Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – scientific research: Questions to the Australian Minister of Defence re UAP

By | March 5, 2023


In June 2019 I posed a set of UAP related questions to the Australian Department of Defence, via its media section. Then, in June 2021 I posed a further set of questions via the same process. On 19 June 2022 I wrote a piece about the DOD’s response to my FOIA query about “unauthorised aircraft movements.” Finally, on 8 July 2022, I wrote an article providing details of Melbourne researcher, Grant Lavac’s FOIA request to the Australian DOD which disclosed an internal multi page “briefing paper” on UAP. The purpose of my media questions, and FOIA requests has been to determine, what interest, if any, the Australian DOD has regarding UAP. Grant Lavac has been on the same track, looking to ascertain the Australian  DOD’s interest in the topic. 

Emails to the Minister Of Defence

Grant has also been attempting to engage the political process, by communicating with the Office of the Minister for Defence. 

His first email, dated 6 June 2022 read:

“Dear The Hon Richard Marles MP,

I hope this email finds you well and wish to congratulate you on Labor’s recent election win, and your recent appointment as Minister for Defence.

Following last October’s Senate estimates hearing where Senator Whish-Wilson had the courage and gumption to raise the issue of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) and press RAAF Chief Air-Marshal Mel Hupfield on his knowledge of UAPs in an Australian context, I thought I would take this opportunity, as your constituent, to write to you and respectfully request your direct involvement with the UAP issue, and ask that you follow Senator Whish-Wilson’s lead in getting the public answers about what really is going on in regard to this phenomena in Australia.

Although politicians and UAPs mix together like oil and water due to the stigma attached with the topic; I am here to say that should not be the case. I urge you not to fall victim to what has seermed to be the norm over the more than past seven decades, which would be a total disregard for the issue based solely on erroneous “facts” and undeserved labels that have plagued the topic.

That needs to change.

Based on official and verifiable evidence alone, the United States government has seemingly misled its citizens, allies and the broader global community about UAPs and the absolute truth behind it for decades. Although it sounds like conspiracy-talk, it is downright proven with declassified documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from agencies including, but not limited to, CIA, NSA, DIA, DoD, Navy, Air Force.

These documents along with recent revelations by renowned Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an ongoing cover-up and deception about the topic. The question I have, as a both concerned Australian and global citizen, is why? And my government has never adequately answered this question.

If you are not familiar with Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart’s work on this topic, I would encourage both you and your fellow Senators to review his book, “In Plain Sight” and supporting documentary, “THE UFO PHENOMENON,” which first aired on Australian TV channel 7’s SPOTLIGHT program in late May. The documentary is readily accessible via YouTube and can be viewed via the following link…

My trust in the government has regrettably waned as a result of the ongoing deception and based on the evidence I’ve taken the time to review todate. I feel strongly there is not enough being done about this topic, and it is my hope that this is where you can come in.

I hope both you and Senator Whish-Wilson can help by pushing for open, public, parliamentary hearings on the UAP issue and follow our US ally and Five Eyes partner’s lead to tackle the topic seriously and treat it with respect and scientific scrutiny it deserves. I believe you will find  overwhelming documented evidence presented, but more so, you will likely hear directly from men and women in the Australian Defence Force that have had firsthand encounters with objects – whether formally reported or not – that cannot be explained by conventional means. Case in point: The still secretive Australian Navy communications station – Harold E Holt is the site of numerous past and ongoing strange sightings of anomalous craft, including but not limited to, that of a glowing orb observed in October 1973.

While there is now a concerted effort within the U.S. Department of Defence, under the auspices of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), along with the recent US public congressional hearing on UAP (the first U.S. public hearing on the topic in more than 50 years), designed to formally investigate and identify UAPs; secrecy is still paramount and the public is left in the dark. Answers are few and far between, and the June 2021 report (Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) provided to the US public and international community about this issue produced more questions than answers.

I trust that you will succeed where your predecessor, the Hon Peter Dutton MP failed in taking this issue seriously in an Australian context, and hope you will take my name and add it to the countless others writing to their electoral leaders to continue to ask questions and demand answers on UAPs.

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to your response.”


Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Scientific Research Questions To The Australian Minister Of Defence Re Uap | General Paranormal
R J Denney https://www.airforce.gov.au/our-people/our-leaders/head-air-force-capability

A letter dated 7 July 2022, from R. J. Denney, Air Vice-Marshal, Head of Air Force Capability provided a response. It read:

“Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Thank you for your correspondance of 6 June 2022 to the Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles MP, concerning Unidentified Aerial Phenomema (UAP) and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). I appreciate the time you have taken to bring this matter to my attention.

Defence does not have a protocol for the reporting and researching of UAP and UFO sightings. At this point in time, Defence will not be pursuing research into this matter.

I understand that the Uinted States Congress recently held a hearing on UAP and UFO sightings. As this is a matter from a foreign government I am unable to provided you with any further insights.

I understand that this may be disappointing to you, however, I thank you for your ongoing interest and passion in this matter.”

Follow up email

Grant sent a further email, dated 26 June 2022:

“Dear The Hon Richard Marles, MP

I hope this follow-up email finds you well.

As it’s coming up on 3 weeks since my initial email (refer below) and I’ve not yet received a response from you, I thought I’d take this opportunity to follow-up and enquire as to when I can expect to hear from you.

I also thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you that both of Australia’s Five Eyes partners, the US and Canada are now taking the issue of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) very seriously. In addition, the government of Brazil has also voiced its concern by formally holding a public congressional hearing on the topic in just the last week.

The landscape around the UAP topic has changed considerably since the Australian Department of Defence formally terminated its Unusual Aerial Sightings (UAS) policy back in 2013. As such and following your recent series of meetings with various international leaders and Department of Defence counterparts, I would greately appreciate your response to the following pertinent questions.

1. In your capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and/or Minister for Defence, have you engaged international leaders and/or your Defence counterparts respectively on the UAP issue?

2. Have you been formally briefed on the UAP issue?

3. Have you formally reviewed the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”?

4. In the light of the stance our US ally and Five Eyes partners has taken on the UAP topic, will the Australian Department of Defence, under your leadership finally review its position on the UAP topic in 2022 and communciate this to the Australian public?

I eagerly await your response.”

Second DOD response 

On 26 July 2022, R. J. Denney, Air Vice-Marshal, Head of Air Force Capability, responded to Grant.

” Request for Open, Public, Parliamentary Hearings on  UAPs

Thank you for your correspondence of 26 June 2022 to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Richard Marles MP, concerning Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs.) Your correspondence has been passed on to me for response.

In response to your first and second question, I wish to inform you that Defence has not briefed the Deputy Prime Minister with regard to the topic of UAP or UFO. Whilst the Deputy Prime Minister has been engaging with his international counterparts on a range of topics in his capacity as both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, this has not included the topics of UFO or UAP.

The Deputy Prime Minister has not been provided the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial phenomena for review.

The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Air Force does not lead on these forums. Air Force does not consider this the appropriate platform to discuss the topic of UAP or UFO.

I understand the Air Force has previously responded to your queries regarding this topic on a number of occasions. I am satifisfied we have sufficiently addressed your query and as a result, this will be our final correspondence relating to this matter.

Any new questions or concerns will be addressed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister or the Department of Defence, should the matter fall into our scope of responsibilities.”

Grant has submitted a further set of questions, which I will report upon when a government response becomes available. 

Update: 16 September 2022

Twitter user @glensamson86 contacted his Australian parliamentary representative Senator Katy Gallagher. Senator Gallagher forwarded the representation to the Mnister for Defence.

On 13 September 2022, Richard Marles, Minister for Defence, rsponded to Glen Samson. The letter read:

“Thank you for your correspondence of 25 August 2022 to Senator the Hon. Katy Gallagher about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.) Your correspondence has been forwarded to me for response.

As you are aware, the Air Force ceased the reporting and recording of UAP in 1996. Defence continues to assess that there is no scientific or other compelling reason to divert resources to the recording and investigation of UAP. They align resources with the priorities, mission and objectives of Defence. 

The United States’ approach to UAP, including its international engagement, is a matter for the United States. As a close partner and ally, Australia and the United States consult regularly on a range of shared security and strategic interests.

I appreciate your vested interest in this topic, and I trust this information is of assistance.”

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