Australian Parliament discusses UFOs: No program to investigate phenomena, Air Force Marshal says

UFO

MYSTERY WIRE — Members of the Australian Parliament had their first discussion on UFOs according to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

The discussion happened on Oct. 27 when Tasmanian Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson heard from Chief Air Marshal, Mel Hupfeld, of the Royal Australian Air Force .

When pressed about whether the Australian Air Force or military in general had any programs like the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence and Department of Defense’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force, Marshal Hupfeld said there is not.

Hupfeld also said he was not familiar with the UAP/UFO articles from media sources such as the New York Times. However, when asked if he had seen the US Navy videos showing UAPs he said he had.

Sen. Eric Abetz (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Senator Whish-Wilson, you have the call.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Thank you Senator Abetz. I’m not sure exactly who to ask for to respond to these questions, because I may not, well, they may well not have been asked before. But I was wondering if I could certainly have someone senior from the Air Force, particularly a pilot if that if that was possible.

Marise Payne – Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Call the Chief of Air Force … there’s a plan.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Chief for the Air Force would be great, he’s a pilot.

Marise Payne – Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
I’ve seen him fly, Senator.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Right. Can I proceed? I can’t see whether he’s with you. Okay. Thank you.

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
Senator, I am a pilot and I used to fly airplanes. Not current now. But I think I’ve got the information you might need pending in your question.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
All right. Okay. Well, great. But my question relates to the, I know we have close ties with the US, we share intelligence. My questions relate to release of the report on the 25th of June 2021 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.” This is an issue that has been raised in Congress, the Department of Defense’s submitted a report. It’s become a significant matter of public interest. And I suppose I’ve my first question is, are you aware of that report? Chief of Air Force.

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
I’m not formally aware of the report, but if I’m thinking, there was an article in the newspapers, a commentary about that at some stage, but I’m not quite sure of the content of the report.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Okay, just as a matter of interest, what questions did you think I was going to ask?

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
I thought you were going to ask some questions about aircraft? Sounds like you’re going to ask questions about UFOs.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Well, it will be very interesting to hear your views on this. Look, yes, it has been reported in the media extensively, both here and internationally. I’ll just read you a few statements or the executive summary of that report. It basically talks about UAPs as being something that the US Department of Defense is taking seriously, the Pentagon has a task force assigned to better understanding the data interpretation of recent sightings. The report says UAPs clearly poses safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to US national security. And then it goes on to talking about the 144 cases that the Pentagon looked at. Only one was clearly explainable, the others remain unexplained. They claim that after carefully considering the information, the task force reports that UAPs largely witnessed firsthand by military aviators, and were collected from systems that were considered to be reliable. And that most reports describe these UAPs as objects that interrupted pre-planned training or other military activity. So could I ask whether the Australian Air Force or the Australian military also has any task force looking at UAPs? Is this something that’s you you’re familiar with at all here?

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
I’m not familiar with nor have seen any reports or information regarding UAPs in an Australian airspace context, and there’s no Air Force led taskforce that looks into this phenomenon.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
So we don’t we don’t do any monitoring of this at all?

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
There’s been no reports that I’m aware of Senator.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
No, no informal reports from from pilots or ….

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
None from any aircrew oraviation organizations that I’m aware of. The only experience that I have in this was over 40 years ago when some reports were made and we launched a mirage aircraft and the phenomena turned out to be errors on the radar screens in our normal civil air traffic control system, but no physical objects were detected.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
So would it concern you the characterization of the DoD of both intent and advanced technology in relation to the report? Basically, they’re saying they can’t can’t explain what these things are. But they would like to better understand them.

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
Senator, I can’t answer for another sovereign nation that that is a matter for the US and the Pentagon and the Department of Defense in the US.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Okay. Would it be possible to, for you to see if there has been any any kind of across the other services, whether there’s been any any kind of reporting system?

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
Certainly, I can take that, I can take that on notice. But I feel confident that as the airspace control authority within Australia, if there had been any detections or items such as this, that I would be aware of them, but I can take that on notice to double check.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Okay, and would typically something like [inaudible], you have to pick up fast moving objects? Or is it more designed to look at ships and …

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
Senator, the [inadudible] operational radar network is designed to take the aircraft and some ships, I won’t go into the details of the nature of that detection, as we would then be getting into very classified areas. It’s not possible for me to determine whether the the John would see something like an unusual airborne phenomenon without knowing the construction materials and other performance parameters of such an object if if indeed, it was an object.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Okay. As a pilot, have you seen any of the video footage that’s been released by the US military? It’s been unclassified, it’s been reported on by the New York Times, The Washington Post, even The Conversation here in Australia, which as you know, is a quite a respectable conservative media outlet has written a report, they’re not saying they agree that these things may be more than aberrations. But they are saying that finally, there’s a mature conversation now happening around UAPs and trying to better understand them.

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
So Senator, through professional curiosity I did look at some of the videos that were attached to those media reports. They were interesting, but not compelling to me. And, and I don’t believe everything that I read in the media.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Nor do I. It’s certainly something we learned in Canberra. I’ve just interesting. What do you think it would be possible for pilots to spoof, to spoof that kind of thing?

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
I’m not sure what you mean spoof. Senator, you’re talking about the…

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Obviously the videos come from US Air Force pilots. I think there’s 80 different sources and the DoD and the Pentagon are taking this seriously, but …

Mel Hupfeld – RAAF Chief Air Marshal
I’m not really able to comment on that, Senator. There’s too many variables to even form a view?

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
Alright, no, thank you for that. If you could just take that on notice. That’d be that’d be excellent. If I’ve got any any time left check prep, Senator Patrick can take my allocation.

Sen. Eric Abetz (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
I think I think you’ve got about 30 seconds left. So that’s …

Marise Payne – Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
I think, I can say with some confidence that after over two decades participating in the Senate estimates process. This is the first occasion on which in any capacity, I have had the opportunity to observe a conversation and a question and answer session on such an issue. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention.

Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Parliament – Senator for Tasmania)
My pleasure. It’s my pleasure. Senator Payne I do notice our key ally is taking this very seriously. It is now emerging as a matter of public interest. I’m glad you appreciate it.

Marise Payne – Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
I listened in great interest Senator and I’m glad we could find you a pilot.

Discussion recorded on Oct. 27, 2021.

UFO/UAP discussions are nothing new in Australia. Earlier this year, Mystery Wire spoke with Australian Bill Chalker who spent decades working as a chemist but is better known for his side passion as a UFOlogist.

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