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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jun > Jun 26

OZ Researcher Paul B. Norman Passes

From: John W. Auchettl <praufo.nul>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 02:41:54 -0700 (PDT)
Archived: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:22:38 -0400
Subject: OZ Researcher Paul B. Norman Passes

Paul B. Norman 22-04-1916 - 23-06-2012

It is with sadness that I wish to inform List members of the
passing of Paul Norman at the age of 96. Paul died on Saturday
23rd peacefully; he spent the last years in a nursing home,
suffering dementia.

Paul was born in Tennessee, was enlisted in the United States
Navy during WW2 and had a long and distinguished naval career
which included active service in the Pacific. It was through
that period of his life that Paul discovered Australia and New

His interest in UFOs came when he first saw a UFO in November
1953. Paul was the superintendent of a power station in
Tennessee and one night one came right over the station. He
noted that he "thought it had to be a night-flying helicopter
but there was no sound at all. It approached the power station
at helicopter speed, stopped overhead for about half a minute
and sped away fast and silently".

In 1963 he left the United States to live in Australia where he
married and established a family in Timboon and Arcadia.

He could be relatively candid about issues and "didn't suffer
some Ufologists gladly" especially those with egos and beliefs
that pushed their standing/position within the subject above the
research. He had a good sense of humor and a cheeky play on
words when someone stepped on his toes; two of his most used
lines was "Malfunction Junction" and "Armchair Ufologist".  He
believed that the important investigation into the UFO would be
damaged if researcher's had "less get up and go and suffered
from their over bloated  egos". Paul was also frequently highly
critical of the Government policy on the UFO phenomenon, but
understood that their actions whilst on the surface was
disruptive and silent, people within were human and through that
he was able to make valuable connections and source material not
generally available to the public, even today. He was simply
trusted by authority and that was due to his honest, hard-nosed,
diligent and ceaseless energy. Paul appeared in many UFO
documentaries and was frequently quoted on the subject in the

I had a very close working association with Paul from the late
1970's to the early 1990's. During this period we travelled
together to many locations within Australia and researched
hundreds of cases. He was an easy man to work with and loved to
travel, frequenting airports, police stations, news editors and
DoD establishments. Frequently staying in hostels, he questioned
just about everyone on the UFO subject hoping to get another
lead. Where I was inundated with technical equipment, he trusted
his note pad, tape recorder, camera and business card to do the
work, amazingly with great success.  We worked on some of the
best cases in the world, but three that strike me were the
unexplained disappearance on 21 October 1978 of 20-year-old
Frederick Valentich while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft
over Bass Strait in Australia. The famous Quentin Fogarty NZ UFO
footage, recorded on board an Argosy freight airplane over
December 1978 and the January 20th 1988 Knowles family car
encounter whilst travelling across the Nullarbor Plain. The work
Paul put into these cases was amazing tribute to his drive and
it was a great pleasure working with him during these landmark
events. However, in truth this list is much longer. Paul had
heart valves replaced back in the 1980 and he amazed me on how
well he recovered to get back researching at a frantic pace. On
many occasions after that we would arrive in some location for
the night and while we discussed all things that day, he would
consume, against the Doctors orders, two litres of full cream
milk. He had the 'constitution of an Ox'.

Paul had many friends around the world and visited just about
everyone at some stage over the years. I just want to list a few
people Paul spoke fondly of and had a close relationship with;
Coral & Jim Lorenzen, Walt Andrus, Lou Farish, Derek Dempster,
Gordon Creighton, Allen Hynek (I should note that Paul was still
very suspicious of Allen, but saw him as a "Born Again
Ufologist"), Betty Hill was a favorite and he stayed with her on
many occasions, Lord Hill Norton and James McDonald.  Paul was a
key organizer in the visit to Australia of Dr James Edward
McDonald in 1967 and then Dr. J. Allen Hynek in 1973. His
Australian friends are too numerous to mention, many VUFORS
committee members were very close to Paul, but his greatest
friend and long term working colleague was Judith MaGee.

As a longtime member of FSR and MUFON, Paul was very proud of
MUFON and spoke fondly of its efforts; he occasionally spoke at
their conferences. He has also been for many years, the MUFON
area representative for our State of Victoria. But his great
love was the Victorian U.F.O. Research Society (VUFORS) and its
members. Paul served in many capacities but principally as the
Vice President and Researcher. And his connection with members
through his "On the UFO Trails" travel logs and reports in
the VUFORS publications were important to Paul. I taxed him
about writing a book, using his many notes and logs, as he had
many ideas and stories to tell, and at one stage we sat down and
did a number of interviews and drafted a concept, but he was not
eager to push his own story as it distracted people from the
main game. As I noted above he had a wicked sense of humor and
on one occasion attended a committee meeting with an Einstein
mask on. On another occasion while returning to the US to visit
his sister in Concord, California, he found himself stuck in
immigration, officially listed as "Deceased"; it became
obvious that someone or some group was playing games with his
profile. By the time that was sorted out he opened his luggage
at his sisters only to find that it was well and truly picked
over by the authorities. Where most would find this an upsetting
form of Governments intrusion, Paul wore it with pride. In his
rich American voice he told me "John=E2=80=A6 I am affecting someone
in high places and that's a good sign they care about the
subject". He took a lot of pleasure from this event.

A constant welcomed overnight guest in our home, while we
planned our research, he was always respectful and non-
intrusive. Paul communicated with me over the years after I
departed VUFORS. However, time took its toll and toward the last
10 years unfortunately I sadly lost 'one to one' contact
with him.

Paul was a great friend to me and ufology and an esteemed
colleague who was well-liked by many. Paul will be remembered as
a great and important Ufologist and for his valiant pursuit to
find answers to the UFO enigma and will never be forgotten in
Australian Ufology. Paul will be remembered, as he was an
extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. It's hard to
say one can truly and deeply know a person, but it easier to
say, that I am glad our life paths did meet. Our thought's and
sympathy go to the family at this time.

Paul will be sadly missed.

John W. Auchettl
Phenomena Research Australia


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