Australia’s most incredible mass UFO sighting is being commemorated with a UFO-themed playground. The sighting, referred to as Westall ’66, took place in 1966 in the town of Clayton South, a suburb of Melbourne. There were over 90 witnesses, many of them school children playing cricket, who saw three objects, one of which landed for a short period before taking off again at a great speed.
One witness, Joy Clarke, now 60, told the Australian newspaper, The Age, that the playground gives the sighting validation. She says,
It makes you feel like people believe that it did happen… For years and years we were made fun of. You got told: ‘How crazy were you? What drugs were you on?’ For God’s sake, I was 12 and a half and at school. I wasn’t dropping LSD.
Clarke was a high school student at Westall High at the time of the sighting.
Public servant, Shane Ryan, spent eight years researching the incident and campaigning to build a commemoration on the site. Ryan says, “I think it was a UFO, which is not the same as saying it was an extraterrestrial spacecraft… There is a core mystery here. Too many people saw it. I think it’s something worth taking seriously”.
Ryan’s efforts are being rewarded with a $150,000 UFO-themed playground. It will feature a nearly 11-foot high spaceship that can hold up to seven children. It will be in the shape of a large silver flying saucer, trimmed with blue LED lights, loosely based off of what was witnessed in 1966.
StevePerumal, a Kingston council officer who participated in the design says, “We’re effectively designing a UFO and hanging playground equipment off it.” The site will include a sign that describes the details if the sighting.
“It’d be nice to hear something serious,” says Terry Peck, a childhood friend of Clarke, who also witnessed the craft, “someone come forward to explain it. We were all brainwashed, told it was nothing, some government experiment and we weren’t to talk about it.”
Peck said she would not have even said anything about what she saw if it were not for all of the other witnesses, “if I was the only one… I don’t want family or friends thinking I was a nut case, but because there were so many of us. Look, it’s factual. I saw it. There must be something if all these people who are quite smart saw it.”
For more information on the sighting, there is a 2010 documentary on the event. The documentary was a nominee for an EBE award at the UFO Congress film festival in 2011.