IASH/History Documentary Series 2019

Westall '66: A Suburban UFO Mystery (2010, 49 mins)

Directed by Rosie Jones 

On the morning of 6 April 1966, in the suburb of Westall in Melbourne’s inner east, hundreds of school students witnessed a strange object hovering above their school, before landing in a nearby nature reserve. There it remained for several minutes, before it lifted off again and vanished. Later that day, news crews and TV cameras descended on the school.

The Westall incident should have caused a sensation. But the film taken by news crews was never aired; the newspaper articles never published. Was there a conspiracy? Or was the Westall incident the result of a collective delusion? The overactive imagination of children? Or are there other explanations altogether?

Rosie Jones’s Westall ’66 re-examines this remarkable and haunting incident through a series of harrowing and sometimes inspiring interviews with eyewitnesses. The unlikely subject-matter of this documentary provides material that goes well beyond the questions of fact at the core of the mystery, and engages with legacies of the incident and its aftermath including issues of trust, doubt, and trauma. 

This event is sponsored by HASS Student Futures. The screening will be followed by FREE DRINKS AND SNACKS and a panel discussion with Dr Adam Dodd (SCA) and Dr Leigh Penman (IASH) – with plenty of opportunity for audience Q&A.

About IASH/History Documentary Series 2019

The IASH/History documentary series an outreach and enrichment activity for students in the Faculty. Events usually comprise the screening of a documentary film followed by a Q&A panel with experts in the field. In 2019, the series is being sponsored by HASS Student Futures.


Level 4 Forgan Smith Tower, UQ
Seminar Room 402