Saturday, 12 April 2014

Tooligie Hill

Tooligie Hill
(first published 2010)

Eyre Peninsula - South Australia

Tooligie Hill is a hill in central South Australia. Tooligie Hill is at an altitude of about 190m above sea level.
The nearest towns, villages or cities to Tooligie Hill are the village of Cummins (52.6km away - show me), the village of Arno Bay (68.2km away - show me) and the town of Tumby Bay (68.5km away - show me).
The nearest road to Tooligie Hill is an unsealed road that is un-named in our database and comes within 864m of the summit.
The nearest sealed road to Tooligie Hill is the Tod Highway (12.6km away).

Reported  by a local farmer in December 1971, this "single ring" crop circle was found in a field of wheat at Tooligie hill on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.
 The "Day by Day" column of The Advertiser reported the incident  on 27th January 1972 ) "... sighted by Eyre Peninsula farmer Robert Habner in the middle of a wheat paddock.   "Farmer Habner found it while he was reaping.   No tracks led to or from it. "
The Circle was investigated by local "UFO legend", the late Mr. Colin Norris, who took many photos, soil samples and interviewed many locals. No conclusions on what the circle was have been made public.
 
 

Images provided by: oldcropcircles.weebly.com

As reported:
Dec 1971 Tooligie Hill SA NL/FSA (33:48, 135:51)
A 1.1 m diameter circle, ringed by a 45cm wide trench pressed deep into hard clay soil was found. The trench in turn was ringed by a 60cm wide band of flattened wheat, swirled in an anti-clockwise direction. The night before, a local family had observed a red ball of light descending towards that paddock. (UFORSA. RAAF file A703 580/1/1 Part 17 pp76-86. Australian UFO Report Feb 72.)
 Image provided by: oldcropcircles.weebly.com
These weren't the first Crop circles reported on the Eyre Peninsula others include:
Late 1966 Eyre Peninsula SA: An Adelaide resident and partner, driving in a remote area came across a group of circles on a flat stretch of earth. There were 8 in total, all identical in shape and size. Some overlapped. Said to be 6m in diameter, perfectly round. It appeared 2 had been burnt into the earth.


RAAF Correspondence dated 29th May 1972:
  “6/32/Air(10);Headquarters RAAF; Edinburgh SA 5111; 29th May 1972;
Department of Air (Attention: D/DAFI IR); For Information: Headquarters Operational Command”: …

2.
As on many occassions in the past, the report arrived at this Headquarters too late to make an investigation possible without considerable embarrassment and possible adverse publicity. The various UFO societies in this State, while aware of the RAAF's responsibility to investigate UFO sightings in an official capacity, are nonetheless reluctant to pass on information on UFO sightings to the RAAF until they have "picked the bones clean". …

3.
Every attempt has been made by this Headquarters to elicit the co-operation of local UFO organisations, and in particular the AFSRS, in an endeavour to gain some first-hand information on UFO sightings. ... It would appear that, in spite of sparse and rather patronising publicity by the mass media to the effect that the RAAF is the responsible UFO-reporting organisation, and arrangements with the police to have any individual sighting a UFO contact this Headquarters, the public at large in this State remains either ignorant of the correct procedure, or chooses to contact the more glamorous - and credulous - "flying saucer" society.

A second document to Headquarters Operational Command, dated 20th June, 1972,
along with a copy of a report by Inspector Adolf Schlein of Port Lincoln Police, included correspondence to the South Australian Commissioner of Police. The second document: ...

1.
Peculiar ground markings discovered on a farming property at Tooligie Hill, Eyre Peninsula, in late December 1971.

2.
The matter first came to the notice of this Headquarters through the "Day by Day" column of The Advertiser on 27th January 1972 (which mentioned the markings) "... sighted by Eyre Peninsula farmer Robert Habner in the middle of a wheat paddock. "Farmer Habner found it while he was reaping. No tracks led to or from it. Peter is investigating"

3. This Headquarters' OIC UFOs ...
contacted the Peter Powell referred to in the clipping and ... received assurances of co-operation. Mr.Powell stated that considerable interest in the Tooligie Hill "phenomenon" was being evinced by local UFO groups and added that a meeting of several of the groups, including the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (of Colin Norris notoriety), was to be held that Sunday (30th January 1972) ... At this juncture it became apparent that a belated RAAF investigation of the "phenomenon" would attract unwanted publicity, and would in any case probably be paralleled by simultaneous investigations by civilian groups. The question of "co-operation" between the RAAF and local UFO groups would then be a matter for speculation and individual interpretation by the media. This Headquarters therefore deemed it prudent not to initiate an on-site investigation into the incident at the time.

4. (Newspaper accounts referred to) a projected "safari" to Eyre Peninsula to investigate the "phenomenon"....

Flt. Lt. King (O i/c UFOI) minuted the following: This morning I received a phone call from Mrs Habner of Tooligie Hill. She said that Messers Ianson and Mackereth (of AFSRS) had arrived and were investigating the "phenomenon" on the Habner property.
As might be expected, Mr. Norris had arranged the usual publicity and the ABC, 5KA and the Advertiser, according to Mrs Habner, were on the scene or on tap. She said that she had not expected so much publicity and in any case it was Peter Powell who was supposed to be doing the investigating.
His "safari" is due to arrive on Saturday and she had tried to contact him without success to tell him that he had been pre-empted. I informed Mrs Habner that there was nothing the RAAF could do about the situation and offered my condolences. Mrs. Habner seemed surprised that this HQ had not been informed officially of the "phenomenon" in the first instance as she had reported it to the police in the area. ORWO this morning noticed a leave application submitted by Cpl. A_____ of Catering Section. The address given on the application for the week's leave was c/- the Habner property. I interviewed Cpl A_____ who said he had answered an advertisement inserted in the local newspapers by Peter Powell for people to accompany him to Eyre Peninsula to investigate the finding. I briefed him on the "no-publicity" requirement and asked him to keep me informed of events." The airman referred to (above) was also mentioned in our (message) to your department. On his return from leave he was again interviewed by OIC UFOs. The "safari" had taken soil samples and photographed the markings, and also interviewed a number of people in the district, but after a week on the site had not made any findings. Present on the Habner property at the same time were two members of the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society, who also fossicked without discovering the origin of the markings.

5. (Mrs. Habner wrote to Flt. Lt. King):
I am sending you, as promised, some slides and information on the mark we found in our paddock on December 28th 1971. This mark was made in the middle of a wheat crop, with no tracks or marks leading in or out. The diameter of the rim-shape which is spun into the clay soil is approximately 7 feet. 2 feet from the outer edge of the mark the crop was laid flat in an anti-clockwise spinning motion, and in the centre, which measures 45 inches across, the crop was cut to a height of 9 inches. The crop was also laid flat (anti-clockwise again) in a small crescent which joins onto one side of the mark. About 12 feet away from the main mark is the same shaped marking spun into the wheat straw, but not with as much force as the main mark. This mark was just on the top of the straw and not cut into the ground. We can only think that whatever tried to land here was put off because of a small mallee stump, and, wanting a smoother place to land, rose up and hovered over to finally land on the main "site". One family in our district say they saw a strange light which would have been in that position. They saw this on Christmas Eve. We were away from home all that evening. We have had approximately 200 visitors from surrounding districts to see it and they all wonder what could have made this mark. The cut out circle is still there and will be until we plough it up for seeding. There are still markings of the spun down straw etc too, although they are not as clearly defined as they were when fresh....

6. (Attached) is a letter from this Headquarters to the Commissioner of Police, dealing with the incident:

The letter to the Commissioner: Dear Commissioner, … A telephone conversation between my Officer-in-Charge of UFOs and Mrs. Habner reveals that police authorities in the area were informed of the incident and indeed visited the Habner property prior to the "phenomenon" becoming public knowledge.... I am sure you will agree that, as this Headquarters was not informed of the incident in the first instance, any post-event official RAAF investigation of the incident, with attendant publicity, would prove not only unfeasible but also embarrassing to some extent. … In view of the above, I would appreciate your once again bringing to the notice of your staff the necessity of referring all UFO reports to this Headquarters with the minimum of delay. … Yours faithfully, E.T. Pickerd, Air Commodore.

The Commisioner’s reply: Dear Air Commodore Pickerd, ... I enclose copy of a report furnished by Inspector R.A. Schlein of Port Lincoln. … It appears that there was no actual sighting of a U.F.O. at Tooligie Hills in December last, and although the Inspector was aware of strange markings in a field, he did not consider there was sufficient evidence at that time to connect them with a U.F.O. Moreover, as there was already growth from the dislodged wheat heads, it seemed that some time must have elapsed since the disturbance. ...we are sorry that you have been hindered or embarrassed by the lack of an earlier report. Although members generally are already aware of the necessity to report such matters for your information, a further instruction will be issued by a notice in the Police Gazette. … Yours sincerely, J.G. McKinna, Commissioner of Police.

(RAAF Endinburgh, SA 5111; 29th May 1972; Department of Air (Attention: D/DAFI IR); For Information: Headquarters Operational Command )
(UFOs SUB ROSA DOWN UNDER, The Australian Military & Government Role in the UFO Controversy, Bill Chalker, 1996)
 
 
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