On this page I will be examining a sighting of a strange event that occurred in December 2004. I reported it to a few UFO research organisations not long after seeing it, and it was documented with UFORQ (UFO Research Queensland) a few years later. I have also retold the story a handful of times since but I don't go telling everyone (until now). I also subscribed to the UFORQ newsletter for a year or two to see if anyone else reported a similar event. That was the extent of my interaction with UFORQ until recently when I contacted them to see if they still had a copy of the report. They directed me to the archives on the website where I did find the report listed. At this point though I haven't opened the report because I want to do a test to see how much my recollection has changed between December 2004 and August 2017.
Since witnessing the strange event, I have done many online searches to find anyone else who has witnessed something similar. Negative. I have found nobody describing anything even remotely close to what I saw.
I have also taken an interest in healthy skepticism and evidence based beliefs. I have no evidence leading to the identification of what I saw that night, so I make no assumptions about what I saw. I can tell you what I think I saw, what it appeared to be, and what it appeared to do. It was indeed a UFO from my perspective, because it is Unidentified, it appeared to be Flying or Falling, and I'm pretty sure it was an Object.
Since sighting this object I have come to realise that memory is very malleable. You don't simply store a memory and then bring out the exact same memory from storage whenever you recall it. Research shows that when you recall a memory, you add to, subtract from, and bend that memory before you once again store the memory for later recall. Each time you retell your story you risk storing the memory a little differently from the last time. Changes to the memory may occur simply by interaction with the person to whom you are telling the story. They may occur due to whatever is taking place in your environment at the time you recall the memory. They may even get a little mixed up with other memories you are recalling around the same time.
Accepting all of the above, I realise that my current memory of the event may differ from my memory of the event in 2006, and that that memory may have differed a little from what I actually experienced in 2004. I will however state that at the time I saw the object I was amazed at what it did.
I am very sure that the event really occurred. I had people with me at the time but none of them looked up quick enough to see anything, so I have nobody to corroborate what I saw. I'm reasonably sure it wasn't just a brain fart, but you never know for sure. The brain tricks us all the time, just check out the Colour Changing Card Trick on Youtube if you don't believe that.
What I intend to do here though is to recall the event in as much detail as I can and then open the original report from UFORQ to reproduce it below the current recollection. I am not sure how much detail I included in the report to UFORQ, so there may possibly be aspects I include in the newest version that weren't in the original report. That doesn't mean that I am adding details that didn't happen, it will just mean that I am trying to be more thorough. However at this stage of writing I don't even know if there will be anything new added. I was 38 years old in 2004 and now I am 51, so for all I know the latest recollection might be missing aspects of the earlier one.
Of course to any true skeptic, whether I recall this with 100% accuracy or whether the story is 100% different, this will present itself as simply anecdotal. Nobody apart from me can even verify that I haven't read the original UFORQ report just prior to writing this. I assure you that I haven't, but I can't provide proof of this.
Recalling the Event
August 19 2017 Recollection
Well that's what I remember as of today Saturday, August 2017. I have tried to put as much detail in as possible. Obviously the indications I gave of directions and degrees or arc are just estimates, but I have provided them based on what I currently see in my mind. I am pretty sure I would have also given estimates such as these, but in less detail, in my report to UFORQ in 2006. I will now find the original report on the UFORQ website and post it below.
For me, the evidence that something took place is my memory of the event. Evidence that the event took place as described is somewhat corroborated by the similarity between my recollection of the event in 2006 and my recollection in 2017. There is also some evidence there for the malleability of my memory over that time, but not enough for me to think that the event didn't occur at all.
For anyone else, there is no hard evidence that this event even took place. All you have to go on is my story, and my assurance that I am not making this up. Even if you believe I am not making it up, how can you know that I saw what I think I saw. How can you know that I was sober at the time or in no way cognitively impaired. I assure you I wasn't, but that proves nothing.
I notice that the main discrepancy between my memory in 2006 and my memory today is the direction. In 2006 I had the object starting in the east and travelling northwards. I now have it starting south east and travelling northwards towards the east. This concerned me a little but then I remembered checking the direction of the river in it's final leg prior to doing the first report, and not doing the same this time. I always think of the river as running west to east, and indeed during this experience the ship would have been aligned WNW to ESE. I believe that after checking the map prior to my first report I may have thought the ship was aligned south west to north west and concluded that I was looking towards the east being further down river around where the map shows the words "Brisbane River". It may be a false memory, but I recall looking at about a 45 degree angle off to the right of the ship when I first saw the object.
Another discrepancy is that my current recall is that the object declined in elevation on the first leg, levelled out on the second leg and declined again on the third leg. My original 2006 recollection was of level on the first leg, decline on the second and level on the third.
My memory is tainted a little for sure. As to the nature of the object I saw, I am at a loss to explain it. I like to think that I know what I saw, but I am highly aware that I may have been mistaken or that something may have been happening causing an optical illusion. I am troubled by the fact that I found no evidence anywhere of either another witness to this event or even another witness to a similar event. The whole incident would have taken about 4-6 seconds, so you would think that somebody in this city would have been looking up at the same time as me. I would be highly grateful if somebody could explain what I saw. I will do another search online and if I do find any reports of similar events I will post links to them below.
The reports below have similar headings but none are close to what I saw. The last one of a meteor doing a single zig (changing direction once) is the closest.
Reports online of splitting shooting stars - nothing like what I saw.
Report online of shooting stars with a wavy path - not like what I saw, no reversal of direction.
Report of a star moving in a zig zagging path - not like what I saw, too slow by the description given.
Report of zig zagging light - much slower than what I saw.
Report of erratic moving light with colours - not like what I saw.
Report of meteor doing a single zig but no zag - similar but not the same
Addendum (20th August 2017)
After being puzzled by this event for the past 13 years, I awoke this morning shortly after 3am with a possible plausible explanation. I need to do a little more research before posting the idea. Stay tuned.