Dr James E Mc Donald’s Archives

Dr James E Mc Donald’s UFO Research Archives Including the 1967 Australian UFO Witness Audio Recordings

James Edward Mc Donald (7 May 1920 to 13 June 1971) was a Senior Physicist of Atmospheric Physics and a Professor of Meteorology at the University of Arizona (USA).

He was also a pre-eminent UFO researcher during the 1950s and 1960s.  He was an advocate of the Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis as a conjecture to explain the origin of the UFO phenomena.

The cover of Ann Druffel’s authorised biography of Dr James E Mc Donald’s research into the UFO phenomena is shown below.  Reference: Druffel, A. (2006). Firestorm: Dr James E. McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science. 2nd ed. Columbus, USA: Granite Publishing.

James E Mc Donald’s, correspondence, interviews including audio, and printed materials, predominately relating to the period 1958 to 1971 are archived in the Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries (USA).  There are documents and photographs that were collected by Mc Donald during his Australian visit that are held at the University Of Arizona.

The audio recordings for the period 1967 to 1968 have been digitised and copied to CD-R media as .mp3 files.  The original audio recordings (magnetic tapes) for the period 1967 to 1968 have been digitised and copied to CD-R media and are available from the University of Arizona.  The duplication of this material, including the audio recordings may be requested, for a fee, from the Special Collections at the University of Arizona.   Copyright restrictions apply to the intended use of the documents and audio and permission to publish (including payment of a fee) must be obtained from the University before any publication.

This significant audio collection includes the tape recorded audio interviews made during his trip to Australia (including Tasmania) in June/July 1967.  James Mc Donald was hosted by the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) during his visit and members of that Society, such as Colin Norris, Paul Norman and Jeff Rumpf were present during some interviews.  In the following year, 1968, VFSRS was renamed the Victorian UFO Research Society (VUFORS). 

The interview with Barry Jones (Australian Federal Government Minister, between 1983 and 1990), on his radio show, recorded on the 5 July 1967 (Identification Code/CD Number: T03S2/CD05) in Melbourne, reveals that Mc Donald had been in Australia, investigating UFO reports, from the 24 June to the 10 July 1967.  A significant number of witnesses to UFO sightings were interviewed during this visit, including Reverend William Gill, an Anglican priest who observed craft-like UFOs, one with four Humanoid figures on top, on two consecutive evenings during 26 and 27 June, 1959, at Boianai, Papua New Guinea.

Most of the 58 Australian interviews were recorded when Mc Donald visited Australia.  This Australian collection had been saved on 21 CDs, with the identification numbers: 5, 11, 24, 25, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 59, see the table below.  The Association has obtained one copy of these CDs’ files from the Special Collections at the University of Arizona Library, for research use.  Permission to publish the audio was not sought, due to cost.  Therefore the audio files cannot be made available for download, or distribution to others.  Some of the audio recordings relate to sightings that occurred in the USA.

After listening to these audio recordings we appreciated how dedicated Mc Donald had been to his UFO research, as he termed, ‘The UFO problem,’ and he claimed, ‘UFOs as the greatest scientific problem of our time.’  Mc Donald states that that he is convinced that at least, over the last 20 years, the Earth has been, ‘Visited and reconnaissance’s by craft, that are not products of our technology.’  Mc Donald further stated that the evidence is, ‘Nothing short of astounding.’  The quality of Mc Donald’s commentary demonstrates that he was very methodical, intelligent and diligent in his study of UFOs.

Listen to James E Mc Donald’s radio interview, recorded in early July 1967, at the end of his Australian investigations.  He speaks about the Australian UFO sighting reports, criticism of  the Project Blue Book (USA) conclusions, his statement to the United Nations – Outer Space Affairs Group, and his thoughts regarding, what he termed, ‘The UFO problem.’

This audio is courtesy of Wendy Connors.  Reference: Connors, W (2013). UFOLOGY A Primer In Audio UK AUS 1946 1989 Guide: Track 25. [online] The Internet Archive. Available at: https://archive.org/details/UFOLOGYAPrimerInAudioUKAUS19461989Guide [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].

Each of the 58 audio Australian recordings (some USA reports included), tabulated below, were summarised as a joint project, by Keith Basterfield and Anthony Clarke.  The summaries have been combined and saved as a searchable pdf document (96 pages/1.5 MB).  This significant project was completed in November 2016 and the summaries are posted for UFO research and historical purposes.  It is likely that some of these reports have not been previously published.  Some of the audio files provided by the University of Arizona had misspelt witness names and locations in the file names, these have been corrected, to the best of our knowledge, in the summaries. 

We would appreciate that if any of these summaries are published that the source is quoted in the in-text citations and/or reference list. 

Download Document (PDF)