Father Gill, CE-III Incident

From R. Hall

Here is the Father Gill, CE-III incident, located at:


on InterLink:UFO at Casebook, 1959. CE-III are extremely rare, but this one
is probably the very best case on record.

CE-III, 25 Witnesses
New Guinea
June 26-27, 1959

William B. Gill, an Anglican priest with a mission in Bosinai, Papas New
Guinea, observed craft-like UFOs -- one with Humanoid figures on top -- on
two consecutive evenings, June 26-27, 1959. About twenty-five natives,
including teachers and medical technicians, also observed the phenomena.
They "signaled" the humanoids and received an apparent response.  This was
one of sixty UFO sightings within a few weeks in the New Guinea area.

An approximate chronology of the complex series of sightings follows
(based on Father Gill's log of events and a summary report by his
colleague, the Reverend Norman Cruttwell):

June 26--6:45 P.M. Large sparkling light seen by Father Gill in western
sky.  Called natives who also saw it.

6:55--7:04 P.M.  Up to four illuminated humanoid figures seen on top of
object off and on.

7:10--7:20 P.M.  Sky now overcast at about 2,000 feet. Humanoid figures
seen again, and a "thin electric blue spotlight" upward from the UFO,
hovering below the overcast.  UFO disappears in clouds.

8 :28--8:35 P.M. Skies clear again; UFO visible, appearing to descend and
increase in size. Second object seen over sea, "hovering at times," and
another over village.

8:50--9:30 P.M.  Clouds forming again.  Large UFO stationary, others
(about three) like disks coming and going through clouds, casting a light
halo on the clouds.  Large UFO moves away rapidly across sea toward Giwa.

9:46--10:30 P.M.  UFO reappears overhead. Hovering.

10:50--P.M.  Heavy overcast; no sign of UFO.

11:04 P.M.  Heavy rain.

June 27--6-7 P.M.  Large UFO seen again.  First sighted by medical
technician at hospital, before dark.  Closest sighting yet: seen clearly,
bright and sparkling. Humanoid figures seen on top. Father Gill and about
twelve others in group waved at humanoids and one of figures appeared to
wave back.  One member of the group waved both arms, and figures
apparently responded by waving both arms.  Two smaller objects remained
visible, stationary at a higher altitude.

7:45 P.M.  Sky overcast; no UFOs visible.

On the first night, Father Gill stepped out the front door of the mission
house after dinner, about 6:45 P.M., and glanced at the western sky
looking for Venus, which was conspicuous at the time. "I saw Venus," he
said. "but I also saw this sparkling object, which to me was peculiar
because it sparkled and because it was very, very bright. and it was above
Venus and so that caused me to watch it for a while, then I saw it descend
towards us.''

Father Gill estimated the object's angular diameter as about five inches
at arm's Length.  Stephen Gill Moi. a teacher, who joined Father GilI a
few minutes latter, said that if he put his hand out closed, it would
cover about half of the object.

In a signed statement, the witnesses agreed that the object was circular,
had a wide base and a narrower upper "deck," had something like legs
beneath it, at times produced a shaft of blue light which shone upward
into the sky at an angle of about 45 degrees, an that four humanoid
figures appeared on top.  Some of the witnesses described seeing about
four portholes or windows on the side.  Father Gill saw what appeared to
be bright panels on the side but did not interpret them as portholes.

"As we watched it," Father Gill said, "men came out from this object and
appeared on top of it, on what seemed to be a deck on top of the huge
 There were four men in all, occasionally two, then one, then three, then
four; we noted the various times the men appeared . . . .

"Another peculiar thing was this shaft of blue light. which emanated from
what appeared to be the center of the deck.  The men appeared to be
illuminated not only by this light reflected on them, but also by a sort
of glow which completely surrounded them as well as the craft.  The glow
did not touch them, but there appeared to be a little space between their
outline and the light.. . . ''

Father Gill described the movements of the objects, especially the smaller
disks, as very erratic. They sometimes moved rapidly, sometimes slowly,
approaching and receding, changing direction, and at times swinging back
and forth like a pendulum.  One object moved away and appeared to descend
toward Wadobuna village, and everyone thought it was going to land.  The
Papuana ran down on the beach, but the object swooped up and away over the
mountains, turning red as it disappeared.

When the large object disappeared at 9:30 P.M., Father Gill said it made a
slight wavering motion, then suddenly shot away at tremendous speed,
changing color to red and blue-green, and disappeared across the bay,
vanishing.  No sound was heard throughout.

The next evening, about 6 P.M., the same or a similar object reappeared
while the sky was still bright, first seen by Annie Laura Borews, a Papuan
medical assistant at the hospital.  She called Father Gill, who in turn
called Ananias and several other to watch.  "We watched figures appear on
top.'' Father Gill said. "Four of them. There is no doubt that they were
human. This is possibly the same object that I took to be the 'mother
ship' last night. Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary,
one above the hills, west, and another overhead."

Two of the figures seemed to be doing something, occasionally bending over
and raising their arm as if "adjusting or setting up something [not
visible].  One figure seemed to be standing, looking down on us (a group
of about a dozen).'' This figure, he explained later, was standing with
his hands on the "rail" looking over, "just as one will look over the
rails of a ship."

"I stretched my arm above my head and waved.  To our surprise the figure
did the same.  Ananias waved both arms over his head, then the two outside
figures did the same.  Ananias and self began waving our arms and all four
seemed to wave back.  There seemed to be no doubt that our movements wee
answered.  All the Mission boys made audible gasps (of either joy or
surprise, perhaps both)."

As darkness began to settle in, Father Gill sent one of the natives for a
flashlight and directed a series of signals (''long dashes") toward the
UFO. After a minute or two, the UFO wavered back and forth like a
pendulum, in apparent acknowledgment.  They waved and flashed signals
again, and the UFO appeared to Descend toward them, but stopped and came
no closer. After two or three more minutes, the figures disappeared. Then,
at 6:45 P.M., two figures resumed their activity, and the blue spotlight
came on for a few seconds twice in succession. By 7:45 P.M. the sky was
totally overcast and no UFOs were visible.  Thus ended the sightings.

In his evaluation of the incidents, Dr. Donald H. MENZEL, a Harvard
University astronomer who wrote three UFO debunking books, refers to the
natives as 'uneducated" and to Father Grill as being their "great
leader,'' to them "a holy man'' (implying that they were influenced in
their testimony).  He attributed the sightings to the plant Venus viewed
myopically by Father Gill. Venus, he noted, was very conspicuous in the
west setting about three hours after the sun.  "I think it significant
that, despite the brilliance of Venus, none of the sightings by Father
Gill and the mission group refers to that planet."

Menzel then openly assumed that Father Gill was myopic and without glasses
at the time, that he ''probably" had appreciable astigmatism as well
(causing him to see a distorted image of Venus), plus blood cells on the
retina producing illusory motion.  He concluded.  "Since a very simple
hypothesis accounts, without any strain, for the reported observations. I
shall henceforth consider the Father Gill case as solved.  Moreover, 1
feel the same phenomena are responsible for some of the more spectacular
unsolved cases in the Air Force files."  (See HYNEK, J. A., The UFO
experience, 1972.)

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the former Air Force UFO consultant, notes in rebuttal
that Father Gill was wearing properly corrected glasses at the time and
that "Venus was pointed out separately by Gill."

Although any prolonged series of UFO sightings with excited witnesses may
be "contaminated'' by coincidental sightings of aircraft, meteors, or
stars and planets glimpsed through moving cloud, the report of a large
structured object (with humanoid figures) below a low overcast is not
easily explainable.

Richard Hall


January, 1998

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