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Family Says It Was Chased By UFO, Police Say No Hoax

January 21, 1988 GMT

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Two groups of people reported near simultaneous encounters with an unidentified flying object and police said today they were taking the reports seriously.

A family of four said their car was chased by an eggcup-shaped object along a remote stretch of outback highway, plucked from the ground and covered in ash Wednesday morning, police reported.

The crew of a tuna boat 50 miles away also said they were buzzed by an unidentified flying object minutes later, and that their voices become unintelligible as a result.

Faye Knowles, a mother of three, also told police that her speech and that of her sons changed during the encounter along the highway.

Police dismissed any suggestion of a hoax.

″We were a little bit skeptical at first,″ said Sgt. Jim Furnell of Ceduna Police in the state of South Australia. ″But after investigating, we are treating the reports very seriously.″

He said forensic scientists would examine the black powdery ash found inside and outside Mrs. Knowles’ car. She told police she was driving through the Nullabor Plain from Perth in Western Australia when she first saw a glowing object in her rear window at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday

″It apparently picked the car up off the road, shook it quite violently and forced the car back with such pressure that one of the tires was blown,″ Furnell said.

″While this was happening the family said their voices were distorted and it was as if they were talking in slow motion.″

He said the crew of the tuna boat could not have known about the Knowles’ experience when they reported a UFO sighting in the Great Australia Bight, a body of water off the Australian coast.

Keith Basterfield of UFO Research Inc., an international organization that records such sightings, said if the sighting is confirmed ″it will certainly be the most physical of encounters ever recorded in Australia.″

A spokesman at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Edinburgh in South Australia said he was not aware of any military aircraft in the area at the time.