Wednesday, 28 March 2012

UFOs over Boiani - in Father Gill's Own Words

     Whenever "classic" UFO cases are catalogued, eventually one finds the name of the late Rev. William Booth Gill, the head of the Anglican mission at Boiani, on Goodenough Bay, Papua (10º 1½' S, 149º 53' E). Over three nights in June 1959, he and his entire congregation were witnesses to a remarkable close encounter of the third kind lasting several hours on each occasion. If you have read about it, it will have been on a page or so of some omnibus UFO book, itself copied from an earlier omnibus book.
    However, in the late 1970s I was lucky enough to acquire a copy of the original report in Fr. Gill's own words. It is included in a 45-page document entitled:
    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.
     He got involved in collecting the reports after a sighting of his own the previous December, when he wrote to Flying Saucer Review, and was asked to be their local investigator. I presume, therefore, that at least part of this story was originally published in that journal. In any case, this is the full account. 
    The document had been updated slightly. There is a reference to a 1965 magazine article, along with a short 1976 addendum by the Vice President of the Queensland UFO Research Bureau, which presumably "published" the report. In fact, it is simply a mimeographed typescript, with the addition of a few drawings obviously traced from the originals. In other words, it is inaccessible to the vast majority of people. You would have better luck getting a close encounter of your own! For this reason, I wish to share it with you.
       The Rev. Cruttwell points out that the Boiani sightings were only three out of 79. Father Gill's report is in chapter V (pp 12-19). However, in chapter III he describes earlier sightings at Goodenough Bay, one of which is the following sighting by Father Gill.