Balwyn, Melbourne UFO picture (1966)

johne1618

Active Member
On April 2nd, 1966 in Balwyn, Melbourne, Australia a young engineer took the following Polaroid picture of a UFO from his mother's garden. Four days later the Westall School mass UFO sighting occurred in a nearby suburb of Melbourne. The pictures come from a Reddit post by /u/nathy_volk.

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Below is a cropped blow-up of the UFO. You can see what seems to be the reflection of the red-tiled roof of the house in the surface of the UFO (left). Actually I think I see quite a lot of green (middle) which might be a reflection of the tree in the foreground.

ufo.png

It seems to me that as you can see the reflection of the roof of the house and the tree in the UFO it must be above them and a considerable size rather than a small object thrown up in the air in the foreground.

Here is the Reddit post with an interview of the photographer from Out of the Blue (2003).

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/wxultg/a_clear_ufo_picture_where_taken_1966_in_australia/
 
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johne1618

Active Member
See my post in that reddit thread.

There is more to the story

For a longer read: http://project1947.com/kbcat/kbpdbalwyn2.htm

It's interesting that Dr B. Roy Frieden (referenced in document above) thought that his copy of the original Polaroid could have been a montage of two photos. I see his point but maybe his copy wasn't very good. Also he says the vertical blurring on the chimney is not matched on the UFO. But maybe the chimney was just out of focus in the foreground like the leaves on the tree?

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Ann K

Senior Member.
The picture looks like a side view of a wall-mounted fire alarm bell, reflected in a none-too-clean window with the exterior view beyond. There are also fairly strong diagonal reflections suggesting a perspective view of the interior of a room, perhaps with something like kitchen cabinets on the wall.
I don't know what the bright blobs are, but they might be raindrops illuminated by the interior light.

The picture shown in the "project 1947" article is much different, suggesting that either your initial photo is not an original, or the one in the article has been cleaned up a lot for presentation.

edit to add: OR ...since we have been going all around the petunia patch with the Calvine photo, maybe the blurring on the chimney (and tree) indicates that the whole thing is a water reflection?
 
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jackfrostvc

Senior Member
A lot of people have guessed a service bell.
The writeup also noted the possibility of it maybe being a pram hub cap from that era
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I'm going with "tape a couple of metal bowls/plates from the kitchen together, and toss it in the air." Nothing about it looks like it is large and far away to me, with the admission that my subjective impression has little evidentiary weight.

Reminds me a lot of the supposed landed UFO from Brazil a few years ago.
sopa de ayyyy por los gatos.JPG
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
@johne1618
I think the zig zag different shade sections are IMO, due to the clear film on the polaroid coming off and then ripping off over time. So part of the photo still had the clear film on it, and part didn't.
I live in Melbourne, actually once came close to buying a house in North Balwyn.
I find it hard to believe a UFO would be over Balwyn and seemingly only one person spots it.
 

johne1618

Active Member
I'm going with "tape a couple of metal bowls/plates from the kitchen together, and toss it in the air." Nothing about it looks like it is large and far away to me, with the admission that my subjective impression has little evidentiary weight.

Reminds me a lot of the supposed landed UFO from Brazil a few years ago.

But there seems to be some reflection of the red-tiled roof in the surface of the object. Surely it would have to be above the roof and therefore have a diameter at least the width of the chimney (2 ft)? That’s a big bowl to throw above his mother’s house.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
But there seems to be some reflection of the red-tiled roof on the bottom of the object. Surely it would have to be above the roof and therefore have a size at least the width of the chimney (2 ft)?
Why "red tiled roof" at all, considering there are red brick buildings around? As to size, I don't think you understand at all what reflections do in a curved surface. Try it yourself with the back of a spoon.09138951-91CE-4F39-9596-D69E4F878694.jpeg
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
But there seems to be some reflection of the red-tiled roof in the surface of the object.
Unless the object is small and closer than the chimney, in which case the reflection on the small close shiny thing is something behind the camera person.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Charlie Wiser fairly accurately ID'd this one as a stroller/pram hubcap on her website

It's a possible but not really an exact match. Probably lots of things it could be.

See my post in that reddit thread.

There is more to the story

For a longer read: http://project1947.com/kbcat/kbpdbalwyn2.htm

I'm only guessing but i think the reason you got a dislike here is because you're supposed to post your comment from the reddit thread and quote the relevant section from the link.

Quote from Mick in the "link policy":

While links are very important, they must be treated as additional references and not stand-alone content, so any content in the link that you refer to must also be in your post, quoted using "ex" tags.
 

Charlie Wiser

Active Member
The picture looks like a side view of a wall-mounted fire alarm bell, reflected in a none-too-clean window with the exterior view beyond. There are also fairly strong diagonal reflections suggesting a perspective view of the interior of a room, perhaps with something like kitchen cabinets on the wall.
I don't know what the bright blobs are, but they might be raindrops illuminated by the interior light.

The picture shown in the "project 1947" article is much different, suggesting that either your initial photo is not an original, or the one in the article has been cleaned up a lot for presentation.

edit to add: OR ...since we have been going all around the petunia patch with the Calvine photo, maybe the blurring on the chimney (and tree) indicates that the whole thing is a water reflection?

I'd never considered a fire alarm bell. I'll look into it.

I did think it might be a reflection because there's a large pond on the other side of the house, per the photographer's diagram at the time (this is from his NICAP report 2 weeks after the alleged date he took the photo), and it's still there on Google Maps today.

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This scan of the photo shown in close-up on James Fox's Phenomenon (2020, interview filmed ~2018) has what might be a wire coming down from the object, so going up from it if it's a reflection. It might also be a scratch or hair introduced when the photo was most recently scanned, as there's no sign of in the lower res scans that researchers were using over the past several years (Fox said that the photographer Kibel mailed him the scan - timestamped podcast from Aug 29, 2022).

Balwyn UFO hi res.png

I'm working on a write-up of a couple of aspects of this case. An Australian researcher is right now (in the next few days) attempting to get the original polaroid to examine or make a high-res scan of, and I don't want to jeopardize that.

Here's a map of the area showing where Kibel claims the object was, which I've included to scale in about the right direction (re. his chimney). Seems highly unlikely it's *his* roof allegedly reflecting in the thing, if it's a 20-35ft object 350ft+ away (his estimates). Red pin is his house, and he was standing in the far corner of the garden.

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