On a Saturday afternoon in Sydney in the 1960s, Leonard Buckland was working on his roof.
“I saw a dull red object in a clear blue sky,” Leonard, who now lives at Booragul, told Topics.
“I watched it move directly down a short distance, then back up again, then forward slightly, before stopping again.”
Leonard believed he was looking at a UFO.
He watched the strange object for about five minutes, before calling his wife out from the house.
“I asked her to look in the northern sky and tell me if she saw anything,” he said.
Almost immediately, she exclaimed: “What on earth is that?”.
Leonard watched the object for another 15 minutes, before it “slowly moved off in a westerly direction and disappeared”.
“The Sunday papers that weekend were full of reports of UFO sightings, even from the Central Coast,” he said.
“There were all sorts of theories and explanations from various sources.”
A Bright White Light
In January 1942, Leonard was on school holidays at his then home in Orange.
Late one night, he and his brother were fitting new lights to their bikes.
“We were keen on trying them out, although it was late and we should have been in bed,” he said.
“We would have been chastised by our father if he had known we were out riding our bikes that late at night.”
The pair rode along the road, near their house, when they saw “a peculiar and very bright light”.
“We stopped, trying to work out what it could possibly be.”
The light was in the direction of their uncle’s property, so they headed towards it.
“We kept moving up the road, stopping every so often and saying to each other, ‘will we go further’ and ‘are you game?’.”
This went on for 10 minutes, as they rode further along the road towards the light.
“We were completely puzzled, as it was a most unusual light, very large, very white and very bright,” he said.
“When we had got to a point where we were really scared to go any closer and deciding what to do, the light suddenly disappeared.”
A Crop Circle
The next morning, Leonard and his brother rode back to their uncle’s place to see if they could find any trace of the UFO.
“We rode past our uncle’s gate towards another neighbour’s entrance further on,” he said.
The neighbour called the boys over and asked if they’d seen any stray dogs around.
Something had spooked his sheep. They were huddled in a mob in the corner of his paddock.
The boys did not reveal the sighting.
“We decided to look in his paddock, which had recently been harvested.”
Harvest stubble, about two feet high, covered the area.
Except for one spot.
“We went for a walk in the paddock and found an area about 40 feet in diameter, where the stubble was swept absolutely flat in an anti-clockwise direction, with no other sign of anything being there.
“We decided we must have seen a UFO. Obviously this had been what scared the sheep. We never told anyone. Besides, we were afraid of being in trouble with our father.”
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Topics wrote on Saturday about a bloke who saw the aurora australis (also known as the southern lights) from the Hunter about 15 years ago.
This bloke lives in a mountainous spot, near Wollombi.
Topics posted the story on the Herald’s Facebook page and it was met by a bit of scepticism.
Mark Speirs posted this: “I seen a Tasmanian Tiger in the bush near my place, but I bet I won’t get a mention in a news story because no one will believe me”.
We believe you, Mark.
Andrea Evans proved the doubters wrong, saying she had “photographed the aurora, one hour north of Newcastle at Girvan in June 2015”.
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