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25th September 1976 - Mildura Sighting - Mr & Mrs White

It’s always a buzz when you find an interesting report of an unexplained sighting in Victoria even when the report is over 36 years old. While reading through a copy of the November edition of 1976 VUFORS magazine, The Australian UFO Bulletin, I came across this report I would like to share with you. Keep in mind this is a clear two years prior to the disappearance of Frederick Valentich in October of 1978 and just one of many cases reported in Victoria around 1976 -1978. I have digitized the entire report; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Andrew Arnold


A discoloured circle has been discovered in a paddock at the spot from which a group of flashing red lights rising from the ground was observed by four witnesses in a car. At about 11.20pm on the night of Saturday, Sep 25 1976 Mr A White, his wife, Mrs V White and two teenagers, Joe Schirripa and Kim Williamson, all of Mildura were returning home after a visit to relatives of the Whites at a farm about 35 miles south west of Mildura. As they rounded the bend and came over the brow of the low rise at a locality known as Karawinna South, they all observed a group of red lights apparently on the ground in a paddock an estimated 200 yards away on their left. Mrs White said:

“We were coming home from a farm, and we were just coming over the brow of the hill and we saw the red lights, and the boys that were with us all said “Spotlights”, which we all thought it was. At that instant this group of red lights, flashing very bright, lifted straight up into the air like a helicopter does. It hovered in the air for about a minute directly above where we saw them, and then they drifted off towards the east, gradually gaining height. It was hovering again for a minute or more and then it just disappeared, but in this time there was all silence – there was no noise at all until it disappeared. And it was then that we heard a noise – it sounded like a transport in the distance. Prior to that there was no noise at all – Perfectly silent....

.... It was set in a little valley, and the only way that you can see down in the valley – they’re only sort of little sand hills – you can only see from about 100 yards on this little spot. That’s when we saw the lights and when they lifted off the boys let out an exclamation. That’s when my husband stopped the car and we watched it continue to rise up. It only rose up a couple of hundred feet or so, but it rose very slowly – just as though it was a helicopter. It didn’t go fast – there was no speed attached to it....We watched this phenomenon for about seven minuted all told, I suppose ....”

Mr and Mrs White said that immediately before the lights lifted off, they began flashing in unison at a rate of about one per second, although remaining the same red in colour. The flashing they likened to that of a car tail light when the footbrake is repeatedly applied and released. The set of lights appeared to span a width of 10 to 12 feet (“about the width of two cars”), and they had the impression that the distance between individual light was about equal to one light’s width. Each light appeared to be of a squarish shape, possibly with round corners like a TV screen, or similar to the large tail lights on modern cars. Although they did not count the exact number of lights, they thought it was probably 6 or 8.

By the time the lights had reached a hovering position after a vertical lift-off, Mr White had stopped the car and turned off the engine and lights, and they continued to watch it. By now the flashing lights had stopped and they were watching a steady set of red lights. Although Mrs White estimated its altitude at this stage to be a couple of hundred feet, Mr White estimated it to be about 50 feet. The flashing started up again and the lights began to drift slowly off towards the east, gaining height. The car was started again and they followed it along, the object on their left hand side, keeping roughly parallel to its course. The object’s altitude was low enough for it to be obscured intermittently by a line of trees along the side of the road. The whites now turned north at a crossroads and the set of lights floated across the front of them to hover over a paddock on their right hand side. At this point the car was stopped again and they watched the set of lights a as they hovered a second time, this time higher and further away than before. As they watched, the flashing started again for the third time, and suddenly the lights vanished completely as if they had been switched off. That was the last they saw of the phenomenon, but immediately after its disappearance they heard a sound “Like a powerful semi in the distance”. Asked if any object or structure could be seen attached to the lights, Mrs White said again: “The lights were bright and you couldn’t penetrate the lights to see what the structure was behind it. It was just this group of lights. The group of lights seemed to be on a level – like car tail lights”, while Mr White said “they were just like a semi trailer”.

Although not really frightened by the experience, all four witnesses were greatly puzzled, and the Whites and one of the youths decided to go back a few days later to investigate the site. Mrs White said; there wasn’t a car track in the paddock, and the property owner said there had been no stock or cars in the paddock for at least 12 months or more....

.... When we went out on the Tuesday (Sep 28) – we got permission to go into the property – the property owners were there to meet us, and we were waiting for my cousin to come. So on e of the boys that was with us – we went down through the paddock for a walk on our own – and we came across a circle. All the straw and that was off, and it was a completely different colour, and a complete circle – 71 feet across when it was measured....

....The paddock was covered with straw and it was like as though a vacuum cleaner has sucked up all the straw in this area. The straw was gone from the circle. And another thing was the hop bush on the side of the hill near it. It was all sort of browned off – and there’d been no fires through the paddocks.

Ask if there was any evidence of burning inside the circle, Mrs White said:

No, not inside the circle, it was just that it was a completely different colour – it was brown. But the paddock, the grasses, dry straw and stuff and stubble – and grasses that had been dried off because there’d been a drought out there – they were more or less grey – but this area was brown....

.... I didn’t notice that the soil was a different colour – it was the grass in that area. One of the things we noticed when we went out on Saturday to get the extra soil to bring down to Melbourne, was that the whole paddock – now they’ve had a lot of rain out there since – they’ve had five inches of rain – the whole paddock is covered with barley grass, matted with barley grass – but not in this area – not in the circle....

The Whites were asked how they could be sure that the circle was found in the exact spot where the lights had been seen. Said Mrs White: “We’ve never set foot in that paddock, but we know it particularly well....the pine tree was near where the lights were.... Well, when we went back in the daylight we just sort of more or less went up to the same spot and walked just across the top of the hill, and we walked more or less straight into it. That was the amazing thing. We thought – well, it couldn’t have been imagination the week before that four of us saw the same things together....”

No abnormality of the functioning of the car was reported during the observation, but by the time they arrived home the right hand head light was faulty. At a subsequent garage check no cause could be discovered, but the light continued to malfunction intermittently.

Asked whether any physiological effects were experienced, Mrs White rep​orted that from the next day she suffered from a severe pain in the neck immediately behind the left ear:

Well, a strange effect – now I asked the doctors about this. It’s something that happened the day after – was that I had a bad neck. And I had to go to the doctor with it, and they reckoned it was a wry neck. But I had pains in the neck here, and in the ear. And I asked the doctors could it have been anything to do with it. And, oh, they poo-hood it, you know – stupid. They had a look in the ear – there was nothing. But I had about 12 days with a bad neck and ear, and I even had therapy – they reckoned it was a wry neck....

.... I put the car window down and that’s the ear where the thing was.... I even put my neck in a collar.... The Sunday night I didn’t sleep very well, because I had a funny ear. Well, on the Monday it just sort of got worse and worse, and it worked up to such a crescendo that I was nearly crazy with it one night. I went to the doctor on Thursday.... at 5 o’clock, and they gave me some tablets and just said rub your neck and behind the ear with some stuff. I had to go to the hospital again at 9 o’clock for something stronger, and they said to have a sleeping tablet and some pain killer – when I might as well have had a drink of water. And I got my husband to take me up to the hospital again at one o’clock in the morning. And they gave me stronger tablets which didn’t do anything for it at all. And I walked around until 3 o’clock holding my head that I was nearly crazy. And I went back to the doctor again in the morning, and that’s when they sent me up to therapy and that. They said they thought it was wry neck. I went to the ear specialist and asked him – could it have been to do with it and he said, oh no, nothing to do with it at all.

Mrs White said that she had never had any ear trouble in the past, and at the time of the interview it had completely cleared up. None of the witnesses had reported any bodily effects during or after the sighting.

The locality is a wheat growing area, and the nearest habitation to the site of the circle is the property of Mrs. White’s cousin, about 3 1\2 miles away. An interesting detail which emerged during the interview with the Whites was that on each of two successive Saturday nights – the night of the sighting and the next – a cow disappeared from the property of Mrs White’s cousin. Mr White said:

He went out the Saturday morning – you know, he goes around every morning, to see how the stock’s going, and there was one missing.... Anyway, they’ve never found it from that day to this – they don’t know what happened to it.... They’ve checked the fences and things like that and they can’t see where it’s got out of the paddock. So the night we saw these lights, there was one missing that night, too..... It was there on Saturday morning and when he went round on the Sunday morning it was gone.


It seems one of the boys may now live in a western suburb of Melbourne, it is unknown where the other three people involved are today.

A report from The UFO Investigator 1977

from The UFO Investigator 1977