Two groups of people reported near simultaneous encounters with an unidentified flying object and police said today they are taking the reports seriously.
A family of four said their car was chased by an egg cup-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 sons Sean, 21, Patrick, 24, and Wayne, 18, changed during the encounter along the Nullabor Plain 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 Knowles' car.
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.