The department of defence has been unable to find a host of records relating to UFO sightings that were collected over several decades.
The disappearance of the documents came to light when the military received a freedom of information (FOI) request from the Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper asking for any documents that mentioned sightings of UFOs or “extraterrestrial organisms” in Australia.
The request came after the British government released a dossier of thousands of documents relating to unidentified flying objects.
However, after two months of searching the relevant archives, the department said that the documents could not be found.
A spokesman said it was likely that some of the files had been destroyed.
“Our office examined past FOI requests which related to UFOs and discovered that many of the files had been destroyed, as is normal administrative procedure,” it said in a statement.
In fact, just one file from the entire cache could be located. That related to “UFOs/Strange Occurrences and Phenomena in Woomera”, a military weapons testing range in the outback.
The lone file detailed a sketchy series of sightings from around the country and overseas, including people living in towns near Woomera, in South Australia.
Australia’s military decided to stop taking UFO sighting reports in late 2000, asking members of the public to report incidents to police instead.
UFO experts in Australia believe that the military knowingly shredded the documents.