BY PETER KRANZ
The veracity of Father Gill's testimony has never been questioned and to this day the Boianai sightings are one of the strangest episodes in the annals of UFOlogy.
On 5 April 1959, at the Anglican mission village at Boianai, Papua, one of the most well-documented cases of alien visitation began. The Anglican Church had sent Father William Booth Gill to lead the mission. He would be the main subject of an amazing series of UFO sightings with alien beings.
During the summer of 1959, Gill's assistant Stephen Moi reported to him that he had observed an "inverted saucer-shaped object" which was hovering above the mission. Gill thought nothing of it at the time.
On 26 June, Father Gill again saw a bright light to his northwest. Evidently, rumours of the previous sighting by Moi had spread among the villagers, and soon they were beside Gill, watching the light above.
An enormous object was hovering over the mission. Soon, four beings, similar to humans, emerged from the object. They appeared to be working on something on their ship. The beings would go inside the object, and then soon return, as if fetching tools. At regular intervals, a blue light shone up above the UFO. This craft was visible for 45 minutes, vanishing at 7:30 pm.
Forty-five minutes later, many of the witnesses remained, still pondering the sight they had seen. Soon, several objects smaller than the previous UFO appeared in the sky.
About 20 minutes afterward, the first UFO was back in view. The sighting of the larger UFO would last four hours, as witnesses would come and go. Twenty-five witnesses signed their testimony to the sighting. A heavy cloud cover ended the event.
Incredibly, the next night the giant disc-shaped UFO returned at 6 pm. Two of the smaller objects flanked it. Father Gill, with many of the witnesses from the night before, watched the unbelievable sight.
Gill then waved at one of the creatures. "To our surprise the figure did the same. Ananias waved both arms over his head-then the two outside figures did the same. Ananias and myself began waving our arms, and all four seemed to wave back. There seemed no doubt that our movements were answered... "
This series of alien contacts in Papua seem like something from a science fiction movie. However, the reputation of Father Gill cannot be overlooked, and there is no reason to think he and the other witnesses were lying or hallucinating.
Veteran UFO expert Dr J Allen Hynek thoroughly investigated the Papua events, and concluded that they were genuine. No alternate explanation has been offered to explain what happened, except perhaps to say that UFOs and alien beings visited Papua in 1959.
At the time Father Gill’s UFO story was taken very seriously - questions were raised in Parliament and the RAAF launched a formal investigation.
On 24 November 1959, ED Cash, who was a Liberal member of Parliament, asked the Minister for Air, FM Osborne, if the government had investigated the sightings in Papua. Osborne's response was that they were still waiting for more evidence before making an "official" report.
In his words: "Most sightings of UFOs are explained and only a very small percentage-something like three percent-of reported sightings of flying objects cannot be explained."
The RAAF finally interviewed Father Gill in December 1959, some six months after the sightings. Gill related that the interview consisted of two officers who talked about stars and planets, and then left. He heard no more from the two.
“Although the Reverend Gill could be regarded as a reliable observer,” Squadron Leader FA. Lang stated, “it is felt that the June-July incidents could have been nothing more than natural phenomena coloured by past events and subconscious influences of UFO enthusiasts.
“During the period of the report the weather was cloudy and unsettled with light thunder storm. Although it is not possible to draw firm conclusions, an analysis of rough bearings and angles above the horizon does suggest that at least some of the lights observed were the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.”
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