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VUFOA cases

VUFOA Video Case – ‘Ball-Lightning Type Phenomenon’, October, 2014

This video was submitted to VUFOA by a member of the public who correctly

believed it would be of interest to us. The footage was taken by Vanessa Ciupici, Frank’s sister.

The event occurred at approximately 1:30am on Monday the 27th of October, 2014.

The location of the phenomena was approximately South-East of Endeavour Hills Lookout, Endeavour Hills, Victoria. The witnesses, Vanessa Ciupici and another person, were watching a severe electrical storm from the lookout, facing South-East towards the suburb of Dandenong. In the path of this view are high-voltage transmission lines, supported by typical transmission towers. An approximate image of the area can be seen below.

Vanessa was “snap chatting” with friends as the electrical storm was in full swing.

She was running a snap chat video of the event, which automatically ceases after 10

seconds. It was within that 10 second video footage that the event fortuitously occurred. She also observed the event with the naked eye, in real time, as did her companion. Of particular importance, Vanessa stated that following the cessation of the video recording, the phenomenon rapidly dissipated. During a phone interview, Vanessa stated:

“I know it’s a UFO.. Why would a plane be flying around in the rain, and lightning doesn't make sense, and how could it move as fast as it did. It just came straight down really fast. For a second I thought it was a shooting star. Then it stopped, went up and down really fast like hovering, then went right and shot off and disappeared. I never believed in UFO’s until I saw it.”

The weather in Melbourne’s Eastern and South-Eastern suburbs during the night was unusually severe. The Weather Channel’s Senior Meteorologist Tom Saunders stated:

“…about 80,000 strikes were recorded in Victoria and South Australia during hours between 9pm [October 26th] and 5am [October 27th]. Melbourne’s CBD received 29mm of rain between when the storms began (about 1am) with 10 to 20mm falling across the rest of the metropolitan area”.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Steven McGibbony said after the storm event:

“….the storm originated in south and south-eastern South Australia yesterday afternoon before moving over Victoria to hit most of the state’s west and central areas. As it moved across the Latrobe Valley, the lightning activity eased and there was more showers and rain.”

Analysis and Conclusions

Only a fairly superficial analysis is required to conclude that this is most certainly

a ‘ball lightning type phenomenon’. This is clearly evidenced both by its occurrence in the midst of a severe electrical storm, and its close association with electrically uninsulated, high voltage transmission lines. The towers supporting these lines can be discerned to the right of centre (the first flash of lightning observable in the video appears behind the base of one of these), and the phenomenon initially materialises at the same height as the top of these towers, and hence at the presumed height of the lines they support.

The involvement of these lines in the generation of the phenomenon is further suggested by its’ significantly greater luminosity upon first manifesting, and subsequently dimming as it descends. Further, phenomena of this sort have often been reported as associated with similar high-voltage transmissions lines in the past (see the links below). This type of ‘ball lightning’ phenomena has been reported to move in varied directions and for up to 15 or even 20 seconds without


Phenomena of this type have often been discussed in terms of a potential explanation for some UAP reports, and there is little doubt that there are indeed occasions where this has been the case. Thus to have this opportunity to clearly observe the appearance and behaviour of an unambiguous example of this type of phenomenon is most valuable.

Such phenomena are themselves a matter of some controversy, as their precise

characteristics and explanation remain as yet uncertain. This video could therefore

be characterised as having captured an ‘L-UAP’ – ‘Little-Understood Atmospheric

Phenomenon‘, and its contents may perhaps contribute to an improved understanding of the physics underlying such events. In this context, the apparent changes in luminosity and shape, and the specifics of the path traversed, may be instructive to those conversant with the relevant physics. It is to be lamented that the video ends before the event itself concluded.

For more information, the following are recommended:

Our thanks to the individuals (Vanessa and Frank Ciupici) who made this footage available.

Paul Dean and James of (VUFORS/VUFOA)

(With Assistance from Keith Basterfield)

Final Editing Ivan Rigoni Director of Investigations VUFOA

A Selection of Reported VufoA Cases

We have added some of the cases that were sent to us for investigation. We thought it can be an interesting read.

VUFOA Case Number 15 - 3rd October 2012 ? Boronia heights

A lady witnessed a broad daylight UFO sighting while trying to get the pet cat inside the house. The cat refused to budge and while standing there she then witnessed something she described as fantastic. She stated as follows "I had noticed what initially appeared to be a helicopter coming from the north and so I was waiting to hear the accompanying noise. As the object came closer, I noticed that there was no distinguishing aircraft characteristics and the strangest thing of all was the fact that there was no noise."

The object moved smoothly and fast through the sky and also appeared to be shape shifting or rotating as it flew. The colours were changing between red and black. The object continued along a strait trajectory heading south and appeared to fly faster than any typical aircraft. ?I have seen before? she says. The witness did not take any photos and said she was alone at the time. The report stated it was almost star like. It was a clear day with no visible clouds. It was stated a body of water is in the vicinity.

Review Undertaken by VUFOA

Yet to be undertaken

20th February 2014 - Brunswick

The witness reports as follows: ?Yesterday afternoon as I was sitting in my office in Brunswick on the first floor when my boss noticed something out the window facing south towards Brunswick West/Essendon area. It was a few kilometres away, low in the sky below the clouds. But it was still, not moving at all. At first we all got excited and went over to the window trying to identify what it was.

It was a slender silver or highly reflective object with a slight bulge in the middle. At first I thought it was a shiny smallish aeroplane (since Essendon Fields is not far away) but the fact it was not moving and did not have a fuselage I began to realise what I was seeing. I could not for the life of me tell you what this thing was, but it was a wide, slim craft of some kind. I went to grab my phone and realising I would have to zoom in quite a bit to capture it I looked up towards the UFO and it was gone. I turned to my co-worker and asked where did it go? She replied that she didn't know, it just faded away. It was crazy."

This sighting was at 1.30pm in the afternoon.

Review Undertaken by VUFOA

Conditions on the day were as follows: low temp 11c hi temp 21c, presumed clear.

Conditions on the day were as follows: low temp 11c hi temp 21c, presumed clear.

Due to high frequency aircraft zone, checks are made for possible air traffic. Result based on time, day and location: Unfortunately date is beyond available data however we can determine the angle seen from Brunswick would track direct route for most landings at Melbourne Airport. Assumption is object was moving away in a direct line of site which gives an appearance of no motion. It disappeared to the witness because the plane would have deviated from this track to land.

2nd September 2013 - Carnegie

A man witnessed strange bright object in the sky at 5.51am in the morning. Mr X stated as follows:

"Naked eye appearance similar to round nebula but moving from NW to SE (heading ~170 deg true). Apparent size ~0.5 deg. Through 20x80 binoculars, object resolved into three fixed lights (2 forward and one rear, the rear light making a 90 deg 'V' with the two prongs of the 'V' in the direction of travel) however could not make out fuselage, although halo from lights hinted at a large object. Object moved at about the speed of a jet on landing approach, however no sound. Watched for approximately 3 minutes, then a light separated from main object (i.e. two objects) until disappeared below my local horizon. It was relatively dark with minor dawn light in the east. I am an amateur astronomer and the seeing was relatively good, however I was surprised at the halo given off this object given the otherwise reasonable conditions.

Review Undertaken by VUFOA

Yet to be undertaken

24th April 2014 - Clayton

While travelling in the car Ms X and Mr X witnessed a strange low flying object they could not identify. Driving and heading south around 7pm they decided to try and follow it. Ms X described the following: ?My boyfriend and I were in the car heading south. Saw a bright light in the sky. Only saw it for a second before it took off toward the west, really fast. As it changed direction it went from looking like a light, to looking like a triangle shape with three big coloured lights on it (red, white blue), one on each corner. (or maybe 3 separate objects?) We tried to follow it but it was obscured by buildings. It looked to be pretty low on the horizon. I have never seen anything like it. It moved *really fast* and was quite bright. When it moved, both my boyfriend and I went "whoa" because it was so fast. And the next thing we both said was "was that a ufo?" It was definitely not a plane or a helicopter. And I'm pretty certain there would have been quite a few witnesses as it was very distinctive and in a suburban area.

Review Undertaken by VUFOA

Currently under investigation. On-going.

3rd June 2013 Dandenong

Here we have a case which possibly rates as a CE2 event. (Possible trace evidence)

This young man clearly experienced something which was impossible to explain, here is his account of the event. ?I AM VERY SHAKEN UP, my gas tubes blew off the car while I started it tonight , manually placed them on with hand and drove home at 80km on a very lonely stretch of road. About half way home I had a huge light come behind the car , thought it might be truck so I slowed down to let it overtake, then thought maybe police as he is right on my bum with high beam so I pulled over and so did he. I looked in the rear mirror and lights went off, then I sat for about 30 seconds looking out back window trying to see who it is but no car, so I got out to look and nothing was there except steam coming off the back of my car in minus 2 temperatures. I thought I might have fire so went behind and no fire but whole back of car felt about 50deg c. I got in quick started to shake with cold and a bit of fear and went straight home. Now i have no idea what happened.

Review Undertaken by VUFOA

Currently under investigation. On-going.