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Gavin Grimmer
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The direction observed by the bulldozer driver would indicate (to me at least) that if there was cloud hanging around the Taree area, then this course flown could have been initially taken to see if it was possible to fly around this cloud (the remains of the electrical storm?) and get through to Port Macquarie. It is also in a rough direction towards Tamworth so by flying this way would keep both options open. The decision point would have been somewhere near Mt George as the next report that I have been able to find was a very convincing report by four farmers... the first being of Alan Wheeler’s observation that although very convincing, reported that he saw it at a very low level, whereas we all know by the radio transmissions that when it flew over that area it was at 5000 ft and according to my calculations 5 miles further to the south! Hence the tendency was to write these farmer’s observations off as having vivid imaginations, but now armed with this new information, it appears what they saw was correct... only at a later time than what was originally thought!

Of note: Alan said that he regrets that he never confirmed the exact time he saw the plane. He thought it was between 7 and 8pm and his wife thought it was closer to 8 (meaning later rather than earlier). The time MDX initially flew over was about somewhere around 7:10 to 7:15 (without calculating it) whereas I place it over that position at low level ‘the second time’ at something like 8:15 to 8:30.
The other thing of note is their recall of being able to see fire in the cabin as it flew past. This appears to be partly from media influence and the rest a trick of the memory attempting to recall an observation seen at a previous time. I would say most of it was caused by a confliction over seeing a bright landing light and confusing this at a later time of remembrance as a fire.... and another possible reason that I will mention later.

The first three of these farmers claimed that it was so low it rattled stuff on their mantle pieces, and all three have since passed on. The fourth farmer who lives at Bretti, some of our team and I visited him when I was over in Australia early December 2019, and we were all aghast when we got him outside to point out exactly what he had seen. It was a lot different to the impression we had got from reading the newspaper accounts!
If this was the same plane that the others had seen, then it had climbed somewhat from the altitude that the others had seen, and I have no problem with that as it would have had to climb to get out of the valley.

According to this farmer, it was one of those cold nights with the odd passing shower, but was like twilight due to a bright moon illuminating the place making it relatively easy to see. Hence why he was able to see the plane and the snow storm in the distance towards Tamworth.

 

 

 

This is the approx. track from Bucketts Way to Wallis Lake and up to where the Bretti farmer saw it:

 

 

 

After being seen at Bretti, the next person was at Giro... a little further up the valley. He observed it circle the estimated position of Bretti twice and I would say that was to gain height... and then fly further inland in the valley direction... towards Tamworth.

Why do I say that (to gain height)? Because the next areas of observation was a group of timber cutters staying at the top of the Mt George Valley (they heard a plane fly over them so low it shook the cabin), a woman in her home nearby, and another man in his home – also nearby... and the height of these locations are around 3500 ft higher than the Bretti/Giro area! These observer’s positions are also dead in line with the Mt Sandon NDB/VOR when tracking from Forster....

One needs to stop and think about this one....  
As a result of compiling the timeline of the transcripts in conjunction to the timing of the radar plots, and concluding that they had turned and were heading towards Forster on the coast  (when they first popped out of the cloud), and now we have a plane at low level, flying from that town on a low level course directly towards the Mt Sandon NDB/VOR (which is virtually inline with Tamworth... a place that has runway lights and one of the passengers has his Uncle living there).
What are the chances of that
NOT being MDX... the plane that disappeared off radar over the Barrington Tops? .... I would think pretty slim?  Remember, there is no airport with runway lights in Forster, so it is very unlikely that there was another plane that could have taken off from there, and even if there was, why would it fly at low level... other than what I have already suggested?

I repeat.... You really need to stop and think about this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MDX pg 66

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