UFORQ membership | Sign in | Register


UFOs over Papua New Guinea (1950s)

Rights to all articles are held by the authors and permission to reprint must be sought from UFO Research Queensland.

The full report of Flying Saucers Over Papua by the Reverend Norman E. Cruttwell, M.A. Oxon of the Anglican Mission in Menapi New Guinea, from which this article is taken, is available from the lending library of UFO Research Queensland or for sale for $10.00 (AUD). It contains numerous reports from missionaries and natives as well as many diagrams and illustrations.

The First Papuan Sighting

The story opens with Mr T.P. Drury’s sighting in 1953. At the time he was Director of Civil Aviation in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, stationed at Port Moresby:

“I was standing on the coast road overlooking the Flying Boat Base at Port Moresby with my wife and children. It was about 11:00am on August 23, 1953. The sky was perfectly clear, which is unusual. My wife noticed a wisp of a cloud suddenly appear in the blue sky from nowhere and start to build up rapidly into a white puff. She called out to draw my attention to it, and I watched it rapidly build up into a thick white mass of cumulus. There were no other clouds in the sky and there seemed nothing to account for it. Being interested in meteorological phenomenon I decided to take a film of it. Suddenly, an object like a silver dart shot out of the cloud. It was elongated in shape like a bullet. It was very clear-cut, sharp in front but apparently truncated behind, though the tail may have been hidden by the vapour trail. No wings or fins were visible. It shot out of the cloud upwards at an angle of about 45 degrees and was travelling at least five times as fast as a jet plane travelling at the speed of sound. It never slackened speed or changed direction, but simply faded upwards into the blue and its vapour faded after it. The vapour trail was very clear, dense, white and billowing, and is visible in the remaining portion of the film still in my possession. In spite of the supersonic speed and nearness of the object, there was no sound whatever.

“I was greatly concerned about the appearance of such an extraordinary object in the sky and drove straight to Jackson’s Airport and checked with Air Traffic Control. There were no unusual aircraft out, only a DC3 and a DC4. I reported the sighting to the RAAF but they were unable to account for it. I later sent them the film which was sent all over the world, but no-one could explain the object. I am absolutely certain of its reality and I know all types of aircraft. I have flown 32 of them myself”

This appears to be the first record of an unidentified flying object over the Territory of Papua New Guinea, and it remains the only one to have been photographed. Mr Drury claims that when the film was returned to him after being sent to America and other countries, the best frames had been removed and the remainder showed only the cloud and the vapour trail.


Objects over the Papuan Gulf

Two more objects were seen over the Gulf of Papua in 1955 and 1956. They bore no resemblance to aircraft but were typical of the many objects seen later in 1959.

One evening in May 1955 a Doctor E. Nespor was returning from a swim in the sea when he saw a large disc. It was about half the size of the moon and glowing with a green light that moved slowly along for about a minute before disappearing.

In 1955 or 56, a Mr C. Jackson, Manager of Papuan Air Transport was fishing at night on an island in the Gulf about 70 miles west of Port Moresby. It was about 2:00am when he and his companion saw a large round red light in the sky in the west. It was larger than the moon and much brighter, with a blurred outlined. It did not move laterally but appeared to increase and decrease in size as though it were approaching and receding. It vanished after 30 minutes.

Strange Light over the Ninigo Islands

The following account appeared in the South Pacific Post on November 6, 1957:

“A Patrol Officer and four Europeans watched a strange unexplainable light hover near their ship for 20 minutes. They were in the Ahu passage in the Ninigo group when a strange light appeared in the west. It assumed the appearance of a large yellow star that hovered in place for twenty minutes, changed from yellow to red to green and finally to crimson. It remained still for twenty minutes, then moved violently in a small area. It turned from crimson to green and then appeared to fall into the sea.”

Red Light over the Airport

In early February 1958, it was heard over the radio on the local news that a mysterious red light had appeared over Jackson’s Airport, Port Moresby. It was seen by several airport personnel and appeared as a bright red blob of light that cam from the north east and descended to about 200 feet. It appeared to buzz the strip, as if inspecting it.

Blue Moon near Samarai

Previously, the sightings had been reported by officials of the Administration or Air Transport. In 1958 the Missionaries also started to see things. Reports from the Catholic mission at Sideia were sent in by the Rev. Bishop Doyle, Vicar Apostolic of Samarai. He stated:

“In June 1958 there came from the south a round object about the size of the moon and pale blue in colour, emitting a light brighter than sunlight. It seem to hover in the sky over the mission, and after about 5 minutes it moved in a northerly direction and disappeared mid-sky.”


Lights over Goodenough Bay

Somewhere in June 1959, children at the Mission in Goodenough Bay saw a light crossing the sky. It was about 7:00pm and the object appeared to be white, like a star, and the children took it to be a satellite. The next sighting was at Wamira on the opposite side of the Bay. The Wamira people had come out of the evening service at 6.30pm when they all saw a moving white light, like a star, travelling quickly across the sky from south to north, its light fluctuating regularly. On the same evening, another moving light was seen by children over the sea.

Green Fireball

On the same evening of the previous sighting in June 1959 a Dr K Houston at Wamira was looking at the sky in the place where the white light had been seen when without warning a dazzling green flare burst forth in the sky. It appeared from nowhere at an elevation of 60 degrees in a clear starlit sky. It moved across the sky from north to south at a fair speed, and moved about a quarter of the width of the sky until it appeared to be above Cape Frere, about three miles away to the southeast. It was dazzlingly bright and of a clear apple green. It lit up the trees and landscape with its light, and then vanished without a sound.

At the same time about 1.5 miles away and two hundred feet up, the same object was seen by Mr B Sweet of Dogura, the head mission station. Many explanations have been suggested for this light, but none of them fit.

The Satellite that Changed Direction

An object was seen for three nights in succession at Manapi, and for five at Dogura. It was also seen at Sideia and Port Moresby, on the other side of the Territory. The object always came from the northwest and traveled southeast on an unvarying course. The light took about three minutes to cross the sky, fluctuating slowly as it went from bright to faint and bright again, taking about 15 seconds to complete each cycle. It was at very great height, passing behind a few high cirro-stratus clouds. On December 1st it failed to appear, and it was never seen again. However, the following night the following item was broadcast over Radio News from Port Moresby:

“At approximately 6:45pm on Monday December 1, an unidentified flying object was seen by several residents of Boroko, a suburb of Port Moresby. It was like a star, bluish white in colour and of about the same magnitude as a bright star. It traveled from east to west and disappeared low over the western horizon. It tended to disappear every few seconds. It was visible for three minutes, during which time it crossed the sky from horizon to horizon.”

There can be little doubt that this object was the same or similar to the ones seen on previous nights over Manpim, Dogura, Wamira and Sidea. The remarkable feature though, is the change in direction. Even if a satellite could behave in the manner observed, fluctuating its light and appearing regularly at the same time, how could it conceivable change direction in 24 hours from a southeasterly to a westerly course? taking into account the previous sightings at Menapi and Wamira, the profusion of satellites in the sky travelling in different directions is puzzling.

Categories: Casefiles

2 Responses so far.

  1. Rocket says:

    Im really curious, have their been any latest siting in papua new guinea?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.