The Gundiah Mackay incident – The abduction of Amy Rylance
The apparent alien abduction of Amy Rylance from Queensland, Australia, is one of the most fascinating close encounter cases of the twenty-first century, and arguably in all of UFO history. The events of October 2001 are also intriguing as they were largely viewed, examined and investigated almost immediately following the encounter. Furthermore, following the involvement of two respected UFO researchers and investigators, events began to unfold in “real time” with several bizarre twists and revelations along the way.
To many, the incident is nothing more than an elaborate hoax that failed to net the participants the fame and/or money they likely sought. To others, it is an event that has seen those involved quietly disappear into obscurity amid claims of intimidation and secrecy.
The Whispering Winds Winery
On the evening of 4th October 2001 in the town of Gundiah, Keith Rylance, his wife, Amy, and their business partner, Patra Heller, were settling down for the night at the Rylance property, which was in the middle of development, primarily as the ‘Whispering Winds Winery’. Because of this, Keith and Amy, and Petra made temporary homes in caravan annexes around the property.
On this particular night, at just after 9:30 pm, Keith was already asleep in the main caravan bedroom, while Petra was in her room in the annex. Amy, meanwhile, remained in the lounge area of the annex (next to both of the aforementioned bedrooms) watching television and listening to the storm outside seemingly growing more intense by the minute. She would fall asleep on the sofa with a mixture of the television and the intense weather in her ears.
Petra would report she awoke at around 11:15 pm and left her room to enter the lounge. When she arrived there, she would witness events so extraordinary her mind struggled to comprehend what was happening. Directly in front of her, coming in through an open window of the lounge, was a “rectangular beam of light”, inside of which was Amy, still in the position she had presumably fallen asleep in. Several items from the nearby coffee table also roamed within this mysterious beam of light.
Petra followed the beam looking for its source. Outside of the caravan annex complex, she could see the light stretch back towards a “disc-shaped” object hovering at tree level a short distance away. Then she lost consciousness, overwhelmed and frightened.
A Scene Of Confusion
Although she wasn’t sure how long she was out for, Petra believed it was only a matter of minutes, if that. When she regained consciousness and her mind quickly relayed what had happened, she let out a scream as loud as she could. This, as was her intention, awoke Keith who immediately went into the lounge area. The scene was one of confusion.
Petra, still anxious and agitated made little sense in trying to explain what had happened. He noticed a tear in the screen at the open window, exposing the room to the elements outside. He also noticed an untidy collection of belongings from the coffee table on the floor immediately below the open window. Looking to find his wife he stepped outside and searched frantically around the property. She was nowhere in sight.
By the time he returned to the caravan Petra had calmed somewhat. Certainly enough to tell him what she saw. As outlandish as it was, Keith began to realize the reality of the situation, based on Petra’s account, was his wife was the abduction victim of an otherworldly intelligence. He refused to believe her version of events, however, making her go over them once more. He again ventured outside determined to locate Amy. When he couldn’t, at around 11:40 pm, he telephoned the Tiaro Police Department. At a little after 1 am, Constable Robert Marangna, along with another officer, arrived at the Whispering Winds Winery. By the time they did, faced with no other explanation and with no reason to doubt Petra’s credibility, Keith began to accept the bizarre nature of the incident.
The damaged window at the annex
Reappearance Nearly 500 Miles Away
From their perspective, the police in attendance didn’t know what to expect and were prepared for a number of grim scenarios when they first arrived at the Rylance property. When Keith and Petra claimed in all seriousness that “a spaceship” had taken Amy from the caravan as she slept they were presented with a situation they hadn’t remotely considered. Sargent John Bosnjak would arrive at the scene shortly after and the three officers would conduct a search of the property and the surrounding land.
Like Keith, they found no sign of Amy, nor any clues as to her whereabouts. They did, however, examine and take samples from around the torn screen. They also noticed, on the outside of the property under the open window, two flowering bushes. One of them, on the left-hand side closest to the window, had evidence of exposure to extreme heat.
It was during these initial investigations of the Rylance property, as a missing person case was in the process of opening, that the phone rang in the main caravan. Keith would answer it and speak to a woman calling from the town of Mackay nearly 500 miles away. She claimed to have come across a young woman, confused and dehydrated at a petrol station. She had taken the woman to Mackay Hospital. And after finding out her identity, was now calling to inform Keith she was safe.
Beginning to feel another surge of overwhelming questions, not least how his wife traveled so far away so fast, Keith handed the phone to Marangna. The missing person investigation was now a joint Gundiah-Mackay affair.
Waking In A “Strange Rectangular Room!”
Following a medical assessment and examination by doctors at the Mackay hospital, Amy Rylance was questioned by the police. What she revealed was not only fascinating but due to the seriousness of the incident, it would find its way onto the official record.
Amy would claim to recall laying on the sofa and falling asleep there. Her next memory is of waking on a bench in a “strange rectangular room”. All around her was illuminated, although she couldn’t see any source of light. The glow came from everywhere, but nowhere. She looked around quickly. She was alone yet called out to see if anyone would respond. A “male voice” came from nowhere telling her to remain calm and that no harm would come to her.
Shortly after a sudden opening appeared in the wall of the room and “a guy” entered. He was around six-foot tall and donned a one-piece bodysuit that covered him from head to foot. On his face was a black mask with holes for his eyes, nose, and mouth. He spoke to her, again telling her to remain calm and revealing himself the owner of the previous voice.
It felt as though she had been unconscious for a considerable amount of time. Her mysterious host informed her that they were returning to “a place not far from where they took her”. Her next clear memory is lying back on the bench and drifting back into sleep. When she awoke she was on the cold ground. Trees looked down on her menacingly and the smell of the ocean reached her nostrils. Disorientated and with no idea exactly where she was she picked herself up and stumbled through bushland. She struggled on until she could see the welcoming lights of the petrol station.
Alternative Rates Of Passing Time
Upon walking into the service area of the station staff immediately noticed something wrong and came to her assistance. Although she didn’t make much sense, she would accept water and slowly began to feel a little better. She couldn’t, however, remember her name or where she lived. It was at this point that the woman who had telephoned the Rylance residence spoke to Amy and took her to the nearby hospital.
When she gave her statement to police she would reveal that although this had never happened to her before, when she was a young child she had witnessed a “large UFO surrounded by smaller objects”. She would also sign agreements that allowed prosecution against her if any of her statements were false.
As Petra and Keith were still a long drive away from arriving at Mackay, the police would book Amy into a motel for the remainder of the evening. Once they arrived on the afternoon of the 5th October, the three of them would go over what happened and attempt to put a timeline together based on their own accounts of the evening.
They would also capture several photographs of “strange triangular arrangements” on her inner right thigh and each of her heels. Furthermore, she had only dyed her hair to blonde days earlier. However, and suddenly, they found distinct growth of hair showing her natural, darker color. This last point is perhaps most interesting as it would suggest that what was a few hours on Earth was considerably longer for Amy, wherever it is she was. With this in mind, she ran her hand over her legs, which she shaved regularly. They felt, though, as though she hadn’t done so for several days.
Another “Solid Light” Case?
The trio, remaining at the motel, immediately began researching UFOs and alien abduction. They eventually found the contact details of Diane Harrison at the Australian UFO Research Network. On the afternoon of the 5th October, less than twenty-four hours after the events, they would relay what had happened to the UFO researcher. Due to the “solid light” aspect of the case, Harrison wished to involve a fellow researcher and investigator, Bill Chalker, whose own research was extensive in cases involving the phenomenon.
With their permission, she passed along their contact details at the motel and had Chalker call them. When he did, with their knowledge, he would record their conversation during which they relayed to him what had happened.
Keith wished to contact the media as soon as possible, against the advice of the two UFO researchers. They offered to him to “think very carefully” before doing so. In fact, according to the reports of Harrison and Chalker, Keith, although he hadn’t witnessed the events, appeared to want to control all aspects of the investigation. Even so, the pair would agree to investigate the incident. They would arrange to travel to Mackay and meet the trio, who would remain in the motel. On the way, again with the Rylance’s permission, the investigators would visit the Whispering Winds Winery and examine the site of the incident.
They would arrive at the Rylance property on the evening of 9th October. As it was just short of 10 pm, the pair arranged to stay in the caravan annex overnight. From there, the case took an even more unusual and unpredictable turn.
Elaborate Hoax Or Secret Intimidation?
While at the Rylance property, they observed the behavior of the family dog (who was being fed by a neighbor). It would often jump up at the window with the broken screen which Amy had floated through. Although it could be coincidence, this could explain the apparent damage to the screen. They would also speak to the police who had attended the property. Privately, they would suggest it their belief that the whole incident was part of an elaborate hoax.
There were more twists when the UFO investigators arrived in Mackay shortly after. They had arranged to speak personally with Keith, Amy, and Petra. However, upon their arrival at the motel, they would discover they had checked out only that morning. Several voicemail messages went unanswered.
Then, out of the blue, Keith phoned. After apologizing he would state they had been forced to move to a secret location due to a “Men-In-Black” experience. According to Keith, their car was followed several days previously by a heavy duty 4-wheel van. He would contact them again several days later. However, he revealed no new information, including their location.
Since that time, although the case is still officially open, the whereabouts of Keith and Amy Rylance, as well as their business partner, Petra Heller remains unknown. Rumors, however, persistently circulate that all three currently reside somewhere in the north of England. Was the incident a simple hoax? And if so, why would the trio feel the need to flee the country and essentially go into hiding? Or, might the incident be more genuine than most give it credit for? And the witnesses have indeed been intimidated into seclusion and a secret, unknown existence?
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