Witness’s descriptions of specific light colours and configurations link these two close proximity sightings as possibly being the same object.

Two Fishermen Experience Close Encounters, 2011 & 2012


2011 and 2012 heralded a significant increase of large orange orb sightings over New Zealand, and around the world.  UFOCUS NZ received a number of reports from witnesses who observed craft within these orange orbs of light, not to be confused with large orange Chinese lanterns or ‘sky lanterns’.

Following a major ‘orange orb’ sighting in December 2011, UFOCUS NZ withheld the description of the object described by the three witnesses, from our website and the media to avoid ‘copycat’ reports.  Over the following year these specific details were corroborated by several further similar sightings.  All of these reports were characterised by craft with specific shapes, specific coloured lights and configurations, ‘truck-like’ headlights, and in several cases, encounters with entities associated with these craft.  Here we present two of these cases – encounters by two men out fishing.

Case One: ‘Toby’

“I thought God Almighty, what’s this?  I closed my eyes and thought, it’ll go away!”

 On the night of 10 March 2012, ‘Toby’, a retired automotive mechanic, set out to his favourite fishing spot on Papamoa Beach, near the city of Tauranga, North Island, NZ.  This area is surrounded by sand hills, pine trees and low shrubs, with a residential area set further back from the sea.

Toby described the evening as “crystal clear”, and he put out a set-line off the beach after dark, settling down to wait a couple of hours before pulling it in again.  He had converted a quad bike specifically for his fishing forays, building a cab on top of it complete with windows on all sides, in which he could take shelter if need be.

At around 11:30 PM Toby began pulling in his set-line.  He was on his hands and knees bending over his tackle box, removing traces from the line when he became aware of a sudden “extreme darkness”, as if all natural night-light had been sucked away, leaving the very air around him inky and dull.  Immediately following this unusual phenomenon he noticed an immense brightness in his peripheral vision, as if something had appeared in the sky to the left of him, above the shoreline.

“For a moment I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I just concentrated on what I was doing, and then I looked up and saw this thing like a big dinner plate with flashing lights! I tried not to look at it because I thought the thing might ‘beam me up Scotty’!”

 At this point Toby exhibited a curious, but nevertheless quite common initial reaction to a UFO sighting – he tried to deny to himself that the object was even there and continued re-baiting the hooks ready to put the set-line out again.  However he described how after several minutes he became “shaky” and “terrified of seeing something I had never seen or experienced before” – close proximity to a large, bright unfamiliar object hovering silently some 200 metres away from him, at an altitude of some 300 metres.  Toby described the object as circular with a raised top which he could not see clearly as he was mesmerized by the randomly flashing lights on it – red, white, bluish-purple, yellow and green – and two bright white “spotlights”.

Feeling shocked and uncertain what to do next, Toby continued baiting hooks and periodically watched the object for around fifteen minutes until his hands were shaking so much he was forced to stop, whereupon he stood up and observed the light.

In our interview, Toby commented that while he was doing this, he became distinctly aware of what he believed to be some kind of ‘communication’ taking place between himself and the object, which he could not adequately verbalise.  He described the feeling that the object was somehow consciously observing him.  This unnerved Toby and he decided it was time to leave.  He threw all his gear into the cab of the quad bike, jumped on and started it up, however the object was hovering above the strip of beach leading to the track through the sand hills and Toby had to drive right underneath it in order to get off the beach.  He continued to watch the object through the cab windows and his last view of it was through the rear window, when he observed all the lights just ‘switch off’ as he reached the track.

Case Two:  ‘Mike’

 “Oval-shaped eyes were staring at me … and that’s the cliff where the spaceship was, with big white, truck-like lights.”

‘Mike’ on the rock shelf where his encounter occurred

 ‘Mike’, a neuroscientist, was holidaying near Mangawhai, Northland, NZ.  On the night of 13 April 2012, at around 7:30 PM, he decided to go to nearby Te Arai Point where he had fished on many occasions.  Using an LED lantern, he made his way along a track and around the rocks to a more remote spot where he preferred to fish on a rock shelf jutting out into the sea.  He set the lantern on the rock, cast out the line and fished for around half an hour.

It was a clear evening, although relatively dark because it was a new moon.  At this time he experienced the same phenomenon that Toby described experiencing before the appearance of a UFO – for a few seconds Mike noticed it seemed even darker, as if the night had closed in around him.

Immediately following this anomaly Mike had the feeling of something watching him, and looking back towards the beach some fifty metres away, he saw what he described as ‘cat-like eyes’.  He was intrigued by this because the eyes were a little further apart from each other than would be usual for a feral cat, and a possum’s eyes are more rounded.

“These eyes were more elliptic-shaped and they were bright fluorescent, green fluorescent.”

However he didn’t think much further about it at that moment; he was still considering it might be a large cat.  Mike continued fishing, occasionally glancing back at the eyes, which were still looking in his direction.  But his scientific mind began analysing the situation, and he attempted to work out the position of the eyes in relation to the sloping beach and his line-of-sight, surmising the ‘creature’ might be taller than a domestic cat, perhaps between fifty centimetres and a metre tall, or more.  The eyes were too big to be those of a cat and it was unlikely a tree-living possum would venture onto the beach.  He ascertained a cat would need to have a head at least thirty centimetres wide to accommodate the size of these eyes, and the eyes were strangely horizontal.  But their most surprising feature was that when Mike turned his torch lamp off, he noticed a glow still emitted from the eyes in the complete darkness, regardless of the direction the eyes were looking.  He began to feel uneasy, but continued fishing.

After several minutes, Mike looked back behind him and saw the cat-like eyes were now in a different location, closer to a rocky cliff, still looking in his direction.  He was not sure if this was the same creature, or a second one.  Mike watched as the creature turned its head in different directions before it finally turned away and disappeared altogether. This part of the encounter had lasted around 10 minutes.

Mike continued fishing for a few more minutes and then looked suddenly behind him when he heard a humming sound, a high-pitched, but low-volume noise.  He was astonished to see two bright white headlights, set apart from each other similar to a truck, that were on top of a rocky cliff some 150-200 metres away above where the creature had disappeared.  He could not understand why a truck would be in that position at this time of the night, as he was not aware of any road leading to the cliff edge.  Mike continued fishing, still trying to work out what was happening around him.

The craft sat atop the cliff on the far right of photo

Upon glancing back a second time some minutes later, he was startled when suddenly more lights appeared on the object – red, green, bluish-purple, white and yellow lights – flashing and strobing randomly rather than in a circling pattern.  Mike watched as the light sources diminished to a small red and white glimmer for a few seconds before the flashing coloured lights suddenly brightened up again, along with the two distinct white ‘headlights’.

Mike was now wondering if the fluorescent eyes he had seen were associated with this object, and if so, how a creature could have climbed the steep rocky cliff so quickly in the dark, without falling.  He continued alternately fishing and looking back at the object.

All of a sudden the object changed location and Mike now knew for sure he was looking at a UFO.  It moved silently from the cliff-top straight past Mike and out over the sea “in a split second“, where it became stationary some two hundred metres beyond the surf in front of him, as if directly observing him.  The multi-coloured lights now ceased flashing and the light configuration changed to an ‘L’ shape, with a large white light at the top, a bright red light below it, and blue and white lights to the right.

“Honestly, I got a little frightened … that was the time when I didn’t feel very comfortable anymore and I packed my gear up and left.”

 As Mike made his way along the beach he glanced back regularly to keep an eye on the UFO, which remained stationary in that position. He lost sight of it when he rounded the point and headed towards the main beach and car park.

Both of these witnesses reacted very differently to the situations they found themselves in. Toby’s experience was charged with emotion and fear and he faced disbelief from friends when he tried to tell them about the incident.  Until this experience, he had never given any thought to UFOs and although he found the incident frightening at the time, it has also transformed his thinking about the reality of the UFO phenomenon.  Mike, perhaps in part because of his scientific background, remained calm and analytical throughout most of his close encounter experience, initially uncertain as to the origin of the ‘eyes’ and ‘truck-like’ object.  Like Toby, he had never been particularly interested in UFOs, but the experience has sparked his curiosity of the subject and he has since had a further UFO sighting of a large orange orb of light high in the sky, moving at speed and executing an acute angled turn.

Significantly, both men felt their universal awareness had expanded and their lives were ultimately enriched by the experiences, despite facing some derision.  When asked if he would be willing to speak publicly about his experience, Mike replied that although he would like to, he feared his science research grant would “be gone by lunchtime the next day.”

 In summary:

  1. Both men noticed a sudden intense change in darkness prior to becoming aware of a craft/entity.  Mike did not know whether the craft had arrived silently after he began fishing, or whether it had already been there when he arrived, but he noticed the change in darkness prior to seeing the ‘creature’.  Toby noticed a change in darkness just prior to the craft ‘materializing’ or switching its lights on, at close proximity.
  2.  The craft they observed had similar characteristics.  Mike heard a high humming sound associated with the craft.
  3.  The craft ‘behaved’ in a way that attracted their attention, as if deliberately.
  4.  Both men were using bright lanterns on the beach, which may have attracted attention to their whereabouts.
  5.  Both men described a feeling of being observed, in Toby’s case, like a form of ‘communication’ or conveyed consciousness.
  6.  The ‘creature’ posed no threat to Mike.
  7.  Although unnerving at the time, Toby and Mike feel fortunate to have had the experience and feel it has enhanced their ‘awareness’.

 By Suzanne Hansen

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