Moree, NSW, 1999
Moree, NSW, 1999
This sighting took place in November 1999, while I was involved in the Aerial Agriculture industry, working as an aircraft load/mixer for a local spraying company. The job sometimes took me to airstrips away from town, mostly on large cotton properties. These properties had their own airstrips usually.
This night, I was working on an airstrip some 40km west of Moree NSW. I was loading two spray planes with insecticide. The night was crystal clear with no cloud, a crescent moon and a light wind from the SSE. A UHF radio was installed in the vehicle and I was tuned to the company channel. The pilots would call me and give me the chemical rates, fuel requirements etc.
After loading one of the planes, I turned to prepare the next load. I was expecting another plane to return soon for fuel and reloading. The planes were spraying fields about 3km away from the strip, I could see both aircraft’s work lights as they turned and flew low across the crop.
My attention was drawn to a clump of trees about 2km north of the airstrip. I could see a bluish glow and what seemed to be a white light at the base of the glow. I didn’t give it much thought then… but soon after I realised it could not be one of the planes I was working with. At that moment, one of the pilots called over the radio to the other plane, asking his location and whether or not he was on a spray run. The other pilot replied that he was not in a spray run but was turning to commence a run and was at 700 feet AGL (above ground level). The first pilot asked if he could see the glow over to the north. The reply came… ‘Yes, is that you?’… ‘No, I’m over to the east’…..The discussion went on for a few minutes, each pilot trying to determine the other’s position. Finally, a pilot asked me if I could see the glow to the north, I said that I could see it and that it looked like a roo shooter’s spotlight.
One of the pilots was flying toward the glow to see if he could identify the source. As he approached the area, the blue glow seemed to shrink back into itself and become a bright white ball. It looked to be about the size of a 5 cent piece held at arm’s length. The light rose vertically into the air, hesitated for a moment then moved briskly to the east, maintaining about 500 feet AGL. It was then that static was heard from the UHF radio in my vehicle. The object continued east until it was to my estimation about 5kms away, it then turned back to the south-east and accelerated and climbed away into the night sky. I tracked the object visually until it had faded from view.
One of the planes landed soon after, followed minutes later by the other plane. We spoke at length about what we had seen. None of us were able to establish what the object was.
The two pilots have a total of over 30,000 hours between them. Both were commercial pilots with vast flying experience. About a week later, I was working on the same airstrip during daylight hours. The aircraft I was working with encountered a small technical problem and the pilot returned to base to rectify the problem. I decided to drive over to the clump of trees from where the blue glow was seen, to see if I could find any evidence of the object there. I found that and area of grass and small bushes was slightly flattened. The flattened area was about 40 paces across, and no sign of heat or burning was seen.
Moree, New South Wales, Australia