Mysterious flashing lights – and a great selection of beer too.
If it weren’t for the strange phenomena that make it special, Wycliffe Well would simply be like any other small roadside stop in Australia’s Outback.
However, it’s so much more than that. This odd little outpost has attracted curious visitors from all over the world with its reputation as the “UFO Capital of Australia.”
Alien Outpost in the Red Centre
Wycliffe Well is a pit-stop between the towns of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, where many people stop for gas on their long drive through the Outback. It began as a watering point along the stock route for the Overland Telegraph Line in the 1860s. It became popular as it was the only place for miles that offered decent food and lodging for the workers on this large project.
During WWII it was a market garden centre for the troops and its visitors were mostly military personnel. As the highway was further developed after the war it became a stop where travellers refuelled on petrol and provisions. The town has very few permanent residents, but it receives many travellers throughout the year.
Kitschy outer-space decorations have been placed all over the town, including two model aliens out the front of the Wycliffe Well Holiday Park. The park covers nearly 60 acres and it includes a large lake, ideal for relaxing and fishing. From Wycliffe Well you can head out to explore many of the natural wonders in the nearby area, including Davenport Range National Park and Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (a natural wonder with spiritual significance to the local indigenous people).
A Long History of Curious Sights
So how did the connection to extraterrestrials begin? During the Second World War the servicemen who lived in Wycliffe Well stated to keep records of the strange objects they had seen in the night sky, writing their observations in a binder. Someone found this book and got pretty excited about the odd goings on it contained. There were so many sightings that the Royal Australian Air Force conducted its own investigation.
For years the original journal was kept on the front counter of the local restaurant for everyone to peruse, but it was stolen in 1990. A new book was established, containing reports of sightings from the early 1990s onwards. The restaurant is also decorated with several newspaper clippings and images that just might persuade you into believing in extra-terrestrials.
For example, in a 2003 excerpt from the guestbook Lisa from Cairns wrote that she saw a “light in the sky going at a steady pace, which kept going until we couldn’t see it.” She insists that the light wasn’t easy to explain and that she wasn’t the only one who saw it. “A truck driver behind me saw it as well,” she said, “It was a UFO, not a falling star or a comet.” Another entry from 2004 by Brad from Western Australia states that he “saw a silver cigar shaped object moving across the sky in a very erratic motion, then it disappeared. Both me and my mom saw it.”
These are just a few of many UFO accounts that have been reported in this specific part of Australia. Other visitors have described unidentified crafts that are square, rectangular and cigar shaped and even some that shift in size and shape. They have been spotted with flashing and pulsating lights and in a range of colours, from red to green to orange.
Whether or not you believe in this sort of thing, it’s fascinating and a little eerie to hear so many stories of unexplained lights in the sky and other phenomena.
Why Do UFOS Congregate Here?
Lou Farkus, the owner of Wycliffe Well Holiday Park, explains that the sky is filled with “Ley Lines” which act like highways for the UFOs to follow. This town is located on the converging point of many intersecting ley lines, which is why so many UFOs are seen there. Also, this is one of the flattest spots in the region. With an enormous sky stretching around to the horizon in all directions, it is easy to spot any strange goings-on above.
According to a local brochure, UFO sightings are so common here that you would be “unlucky not to see anything.” The Sun Herald ranked Wycliffe Well 5th for the top reported UFO activity in the entire world. It is speculated that the sightings may have something to do with vehicles that are being tested at the Woomera Prohibited Area, which is located nearby on the Stuart Highway. This mysterious area is known as the “Area 51” of Australia.
Hot Days and Starry Nights
When you visit Wycliffe Well, be prepared for intense heat as well as UFO sightings. The summers are intense and the sweltering temperatures can be around 35 degrees – the air conditioning in the holiday park is a relief.
While you are scanning the skies for aliens, you will also likely notice the stunning sunrises and sunsets in Wycliffe Well. The Northern Territory is known for its enormous and dramatic skies, so get up early or get outside in the late evening and watch the sky fade through a range of striking shades. Due to the lack of light pollution the night sky is painted thick with stars, a dazzling sight even without any unidentified flying objects.
Hide from a potential alien abduction in the local restaurant, where you can while away the evening tasting one of the largest selections of beer in the Northern Territory. There are about 300 different labels to choose from when the restaurant is fully stocked, so you are sure to find a refreshing brew that you will enjoy.
Try a few beers you have never heard of before and have a chat with the warm and friendly locals. Chances are that you will end up staying out longer than you intended, singing along with country and western tunes late into the night. Some say that it is the abundance of beers that leads to many of the so-called UFO sightings in this area – but you can be the judge of that yourself.