The National Archives of Australia holds a number of records relating to unidentified flying objects (UFOs), flying saucers and other unidentified aerial sightings. Most of these records date from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when public interest in UFOs was high and many sightings were reported to Commonwealth authorities.
There was no specific government agency responsible for the collecting and analysing of these sightings, so responsibility fell on the Department of Air. The Department collected reports from defence force members, pilots and air traffic controllers, meteorologists and the general public. During the peak of interest in UFOs, the department investigated some reports, trying to establish whether the sightings could be attributed to low flying aircraft, weather balloons or meteorological phenomena.
Reports were also collected by other agencies involved in air safety, research and intelligence, including the CSIRO, the Joint Intelligence Organisation, the Weapons Research Establishment at Maralinga, and the Department of Transport. The Department of Territories kept reports from Papua New Guinea.