At a time when Papua New Guinea was a territory of Australia, in the summer of 1959, Anglican missionary, Father William Gill, would begin to hear about UFO sightings in the area he was about to visit. These would culminate in consecutive nights of incidents witnessed by himself and thirty-seven other people. Furthermore, a lot of the witnesses were trained professionals working with the missionary on medical or academic grounds. Certainly, the kind of witnesses, rightly or wrongly, who give the incident a little bit more credibility.
What’s more, the sightings were not just of strange lights seen from a great distance, but ones where the occupants of the crafts were clearly visible. Further still, when those on the ground attempted to communicate with these apparent cosmic visitors, they received a response back. This incident is thought to be one of the earliest “contact” reports on record, certainly one with so many corroborating witnesses. Incidentally, in total, more than sixty separate incidents are on record over the region in the run-up to, and throughout the summer of 1959. The sightings of 26th and 27th June, however, are of most interest to researchers today.
Highly respected UFO investigator, Philip Mantle, would obtain files regarding the incident. It is from this disclosure of information that the account is back in the public arena. That something happened that evening is beyond doubt. What was seen is almost certain. The question as to whether it was extra-terrestrial in nature, or a secret military project is where the final truth likely resides in this most fascinating case.
The “Visitation” Theory
Upon arriving at Boianai, Father Gill was inundated with reports of strange lights and what the locals, including fellow missionaries, would call the “Visitation” theory. Although he remained politely skeptical, he would privately begin to study the appearance of the strange lights, and the “data” he had received.
The day before he would witness the incidents himself for the first time, he penned a letter to the Acting Principal of Saint Aidan’s College at Dogura, Reverend David Durie, stating that he was “almost convinced by the ‘visitation’ theory”. He would go on to talk of the number of reports available to him, and the “reliable witnesses” who made them. He would write of how the objects appeared to be “stationary at Boianai”. And that “the Mount Pudi vicinity” would appear to be of importance to the hovering lights.
Although Father Gill had not seen anything of significance himself at this point, he did state in the letter that he “saw a stationary white light twice on the same night on 9 April”. In fact, it was Gill’s own meticulous record keeping and journal entries that would provide such a detailed timeline of the events that were about to unfold.
“Sparkling Lights” Over Boianai
In the early evening of 26th June 1959, at around 6:45 pm, Father William Gill would notice “sparkling lights” in the night sky. He called out to anyone who could hear so that they could witness them also. Local residents, teachers, and doctors from the missionary base came out to see the lights for themselves. Only now, however, the lights were clearly part of a large “disc-shaped object”. The lower section was larger and wider than the apparently “lighter” top part. On the underside were four “landing legs”. On the side of the object were portholes that glowed brightly. In apparently random intervals, a bright blue light would also emanate upwards to the night sky.
Perhaps most remarkable, though, were the “four humanoids” who would appear on the “deck” of the craft. They remained for several moments before vanishing following a flash of blue light. Gill would write about this light stating, “The men appeared to be illuminated not only by the light reflecting on them but also by a sort of glow that completely surrounded them as well as the craft!”
Smaller discs were also visible, although they moved “much more erratically” than the larger stationary craft. The craft then moved into a bank of clouds, making it harder to keep in their sights. It then became stationary and remained in the same spot for around twenty-five minutes. The object then made a “wavering motion” before it “shot away at tremendous speed!”
Other sightings would continue until close to midnight when heavy rain thickened the clouds even further. They would, however, appear again.
“Communication” With The Humanoids
The following evening, on 27th June, at a little after 6 pm, with the last remaining light of the day clinging to its remaining fifteen minutes, the object appeared again. It was in the same position as the previous night and was slowly heading in their direction. Again, the four figures appeared on top of the craft. Gill would state “there was no doubt they were human!”
The smaller crafts were also darting through the sky at the same time. The witnesses, however, would keep their attention on the “mothership” and the humanoids on top. Two of them appeared to be manually working on something at their feet (the ship’s roof). They would occasionally reach down as if adjusting something and then stand straight looking at something not visible on the ground.
Without realizing he was doing so, Father Gill raised his arms above his head. He then waved them as if waving down a rescue plane from an abandoned island. To everyone’s surprise, one of the figures responded in kind. This response was then followed by two of the other figures waving their arms to the people on the ground. There was no doubt in the witnesses’ minds that what they were seeing was real. And furthermore, they – whoever they were or wherever they came from – could see them too.
Gill would follow this by flashing a torch in their directions in the “dots and dashes” of Morse Code. After a moment or two, the craft would make a “waving” motion back to them. They flashed the torch again. This time, the UFO began to head in their direction, stopping a short distance away from them.
Aliens? Or Military Men?
The humanoids would go back inside the craft for several moments. Then, two of them reemerged and continued with the “repairs” they were doing previously. The witnesses below would call out to them, asking them to land and meet them. However, no further response was returned by the strange men.
Father Gill, still not entirely convinced of the cosmic-nature of the airborne visitors, would leave the scene to eat dinner at 6:25 pm. Many have asked him over the years why he would leave an on-going historical event. He always responds the same way. That after several hours over two evenings, the “novelty” had worn somewhat. And furthermore, it was obvious to him that the occupants had no interest in landing or interacting any further with the witnesses. Further still, even had they done so, Gill suspected they would be “Earth men in military uniforms” and the object was likely “something the Americans or even the Australians had built!”
By 7 pm, the mothership UFO was still visible, although it had moved back to its original position away from the onlookers. It remained there until just before 8 pm. Then, as many people had returned to their homes or places of work, an “ear-splitting” explosion ripped through the night. As people came outside to look, expecting to find the remains of debris and wreckage, all they could see was a greatly overcast sky. The UFO had gone.
The short video below goes over the basics of the incidents again.
A Credible Witness!
Although the incident was largely forgotten about before the aforementioned Philip Mantle cast it back into the public light, at the time, the claims of Gill would cause quite a stir. Many UFO researchers would seek an audience with him.
Many skeptics would insist that Gill was witnessing Venus. Not only does this not address the alleged humanoids witnessed by nearly forty people, but it fails to note that Gill himself identified Venus on each night in order to rule it out as the source of the lights. One particular “debunker”, Howard Menzer, would not only gloss over these automatic rebuttals but would go on to describe the locals as “uneducated”. He would also insinuate that Gill, given his “Holy man” status, had purposely misled the local population. Given that Gill had little to gain and much to lose considering his position with the Church, these claims from Menzel are without substance or weight.
The sightings of the humanoid figures and the, albeit limited, interaction with them, itself witnessed by multiple people, is what truly makes these UFO incidents unique. Gill’s own balanced skepticism is documented clearly in the letters sent prior to the sightings, and surely further demonstrates the authenticity of his account.
It is beyond doubt that multiple people witnessed “something” over Boianai throughout much of 1959. And what’s more, the sightings of this particular craft, at this time, may go further than Papua New Guinea.
The video below features Father Gill speaking about the incident.
The Blenheim Incident
Perhaps worth noting is another sighting from just short of a month later in the early hours of 13th July over Blenheim in New Zealand. That morning, Mrs. Moreland, along with her husband, was attending to the daily chores of their nine-acre farm. As Mrs. Moreland was on her way to the barn to do the morning milking, she noticed a “green glow” coming from the otherwise grey and thick clouds overhead.
She stopped and looked at the strange glow, which she quickly realized was a metallic grey craft with two separate green lights. The object was descending towards her. She looked around her, as well as down at her own body. She would later state, “I noticed that I was bathed in green light!” The green glare was so intense that her own torch was now useless. After coming to her senses, she quickly moved to take cover in nearby trees.
She watched from her temporary sanctuary, further noticing the positioning of the green lights on the underside of the craft. As the craft came down lower, “orange-colored flame” would shoot out in two rows from the middle of the object’s underside. Before it reached the ground, it remained stationary and hovered at “roof-top level” around fifteen-feet high.
Mrs. Moreland would estimate the craft to be around 30-feet wide and was itself around 50-yards from her position. After a short while, the jets underneath stopped. It was then her attention went to the top of the craft. And more to the point, the activity inside it.
Activity Inside “The Dome” Of The Craft
As she remained in her covered location, “a light was switched on in what appeared to be a Perspex, or glass, or dome, which glowed!” She suddenly noticed how the “air became very warm” and a humming sensation was both audible and physically present.
She could clearly see “two men” inside the top dome of the craft. Each adorned “close-fitting suits of shiny material” and “opaque helmets” that appeared similar to aluminum foil. While one of the humanoids was active and moving about the inside of the craft, the other was motionless and stationary. The one who was moving appeared to be looking downwards.
After several minutes the man sat down in what was an unseen seat. Almost immediately, the “jets” began again. The craft wavered a little before suddenly shooting directly upwards at unimaginable speed. A high-pitched sound accompanied its departure. there was also a sudden aroma in the air “like pepper” for several seconds after it had gone.
Mrs. Moreland would report the incident to the Royal New Zealand Airport later that morning. They, in turn, would suggest she make the report to the police instead, which she did. The account would eventually reach the New Zealand press, and considerable coverage of her story followed. Incidentally, off the back of this publicity, another witness would come forward stating he had seen a “white-orange light” from his property around an hour before Mrs. Moreland’s sighting.
Many UFO researchers have found Mrs. Moreland to be a reliable witness who is consistent in her account of the incident. Whether there is a connection to the sightings over Papua New Guinea, however, is very much still open to debate.
The video below features in-depth discussion of the Boianai sightings.