Andre Clayden
© Brendan Radke
Springbrook astronomer Andre Clayden is a member of the Springbrook Mountain Extraterrestrial Response Force out to prove extraterrestrials are among us.
The people of Springbrook, in the Gold Coast Hinterland, are so convinced they have been visited by aliens they have now formed a society to prove the existence of extraterrestrials.

The area is also said to be the home of the Yowie -- a mythical ape/man creature that roams the forests.

The Springbrook Mountain Extraterrestrial Response Force, known as SMERF, has formed in a bid to prove the existence of ET and other-world life.

The group of 30 meets once a month at the end of Springbrook Rd and has declared itself a pro-active service designed to respond to and determine the veracity of close encounters of the first kind.

Its mission is to "survey the night sky, explore the Earth's peculiar magnetic field fluctuations and ponder the Earth's energetic links to space and beyond".

It began as a loose-knit group more than a year ago but has since launched a website and begun meetings.

Founder Greg Kernaghan said his group took sightings seriously. "We are a first-response organisation whose aims are interception, interaction and interrogation of both ET and Yowie-related phenomena," he said.

"Our current operations include actively seeking out evidence of Yowie and ET activity on the mountain using a combination of field study and state-of-the-art surveillance techniques.

"Sightings from and around Springbrook go back many decades here and something is going on, so we intend to find evidence.

"At dusk, anyone who looks skyward will see satellite activity as the day falls into darkness and when monitoring these we have noticed some sky traffic which does not travel in accordance with the expected straight-light trajectory."

Springbrook has become a beacon for paranormal activity, with UFO sightings reported in the Hinterland and nearby suburbs.

Sightings have occurred at Mudgeeraba, Robina, Tugun, Broadbeach Waters and Varsity Lakes.

Springbrook Observatory astronomer Andre Clayden said he often received sighting reports in the early hours of the morning.

"Some can be explained as meteor showers or Venus in the sky but others cannot," he said. "As an observatory, we can only keep our eye on one part of the sky at any time but it is wonderful that people are looking to the sky and reporting what they see."