IS IT A PLANE?: Snippets from video footage taken and map of mine site.
IS IT A PLANE?: Snippets from video footage taken and map of mine site. Contributed

'Stumped' by UFO presence

THE sighting of an unidentified flying object near Middlemount has experts and locals baffled and "stumped”.

A host of logical explanations have been ruled out and observers and analysts have now been left wondering what it was they saw in the sky over two consecutive days.

Les Marsden, who is based in Townsville but works in Middlemount, is a loader operator who works at the mine site and spotted the white-grey object on July 28 and again on July 29 when he was able to capture a video.

"I was alerted to this object in the sky by one of the truck drivers,” Mr Marsden said.

"There were different theories on what it might be. We thought it could be a falling star or weather balloon.

"It was almost pulsing. I observed it for a little while and then it disappeared. And then the following day someone said, 'It's back'.”

"About another two people saw it - the truck driver and the shift supervisor. And I could see it was behaving in a most irregular way.

map of mine site.
map of mine site. Contributed

"Then, as I was filming it, it appeared to land in a clearing and I was blinking thinking, 'Did I just see that'?”

Mr Marsden said he has been keeping an eye out, but hasn't seen the object again.

On July 28, he said the object was low to the visible horizon for "several minutes” and making no sound around 8.30am and the next day it was visible for about 40 minutes, also at 8.30am.

On July 29, workers said the object travelled slowly horizontally and descended below the horizon and, in the video, the object changes shape from pyramid, to triangle, to disc flattening out and continuing to roll and change shape.

"All the theories that I could think of were easily ruled out because it wasn't behaving in a way you would expect any of those things to behave like. I'm not going to say it was one thing or another, but I definitely know what it wasn't.

"The truck driver, he thinks it's a UFO, which is definitely a possibility I can't rule out.

"I've never discounted UFOs because I'm an open- minded person. But this was the first time I'd ever seen anything with my own eyes that would go any way to backing up that theory.”

Mr Marsden said the videos he took during the object's second flight don't do the experience justice.

"It was just amazing to see the behaviour of this object in the sky right in front of me. It was definitely hanging around.

"It certainly is interesting - I wasn't expecting that. It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen.”

UFO expert Keith Basterfield, who is based in Adelaide, has compiled a report with two other Melbourne-based experts on the Middlemount sightings.

Mr Basterfield said he would be keen to hear from anyone else who may have seen something unusual in the sky on either of those days.

"I am seeking additional witnesses. It is always useful having someone who saw it from another direction but who appears to have seen the same thing at the same time on the same morning,” he said.

Mr Basterfield, who has studied UFOs for more than 40 years, said the first thing he does is eliminate "mundane causes”.

"You have to ask yourself, 'Was it a plane? Could it have been a helicopter? Was it some kind of balloon coming down?'”

He said he called all operators of hot air balloons in the region - including Emerald and Rockhampton - and discovered they don't conduct flights in the area.

By analysing the videos and the distance of the tree line where it disappeared - about 400-500 metres away - Mr Basterfield said the object would have been about 13 metres in diameter.

He said he eliminated the possibility of it being wind debris due to the direction of the wind on the day and the object's flight pattern and he checked with Google as to the possibility of it being one of their Loon balloons.

"And it doesn't appear they had anything up on the two days of the sightings. So we've eliminated all of those and at the moment we're stumped,” he said.

"I've been studying UFOs for many years and there are some cases which are so startling that you have to conclude there is something going on.

"I just think there are some sightings which defy knowledge and seemingly do not have any form of mundane explanation.

"In the truest sense it's an unidentified flying object, and this one is certainly puzzling.”

To contact Mr Basterfield email keithbasterfield@ A link to his preliminary report is at: melbourneufosightings. -1.html?m=1

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