This account of an alleged encounter with a malevolent UFO was reported in the "Canberra [Australia] Times" on January 21, 1988:
A Perth family say they were terrorised by a UFO which plucked their car from the road on the Nullarbor Plain.
Police said yesterday that they were taking the report seriously after investigating damage to the car, which was covered in an ash-type substance.
A truck driver and a car driver also witnessed the bizarre event after being chased by the UFO along the Eyre Highway just inside the Western Australia border.
Mrs. Faye Knowles and her three sons, Patrick, 24, Sean, 21, and Wayne, 18, were about 40km west of Mundrabilla driving toward South Australia when they first saw the glowing object about 2.45am yesterday.
They told police they had watched as it chased the truck and car, which were travelling in the opposite direction, before turning and landing on their own vehicle.
"It apparently picked the car up off the road, shook it quite violently and forced the car back down on the road with such pressure that one of the tyres was blown," a police spokesman said.
"While this was happening the family said their voices were distorted and it was as if they were talking in slow motion."
Mrs. Knowles told police the UFO turned the car around and placed it back on the road facing in the opposite direction.
Once they were back on the road they had jumped out and fled into the bush where they hid for some time before going back and changing the wheel.
They drove to Ceduna in the far west of South Australia and reported the incident to local police.
By chance, crime scene investigators from Port Lincoln were in Ceduna and examined the car.
"We have to take it seriously, there's no reason why we shouldn't," Sergeant Fred Longley, of Ceduna police, said. "There were too many witnesses for us not to.
"The car was damaged and was covered in ash from the object and they were clearly shaken up."
Sergeant Longley said the Knowles drew a diagram of the UFO which looked like an egg in an egg cup.
Another account of the Knowles' experience appeared in "The Age," the following day:
A Perth woman who claims an unidentified flying object landed on top of her car said last night that she and her three sons believed the object had been "after" them.Skeptics suggested that what the witnesses had actually experienced was a meteor shower.
Mrs. Faye Knowles, speaking on Channel 7, said she had initially mistaken the object, which emitted a "horrible humming noise" for a truck.
She said the encounter, on the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia on Wednesday night, had lasted about 90 minutes.
Mr. Sean Knowles, who was driving the family car at the time, said on Adelaide radio yesterday that after sighting the UFO at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, "I was doing about 200 kilometres (an hour) to try and get away from it.
"Somehow, I got a blow-out," he said. "I don't know how. Once I got the blow-out, it (the UFO) was on the car. All of us had this real weird feeling going through us."
Mrs. Knowles said she and her sons believed they were dying when the object grew in size and landed on the top of their car with a clunk.
"I was screaming, I was in hystericals," she said. After the object lifted the Knowles' car off the ground and dropped it heavily, Mrs. Knowles wound down her window and started screaming. Soot then filled the car and covered it.
"We thought we were dying, then we got out of the car and we hid behind a little tree in the bushes and it couldn't find us," she said. "It was up the road a bit further from us. It was after us."
The object then took off and the family, after changing the tyre quickly, drove away but they said the object followed them again. The family had tried to wave down other cars but none stopped.
The Victorian UFO Research Society said it was not an unusual phenomenon to have remnants of ash after an alleged UFO visit.
The group said that an incident in northern Tasmania, near Launceston, on 14 December bore striking similarities to the Nullarbor Plain event. In that incident, a car was dragged towards an unidentified object on the road and its motor cut out, the society said.
The single occupant had been scared and left the car to take cover in some bushes. When the object, described as a conglomeration of bright lights, had moved away, the car had been covered in grey ash. The society's spokesman, Mr. Pat Gildea, said the incident was still being investigated.
Port Lincoln police confirmed yesterday that the crew of the tuna boat Monica claimed to have seen moving lights in the sky in the Great Australian Bight on Wednesday night.
The crew of another vessel, the Empress Lady, had also reported seeing an object a week before the Nullarbor incident.
A truck driver, Mr. John de Jong, also said on Channel 7 last night that he had seen the lights that terrified Mrs. Knowles and her three adult sons.