome portholes below the band on the side I could see.

On the next day, Mr.  Evenett crossed over to Boianai on business and the natives asked him if he had seen the American Air Force last night.  They said, "We did at Boianai."

Apparently others besides Father Gill felt that the Americans had something to do with what they had observed (and thus it was safe to go to dinner).  Unfortunately, the Air Force cannot take credit for having a craft that can hover a few hundred feet above the ground, close enough for observers to make out individual men-and yet be completely silent!

[1] This and other publications in connection with Professor Lawson's studies are available through the CSU library or through the Center for UFO Studies.

[2] Although this letter is not on file, it apparently expressed grave doubts about UFOs because, in conversations with Crutwell, he told me of his great reluctance to believe in such matters.  Visitations of that sort are not entirely acceptable in Anglican theology, or so I am told.

Flying Saucers Over Papua

A Report on Papuan Unidentified Flying Objects

by the Rev. Norman E. G. Cruttwell, M.A. Oxon., of the Anglican Mission,  Menapi, Papua, New Guinea. (dated)  March, 1960.


“Tilley Lamp” 'on' the Mountain?

The scene now shifts to Boiani, later to become famous for the most amazing sighting of all. Boiani is a village on a small tongue of land made by the Mase River where it flows out of a deep gorge of the Owen Stanleys.  It is on the south side of Good enough Bay, some 20 miles across from Menapi. About 4 miles behind it the mountains rise sheer to culminate in two peaks which overhang the gorge on either side, Mount Nuanua and Mount Pudi. They are about 4,000 feet high. Behind them rise ridge upon ridge up to Mount Simpson, nearly 10,000 feet, which caps the range.

Right on the beach is the Mission Station of All Saints, Boiani, with a coral cement church and various Mission buildings. It faces northwards, the beach running north -west to south -east. It looks across to the low hills of Giwa and Menapi on the Cape Vogel Peninsula.

The missionary in charge, the Rev. William Booth Gill, is an old friend of mine. He came out to Papua with me in 1946, and I know him very well. On the 9th., of April, he was on his little 16 ft. launch about a mile off shore, coming home from visiting an outstation. It was 6.50 p.m., and just about dark. The weather was clear overhead, but there were clouds and rain squalls about. The mountains were a dark silhouette against the still glowing sky.

He suddenly noticed a bright white light 'like a Tilley Lamp' [a pressure kerosene lamp, which is very bright], apparently high up on the flank of Mt. Pudi, not far from the summit. He estimates that the light was about 500 feet from the top. It was quite stationary, and he immediately thought: 

“Oh, there must be someone up there with a Tilley Lamp”.

The Papuans with him all noticed the light. He was puzzled about the light, but not unduly so, and looked away, continuing to read his book. Five minutes later he looked up again, but the mountain was in darkness. The light had disappeared. This again seemed odd, but he took no notice, and went on reading.  After another five minutes he was aware of the light again, shining out from the mountain side, but to his surprise it was shining from a completely new position on the opposite side of the mountain. It had moved quite a mile to the east, quite impossible, if a man had been carrying it.

However, Fr. Gill still did not realise the significance of what he had seen, and looked away again. Next time he looked back, the light had gone, and did not reappear. The next morning he examined the mountain by daylight, and realised that there was no house or village or even any track up there, but only the precipitous mountain -side. It was only when he got a letter from me about the later sighting from Giwa that it occurred to him that it might have been a U.F.O.

As it was quite impossible  for it to have been actual Tilley Lamp for the reasons given above, in addition to the fact that very few people, apart from the Mission staff, possess Tilley Lamps anyway, it seems likely that it was another appearance of the objects 'like Tilley Lamps' which were being seen all over the place. If so, the object could not have been actually 'on' the mountain, but was probably hovering between the mountain and Fr. Gill's launch, a distance of three or four miles. As it 'appeared' at a height of 3,500 ft., when seen against the mountain, its actual height could not have exceeded that altitude, but may have been considerably less. The object therefore, could not have been astronomical, but appears to be some kind of craft hovering at aircraft height.

This sighting was therefore of great importance to us at the time, suggesting that some mysterious, apparently controlled, craft were flying about over Papua at night. This was amply confirmed by subsequent sightings.




Father Gill's Letter

When I returned from the mountains I heard the fascinating rumours. It was said that many flying saucers had been visiting Boiani, and that human beings had been seen on them, and waved to Father Gill. I could not believe they were true, and dismissed them as the sort of wild tales which often get around by 'bush telegraph', and in which there is often little or no substance of truth. However, the next call of the Mission launch brought me a fat envelope of typescript with a covering letter from Father Gill himself. His letter read as follows:-

Anglican Mission, Boiani,


Father Cruttwell,

Anglican Mission, Menapi.

Dear Norman,

Here is a lot of material – the kind you have been waiting for, no doubt; but I am in some ways sorry that it has to be me who supplies it. Attitudes at Dogura in respect to my sanity vary greatly, and like all mad men, I myself think my grey cells are O.K. I am sorry you were not here with your telescope – the naked eye can be a hindrance when detail is essential.

This is the original data. Please take whatever  copies or photographs  you like, but please send it back to me by return 'Maclaren King' [presumably  the Mission launch] if possible,  as I regard it with a sense of value which no copies could have.

There has been no activity recently over here, but one report has come from Vidia (and others from Dogura, as you will see).

Hope you had a pleasant walkabout,

Regards, (signed)  


P.S. Have a spare typed copy which I am sending you – you can keep it. (It contains most but not all the originals). 




Stephen Moi's Saucer

After some preliminary discussion of the evidence and describing the method by which he compiled his report, he describes the sighting of the first of the visiting craft by his Papuan Teacher Evangelist, Stephen Gill Moi. This craft was not seen by Fr. Gill himself, though it is obviously similar to the craft which he saw later. Stephen Moi’s report is as follows:

'On coming out of the house at one o'clock on Sunday morning, 21st. June, I saw a bright white light silently coming out of the sky from a point about a quarter of a mile out to sea, slightly west of Boiani Mission Station. It descended from what seemed to be a great height, and I thought at first that it was a 'falling star' (meteor).  I watched it for the space of about three minutes, moving and descending eastwards and parallel to the coast. It stopped at a point a little to the east of the station, and at a height of perhaps three hundred feet. There it remained stationary for perhaps half a minute, and gradually decreased in brilliance  until the shape of an inverted saucer could be discerned,  which was tilted backwards  with part of the base visible. The object then moved upwards and disappeared from view into the clouds.

‘When first sighted (presumably after the falling star stage, when he realised how slow it was moving) 'I thought it was a light similar to those dropped by plane during the war'. P.S. Underneath the saucer I saw about four round black spots.


To this Fr. Gill added the following comment:-

“All this information was volunteered without any knowledge of previous sightings of U.F.O.’s by Stephen, and when questioned afterwards, Stephen Moi claimed never to have heard of 'Flying Saucers'. I asked him if he was quite sure the shape of the object was like a saucer, and was not, for instance, the shape of a plate, or like a ‘sixpence’ or 'like a ball'. He was quite certain in his mind that it was more like a saucer than anything else.”

I too, have questioned Stephen about this and other sightings, and he confirmed this appearance and the four dots, though he is not quite sure whether they were actually on the upper or under surface of the machine. This, it will readily be seen, is a matter of perspective. Either the object must have been considerably smaller than those seen a week later, or his estimate of height must have been too small. There seems little doubt that this was the same type of machine which returned later, and was probably doing a preliminary reconnaissance.

The following diagram was added to the report: -




The First Sighting of ‘Men’

Five days later, on Friday 26th., the visitors returned in force. The astounding events of that night caused Fr. Gill to write the following letter to the Rev. David Durie, Principle of St. Aidan's College, Fr. Gill's confidant and friend, who had helped him to study for his Diploma of Education.

Anglican Mission, Boiani,


To the Rev. D. Durie, Acting Principal,

St. Aidan's College, DOGURA

‘Dear David,

Life is strange, isn't it? Yesterday I wrote you a letter (which I still intend sending you) expressing opinion of U.F.O.'s. Not less than 24 hours later I have changed my views somewhat. Last night we at Boiani experienced about four hours of U.F.O. activity, and there is no doubt whatever that they are handled by beings of some kind. Please pass it round, but great care must be taken, as I have no other, and this, like the one I made out re Stephen, will be sent to Nor. I would appreciate it if you could send the lot back as soon as poss.

Cheers, Convinced,

(signed)  BILL.

P.S. Do you think P. Moresby should know about this? (N. Cruttwell is at present in the Daga country, and will not be returning home until July 16th. at the earliest).  If people think it worthwhile, I will stand cost of radio conversation if you care to make out a comprehensive report from the material on my behalf! It's interesting Territory news if nothing else.


Then follows the report of the events of June 26th. exactly as jotted down at the time in pencil. I reproduce the notes verbatim:-

Time p.m.
Patches of low cloud 6.45 Sighted bright white light from front door. Direction N.W.
Clear over Dogura and Menapi 6.50 Call Stephen and Eric Langford
  6.52 Stephen arrives. Confirms not star – like the other night. Coming closer, not so bright. Coming down. (500'?)Orange? Deep yellow?
  6.55 Send Eric to call people. One object on top, move – man? Now 3 men – moving, glowing, doing something on deck. Gone.
  7.00 Men 1 and 2 again.
  7.04 Gone again.
Cloud ceiling covered sky c. 2000 ft. 7.10 Men 1, 3, 4, 2 (appeared in that order) Thin electric blue spotlight. Men gone. Spotlight still there.
  7.12 Men 1 and 2 appeared – blue light.
  7.20 U.F.O. goes through cloud.
Clear sky here heavy cloud over Dogura 8.28 U.F.O. seen by me overhead. Call station people. Appeared to descend, get bigger Not so big, but seemed nearer than before.
  8.29 Second U.F.O. seen over sea, hovering at times.
Cloud forming again. 8.35 Another one over Wadobuna village.
  ? Another to the east
Clouds patchy 8.50 Big one stationary and larger – the original? Others coming and going through the clouds. As they descend through clouds, light reflected like large halo on the ground – no more than 2000', probably less. All U.F.O.'s very clear – satellites? “Mother ship” still large, clear, stationary.
  9.05 Nos. 2, 3, 4 gone.
  9.10 Mother ship gone – giving red light. No. 1 gone (overhead) into cloud.
  9.20 “Mother” back.
  9.30 “Mother” gone across sea to Giwa – white, red, blue, gone.
  9.46 Overhead U.F.O. reappears, is hovering.
Still there, stationary.  Hovering, gone behind cloud.
  10.30 Very high, hovering in clear patch of sky between clouds.
Very overcast, no sign of U.F.O.  Heavy rain. IQA!!! (Wedau language! Finished.)

Data sheet of observation of U.F.O.'s,

6.45 to 11.04 p.m. 26.6.59

(signed)  WILLIAM B. GILL

He appended to this another sheet with a sketch of the object and further notes, also a sketch map of the area showing the approximate positions of the U.F.O.'s. He added also this note about the weather:

“Variable sky – scattered clouds to clear at first, becoming overcast at 10.10 p.m. Approximate height of clouds 2000 ft.

Note: This determined by relationship of clouds to highest point visible of mountains. As U.F.O.'s were often below (under) clouds and their glow gave off a wide halo of light reflected on the clouds, it follows that U.F.O.'s descended to below 2000 ft.”

Below the drawing are the signatures of the witnesses to each of the four appearances of the men. Their names are: -

The Rev. William B. Gill

Stephen Gill Moi, Teacher

Ananias Rarata, Teacher

Mrs. (Nessie) Moi.

Altogether there were 38 witnesses of whom 25 signed the report. Apart from Fr. Gill himself, they included five Papuan teachers and three medical assistants. The report speaks for itself, but after questioning Fr. Gill and several of the Papuan witnesses, I have been able to fill in a certain amount of detail.

Fr. Gill had just had his dinner and came out of the front door of the Mission House. There was a patch of lawn, a few trees, including coconut palms and then a drop of perhaps fifty feet to the shingle beach below.

He casually glanced at the sky and looked for Venus, which was conspicuous at the time. In his own words

"I saw Venus, but I also saw this sparkling object which to me was peculiar because it sparkled, and because it was very, very bright, and it was above Venus and so that caused me to watch it for a while, then I saw it descend towards us".

Stephen Gill Moi, who joined Fr. Gill a few minutes later, described it as

"shining with a bright light, like a Tilley Lamp".

Ananias used exactly the same expression. Stephen remarks that it appeared to wax and wane in brightness, as though it were approaching and receding. Eventually it came quite close, and hovered at a height which Fr. Gill estimates at between 300 and 400 ft., though he admits that it was very hard to judge the altitude at night, not knowing the size of the object. He estimates its apparent diameter as about 5 inches at arms length. Stephen said that if he put his hand out closed it would cover about half of it.

Fr. Gill states that it changed from a brilliant white light, when it was far off, to a dull yellow or perhaps pale orange, when it was close. When asked whether he thought it was metallic, he answered,

"Well, it appeared solid, certainly not transparent or gaseous; we just assume that it was metallic from our own experience of things that travel and carry men".

All witnesses agree that it was circular, that it had a wide base and a narrow upper deck, that it had a type of legs beneath it, that it produced a shaft of blue light which shone upwards into the sky at an angle of about 45 degrees (see sketch) and that the four human figures appeared on top.

Two of the witnesses state that they saw about four portholes or windows in the side, which they have indicated in their drawings. These are not indicated in Fr. Gill's drawing. Commenting on this, he said

"I saw what appeared to be panels in the side of the object, which glowed somewhat brighter than the rest, but I did not interpret them as portholes. I did not indicate them in my rough drawing".

They were, however, indicated in a reconstructed drawing by the artist of the Australasian Post under direct verbal instructions from Fr. Gill, proving that he had seen and remarked them.

There was a certain discrepancy in the witnesses' estimate of the number of legs, though all agreed that they were in two groups. Fr. Gill is emphatic that there were four legs, tapering, two at each end, somewhat divergent. He admits that his drawing is not very skillful, and refers again to the drawing in the Australasian Post.

I have reproduced Fr. Gill's drawing and the drawing of three of the witnesses for comparison, together with my own composite drawing which appears to embody the true appearance of the object from the description of the witnesses.

[Note: this section was obviously an amendment to the original report. On 18 March 1965, the Australasian Post published an article on the sighting, basically quoting extensively from Fr. Cruttwell's report. They said that they interviewed Fr. Cruttwell the previous week (but not Fr. Gill). The drawing above is taken from the front of the report, and is probably Fr. Cruttwell's composite drawing. The one published by the Post is identical, except that the outlines were filled in.]

Here are Fr. Gill's comments on the 'men': -

"As we watched it (the object) men came out from this object, and appeared  on the top of it, on what appeared  to be a deck on top of the huge disc. There are four men in all, occasionally  two, then one, then three, then four; we noted the various times the men appeared. And then later on all those witnesses who were quite sure that our records were right, and that they agreed with them, and saw the men at the same time as I did - were able to sign their names as witnesses of what we assume to be human activity or beings of some sort on the object itself".

Another peculiar thing was this shaft of blue light, which emanated from what appeared to be the centre of the deck. The men appeared to be illuminated not only by this light, but also by a sort of glow which completely surrounded them as well as the craft. The glow did not touch them, but there appeared to be a little space between their outline and the light. I have tried to indicate this in the drawing. They seemed to be illuminated in two ways: (a) by reflected light, as men seen working high up on a building at night caught by the glare of an oxy-acetylene torch, and (b) by this curious halo which outlined them, following every contour of their figures and yet did not touch them. In fact, they seemed to be illuminated themselves in the sameway as the machine was. This is indicated in Fr. Gill's diagram.

When asked whether he thought they were wearing space suits, he replied

"I couldn't say. It may be so, that would seem to be a possible explanation of the double outline, but I could not see any such suits."

I asked him whether he could see any details, such as the colour of their skins. He replied that they were too far away to see such details, but that he would say they were probably pale. As for the details of their bodies, all he could be sure of was that they had the outline of normal human beings from the waist up. Their legs were hidden by the sides of the craft. If wearing clothes they were very tight fitting.

Describing the movements of the objects, especially the smaller discs, he said that they were most erratic. They moved sometimes fast, sometimes slowly, approaching and receding, changing direction, even swinging to and fro like a pendulum.  One of the objects, apparently No. 1 of the data (and B. on the Map) appeared much larger than the others, and appeared to have five illuminated panels, or windows, on the visible side. When the first object (A. on the Map) moved away, it appeared to descend in the direction of the Wadobuna village, and everyone thought it was going to land. The Papuans  ran down on to the beach, intending  to catch it up, but it swooped  up and away over the mountains, turning red as it disappeared (W.G.B. and Ananias).

It finally returned, but hovered more to the west of the station. When it finally departed at 9.30, Fr. Gill says it made a slight wavering movement, and then suddenly shot off at immense speed, changing colour to red and blue-green, and disappeared across the bay in the direction of Giwa in a fraction of a second. It just diminished to a pin point and vanished. In spite of the fantastic speed of thousands of miles an hour, there was no sound. Fr. Gill is emphatic about the absence of sound throughout the whole activity.




The Night They Waved.

Boiani had not seen the last of its strange visitors. The next evening they returned ever earlier. At six o'clock, the sun would have only just gone behind the mountains, and the sky would have still have been bright until half past six. [This was close to both the Equator, and the winter solstice.] It would not have been really dark until at least 6.45 p.m. This rules out any possibility of the object having been a planet, such as Venus, which would not have been at all bright at such an early hour. Here is Fr. Gill's report of the happenings of Saturday, 27th. June:

"A large U.F.O. was first sighted by Annie Laurie Borewa, a Papuan medical assistant, in apparently the same position as last night's object. The time was about six o'clock."

She called Fr. Gill, who came out at about 6.02 p.m., and saw the object for himself. It had the same appearance as last night's object, but seemed a little smaller, probably due to increased distance.

"I called Ananias and several others, and we stood in the open to watch. Although the sun had set, it was quite light for the following fifteen minutes. We watched figures appear on top - four of them - there is no doubt that they were human. This is possibly the same object that I took to be the "Mother Ship" last night. Two smaller U.F.O.'s were seen at the same time, stationary, one above the hills, west, and another overhead."

"On the large one two of the figures seemed to be doing something  near the centre of the deck - they were occasionally  bending over and raising their arm 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)".

Fr. Gill, describing this to me afterwards said that the 'man' was standing with his hands on the 'rail' looking over, just as one will look over the rails of a ship. His report continues -

"I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same. Ananias waved both arms above his head, then the two outside figures did the same. Ananias and self began waving our arms and all four seemed to wave back. There seemed to be no doubt that our movements were answered.  All the Mission boys made audible gasps (of either joy or surprise perhaps both).

"As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric Kodawa for a torch, and directed a series of long dashes towards  the U.F.O. After a minute or two of this, the U.F.O. apparently acknowledged by making  several wavering  motions  back and forth (in a sideways  direction,  like a pendulum).

"Waving by us was repeated, and this was followed by more flashes of the torch, then U.F.O. began to slowly become bigger, apparently coming in our direction. It ceased after perhaps half a minute and came on 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".

Subsequently I asked Fr. Gill whether he had tried to communicate with the men by voice. He said he had indeed shouted, as had they all, and made beckoning motions to the men to descend: but there was absolutely no response, apart from the waving already described. Neither the men nor their machine made any sound whatsoever. The report continues:

"The two other U.F.O.'s remained stationary and high up—higher than last night (? ), or smaller than last night (? ).

At 6.30 p.m.  I went to dinner.

7.00 p.m.  Number one U.F.O. still present, but appeared somewhat smaller. Observers go to Church for Evensong.

7.45 p.m.  Evensong over, and the sky covered with cloud. Visibility very poor. No U.F.O.'s in sight.

10.40 p.m.  A terrific explosion just outside the Mission House. Nothing seen. It could have been an atmospheric explosion, as the whole sky was overcast.

11.05 p.m.  A few drops of rain.”

He says that the explosion made him jump out of bed, and gave him a tremendous shock. Remembering the U.F.O.'s he wondered whether one had landed, and rushed out to see what had happened.  He saw nothing unusual, but found that the explosion had woken up everyone on the station. Papuans are not usually woken by the loudest thunder. They are very heavy sleepers. He described it as

"as penetrating earsplitting explosion, not an ordinary thunderclap. It appeared to be just outside the window".

However, he admits that it may not have had anything to do with the U.F.O's.  It must, however, be recorded as one of the unusual phenomena of that amazing night.

The facts of this sighting and the waving by the men and the response to the torch signals are fully corroborated by Ananias Rarata, Eric, Mrs (Nessie) Moi, Ilma Violet and Dulcie Freda (Teachers),  and many of the other witnesses in personal interviews with myself. They have also told the story independently to other Papuans, who have passed it on to me. They are all most emphatic about having seen and exchanged signals with the men. Stephen Moi was not present on this occasion, as he had gone to Dogura during the day.

There were many curious features about the machine and the men, which are quite inexplicable  by the principles of any known earthly aircraft. They might, however, be explicable if we knew the laws which govern the propulsion and operation of these extraordinary craft. Who were the 'men', and where did they come from?  If only we knew, we should have solved the mystery of the Flying Saucers.

It would be very interesting to know the actual size of the 'men' and their machine. Unfortunately, as they did not land, this is very hard to estimate. Fr. Gill estimates that, assuming the men to have been of normal size (about 6 ft.) the machine would have had a diameter of roughly 35 ft. at the base and 20 ft. on the upper 'deck'. However, if this is correct, the machine must have been further away than he thought, as a width of 5 inches at arm's length would give a diameter of nearly 60 ft. (incidentally the estimated size of Mr Evennett's object). If the men were smaller, the machine  must have been considerably less than 35 ft. However, all these estimates are mere guesswork, and of little scientific value, except as approximations.

Fr. Gill and his 38 witnesses in Boiani, not to mention others who may have seen the objects independently, were not the only people to see strange things in the sky that night. There were sightings at Giwa, Baniara and Sideia, which amply confirm that mysterious intelligently controlled flying machines were visiting Papua on June 26-28th. 1959.



The Third Night.

But before passing on to these, we shall complete the Boiani reports. For the mysterious craft returned on the Sunday night, 28th. June, the third in succession.  This time they did not come so low, nor did the men appear. But the objects were more numerous than ever. Here is Fr. Gill's laconic report –


Boiani Sightings


Sunday, 28/6/59.

6.00 p.m.

No sign of U.F.O.

6.45 p.m.

Only 1 U.F.O. practically overhead. Slightly north. Very high, but clearly distinguishable, due to hovering. (Fr. Gill uses the word 'hover' in the sense of wavering movement in a small area).

7.30 p.m.

Same U.F.O. - moved to southern position, but still more or less overhead.

11.20 p.m.

A sharp metallic and loud bang on Mission roof, as though a piece of metal had dropped from a great height. No roll of 'object' down roof slope afterwards. Outside, 4 UFO's in a circle round station. All high.

To bed, and UFOs still there.


Monday 29/6/59


11.30 p.m.

Roof examined. No apparent sign or mark or dent, which one might expect from last night's noise.



image As from:

19 Glanbrae Avenue


Victoria. 3125. Australia






11th November, 1973


Professor J. Allen Hyneck

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois. 60201.

Dear Allen,

My apologies for delay in replying to your letter. I have enjoyed studying your photograph which I return with thanks. I have just completed a battery of lectures for one of our teacher’s colleges.

Boraiani does seem to have fallen somewhat into decay since we left – judging from your remarks and what I can seen in the pictures. I trust my remarks here will help you in your search. You will also find enclosed the story of my spectacles.

I wish I could remember some specific incident about the wearing of my spectacles that would settle all doubt, but I cannot. I can only repeat that I automatically put them on whenever I want to see with clarity at a distance – and as I always carry them on my face except for reading and writing or other close work; there would be no special reason for my remembering that I was wearing them on any special occasion. However, I contend would remember if I had not been wearing them, as that would have been unusual, and for such an event! This would have been due to either breakage or loss. Neither of these things occurred. So it must be established that I was, in fact, wearing them.


1. The object was definitely over land, above the village to the west of the Muoina Station, possible 100 or so yards inland from the coast.

2. I was told by some who claimed to see it arrive (Daisy was one of them) that it had come from south-east, but as I did not see this the fact (?) was not documented.

3. Pictures: 1+2+3; 14+15 – no comments.

Nos 4 + 5 + 6 – What you describe as being the ‘front’ door was rarely used by me. My front door – the one mentioned in my report – was in the single-storeyed section of the house and faced the sea. (See diagram attached).

COMMENTS (cont.)

Nos. 7 + 8. Oustide my ‘front’ door. This is approximately the spot where Anaina stood (see my sketch attached). I remember this clearly – Friday night. He had been inside with me, and he preceded me out of the door and had been standing there a minute or so before I joined him. It was from there that we went to the higher ground to get a better view. N.B. – Foliage in the picture was not so evident then. e.g. there were no trees immediately in front of the building as seen in your photograph. Trees in the distance were quite small.

9. looking N.W. from footpath downhill.

10. This is Daisy (senior) – in the pink dress, not Daisy Kolanna, although both Daisy’s were present at the sightings. The woman in blue? I’m not sure.

11. This is NOT Daisy. WHO? I am not sure – it may be Adeline aged somewhat.

12. this is NOT Adeline. This is Daisy (junior) i.e. Daisy Kolanna. The anecdote is correct but the name is wrong.

13. Daisy Kolanna, again.

Of course had I anticipated this becoming ‘historic’ I guess I would have detailed everything. It seems now, after your visitation, that the matter has been covered as thoroughly as is possible after much time. In fact to talk to those people after all that time is probably worth as much as anything else and I ever say in the future.

I am not interested in the proposed Australian tour you are making. I do hope your expectations are fulfilled and that is every success you wish it to be.

If at all possible, I would like you to be my guest for at least a meal on your return visit to Melbourne.

Please convey my regards to Frederick Beckman.

Yours Sincerely,


bgill1 bgill2



(to come)