New Zealand UFO/UAP Sightings 2009
All sightings, photographs, drawings and articles are © Ufocus NZ.
The extent of our investigation and analysis of sighting reports is dependent upon the data received, and the length of time elapsed between the sighting event and the receipt of a report. If applicable, additional comments are made at the bottom of a report.
Date: Tuesday 29 December 2009
Time: Approx. 9.25 – 9.30 pm
Location: Red Beach, Whangaparoa, North Island
Features/characteristics: large orange ball of light
Duration of sighting 1-2 minutes. High cloud, moderate wind alternating with still patches.
Five witnesses were sitting sitting outside on a deck with 180 degree views of Orewa and Whangaparoa. They observed a large, orange ball of light in the sky that “looked like a large orange streetlight that had been thrown across the sky at quite a speed”.
The light traveled from the northwest over Orewa Beach and then headed out over the sea parallel with Orewa Beach, flying the length of the beach before turning to the east. It did not change in appearance until it changed direction to the east/south east, when it started to fade and reduce in size, losing its brightness as it disappeared into the distance.
The light traveled faster than a helicopter would, and no sound was heard. The witnesses stated the light was purposeful and constant in its speed and direction – no swaying, deviation, or bobbing around.
Date: Saturday 26 December 2009
Location: Hamilton, North Island
Features/characteristics: bright orange light configuration travelling low and level
Clear sky. Duration of sighting approx 15 minutes.
The witness was driving on the northern outskirts of Hamilton near Gordonton on his way home from Auckland, when he observed a bright orange glowing light in the sky that seemed to maintain position and altitude. He initially thought it was the landing light of an aircraft until his driving perspective changed, but the object remained in the same position with a continuing orange glow.
He stopped and got out of his car to get a better look of the object. He was able to clearly see a very slow-moving ball of orange light traveling at an estimated 40-50 kph, at an altitude of approximately 200 feet, moving silently over the nearby maze fields of Graham Road. From his position, the light was now only approx 500 metres from the observer, tracking from the north to the southwest of his position.
The light had a number of lights on or around it, some white, some reddish and some orange, but in a strange formation and shape. It was obvious it was not an aircraft. The object moved away to southwest, eventually disappeared from sight.
Date: Wednesday 23 December 2009
Time: between 10 – 10.30 pm
Location: Titirangi, Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: ‘v’-shaped formation of lights
Duration of sighting one minute. Sky very clear, waxing moon, stars.
The witness was outside at around 10 p.m. looking at the night sky through Bagish 6 Gen 2 night vision monocular. He observed a ‘V’ formation of lights (green due to night vision) which he initially thought could be a flock of birds. However he realised the formation was likely at a high altitude. It maintained a precise formation, with no variation in speed or shape. The formation could not be seen with the naked eye.
Using the monocular, the witness watched the formation cross the entire sky and disappear into the distance. He stated, “I have had night vision glasses and have actively watched the sky for years, and have never seen anything like this the entire time.”
Date: Wednesday 25 November 2009
Time: 10.24 pm
Location: Te Kauwhata, Waikato, North Island
Features/characteristics: light hovers, gains altitude at speed
Duration of sighting 20-30 seconds. Sky very clear, stars visible, little wind.
Two witnesses sighted a large orange light in the sky that remained stationary for around seven seconds, before moving on a steady course from west of Te Kauwhata, towards the east in the direction of Tauranga. The light continued for a further five seconds, before slowing, and beginning to gain height while continuing in the same direction. The witnesses estimated the light to have been a maximum of 5 kilometres away, although distance is difficult to estimate at night. It was approximately between 1 and 2 hundred metres above the ground when first sighted, but gained height to a point where it was no longer visible, at a speed described as “faster than a plane or helicopter”.
Date: Friday 6 November 2009
Time: 8.10 pm
Location: Between Te Kuiti and Piopio, central North Island
Features/characteristics: large red light
Close on sunset, clear sky, few clouds.
Four witnesses were travelling towards New Plymouth on the highway between Te Kuiti and Piopio. To the west they observed a large fast-moving bright red light heading east, with a red trail behind forming a ‘v’ or fan behind it. At first the light looked as if it was descending as it flew below the clouds, but suddenly changed direction, flying along the top of a line of hills back to the west. It then headed high into the sky above the clouds in a southerly direction, disappearing from view into the distance.
Date: Thursday 5 November 2009
Time: 9.25 pm
Location: New Plymouth, North Island
Features/characteristics: flashing bright orange light
Duration of sighting two to three minutes. Weather generally clear with some cloud.
Two witnesses saw a bright orange light in the sky travelling slowly from east to west. It moved at a steady pace, climbing away from New Plymouth into clouds. There was no sound associated with the light, which caught the witnesses’ attention. The witnesses are familiar with the flight paths of local air traffic, and knew the direction of flight was unusual as it was not a normal flight path. The light increased speed considerably as it gained height and disappeared.
20 minutes after the sighting, the witnesses clearly heard a postal plane pass over New Plymouth, although it was not visible because of cloud.
Date: Saturday 25 July 2009
Time: 7.15 pm
Location: Viewed from Cambridge, but activity over Hamilton, Waikato, North Island
Features/characteristics: bright lights in formation
Clear evening, some scattered cloud, stars visible.
From the township of Cambridge, just south of Hamilton, two witnesses watched two bright white lights moving in formation over the Hamilton area. The lights traveled at speed on a north-south path. The witnesses believed they were not an aircraft, as they sighted aircraft further to the west near Hamilton Airport, whose lights configurations and flight characteristics appeared different to these lights.
Date: Saturday 6 June 2009
Time: Periodically between 2.30 am and 5.30 am
Location: Over Havelock North / Te awanga / Clifton, Hawkes Bay, North Island
Features/characteristics: coloured lights moving erratically
A clear sky, a few stars. The witness watched an anomalous light over a period of three hours.
She observed the light from Napier hill looking south towards Te Mata Peak in Havelock North, and the Clifton area. She described the light as being as big as the top of her index finger, and appeared to be formed by three separate lights, visibly red and green. The witness first noticed the light because it was moving erratically in the sky and did not have the flight characteristics of an aircraft.
Over a period of three hours, the light moved from beyond Te Mata Peak, eastward towards Te Awanga and Clifton on the coast. During this time it would alternately hover and move position horizontally in an easterly direction. At one point the light moved slightly to one side, dropped straight down vertically a short way and hovered, moved horizontally about a minute later, then ascended vertically again as if forming a square shape.
After watching the light for a while, the witness was occupied by other things and came back approximately an hour later. The light had moved across the sky from beyond Te Mata Peak out towards Te Awanga in the east. She watched the light again for a while and saw it slowly move off towards Clifton, where it hovered in the sky once more. The witness moved away again, and when she returned the light had disappeared. She described the horizontal movement of the light as being slower than that of a plane, however, except when the light dropped vertically.
Date: Wednesday 3 June 2009
Time: 4.55 am
Location: Coromandel Peninsula & Firth of Thames, North Island
Features/characteristics: anomalous strobing light; square configuration of 5 lights
Duration of sighting 10-15 minutes; a crystal clear evening with Venus visible, high and bright in the sky. The witness is familiar with planetary positions.
The witness was camped on the beach at Orere Point on the Firth of Thames, as part of a cycling trip. On the morning of 3 June, the witness went outside his tent. Looking across at the Coromandel Peninsula he saw a large bright white light above the northern end of the ranges. At first he thought it must be Venus, but then realized that it could not be as this was the wrong position, and he then located Venus in the night sky, and Jupiter.
Upon looking back at the anomalous light he observed as it began changing colour from white to orange, to bright red, and back to white in a continual flashing sequence. The light then “leapt across the sky to a position north of me, over the sea, much faster than a conventional aircraft could.” The movement of the light was so swift that it was as if the light had ‘switched off’ in one position, and switched back on again in another. The light remained stationary and continued the flashing sequence of colours. At this point, the light appeared to double in size, or flare, and “fluttered downwards towards the sea like a leaf.” It became stationary at a lower altitude above the sea, and began the rotation of coloured lights again, before rising higher in the sky towards the northwest, still over the sea.
The witness then heard jet engines and saw the landing lights of an aircraft approaching from the east, to his right. When he looked again towards the anomalous light, he felt a rising sense of panic to now see four white lights in that position, forming the shape of a large square in the sky – just as if they had been “switched on.” A fifth light, which he believed to be the original light, was positioned near the bottom right-hand light of the square, and was strobing rapidly through the colour sequence. The witness did not hear any sound associated with these lights. He described the size of the square as being larger than the size of his hand held at arm’s length.
As the aircraft approached over the Coromandel Peninsula, all five lights disappeared or ‘switched off’ simultaneously. The witness watched the jet fly over and onwards towards Mangere Airport, passing near where the strange lights would have been. The witness kept watch for a while longer, but the lights did not reappear.
He stated, “The movement of the first large light was just astounding. I have never seen anything quite like it – it was quite a show! Sadly, I do not have a photo or video of the phenomenon.”
Witness’s diagram using Google image, looking up the Firth of Thames towards the Northern ranges of the Coromandel Peninsula.
The witness has pondered on whether he actually observed five separate lights or objects, or four lights on an extremely large single object, and a fifth light or object.
Ufocus NZ comment: The ‘falling leaf’ movement of the light as described by the witness is a common description received from witnesses worldwide. As well as travelling at extreme speed, moving erratically, and performing acute angled turns, UFOs are also often described as ‘wobbling’, ‘fluttering’ and descending with a ‘swinging’ movement (like a falling leaf).
- The witness provided a detailed diagram of the event.
- The anomalous lights are unlikely to have been flares – flares do not create erratic lights and movements.
- They are highly unlikely to have been military activity – such activities usually take place between 0800 and 1700.
- Movements and lighting characteristics of the anomalous lights observed do not correlate to those of aircraft.
- The witness’s description of the path of the jet coincides with early morning inbound flights from Honolulu/LA/Vancouver/Samoa. He is correct in saying that he could see the landing lights – an inbound aircraft on these routes for a landing at Auckland would have landing lights on as it crossed the Coromandel Peninsula.
- It would be interesting to know whether the aircrew of the jet sighted the anomalous lights.
Date: Tuesday 2 June 2009
Time: 6.45 am
Location: Thames, North Island
Features/characteristics: triangular formation of white lights
Duration of sighting approximately 1 ½ minutes. Clear frosty conditions; dark outside; no wind.
The witness, a nurse, was looking west towards Thames Hospital (in the direction of the Firth of Thames) from the decking of her home. She observed a large triangular configuration of white lights, with several lights on each side forming a clear triangular outline. The object descended slowly out of the sky from the southwest, coming down very low over the township. The object then performed an acute-angled turn, as if pivoting or turning on a plane, and ascended into the sky again at an approximate 30 degree angle from its initial track of descent. As the witness watched, the lights just suddenly went out or ‘switched off’.
Ufocus NZ comment:
The witness’s description of a triangular formation of lights performing an acute or pivotal turn is a common characteristic of the mysterious ‘flying triangles’ sighted worldwide.
Scroll down this page to Saturday 31 January to read about the sighting of a triangular craft over Rototuna North, Hamilton.
Date: Monday 1 June 2009
Time: 6.40 am
Location: sighted over Cambridge & Morrinsville, Waikato, North Island, from SH26 Piako
Features/characteristics: triangular formation of lights; break-up of formation; erratic movement
Duration of sighting approx 10 minutes. Clear sky with a few stars.
Two witnesses were heading to work on State Highway 26 Piako, looking in the direction of Cambridge. In the southern sky above Cambridge they sighted three bright, round white lights moving in the dark morning sky. The three lights were in a perfect triangular configuration and all were of the same size. The lights were not flashing (as on an aircraft); they remained steady bright white lights throughout the sighting.
One of the witnesses continued to watch the lights while the other concentrated on driving, watching the lights periodically. As the lights moved across the sky between Morrinsville and Hamilton, the witnesses observed the three lights then ‘flip’, changing position and moving erratically. The lights then split formation into different directions before regrouping briefly, with one light then moving away from the others to the east, and two lights disappearing to the west into the distance. The witnesses described the speed at which the lights disappeared as “faster than a jet fighter.”
The witnesses described being both fascinated and shocked by the spectacular event they had observed.
Date: Friday 29 May 2009
Time: 6.15 am
Location: Thames, North Island
Features/characteristics: large white ball of light
Duration of sighting approx 30 seconds. Sky clear, no wind, still dark.
The witness was sitting on her decking having a coffee before going to work, and watching the early morning sky. Looking west, the witness, a nurse, observed a white light heading over the township of Thames. “It appeared suddenly out of the dark starry night.”
It was moving at an estimated speed of 80 kmh, and at an estimated distance of 600 to 800 feet away. It appeared suddenly out of the dark starry sky, and moved quickly to the right of the witness’s vision, to the northeast. It was low, moving above the rooftops and across the tops of trees in the township. She lost sight of it beyond taller trees and two storied houses.
The light, although bright, was a distinct round shape, as opposed to a radiant light, such as a streetlight or an aircraft’s landing lights. As a comparison, the light appeared roughly the size of a golf ball, when held at arm’s length. There was no sound associated with the light, and no flashing/strobing lights.
Date: Tuesday 12 May 2009
Time: 5:55 a.m.
Location: Hauraki Plains between Waitakaruru and Ngatea, North Island.
Features/characteristics: multiple witnesses sighting; ‘egg-shaped’ object
Some rain; a few stars visible in between clouds. Cloudy; westerly wind.
Three witnesses observed a very bright object/light high in the sky to the north (left) of their position as they travelled east through Waitakaruru, turning off State Highway 26 towards Kopu-Thames. The object was a bright white oval (egg) shape and was either stationary or moving very slowly. The witnesses were sure it could not be a plane or helicopter, because of its distinct shape and single large bright and clearly defined (shaped) emission of light.
The object then descended towards them and travelled alongside their vehicle on State Highway 26, before it swept over the car (to their right) and headed south towards Ngatea and beyond. By the time the object swept over the top of the car it had descended to roughly half its original altitude. As the object descended towards the car, the brightness of the light increased and the egg shape became even more apparent to the witnesses. The object disappeared into clouds as dawn broke.
The witnesses believe a man in a van also saw the object, as he stopped his vehicle and was seen looking skyward towards the object that they were watching. It was a very ‘murky’ morning, pre-dawn, and the brightness of the light, as well as its size and shape, were “very, very unusual” according to the witnesses. They reported feelings of wonder and euphoria, and were confounded by what they had seen. One of the witnesses is an experienced journalist, who was a reporter for the Gisborne Herald in 1978, during the time of the Gisborne ‘UFO flap’.
UFOCUS NZ comment: The witness of the Tuesday 2 June sighting has provided us with a similar report from a friend, as yet unsubstantiated by UFOCUS NZ. In early June, the friend was travelling at night in the Hauraki district. There was a truck behind her, and a car in front. A large bright light/object descended from the sky and ‘buzzed’ the three vehicles, shining a beam of light down onto the car in front, before moving off at speed.
Date: Thursday 9 April 2009
Time: approx 8.30 pm
Location: Whangapoua Beach, Coromandel, North Island
Features/characteristics: bright white cylindrical-shaped object/light
Clear weather conditions, no wind. Duration of sighting 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.
A group of witnesses were having dinner at a beach house when they noticed a very bright cylindrical-shaped white light moving along Whangapoua Beach. Oddly, the cylindrical light was moving in a vertical position, and the witnesses noticed it was wider at the top than at the bottom. It moved in a straight line slowly along the beach.
The group went out on to the deck, and as they did so, the object turned, and moved quickly out to sea, rising in the sky as it went. They watched the bright light until it had totally disappeared in the far distance.
None of the witnesses could imagine what the light could have been. They stated they believed they are all rational people, in their 60s, one a medical specialist. They could not imagine what sort of object could create such a bright light without burning up.
The witnesses were astonished at the speed in which the light moved so quickly out to sea, as there was no wind that night. They commented on the controlled movements of the light, with a sudden change of direction and acceleration of speed. Their description of the light and its movements excludes lanterns, aircraft, kites, natural phenomena.
Date: Sunday 29 March 2009
Time: 2.30 am
Location: Linwood/Woolston, Christchurch, South Island
Features/characteristics: orange/red light rotating and moving erratically
Clear sky, great visibility, stars bright, no wind. Duration of sighting approx 10 minutes.
Two witnesses observed an orange-red coloured light in the sky that they considered was coming towards them. Their first thought was that it must be a shooting star, however, it was close to them now, and was moving slowly. They pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out to watch the light. It appeared to slow right down and hovered momentarily before beginning to move rapidly in square/hexagonal shaped patterns in the sky (erratic movement). The light then became stationary again and began to rise higher in the sky. The witnesses now thought it could be a helicopter, but that would not account for the bright orange light, and there was no sound at all.
The light then flashed several times, before the light “went out” completely. However, the sky was lit by the city lights and the witnesses were able to see a silver/grey object “if you held a pencil horizontally at arm’s length, the width was very similar..” The object appeared spherical, and one of the witnesses states he was able to see some kind of rotation of the object, which he described as “like a ball rolling on the ground”. The witnesses stated that they were able to clearly see the object because their eyes had been fixed on the position of the light before it “switched off”. They felt that anybody else looking at the sky would not necessarily have seen the object. It slowly started moving across the sky again and was lost from view as it passed behind trees. The witnesses lost track of the object at this point and were no longer able to spot it in the night sky.
The witnesses reported that the light approached from the general direction of Sumner, then passed over the Woolston/Linwood area (where they spotted it), and it was heading south towards Kashmir when they lost sight of it.
They described the speed and movement of the light/object as follows:
“As the light moved across the sky, it was very slow – slower than an aeroplane … but when it stopped and then started moving in erratic patterns, its movement was much faster. It would levitate very quickly – it seemed in a split second it was there and then it was further away in the distance, and then back close again. It did not move like an aeroplane at all.”
Date: Sunday 22 March 2009
Time: approx 12.20 am
Location: Between SH1b & Marychurch Rd, Cambridge, Waikato, North Is. (a rural area)
Features/characteristics: light splits into two; lights illuminate hillsides
Duration of sighting approx 1 minute. Clear skies with plenty of stars, but no moon.
Two witnesses, a husband and wife, were travelling home from Hamilton towards Cambridge, along Marychurch Road/State Highway 1b. As they passed through the intersection of Marychurch Road and Church Road, they could see a bright light off to their left (to the east). The light was stationary, very bright, and a clean white/ blue light (relative to other light expected to be seen in a rural situation at night), and seemed to be too high to be a street light being above treetop height. It was positioned 60m or more above the ground, and was 400-500m away from the witnesses. (The witnesses visited the area the next day, and discovered that the light had actually been hovering over a paddock.)
Initially, the couple discussed the possibility that the light was a new street light that may have had been installed at the Church Road/Victoria Road intersection, which was higher than the norm. However, as they progressed down Marychurch Road, it became clear that it simply couldn’t be a street light. They continued down Marychurch Road, passing behind groups of trees, and the light was temporarily out of sight a few times. As they neared the end of Marychurch Road, the single light appeared to split into two lights. The witnesses were uncertain as to whether this was because a second light had been obscured by a light in front, or whether the initial single light had literally split into two lights.
They passed behind another group of trees (which took no more than a second or two), and as they came out from behind them, they could see that the two lights were at least 2 to 3 km away and dwindling into the distance. The witnesses then lost sight of them as their car passed behind a final tree. They paused near a railway crossing to look at where the lights had gone. As they looked in the direction that the lights had headed, they saw a bright flash of light, almost akin in both colour and effect, to an extremely large camera flash, that occurred in the surrounding hills approximately 10 km to the east.
The witnesses sat and discussed the events. The wife wished to go home, as she was in awe and shock. The husband describes himself as a cynic, and until this point had never believed in any form of extraterrestrial activity, and of course wanted to prove that there was a reasonable and natural explanation for what they had seen. So the couple did a loop around the block and approached the area from Victoria Road – but there was nothing to see other than a very normal street light at the Victoria Road/Church Road intersection. It was neither new nor unusually high and was a typical yellow tone, much different from the lights they had just witnessed.
The witnesses then retraced their steps from the Mary Church/Church Road intersection and saw absolutely nothing.
“No lights, no farmers out with flares (which had been one thing I thought it may have been), no sign of anything unusual at all, which has cast some doubts in my usually cynical mind.” (husband)
The initial light appeared to be airborne and stationary for the first 50 seconds of the sighting, hovering approximately 60-100m above the ground. The two lights traveled from their initial position to around 3 kilometres away within seconds, heading rapidly in an easterly direction. The witnesses saw the huge flash of light over easterly hills about 15 seconds after they lost sight of the lights due to passing briefly behind a tree.
See similar sighting – Sunday 15 March 2009.
Ufocus NZ comment: In 1978, at the time of the ‘Kaikoura lights’ sightings, a TV1 news film crew filmed a large bright white light that split into two lights, each light moving off independently. One of the cameramen recently sold this extraordinary footage to a US film company. It had never been viewed and was still in its original film canister when it was transferred from 16mm film to digital. This footage may never be seen by New Zealand audiences, which is a great pity, as it would undoubtedly have lain to rest much of the controversy and misinformation surrounding these extraordinary sightings.
Date: Tuesday 17 March 2009
Time: 7.01 pm
Location: Dinsdale, Hamilton
Features/characteristics: spherical object
Sun just setting; no wind; cloudy patches with some rain.
A witness went to her letterbox to collect the day’s mail. She decided to take a photograph as she saw a great photo opportunity with the sunset and the shower cloud. The witness took 4 photos – each a few seconds apart. She noticed nothing untoward in the sky at the time.
Upon loading the photos onto her computer, she noticed what she thought was a mark or speck of dust in the first photo, but upon enlarging the photo she saw a very large spherical object within the rainfall.
The second photo taken seconds later shows the same object has moved some considerable distance to the left and away from the photographer. The third photo shows the object has receded further away and slightly higher. The object is not in the fourth photo.
Ufocus NZ comment: ATC confirmed this ball/object was not a weather or hot air balloon. Weather balloons are generally elongated and carry equipment suspended below the balloon. There is no visible basket or equipment suspended from this object. In addition, ATC informed us that it would be highly unlikely for a sizeable balloon of any kind to be released in the air at that time of the day given usually prevailing winds, and given the relatively close proximity to the airport.
The spherical object is within the column of rainfall itself, and therefore is not a fault of the camera, a trick of light, or rain on the lens, as the object is seen to have moved and receded within into the distance in the next two photos taken, and is absent altogether in the last photo.
First photo of series of 4 showing large spherical object within the rain cloud.