UAP, UAV? spotted in Melbourne, Australia 24.01.24 - 8:45pm AEST

ManInBlack

Active Member
This one is a personal sighting. I did post it on Reddit on a local forum only to encounter low IQ teenager trolls. This post is better on a forum with educated skeptics like myself.

- The event started at around 8:30pm, I was indoors when I heard the sound. It was not the sound of a commercial plane, prop plane or helicopter. The best way to describe the sound was a rumbling noise, you could liken it to a jet putting on its afterburners but it was very muffled and had more bass.
- My sighting was around 8:45pm for a short period of about 10 seconds. I went outside and rookie mistake my phone was on charge and I have no video. The object looked like a satellite however it was accelerating at a high speed and made sharp sudden manoeuvres. To describe it in more detail it was basically a white/amber glowing dot. Even if I had my phone and videoed it I don't think I would have picked up much because it seemed to be quite a distance away.
- After I went inside I jumped straight onto flight radar to see if anything was on there and sure enough I managed to track it on the application. Below are the screenshots of its flight path at 9:10pm AEST.
- The object came up as N/A
- I viewed the object from Parkville, Melbourne facing North West.
- I told two friends of mine the story and it so happens that they also saw the exact same object roughly 20 minutes or so apart. One friend saw it from Plumpton flying towards the Tullamarine (international) airport and making zigzag manoeuvres in the sky.
- The second friend saw it from Broadmeadows and saw the same object making zigzag manoeuvres over the Tullamarine international airport while planes were landing.
- Both witnessed it closer than I did and both frustratingly did not film the object (one had a phone but didn't bother and the other did not have one on them at the time of the sighting).
- They both guessed that it was the size of a small bus however this was only a guess therefore I can't assume it is correct. They both saw it much closer than me and confirmed as I did that it was not a plane, or helicopter.
- All three of us believe it was a large drone, it did move as fast as a jet fighter but the manoeuvres were similar to what can be achieved with a quad copter.
- They both lost sight of it once it left the airport.
- The things I have ruled out so far...Balloon, Jet, Commercial Aircraft, Prop planes (large & small), Helicopter, Weather Phenomenon, Meteor, Comet, Ball Lightning & Aliens. That leaves me with some kind of drone. Admittedly I have not seen a drone that performs in this way and it is odd that it was flown in high traffic airspace.
- Would be grateful to see if a) anyone else saw it and b) what other information would be worthwhile collecting to determine what it was (not going to lose sleep if I don't just curious more than anything)

IMG_9049.jpgIMG_9051.jpgIMG_9050.jpg
 
Maybe its a prototype self-driving taxi or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) type craft. They might take off from the Airport and work with Air Traffic to go through controlled airspace. Here's a news clip about a Australian company Skyports that says Air Taxis above Melbourne is coming. I didn't find a part where you hear the vehicle itself, but you might be able to look through similar clips to find one that sounds like what you heard.


Source: https://youtu.be/u7shnlG9H_8
 
I don't know exactly how Flightradar24 works, but getting the track is great. I use Flight Aware and a U2 came over the other day making its distinctive roaring rumble, but it wasn't on my Flight Aware app even though I could just make the plane out in the sky. Some military flights show up, some don't. My limited understanding is most flights broadcast their location and info via the ADS-B system, but military sometimes turn that off.

So, if the track is on Flightradar24, does that mean whatever it is, it's using ADS-B to send out its location? Or is it just a radar track? I don't know.

The event started at around 8:30pm, I was indoors when I heard the sound. It was not the sound of a commercial plane, prop plane or helicopter. The best way to describe the sound was a rumbling noise, you could liken it to a jet putting on its afterburners but it was very muffled and had more bass.

Just asking questions here. Is it possible the sound wasn't related to the aircraft? We're all aware of how a weird coincidence can seemingly create a UFO or paranormal event.

If I lived in a more urban environment a low muffled bass might make me think of some dude with an overblown car stereo.

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to what becomes of this.
 
This one is a personal sighting. I did post it on Reddit on a local forum only to encounter low IQ teenager trolls. This post is better on a forum with educated skeptics like myself.

- The event started at around 8:30pm, I was indoors when I heard the sound. It was not the sound of a commercial plane, prop plane or helicopter. The best way to describe the sound was a rumbling noise, you could liken it to a jet putting on its afterburners but it was very muffled and had more bass.
- My sighting was around 8:45pm for a short period of about 10 seconds. I went outside and rookie mistake my phone was on charge and I have no video. The object looked like a satellite however it was accelerating at a high speed and made sharp sudden manoeuvres. To describe it in more detail it was basically a white/amber glowing dot. Even if I had my phone and videoed it I don't think I would have picked up much because it seemed to be quite a distance away.
- After I went inside I jumped straight onto flight radar to see if anything was on there and sure enough I managed to track it on the application. Below are the screenshots of its flight path at 9:10pm AEST.
- The object came up as N/A
- I viewed the object from Parkville, Melbourne facing North West.
- I told two friends of mine the story and it so happens that they also saw the exact same object roughly 20 minutes or so apart. One friend saw it from Plumpton flying towards the Tullamarine (international) airport and making zigzag manoeuvres in the sky.
- The second friend saw it from Broadmeadows and saw the same object making zigzag manoeuvres over the Tullamarine international airport while planes were landing.
- Both witnessed it closer than I did and both frustratingly did not film the object (one had a phone but didn't bother and the other did not have one on them at the time of the sighting).
- They both guessed that it was the size of a small bus however this was only a guess therefore I can't assume it is correct. They both saw it much closer than me and confirmed as I did that it was not a plane, or helicopter.
- All three of us believe it was a large drone, it did move as fast as a jet fighter but the manoeuvres were similar to what can be achieved with a quad copter.
- They both lost sight of it once it left the airport.
- The things I have ruled out so far...Balloon, Jet, Commercial Aircraft, Prop planes (large & small), Helicopter, Weather Phenomenon, Meteor, Comet, Ball Lightning & Aliens. That leaves me with some kind of drone. Admittedly I have not seen a drone that performs in this way and it is odd that it was flown in high traffic airspace.
- Would be grateful to see if a) anyone else saw it and b) what other information would be worthwhile collecting to determine what it was (not going to lose sleep if I don't just curious more than anything)

IMG_9049.jpgIMG_9051.jpgIMG_9050.jpg
Are you going to report it to MUFON Australia? Use the Report a UFO button.

https://mufon.com/contact/

AUSTRALIA​

Dr. Roger Stankovic
National Director
rogerstankovic@gmail.com

Mike Robinson
Provincial Director
michael_robinson@ozemail.com.au
 
Maybe its a prototype self-driving taxi or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) type craft. They might take off from the Airport and work with Air Traffic to go through controlled airspace. Here's a news clip about a Australian company Skyports that says Air Taxis above Melbourne is coming. I didn't find a part where you hear the vehicle itself, but you might be able to look through similar clips to find one that sounds like what you heard.


Source: https://youtu.be/u7shnlG9H_8

This is definitely 100% a possibility, although I don't know if these can reach the speeds that I saw. Although I definitely wouldn't discount it.
 
I don't know exactly how Flightradar24 works, but getting the track is great. I use Flight Aware and a U2 came over the other day making its distinctive roaring rumble, but it wasn't on my Flight Aware app even though I could just make the plane out in the sky. Some military flights show up, some don't. My limited understanding is most flights broadcast their location and info via the ADS-B system, but military sometimes turn that off.

So, if the track is on Flightradar24, does that mean whatever it is, it's using ADS-B to send out its location? Or is it just a radar track? I don't know.



Just asking questions here. Is it possible the sound wasn't related to the aircraft? We're all aware of how a weird coincidence can seemingly create a UFO or paranormal event.

If I lived in a more urban environment a low muffled bass might make me think of some dude with an overblown car stereo.

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to what becomes of this.
It is entirely possible that the rumbling wasn't related to the aircraft. Although it did happen only when it was overhead, so I can only assume.

One of my friends said that it could be the airforce testing the Ghost Bat (see below). Although I disagree because of its ability to manoeuvre so rapidly in zig zag pattern.
https://www.airforce.gov.au/our-work/projects-and-programs/ghost-bat

If they are testing an eVTOL they must have special clearance because it flew in direct commercial airline traffic. Seeing that I picked it up on flight radar surely both Air Traffic Control at Essendon Airport and Melbourne international Airport picked it up.
 
It is entirely possible that the rumbling wasn't related to the aircraft. Although it did happen only when it was overhead, so I can only assume.

One of my friends said that it could be the airforce testing the Ghost Bat (see below). Although I disagree because of its ability to manoeuvre so rapidly in zig zag pattern.
https://www.airforce.gov.au/our-work/projects-and-programs/ghost-bat

If they are testing an eVTOL they must have special clearance because it flew in direct commercial airline traffic. Seeing that I picked it up on flight radar surely both Air Traffic Control at Essendon Airport and Melbourne international Airport picked it up.
Interesting story, thanks for sharing it with us. Have you thought about filing a FOIA request with the cognizant civil aviation authority to get radar plots and associated data of the a/c involved? Another idea might be to contact local airplane spotter/aviation enthusiast groups to see if they can offer any identification information. I'd be surprised if there aren't such groups in Oz. I'd also consider contacting Air Britain, they have members the world over and a couple forums, on-line and in their publications. Those folks never ceased to amaze me with their aviation sleuthing skills.
 
One thing important to remember with theorizing here is that, whatever it is, ADS-B cannot pick up things that do not have both a satellite navigational system and an ADS datalink. That does amplify the possibility of certain things like planes and helicopters and lower the possibility of things like a balloon or (commercially available) drone.
 
Interesting story, thanks for sharing it with us. Have you thought about filing a FOIA request with the cognizant civil aviation authority to get radar plots and associated data of the a/c involved? Another idea might be to contact local airplane spotter/aviation enthusiast groups to see if they can offer any identification information. I'd be surprised if there aren't such groups in Oz. I'd also consider contacting Air Britain, they have members the world over and a couple forums, on-line and in their publications. Those folks never ceased to amaze me with their aviation sleuthing skills.
All good suggestions, I'm going to look into both, however I think the latter is a better option. I don't see a FOIA getting me anywhere, also I don't have enough information to narrow down a request.

There are a number of aviation clubs on Facebook, but I don't have an account

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1061284620561686/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PlaneSpottersOfMelbourne/


Anyone care to post it for me?
 
I actually saw your original thread on the local subreddit and was intetested in the outcome but the thread was later deleted. Was a nice surprise seeing it here.

The flight you tracked on FR24 is undoubtedly POL32. It regularly does a similar route along the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne almost nightly.

I was reading this thread earlier and it prompted me to sign up (decade long lurker) to provide information but Mick has beaten me to it. The vicpol airwing is generally hidden on FR24 but available on adsbexchange.com.

The track you saw on FR24 is not accurate and is from incomplete ADSB or MLAT data. It never zig zagged over YMML (Tullamarine), this is FR24 getting confused after the helicopter landed at YMEN (Essendon).


When your friends saw the craft zig zagging over Tullamarine airport did they visually observe it or were they going by the FR24 data?
 
If you misjudge distance, you're going to misjudge speed. Since you have the flight track, you can figure its ground speed by measuring the distance over time. The flight track ought to reveal the altitude as well.

Note that a flight track is actually a set of points: whenever a receiver happens to catch a transmission from the aircraft, that's a point. The software connects these points, but that's not necessarily the path that was flown, especially if it involves sharp corners: imagine marking some dots on a circle and connecting them, you're going to get corners and spikes even though the circle is round.

@JerseyGirl2008 Aliens do not have ADS-B because that makes air traffic control see them, and when they fly in controlled airspace without a flight plan or responding to radio, the air force is going to come and see what's up with that.
 
The track appears to be a poor quaiity recording of POL32, a large police helicopter:
https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=7cb011&lat=-37.849&lon=145.057&zoom=10.8&showTrace=2024-01-24
2024-01-25_23-59-57.jpg
2024-01-26_00-00-28.jpg

These can sound very loud and bassy when flying low and slow.
@Mick West can confirm it was not the police air wing, a) the air wing does not fly as high as I saw the object b) I know what the air wing sounds like as I see it almost every other day c) there was no strobing lights only one bright light.

@pantoptican my friends sighted the direct zig zag motion in the sky, they had not seen the flight radar image. I've never seen a helicopter have that capability, a drone on the other hand does.

@Mendel I cannot confirm the speed. I don't have a flight radar subscription but if you do, would appreciate the data.

I have posted the sighting on a local aviation forum full of pilots who are melbourne based. Hopefully someone saw it overhead at the Tullamarine airport. After all it was directly over the airport.
 
@Mick West can confirm it was not the police air wing, a) the air wing does not fly as high as I saw the object b) I know what the air wing sounds like as I see it almost every other day c) there was no strobing lights only one bright light.

@pantoptican my friends sighted the direct zig zag motion in the sky, they had not seen the flight radar image. I've never seen a helicopter have that capability, a drone on the other hand does.

@Mendel I cannot confirm the speed. I don't have a flight radar subscription but if you do, would appreciate the data.

I have posted the sighting on a local aviation forum full of pilots who are melbourne based. Hopefully someone saw it overhead at the Tullamarine airport. After all it was directly over the airport.
In the OP you say you believe the track on FR matches what you saw, is that still the case?
 
...can confirm it was not the police air wing, a) the air wing does not fly as high as I saw the object
How did you establish its height? I've only ever established the height of an unknown aircraft by talking on the phone to another simultaneous witness and comparing angles - even then I'd expect at least an error of about 2x the estimate.

Judging the height of an unknown is usually very difficult and full of potential sources of error.
 
How did you establish its height? I've only ever established the height of an unknown aircraft by talking on the phone to another simultaneous witness and comparing angles - even then I'd expect at least an error of about 2x the estimate.

Judging the height of an unknown is usually very difficult and full of potential sources of error.
When I sighted it, I compared it to looking at the space station crossing the sky. I do not have any accurate measurement of the height.
 
Can you elaborate on the zig zagging your friend saw? I've also watched these fly a lot at night. They can move fairly quickly and are loud being a twin engine helicopter. How sure are you the track you saw on FR24 is the craft you saw visually?
 
my flightaware 24 doesnt do that zig zag thing over melbourne airport.

1706278067064.png

Screenshot 2024-01-26 090400.png
Thanks @deirdre that is interesting, does the subscribed version of FR24 provide any other detail...altitude etc? Can you confirm the total flight time?

@pantoptican not much more to say, it was exactly as stated above, it flew in a Zig Zag pattern. My post was removed from an aviation spotters forum, so I'm looking for new leads.

I have been doing some more research and the CFA have been testing a large drone for the past month during bush fire season, it could be why this thing was flying in regulated airspace (Source: https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/news/drone-trial-in-the-west-a-success). It would completely make sense that they would test some night flying. Also my friends who witnessed it only made an assumption it was the size of a small bus but they had zero reference points. It would have a bright light flying at night, so it would have appeared larger than it probably was.

Also I don't know if the rumbling I heard was actually from the object it could have been completely coincedental.

Screenshot 2024-01-27 at 10.50.24 am.png
 
Thanks @deirdre that is interesting, does the subscribed version of FR24 provide any other detail...altitude etc? Can you confirm the total flight time?
i dont have a subscribed version. it just disappeared like a second after that screengrab..on my screen it didnt make it back to that "starting point" we see there. edit add: to be specific ..right over that number 40 sign it blipped off the screen.

maybe the flying things dont register until they hit a certain altitude? or helicopters have to be close enough to a beacon to be picked up? i dont know much about these radar things. I do see flight aware saying you can now (since last year) track your own helicopter for 3,600$ a year (PER helicopter!) Not sure what this means specifically for your helicopter (or whether your taxes will go up if the police want to be able to track their flights better)


1706370614741.png

Article:
October 16, 2023
...
Rather than flying directly between point A and point B and landing at airports like their fixed-wing counterparts, helicopter pilots often find themselves flying a variety of missions. Sometimes they are flying low and slow in congested urban environments. Other times, they are traversing some of the world’s most rugged and remote terrain, with multiple stops along the way.

Historically, this fact has made it difficult to track helicopter flights with great accuracy, unless the aircraft were equipped with special transponders.

Now, Houston, Texas-based FlightAware is addressing that niche with the release of a new flight tracking product designed specifically for helicopters. The company made the announcement at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 16, 2023.
 
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@Mick West below is the Victorian air wing flying at night, note the strobing lights.



@deirdre that's a good point, maybe they don't register until they hit a certain altitude.

I did find out this information from the moon city council which covers Essendon Airport where it flew over (source: see attached). So there should be a form of authorisation which should be easy enough to ask for a record of it. I'll repost once I receive a response.

If you expect to be operating within 5.5km of Essendon Airport, please provide evidence of


CASA authorisation.


If drone is expected to be surveying activity within close range of the public, notifications to


public will be required.
 

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