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Bending of Car Headlight Beams

Bending of Car Headlight Beams

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Published by draculavanhelsing
The Bent Headlight Beams Case Revisited
The Bent Headlight Beams Case Revisited

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jul 23, 2012
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THE"BENTHEAD·LIGHTBEAMS"CASEREVISITED
BillChalk~BSc.(Hons.),FSRConsultant.
©
1984
ThisarticlefirstappearedIn
UFOResearchAustralisNewsletter
(UFORAN),Vol.5,No.3(May..June
1984),
EditorVladimirGodlc,P.O.Box
229,
Prospect,SouthAustralia
5082,
andIsreproducedherewiththepermissionofourConsultantMr.
Bill
ChalkerandofMr.VladimirGodlc.Previousaccountsofthebentheadlightscasehavealreadybeengivenin
FSR
12/3
and
12/5
(1966),
13/4
(1967),and
19/4
(1973).-EDITOR
E
VER
sinceIbecamedeeplyinvolvedininvestigatingandresearchingUFOeventsinAustralia,onere-markableeventhasheldaparticularfascinationforme,namelytheincidentthatbecameknownasthe"bentheadlightbeamscase".
It
tookplaceonApril
4,1966,
atBurkesFlat,Victoria.Despiteitsextraordinarynature,ithasneverbeen
written
upextensivelyintheliteratureotherthaninaccountslargelybasedonnewspaperstoriesandcur-soryinvestigationsbyciviliangroupsoftheday.'Theeventislargelyuniqueintheannalsofufologysimplybecauseitspeaksoftheheadlightbeamsofacarbeing"bent"inthepresenceofaUFO.TheonlyothercasesIamawareofarethoseinwhichasearch-lightappearsto"bend"nearaUFOonfilm(Nor-wood,Ohio,U.S.A.,onOctober
23,
1949)2
andatorchlightbent,orreflected,duringaspectacularUFOepisodenearTaizeinFrance.tOtheraspectsofthecasedescribeaphysicaltrace
(a
depression)inthefieldwherethe"UFO"satanda,perhapsrelated,carfatalityatthesamespot.Becauseofmyspecificinterest
in
thisevent,andmy
specialist
researchactivitywiththeAustralian
Physi-
'CalEvidence
StudyGroup(APESG),Iresolvedtoundertakeanexhaustiveretrospectiveinvestigation.Whatfollowsistheresultofthatinvestigation.ForthefirsttimeintheUFOliterature,theoriginalareanewspaperaccountsaregiven;aninterviewwiththeoriginalwitnessispresentedandhithertounknownaspectsofthecasearedescribed.Forthefirsttime,theactualsequenceoftheq,FObehaviour,andalleged"lightbending",isdescribedandillustrated.Attheveryleast,thisextraordinaryepisodeinAus-tralian
UFO
historyhasbeengiventheextensiveex-posureitdeserves.
If
thereareanyresearcherswithfurtherdataaboutthiscase,theyareinvitedtopresentthemwithinthesepagesandtherebyfacilitatefurtherenlightenmentaboutthismostpuzzlingcase.April4,1966,ca.1950hrs,BurkesFlat,Victoria,AustraliaMr.RonSullivan(38),asteelconstructionbusinessmenfromMaryborough,wastravellingat60mph,andapproachingStArnaud,when,inthedis-tance,henoticedalight
in
afield.Atfirsthethoughtitwasatractor."Suddenlymyheadlightspulledhardovertotherightforsomeunaccountablereason.Insteadoflight-ingthe.road,they
lit
upthefenceasthoughtheywerebeingattractedbyamagnet.IbrakedashardasIcouldandglancedovertotheright.Inthemiddle
of
thepaddockwasacolumnofcolouredlightabout
25
feethighandshapedlikeanice-creamcone.
It
wouldhavebeenabout
3
feetwideatthebottomand
10
feetwideatthetop."(Fromthe
Melbourne(t,Sun'~
Tuesday,April
12,1966.)
"I
saw}...notfaraway,
a
brilliantwhitediscofabout
3
feetindiameter.Theobjectwashoveringjustabovethegroundand,fromitsuppersurface,itpro-jectedaconicalarrayofshimmeringrainbowlightsextendedtoaheightofabout15feet.Thensuddenlythecolouredconerosetoaheightof
20
feetandthediscbelowclimbedaboveit.Inthenextmomentthewholelightcomplexvanished."(From
"AFSR
&
AUFOR'~)
"Theheadlightsofmy
car
weresuddenlydivertedtotherigbtfornoapparentreason-andhad
I
fol-lowedthem
I
wouldhaverunoffthestraightstretchofroad."Justthen
I
sawadisplayofgaseouslightsinallth~coloursofthespectruminanearbypaddock.Theob-jectroseabouttenfeetintheair.Itlaterdisappeared."Thecolouredgaseouslightsseemedtobegoingthrough
211
to
3"
diametertubeswhichledintoabrightphosphorouslookinglightontheground.Thelightswerestretchingupwardsallthetimeuntiltheydisappearedafterleavingthewhitephosphorouslook-inglightontheground."(FromaletterbyMr.Sul-livanto
VFSRS,f(AFSR'~
Victorianedition,
1966.)
Withhiscarheadlightsbendingawayfromtheroad,Mr.Sullivanthoughthewasdrivinginthatdirectionand,withaquickreflexaction,steeredthecarintheoppositedirection.Hesuddenlyfoundhim-selfdrivingofftheroadanditwasonlyhispresenceofmindandskillthatsavedhimfromanaccident.Asthelightcomplexrosefromthegroundwithoutasound,thecar'sheadlightsreturnedtonormaland
 
focusedontheTOad.WhenSullivanarrivedinWyche-proof,hecheckedhislightsandtheywereoperatingperfectly.BackinMaryborough,Mr.SullivantoldhiswifeandHughHunter,areporter,ofhisexperienceanditwasarrangedthatHunterandSullivanwouldvisitthesiteonApril
7.
Onthenightpriortothisvisit,
April
6,19-year-oldGaryTaylorwaskilledwhenhiscarlefttheroadandcollidedwithatree,inthesamespotwhereSullivanhadstartedtoleavetheTOadtwonightsbefore.
A
motoristtravellingabouthalfamilebehindMr.Tay-lor,allegedthatTaylorhadswervedsuddenlyofftheroadfornoapparentreason.Theaccidentoccurredatabout
10
p.m.Duringthefollowingafternoon,SullivanandHun-terwenttothespotandfoundasaucer-shapedim-pression,about
70
yardsfromtheroadwayinabarepaddock.Theimpression,3feetacrossand5inchesdeep,wascleanlyscoopedoutofthesandysoilwith-outanydebrisaround.Therewerenohumanoranimaltracksaroundthearea.Althoughinvestigatingpolicewereatalosstoex-plainthefatalaccident,orthesighting,
it
wasrumouredthattheyhadgatheredothersupportingevidence.Theabovedetailsarebasicallyastheaccountwasknown,andbecameknown,intheUFOliterature.Becauseoftheintriguingnatureoftheincident,theauthor(BC)soughttouncoverallthecontemporarydocumentationextant,butlittlepublicisedatthetime,conductadetailedretrospectiveinvestigation,fieldin-vestigation,andinterviewwiththeoriginalpercipient.Theseobjectiveswerelargelyachievedandsomeoftheresultsareincludedhere:Thisisthe
full
accountfromthe
"MaryboroughAd-
uertiser",
ofWednesday,April
13,
1966,pg.
5:
"THECASEOF
THEDIVERTEDHEADLIGHT
BEAMS'J-WHATCAUSEDTHISPHENOMENON!:"Reportsreceived
in
thepastweektendtoindicatethatstrangethingshavebeenhappeninginthisareaofVictoria.Strangestofallwasthecaseoftheturnedheadlightbeams."The
'Advertiser"
wastoldlastWednesdaynightthatalocalman,whiledrivingintheBurkesFlatareaonthepreviousMondaynight,hadfoundthathisheadlightbeamshaddivertedtotheright'almostasthougbdrawnbyamagnet'."Theman,Mr.
R.
F.Sullivan,wasdrivingalongastraightstretchofsealedroadwayontheDunolly-St.ArnaudRoadnearBurkesFlatwhentheheadlightbeamsmovedtotherightandilluminatedthefence.Thecarcontinuedstraight.Thelightsweredivertedforonlyashorttime."Mr.Sullivansaidthatbeforethebeamsdivertedtheyflickeredinsimilarmannertothatofatelevisionscreenwheninterferencetakesplace.ColouredLights"Hesaidhelookedacrossintothepaddock,and,atwhatappearedtobeashortdistancefromthefence,wasadisplayofgaseouslights-'allthecoloursofthespectrum'.Hedidnotstopbutglancedatthepad-dockasoftenashecouldwhiledriving,andthelasthesawwasthelightsabout
20
feetfromtheground.Thelightsappearedtomoverapidlyupanddowninanarrowarea.WhenhereachedSt.Arnaudhecheckedthelightfittingsandfoundthemtobenormal."Hecontinuedhis.journeytothenorthernareaoftheStateandtoldthe
'Advertiser'
ofhisexperienceswhenhereturnedonWednesday."OnGoodFridayafternoonMr.SullivanandMr.H.Hunterofthe
'Aduertiser'
visitedthescenewherethephenomenonhadoccurred.Mr.Sullivanhadsaidhecouldpinpointthespot.FatalAccidentatSameSpot"InthemeantimeafatalaccidenthadoccurrednearBurkesFlatonThursdaynight,a19-year-oldyouthwaskilledwhenhiscarlefttheroadwayandstruckatree."Mr.Sullivanhadsaidthespot
was
roughlyaboutamilefromabrickhomeanddam.Onestopwasmadepriortoreachingthecorrectone,buthesoonsaidhewasnotintheareawherehislightshadmoved.ThedrivethencontinueduntilMr.Sullivanpassedabrickhomewithadambeside
it.
Hecontinuedforaboutamileandthensaidhewasatthespot."AfterparkingthecarMessrs.SullivanandHunterdecidedtoenterthepaddocktoseeiftherewereanymarkswherehehadseenthecolouredlightsonthepreviousMondaynight.
"It
wasonlythenthatitwasfoundthatthecarwasparked20feetfromatreeagainstwhichacarhadcrashed.Thiswasthetreestruckbyacardriven
by
Gary
Taylor,ofCarnegie,on.Thursdayn.ight.Taylorwaskilledinthecrash.Coincidence"Wasitcoincidencethattheaccidentoccurredatthesamespotwhere,afewnightsbefore,thelightsofMr.Sullivan'scarhad'beendrawntotherightasthoughbyamagnet'?Mr.Sullivan'slightshadmovedtotheright;thetreeagainstwhichTaylor'scarhadcrashedwasjustattheleftedgeoftheroad."InviewofthecoincidencethematterwasreportedtoBealibapolicewhoatehandlingtheaccidentinvestigations."ThedriverofacarwhichhadbeenfollowingTay-lor'scaratadistanceofaboutamilesawnothingunusual.ThereappearedtobenoreasonforTaylortoswerve.
 
Depression"WhenMessrsSullivanandHunterexaminedtheadjacentpaddockonFridaytheonlyunusualthingfoundwasadepressioninthefallowedground.Thiswasalittleover
3
feetindiameterandonlyafewinchesindepth.
It
lookedoddinthefallow."Acheckwiththepropertyownerhasshownthatthedepressionwasnotinthegroundwhenhefin-ishedfallowing.Therewerenofootorpawprintsaroundit-justabareimpressionintheploughedground..."DuringtheweekendseveralpeoplevisitedtheBurkesFlatareatohavealookattheareawhereMr.Sullivanhadseenthecolouredlightsandwherehisheadlightbeamshadbeendiverted.Noonecouldofferanexplanationnorcouldtheydecidewhathadcausedthedepressioninthepaddock."(Footnote~Mr.H.Hunterofthe
'Advertiser'said
yesterdayhebelievesthatMr..SullivansawsomethingverystrangeatBurkesFlatonMondayoflastweek-sostrangethatMr.Sullivanfeltobligatedtoreport
it
topolicealthoughallalonghedidnotwanthisnamementioned.
It
wasonlyonMonday)underpersuasionfromMr.Hunter,thatMr.Sullivanwouldallowhisnametobeused.Certainexaggerationshaveoccurredinreportingtheincidentelsewhere.buttheyhavethemainfactscorrect...-Ed.
Maryborough.
Aduertiser.i
IntheApril15,1966,editionofthe
"MaryboroughAdvertiser':
pg
8,
theeditorrepliedtoalettertohim,suggesting
a.
meteorfortheBurkesFlatincident:"Therewasnosignofanyburningintheimmedi-ateareawhereMr.Sullivansawthelights.Thereweresomesignsontheothersideoftheroadwheretreebrancheshadbeenburned.Thedepressionwhichhasreceivedsomuchpublicitygavenoindicationofburning.".Inarecentinterviewwiththeauthor(BC),along
with
David
Reneke
andMichaelHough,RonSullivanrecalledthestrangeexperience.
It
shouldbepointedoutthatpredictably,aftersuchalongperiodoftime,someofthequantitativedetailswereeitherinconsist-ent
with
theoriginalaccountsorinerror.However,thequalitativeaspectsoftheaccountstilistandaslargely
in
keepingwiththeoriginalversion:RONSULLIVAN:
I
wasgoinguptoWycheproof.
I
hadageneralsteelfabricationfactoryatMary-boroughatthetimeand
I
wasgoinguptooneofmyjobsitesand,whilsttravellingontheSt.ArnaudRd,ataplacecalledBurkesFlat,
at
8p.m....
it
wasaclearnightit
wasn't
moonlight.,.youcouldseethestars.Iwasdrivingonastraightstretchofroad...nearBurkesFlat.Inoticedtherewasanothervehiclebe-hindme...Inevertookanynotice(of
it).
Then,allofasudden,infrontofme,about2.00yards(away),Inoticedalightonthegroundinapad-dock,.25...20yardsfromthefence...Iwasn'treallysurprisedatit.Atfirstviewing
it,it
seemedlikethebacklightofatractorinthefield.Anyway
I
gotcloseto
it....
itwasn't
a
briIliantlight-awhitephosphorousglow~then
it
cametoaratherbrilliantlightnotthattherewasenoughbrilli-ancetoblindyou,because
it
wasawhitelight...As
I
closedoffnearit,
I
noticedtheheadlightsofmycarsortofbenttowards
it...
likeagiantmagnet,pullingtheheadlightsonthecaroffcourse.
I
wasquitesurprised.Everythinghappenedwithinsay2minutes....
11/2
minutes..As
I
gotopposite,
I
noticedwithalltheconfusionwiththeheadlightsgoing,theright-handsideoftheroadlightingup..(as
if
I)
washeadingtowardsthefence,which
I
virtuallywasn't..
I
pulledovertotheleft.
I
wasgoingtooclose.
I
sawthetreesontheleft-hand
side
oftheroad.So
I
keptongoing.Butalsointhattimewhen
I
firstsawthelight,itwasjustlike
a
brilliantovalontheground-whitephosphoroustypelightintheground,approximately15feet
in
diameter.Then
it
openedupandtherewasanotherwhiteovalontopofit,about
30
feet(in)height,comingdownmakingtheshapeofacone(with)
15
feetbottomdiameterand
2.0
feettopdiam-eter-andinthatconeweretubesofcolouredlights
-all
thelightsasyouseeasyoulookthroughthespectrum("allthecoloursoftherainbow")...red,blue,indigoandpurple...travellingupanddown...ortheyseemtobe...fromthesmallovaltothebiggerovalatthetop.Theyweregoingupanddown
in
shafts.Thengraduallythetopseemedtocometomeetthebottom...Theyseemedtoclose
in,
andastheyclosedin,justmakingatransitionofonelightoval-similartofirstview"":"everythingthenjustdisappeared.BILLCHALKER:Itwentdownthenjustdisap-peared?
RON
SULLIVAN:Thetopcametothebottom.Itcamedown,yes.Firstofall,therewasthelightontheground,approximately
15
foot
diameter.
Thenanotherlight.cameontop,a.biggerdiameter,makingacone.Then
the
coneshrunkto
atransition
ofonelightagainonthegroundandthatwastheendofit.BILLCHALKER:Whatwasthelastthingyousaw?RONSULLIVAN:Justaspot
in
theground-alightspot,becomingsmallerandsmaller,tonothing
...I
wassortofconfused.(But)
I
wasn'tscaredoranything.BILLCHALKER:Whatwasthetotaldurationofthatsequence?RONSULLIVAN:
os,
Iwouldsayaboutthree-quartersofaminute.That'saprettylongtime;notverylong,butit'squiteatime.BILLCHALKER:Didyouslowdowntolook?RONSULLIVAN:Isloweddown...Ididn'tstop,butIsloweddowntoabout5mphand)ofcourse,atthetime,Ineverthoughtaboutthatothercarbehind

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