A Springwood taxi driver’s ET experience is one of the surprise elements of a highly publicised BBC TV production showing in Australia called Stargazing Live this week.
Media spokesman for UFO Research NSW Doug Moffett, 57, is appearing on the interactive TV show hosted by Professor Brian Cox and TV presenter Julia Zemiro. It screens on April 4-6 and is designed to teach viewers about the universe.
Mr Moffett was taken to a “UFO hotspot” – Wycliffe Well, 380 kms north of Alice Springs in the Australian outback – by two BBC TV producers in Januaryand asked to re-live an alien experience he had on Sydney’s M4 motorway early one morning nine years ago.
At the time he was driving, and saw a “prune, a spent helium balloon” hovering above him which he believed was an alien craft.
“I had no explanation what this object was,” he said.
“The prune was only about a metre high and half a metre across, it was very small and I would guess it was an unmanned probe of some sort taking in info. The object was only about 30 meters high in the sky, very low.
“I should have stopped and got out my mobile phone … I was underwhelmed I guess, after waiting for a UFO [sighting] for years.”
The show is being beamed to an audience of more than four million people around the world and screened here on the ABC.
“This is the biggest and best platform, a BBC doco is another level, this is my passion,” he told the Gazette.
Mr Moffett has been the spokesman for UFO Research NSW since 2000 and is fascinated “by the UFO phenomenon and who may be out there”.
“It was a huge feather in my cap to be contacted by the BBC,” he said.
“I flew up on Friday morning [to Alice Springs] and came back on Sunday afternoon. The [production] shooting was done pretty much with no takes at all – apart from the two times people walked into the shot to order a hamburger in the truck stop, so we did it again.”
While an early trailer on the BBC website had him chatting for a couple of minutes, he was hopeful there was more to come.
“I’m hoping there’s a longer chunk [of the 30 minute interview] that will go to air, but that’s showbiz.”
“I made a lot of points that I would like people to know about.”
Mr Moffett said the outback had had a rich tradition of mysterious sightings. He has been investigating sightings for two decades.
“There have been hundreds of sightings … since World War II in this isolated part of Australia [Wycliffe Well] ,” he told the TV audience. “It’s so flat, no light pollution, there is nowhere for ET to hide. The likelihood of us confirming ETs depends on whether science treats this subject as a real science and starts doing some real investigation.”
The show revealed another remote part of Australia, in Parkes, is also investigating “fast radio bursts” –possible alien spaceship launches – more deeply, part of a coordinated global effort to find life beyond earth. In his episode noted scientist Professor Stephen Hawking is also interviewed.
“Seventy five per cent of the universe cooled and formed into planets, before our solar system did,” Mr Moffett said. “In recent times we’ve found well over 100 planets but back in the ‘70s we were even sure if there were other planets [when we had earth based telescopes].”
“We know there’s a planet out there that is 13 billion years old, our planet is about 4 and a half billion years old… so what scientifically is that telling us, there’s a 75 per cent chance that there are civilisations out there that are anything up to 8.5 billion years older than us.”
“Ten thousand years ago we had subsistence farming and now we have mars rovers … the idea that sceptical scientists would say we can’t be visited ... it is ridiculous.
“Given the immensity of the universe, we’re certainly not alone.”
Some of his opinions are at odds with popular scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Mr Moffett was disappointed not to be involved in the separate live event with Dr Karl in Melbourne running in conjunction with the show.
“The main thing I’m hoping for is to make people think about this subject, UFOs have been ridiculed by media. If I can make people think … it makes sense to have a look yourself.”
Stargazing Live has been running in Britain for seven years and is already a huge success. To watch the show go to ABC iview.