A retired Melbourne schoolteacher has made astonishing claims about how he was threatened by government thugs over what is regarded as Australia’s greatest UFO mystery, before being contacted by federal agents close to the American president.
On April 6, 1966, about 200 Westall High School students, teachers and Clayton South residents witnessed a large silver cigar-shaped ‘flying saucer’ hover above the school’s oval and the nearby Grange Reserve.
The incident has been recounted before, immortalised in UFO-shaped play equipment for kids to climb on at the reserve and even retold in a documentary, but one of the teachers who witnessed the extraordinary events has since revealed new details of what happened next.
An apparent photograph of the supposed Westall UFO encounter where more than 200 students and teachers allegedly witnessed an unexplained flying object descend onto a nearby open wild grass field in 1966
Andrew Greenwood, one of the teachers at Westall High School, during the UFO encounter has described bizarre encounters he had with Australian government officials who demanded he keep quiet over what he saw
A newspaper clipping outlining what several witnesses at the school saw on that fateful day in 1966
Andrew Greenwood, who taught science to Year 9 students at Westall, detailed attempts made to silence him – and how he was contacted by someone at the very top of the US government.
‘I saw a craft. A mechanical object intelligently controlled hovering above me,’ Mr Greenwood told a 7NEWS Spotlight documentary, which airs on Sunday and features several other witnesses.
Mr Greenwood also said five small planes hovered around the object.
Terry Peck, who was a student at Westall, shows a drawing of what she saw hovering above her school in April 1966
Within 40 minutes airforce and army personnel in their trucks poured into the area and formed a security barrier around the reserve.
But knowing the area well, Mr Greenwood and others were able to sneak in and see what was going on.
‘[We saw a] circular area, like the trampled grass,’ he said. ‘And there were guards around it and there were people in there with equipment’.
Mr Greenwood spoke to local news reporters about the incident but became frightened about speaking out when two weeks after the incident two men claiming to be government officials knocked on the door of his home.
‘One in plain clothes, and the other one, senior air force,’ Mr Greenwood said.
The men told the teacher he was mistaken about what he saw and had he ‘really seen anything’.
‘Absolutely, I was threatened. I was told that I should not say anything about it,’ Mr Greenwood said.
‘When I tried to explain to them that they weren’t there, I was and I knew what I saw, well, the first suggestion was that you’d be ill advised to go on saying that because clearly you were drunk on duty and will have to be reported to the education department and of course you will lose your job.’
Terry Peck, one of the Westall students who features in the new interview about the UFO sighting from 1966
A Westall witness discusses documents relating to the incident with a journalist
A year after the Westall incident Mr Greenwood was interviewed by an American physicist, Dr James E. McDonald, who was known for his study of UFOs – he says at he instruction of the office of the then-President of United States, Lyndon B Johnson.
‘The president had authorised the establishment of a board of inquiry, or an inquiry to inquire into issues of unidentified flying objects, and that they were sending out someone,’ he said.
The US began investigating UFO sightings and the phenomenon soon after the Second World War, when sightings began.
Mr Greenwood is adamant that the Australian government covered up the incident at the time and has refused to tell anyone what really happened since.
‘What really strikes me is that 55 years on, these people are very certain about what they saw,’ he said.
‘It just beggars belief for me in Australia we’ve never had an official investigation. And flatly I think there has been a cover-up, I really do.
‘I think someone has buried the Department of Supply report which I know exists.’
7NEWS Spotlight: The Phenomenon airs tonight at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.