UNCANNY 'EXTRA' INVADES A MOVIE SET On a sunny spring morning, seven years before they filmed their global hit Mad Max, young producers Byron Kennedy and George Miller were hard at work in Melbourne's General Cemetery.
With nine actors and crew, they were re-creating a 19th century burial scene.
While the cameras were rolling, young cast-member Russell O'Regan took two still photographs. On one of them appeared the image of a hooded monk-like figure which was apparently watching proceedings from behind a tombstone O'Regan described the image as a 'terrifying apparition'- pointing out that grave-railings were clearly visible through the semi-transparent lower half of its body.
The producers revisited the cemetery next morning, hoping to demonstrate that the phantom was no more than a trick of light and shadows. But they failed - as did astonished colleagues at production company Village Roadshow. Since that flesh-prickling morning, numerous photographic experts have tried to find a down-to-earth explanation for the ghost-in-the lens. But all have failed.
UFO: REPORTS FROM THE EDGE OF REALITY On 21 October 1978, young pilot Fred Valentich took off in a DSJ Cessna from Moorabbin airport on Australia's mainland, intending to fly across Bass Strait to King Island.
At 7.06 pm he radioed that he was in trouble, telling Flight Service Unit that a long metallic aircraft with a green light outside was 'orbiting ' him.- and the plane's engine was 'coughing.' At 7.12 pm, a long metallic noise came over the radio, then silence. Despite a massive search by air force and navy, no trace of Valentich or his plane was ever found.
But there was one vital piece of evidence: a startling photograph that can be seen in A Paranormal File. John Pinkney, who was covering the story for The Australian, was introduced to plumber and photo enthusiast Roy Manifold. On the night of 21 October, Roy had been photographing the sunset over Bass Strait. He had no idea anything untoward was on the negatives until his wife Brenda collected them from a supermarket weeks later. First three pictures show a perfect spring sunset over calm Bass Strait; the fourth a mountain of water erupting from behind a rock - and the sixth, a strange object exploding from the water and streaking skyward. The Australian's page one caption asked whether this might have been the UFO Valentich reported.
John Pinkney's research would later show that the young pilot's fate had been PART OF A PATTERN - Mary Celeste-style vanishings of ships and aircraft dating back to 1920, 1934 and 1935, amid yellowing newspaper reports of inexplicable lights and sounds above coast and ocean. The mystery encompassed two mailplanes, Miss Hobart and Loina which, in perfect weather, disappeared over the Strait along with their captains, passengers and crew.
In his Introduction to this Inventory of the Incredible, John Pinkney observes: 'After studying the cases in the following pages, you might well find yourself in agreement with the British biologist J.B.S. Haldane, who averred, "The universe is not only queerer than we imagine - it is queerer than we CAN imagine."