The UFO and the nuclear alert
North West Cape, Western Australia
25 October 1973
The following report was among RAAF UFO sightings files first examined by Bill Chalker in 1975. Two US servicemen stationed at the US Navy’s communications station at North West Cape independently observed a mysterious object. The base incorporates an NSA facility within the Naval Security Group. Area “B” within the base contains a high-frequency transmitter.
At about 7.15 pm, Lieutenant Commander M(censored), USN, was driving south from the communications station to nearby Exmouth when he saw a “large black airborne object” in the west at a distance of about five miles (eight km). He watched it hover, at an estimated altitude of 2,000 feet (600 metres), for about twenty to 25 seconds. It then flew off to the north, “accelerating beyond belief”. Lieutenant Commander M said he had “never experienced anything like it.” The UFO made no noise and left no exhaust or contrail.
At much the same time, Fire Captain (USN) Bill L(censored) was on the base itself when he was called to close the officers’ club. In his own words:
“I proceeded towards the club in the Fire Department pick-up 488, when my attention was drawn to a large black object, which at first I took to be a small cloud formation, due west of Area ‘B’. Whilst traveling towards the officers’ club I couldn’t help but be attracted by this object’s appearance.
On alighting from pick-up 488, I stood for several minutes and watched this black sphere hovering. The sky was clear and pale green-blue. No clouds were about whatsoever. The object was completely stationary except for a halo round the center, which appeared to be either revolving or pulsating. After I had stood watching it for approximately four minutes, it suddenly took off at tremendous speed and disappeared in a northerly direction, in a few seconds.
I consider this object to have been approximately ten metres (30 feet) in diameter, hovering at 300 metres (985 feet) over the hills (Mt Athol) due west of the base. It was black, maybe due to my looking in the direction of the setting sun. No lights appeared on it at any time”…
The NSA’s misreading of a signal from Syria to the USSR in turn misled the US Government into thinking the Soviets were preparing airborne divisions to move into the Middle East. On 25 October came the reaction. The North West Cape station signaled US forces in the region, putting them on nuclear alert – without telling the Australian government. And on the same day a mysterious black UFO visited the NSA/US Navy station at North West Cape…
Chalker wonders if this UFO event is the one glimpsed at paragraph 9 of NSA’s top-secret affidavit of 1980 to the US Federal Court, which discusses NSA SIGINT (signals intelligence). Chalker does not pretend to know if the strange black object was a remote-controlled drone of either a friendly or hostile power, or a bona fide UFO. But he does conclude that the case shows that UFO sightings may harbor implications for national security.
Chalker is undoubtedly correct, if the object was indeed a piece of airborne hardware.