1973 – Grand Commander Pilot Sights ‘Intense Ball of Light’

Date:  1973

Time:  Unknown

Location:  Wanganui, Manawatu, North Island, New Zealand

Aircraft:  Grand Commander

Witness:  Captain Peter Telling & co-pilot

Witness details:

Capt. Telling was known as Radio I’s ‘Peter T.’ and was a pilot 3 days a week, as well as a radio host.

Duration of sighting:


Astronomical/weather data:


Aircraft location:

157 degrees radial from Ohura Beacon.

Incident description:

Captain Peter Telling, flying a Grand Commander aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 feet over the Ohura Beacon area, thought he had a fire in his starboard engine and looked carefully to assess what was happening.  About 30 yards from the aircraft he observed a UAP, which stayed in position and pacing the Grand Commander for about 20-25 seconds.

The automatic direction-finding compass and both the gyroscopic and magnetic compasses went haywire and spun at a speed of about 12 revolutions per minute.  All directional equipment remained non-functional until he passed over the Wanganui area.

UAP description:

The UAP appeared as a ball of intense bluish-white light some 20-40 feet in diameter, much like a welding arc.



Action taken:


General comments:

Captain Telling stated many of his colleagues had had similar experiences, but preferred not to talk about them.  He stated his co-pilot was prepared to confirm his account of the sighting.

He also stated that during the last week in April 1973, he saw a high-flying light that changed colour from orange through to green and blue and traveled in a west-east direction, contrary to that of satellites.  Once again, his co-pilot was willing to support the account of this sighting.

Source: Extract from ‘Spaceview’ No 65, 1973, V. Harris.