‘Flaming’ UFO Sighted Across Central North Island,1995 – Multiple Witnesses Sightings, Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regions
Over the last sixty years, numerous UFO sightings have occurred around the coastal areas of the Bay of Plenty, North Island, NZ. In particular, UFOs have been observed entering the sea within an area extending some thirty kilometres off the mainland, including in the vicinity of several off-shore islands near the city of Tauranga. Veteran New Zealand UFO researchers have speculated about the possible existence of an underwater UFO ‘base’.
Similarly, a band or ‘corridor’, where New Zealand’s volatile geothermal volcanic area extends across the central North Island plateau and out to sea off this east coast, is a ‘hotspot’ for UFO sightings.
During January to March of 1995, many New Zealanders witnessed both daylight and night-time sightings of UFOs in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions of the North Island.
Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
At around 9.30 pm on Saturday 25 February, 1995, a witness was outdoors on her rural property when she observed a large bright green light moving steadily down a valley some two hundred metres from her position. It descended on a north-easterly path over the lowland and Tauranga Harbour, towards the Pacific coast.
A second light caught her attention further north along the coastline, descending steeply from high above the Katikati lowlands some ten to fifteen kilometres distant, heading in an easterly direction towards the sea and on an intersecting path with the green light. It was large and striking in appearance – a bright reddish-orange ball of light with a short brilliant red-orange glowing tail flaring behind it. At a lower altitude, the light slowed noticeably, leveling off to a horizontal course for a few seconds before continuing to descend at a less steep angle towards the sea in a seemingly controlled descent.
Meanwhile, the green light steadily continued its converging course beyond Tauranga Harbour and Matakana Island, out over the sea towards Mayor Island. During the final visible part of their descent, the green light moved alongside the larger red light, before being lost from view. The sighting lasted for approximately 12-15 seconds. Conditions were clear and windless and there were no sounds associated with the sightings.
A ‘FLAME’ IN THE NIGHT SKY
Six days later on Friday 3 March, 1995 at around 11.00 pm, two teenagers were outside cleaning up after a family barbeque on the Omokoroa Peninsula, five kilometres east of where the previous sighting occurred. They described observing a huge ‘flame’ ascending into the sky from low over the sea in the northeast – a bright red-orange ball of light with a short flame-like tail spreading out behind it, the edges ‘dripping’ red-orange light. The light ascended slowly and steeply, moving from the direction of Mayor Island towards the Kaimai Ranges in the west. It appeared from the general area where the two unusual lights had disappeared six days beforehand. The teenagers called their mother outside to witness this event and all three watched as the ‘flaming’ light rose steadily, before maintaining a horizontal course and continuing westward high in the sky until it was no longer visible. There was no sound associated with the sighting.
FISHERMEN EXPERIENCE DAYTIME UFO SIGHTING
Six days later on Thursday 9 March, 1995 at approximately 1.17 pm, two witnesses fishing near Pudney Rock, some 9 miles NNE of Tauranga near Motiti Island (east of Mayor Island), Bay of Plenty, observed an object in the sky moving from northeast to southwest from out at sea, travelling towards the coastal lowland. Once again, the object appeared from the general direction of Mayor Island, where the two previous sightings took place. The day was bright and sunny and the sky was otherwise clear.
One of the witnesses, a port pilot and part-time qualified meteorological observer for the NZ Meteorological Service at the time, stated the object was, “ball or sphere-shaped and extremely bright or reflective silver. Immediately in front of
and half surrounding the sphere, was a translucent pinkish halo-type ‘bow wave’ or ripple which pulsed or glowed extremely bright. A short flaring red-orange tail streamed out behind the silver sphere.”
The object appeared over Motiti Island heading towards Papamoa Beach, passing over the Kaimai Ranges heading in the direction of the Waikato region. The witnesses observed the object for 6-8 seconds.
ATC SIGHTS UFO FROM AIRPORT CONTROL TOWER
Two to three minutes later on the same day at approximately 1.20 pm, the Air Traffic Control towers at both Hamilton International and Rotorua Airports received reports of sightings of an object/UFO in the skies above the Bay of Plenty and Waikato districts.
At 1.20 pm, Senior Air Traffic Controller at Hamilton International Airport, Graeme Opie, was looking to the south of the control tower when he observed an unusual object moving east to west on a curving horizontal path taking it south-west, trailing a tail. His observation lasted approximately 1½ seconds.
Mr Opie stated, “There were two other staff in the tower at the time, but due to the sighting time being so brief, the UFO was not seen by them. I just happened to be looking in that direction at the right time. Basing a compass rose on the Hamilton control tower (in degrees magnetic), I observed the object travel from approximately 160 degrees through to 183 degrees (approx 23 degrees of arc) in the space of a second or so, so it was moving very fast. I could liken it to the speed of a jet fighter. I consider that what I saw was a UFO – definitely some form of controlled UFO. Very interesting that it did not appear on our radar screens.”
The object was some 10 degrees above the horizon in relation to the observer in the control tower. It maintained level flight and disappeared behind clouds in a westerly direction. Upon losing sight of the object Mr. Opie immediately contacted the Auckland Air Traffic Control Radar Centre to see if the UFO was registering on their radar screens – it was not. The Centre advised him there were no aircraft registering on radar in that area either.
ATC Mr. Opie commented, “It was definitely not a fireball or meteor. The extremely bright silver spherical object glistened similar to sunlight reflecting off a mirror. It was travelling virtually horizontally, trailing a short tail with edges sparkling like fireworks.”
It is likely the object sighted from the Hamilton control tower was the same object sighted approximately two to three minutes beforehand by the fishermen at sea near Pudney Rock, and similarly, in the February 25 and March 3 sightings.
By Suzanne Hansen, Graeme Opie, & Brendon Humphries,
UFOCUS NZ Research Network, New Zealand
Copyright © S. Hansen, G. Opie, & B. Humphries, Revised August 2008