2003 Sightings of ‘Silver Bullet’ UFOs, Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki District, North Island, NZ
‘Silver Bullet’ Emerges from the Mist
For several days in mid February 2003 the small township of Thames had been blanketed in an odd light mist, described by locals as ‘eerie’. On Wednesday 12 February 2003 at around 9.20 pm, a retired Thames couple were sitting in their lounge, when they observed a strange sight – a ‘bullet-shaped’ object flew out of the mist into full view and became stationary about 30 metres above their house. Much to their consternation, it remained in that position for about half a minute, before moving swiftly over a short distance and then stopping abruptly again before disappearing back into the mist.
“It had distinctive orange lights that flashed or twinkled and it moved in such a fashion that it could not have been a helicopter,” said the man. “We had never seen anything like this object before.”
They were so astounded that they did not notice whether the object had such features as wings, a tail or windows, but they clearly recalled the cylindrical bullet shape and metallic-looking exterior of the object, and in particular, that the object was completely silent.
The man said his wife was convinced it was a UFO, but he could not accept that idea and wanted an explanation.
‘Winged Bullet’ over Whitianga
Witness drawing and details from Whitianga sighting.
Four days later, on Sunday 16 February 2003, two retired Whitianga men were sitting outside a house in the township of Whitianga at about 6.30 in the early evening, discussing the America’s Cup. Looking to the south towards Coroglen, they spotted two metallic disc-shaped objects that suddenly came into view from the south southwest, and moved over the house heading east. They were only a few hundred metres away from the observers. The discs disappeared from view behind a neighbour’s tree, but did not reappear from the other side of it. The witnesses looked beyond the tree, but there was no sign of the discs and the men assumed they had travelled beyond the hills behind Whitianga at speed and out of view.
This strange sight was closely followed a little less than five minutes later by yet another, which one of the men’s wife also observed. They all saw a silver cylindrical or bullet-shaped craft with pointed ends, no tail, and horizontal pointed wings positioned about two thirds of the way along the sides of the object, resembling shark fins. This larger craft followed the same path as the smaller discs, passing behind the tree, but quickly reappearing on the other side and moving over the harbour to a distant hill. The bullet-shaped craft hovered in clear view for a short while, and eventually moved away to the east at what the witnesses described as “extreme speed” and was lost from view beyond harbourside hills.
The witnesses noticed that the cylindrical object left a shimmering trail in the air behind it, similar to the heat shimmer created by jet engines. The objects were flying very fast below the clouds, but made no sound at all. The whole sighting lasted around five minutes.
“I said to my mate, what the hell’s that?” said the man.
“I called my wife and she saw the object too. We were astounded. If I’d been on my own I would have thought there was something wrong with my eyes, but we all saw it. It was bloody serious; it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.”
This was the first time any of the witnesses had seen a UFO. “You’ll probably think I’m silly,” said one of the witnesses. “My first thought was that it was something to do with the US space program, but the objects were flying below the clouds!”
The witnesses reported the event to the Air Force, but heard nothing further about it.
Red Light over Paeroa
In late February and early March, more residents in Thames, Coromandel and the Hauraki Plains reported mysterious sightings of strange lights and objects in the sky to the Thames Hauraki Herald newspaper.
On 6 March 2003 an unusual light was sighted hovering in the sky over the Paeroa area. A witness was getting out of bed at about 6 am, when he saw a bright red light in the western sky towards nearby Mount Karangahake. He stated that the light seemed to be surrounded by other coloured lights and hovered for about 10 minutes below the clouds. “It just hung up there.”
At first he thought it was a plane, because the sound he could hear was similar to a jet engine but like ‘a whisper’. However he discounted this possible explanation because of the light configuration and the length of time that the light remained absolutely stationary. He was curious to know what it was and if anyone else had seen it.
Historic Sighting of Oblong Craft
The spate of reported sightings prompted Thames residents to write to the Hauraki Herald newspaper to report other past UFO sightings in the same areas.
One such report came from ‘B.C.’ of Thames. Her 1971 sighting also describes a “cigar or oblong” shaped object. B.C. wrote:
‘Amazed and Elated at Lights’
(Hauraki Herald, Friday March 7, 2003, p12.)
“I was very interested to read Lee Foote’s article about UFOs in the Hauraki Herald (February 21). It took me back to the late 1970s when I was privileged, I felt, to observe unusual lights above Thames.
It was early evening, arriving at my sister’s Karaka Road home, when I spied lights approaching the town and the southwest sky. I remarked to my daughter and sister how strange they were and that there was no sound of motors.
Artist’s reproduction of the drawing in the Hauraki Herald newspaper Fri 7 March 2003.
“You will always see the lights (of a plane) before the sound,” my daughter explained. But when the light stopped in mid-air, became suspended and just remained in one position over the town, I was awestruck.
I called out to the girls to see this. They were much too busy inside to come out. It left me fascinated, especially as all the while there was still no motor sound. The sky was quite dark, so it was difficult to determine the object’s shape – probably a cigar or oblong I think, rather than round. It was hard to determine the size, too.
After a few minutes, “it” shot off over the Una at an incredible speed, leaving me amazed and quite elated at this sighting.
I rang another sister (who has a son in the Air Force) to explain what I had seen. He later told us that there were many unexplained sightings “up there.” “Still are, it seems.”
Copyright © Suzanne Hansen 2008