1965 – Unidentified Submerged Object (USO) spotted by DC-3 Pilot

Date:  January 12 1965

Time:  Unknown

Location:  Kaipara Harbour, North Island

Aircraft:  DC-3 transport plane

Witness:  Capt. Cathie


On January 12, 1965, a DC-3 transport plane took off from Whenuapai Airport, Auckland, on a flight to Kaitaia.  As the twin-engine propeller plane flew over Kaipara Harbour, a broad estuary 100 kilometres (60 miles) northwest of Auckland, the pilot, Captain Cathie, spotted an unusual gleam in the water below.

He was about 1/3 of the way across Kaipara Harbour, and he at first believed the object to be stranded grey-white whale in an estuary.  As he veered his DC-3 for a closer look at the object, it became evident to him that he was observing a metallic structure of some sort.

Capt. Cathie noted that the object was perfectly streamlined and symmetrical in shape.  It had no visible external control surfaces or protrusions, and appeared metallic with the suggestion of a cap, hatch, or dome on top.  It was resting on the bottom of the estuary at a depth of no more than 30 feet of water.  It was not shaped like a normal submarine, but was approximately 100 feet in length with an approximate diameter of 15 feet at its widest part.

After he filed his flight report, the Royal New Zealand Navy told Captain Cathie that it would have been impossible for any known model of submarine to have been in that particular area, due to the configuration of harbour and coastline.