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UFO Case Report:

Large UFO illuminates lake

Date: February 26, 1975
Location: Lake Sorell, Australia

Two men sighted two UFOs at Lake Sorell in Tasmania. "It was about 2-1/2 miles away when we saw it move - and then it was right there only about 1,000 yards away and 500 feet above the lake." The size of the object was no less than 200 feet in diameter. During the next few minutes the object turned on a "monstrous light" which was directed down toward the lake.

Classification & Features

Type of Case/Report: StandardCase
Hynek Classification: 
# of Witnesses: Multiple
Special Features/Characteristics: E-M Effects, Light Beam

Full Report / Article

Source: APRO Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 1 (July 1975)


Two men who prefer to remain anonymous sighted two UFOs at Lake Sorell in Tasmania on February 26, 1975. The reporting witness was a tail gunner in the Royal Australian Air Force, is currently a professional man and considered to be reliable. He and a friend who is a commercial artist were camped on the shore of Sorell to do some fishing.

At 8:45 p.m. Mr. Smith (a pseudonym for the reporting witness) noted three "things" in the sky which he at first thought might have been aircraft. Shortly she saw them again through broken clouds and realized that they couldn't be conventional aircr aft. They were approaching from the northeast and appeared to be two large craft and a smaller one. Smith lost sight of them for a few minutes, then picked up two of them as they travelled southwest toward Lake Sorell. They stopped over Dogs Head Point and were lost to view in broken clouds again, then were seen heading toward Mt. Penny.

Underneath each of the craft was a red, pulsing light in the center and other red to orange lights running around the circumference. The two objects stood out clearly, then one of them headed toward the fishermen's location.

"It was about 2-1/2 miles away when we saw it move - and then it was right there only about 1,000 yards away and 500 feet above the lake." Smith said that had he not seen it himself he would not have believed a craft could have such performance. He was sure that the size of the object was no less than 200 feet in diameter.

During the next few minutes the object turned on a "monstrous light" which was directed down toward the lake. It was half the diameter of the UFO itself, the shaft of it was well defined, and it came from one side of the bottom of the UFO. The light was very intense and it was painful to the eyes to look at it. Smith compared its brilliance to that of a welding torch. While watching the phenomena he took careful sightings on hills in the area with which he was familiar. The spill of light from around the main shaft of the light illuminated a distance of 1-1/2 miles around the lake.

The beam was swung back and forth in an arc. "It seemed like a careful search of the Robinson's Swamp area and I have no doubt that beam of light was intelligently controlled," Smith said.

The two men had a large tent set up at the lakeside together with cover for the car. The car's radio was being used because a portable radio he had was not strong enough to pick up radio stations some distance away. Smith observed that when the UFO flew close to their camp site the car radio emitted a loud "intense static noise." Still watching the object, Smith traversed the radio dial across the whole band but he could not pick up one radio station. "There was just the static," he said.

After its "inspection" of the area, the UFO put out its gigantic light beam, after which a blue-white phosphoresence was left hanging about 30 feet above the lake's surface. Once the light was out the UFO was clearly seen and it departed "in a flash". Its departing speed was tremendous, Smith said, and watching it leave was "like watching a tracer bullet going away from you". It was accompanied by the other UFO which had been hovering near Mt. Penney. When the two left the time was 9:30 p.m.

Smith and his friend made sketches of what they had seen, reproductions of which accompany this article. The next day Smith and friend met some fishermen who had seen the UFO light up the lake the night before. The anglers had been camped one mile away from Smith's location at Silver Plains. They told Smith they had been in their tent when suddenly the tent was lit up inside like daylight.

Another sighting took place at Lake Sorell on March 14, 1975 when a Mr. Knapek and his two sons and two friends sighted an object while camped in a clearing about 1 mile east of the lake. They were about to have a snack when the children, ages 13 and 15, pointed out an object rising slowly at first from behind trees 300 yards to the west towards the lake. The object, once above the trees, rose rapidly and shot up into the southwestern sky diminishing to star size and then being lost to view at 75 degrees elevation. The whole event took only 5 seconds.

The object in this case was football-shaped and estimated by the witnesses to be about 50 feet across. It was bright yellow underneath with a lighter yellow on top and as it moved away the color became more white and much brighter. No check was made for landing traces.

We thank William K. Roberts, APROs Tasmanian Representative for providing these interesting reports.

Case ID: 269 edit: 269

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