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

Time: 00:15am

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.

Close-up image of spherical object showing light and shadow consistent with position of the sun.

Image from the ‘Oz Files’ documentary, of a drawing of a similar-looking spherical object sighted near Gosford, Australia.

Similar ball/sphere photographed over Sunnyvale, California July 2009.

Artist’s impression of a spherical object sighted by a NZ witness.

Date: Friday 15 March 2009

Time: 9.30 pm

Location: Te Kauwhata, North Island

Features/characteristics: light splits in two


A farmer was driving home in the evening when he observed a large bright white light in the sky, perhaps several kilometers away, and at a low altitude.

To his astonishment, the light suddenly “split in two”, and both lights proceeded at speed and in formation, over nearby hills.

See similar sighting: Sunday 22 March 2009

Date: Saturday 7 March 2009

Time: 10.58 pm

Location: Cashmere Hills, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: large orange flashing light 


Duration of sighting two to three minutes. Weather very clear and calm.

The witness and friends were standing on a balcony overlooking the city when they spotted a flashing deep-orange coloured light travelling across the sky towards them, from east to west. At first the witnesses thought nothing of it, but as the object appeared to curve its path in their direction, the orange light became larger and larger until it appeared to be a clear circular ‘o’ shape travelling through the sky. As they watched, the light looped upwards into the sky becoming smaller as it traveled higher and out of sight. It was almost a perfect circular shape as it flew by them and the light was a very bright and distinct orange colour. The witnesses were utterly amazed and shocked as they had never seen anything like it before.

Date: Saturday 7 March 2009

Time: 9.45 pm

Location: Edgeware, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: round yellow light


Very clear sky, no wind, excellent visibility, a few stars. Duration of sighting approx five seconds.

The witness was sitting outside on a warm, clear night looking to the west-southwest, when he saw a huge light appear from ‘nowhere’ in the sky, that he described as very much brighter and larger than the landing lights of an aircraft. The light was a distinctly round yellow light, and was “very bright indeed.” The light remained stationary at a relatively high altitude for approximately 5 seconds, and then vanished “like a light that had been turned off.”

The witness stated there were no aircraft visible or audible in the sky at the time, and that the light did not move in an arc or burn out as a shooting star would do.

Date: Thursday 26 February 2009

Time: 9.15 – 9.30 pm

Location: Tamatea, Napier, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light ascending in sky


A still night; lightly overcast with some cloud.

Four witnesses observed a very large bright white light that appeared to rise from beyond a neighbour’s house (on the outskirts of Napier). As it was moving upwards, the light erratically changed directions a number of times, and seemed to come closer to the witnesses, then retreat again several times. As the object was rising, one of the witnesses went to his car to fetch his video camera. By the time he turned the camera on and focused on the object, it was already high in the sky. The footage shows a bright white light, however, there is much camera movement, so the actual movement of the light itself is difficult to ascertain. The light gradually continued to rise up in the sky until it appeared much smaller. From the east coast of Hawkes Bay, the light moved southeast towards Cape Kidnappers.

Date: Friday 6 February 2009

Time: approx 10.50 pm

Location: Observed from Morrinsville, over Mount Te Aroha, North Island

Features/characteristics: two pink orbs; three white lights forming a triangular configuration


Two witnesses were looking from the township of Morrinsville, in the direction of the township of Te Aroha, which lies at the foot of Mount Te Aroha, at the northern end of the Kaimai Ranges. They observed two strange lights stationary in the sky over the ranges between the aerial on top of Mount Te Aroha, and the waterfalls to the south of the aerial. The lights were separated by several kilometers. They described the lights as, “Extremely big and bright, and pink in colour. They were in the sky slightly above the mountain and were visible for 10-20 seconds,” after which the lights moved away and downwards behind the ranges (to the Katikati, Bay of Plenty side). The witnesses stated these lights were not to be confused with the small red light on top of the aerial on Mount Te Aroha.

Only seconds after this sighting the witnesses looked across the sky and observed 3 small white lights in a triangular formation. They described the speed of this formation of lights as similar to the speed of a satellite (quite slow). The lights were heading from the direction of the city of Hamilton, in a northerly direction towards the mountain, where the two bright pink lights were seen. The witnesses guessed the lights must be 3 aircraft high in the sky travelling close together in formation. They watched the lights for 2-3 minutes until they disappeared from view beyond the ranges where the two pink lights had disappeared. The witnesses rang the Te Aroha Police Station, and the Operations Manager at Hamilton International Airport, however no explanations were offered. They also rang the Te Aroha Information Centre on Monday, without results.

Having no logical explanation, the witnesses thought the pink lights must have been flares, although the lights they observed were much bigger than flares. They also guessed that the triangular formation of white lights must have been military aircraft of some sort, perhaps associated with the two pink ‘flares’. However, neither of these explanations seemed adequate. The witnesses stated, “We would like to know if there is a logical explanation to this bizarre experience. We have never seen anything like it before.”

Ufocus NZ comment: This sighting report was forwarded to Ufocus NZ from Hamilton International Airport, and we have interviewed the witnesses.

Hamilton International Airport ATC Graeme Opie stated the two pink lights were not aircraft, and nor was the triangular formation of three white lights. The lights were not international, domestic or military aircraft, and it was not a search and rescue operation involving flares and aircraft.

At high altitude, aircraft landing lights would be dim or barely visible, and the lights were headed in the opposite direction from the nearest airport. If the formation of 3 lights had been aircraft landing lights, the lights would no longer be seen by the witnesses as the aircraft passed over and moved away from them. These lights remained visible until they disappeared from view beyond the mountains, indicating that the lights were likely to have been on the bottom surface of an object, rather than facing forward like aircraft landing lights.

Date: Saturday 31 January

Time: 9.45 pm

Location: Rototuna North, Hamilton, North Island

Features/characteristics: triangular object


Sighting duration: approximately 30 seconds. A very clear night, stars, no wind, moon down on the western horizon.

Witness’s diagram of the object passing over his house.

The witness was standing in his garden at the rear of his house looking at the night sky. He is used to seeing the ANZ Airbus aircraft making its approach to Hamilton International Airport, and is familiar with the movements of aircraft.

He was facing north east when two bright white lights moving in tandem (formation) caught his attention. The lights, at this stage, were moving very rapidly on a downward path, and quickly became obscured from his view by a stand of high bushes and a pergola situated at the rear of his section. Still looking in the direction he last saw the lights, and on the point of turning away, he suddenly saw the lights reappear, moving in his direction. They continued right above him and over the house, heading on a north to south path over the city of Hamilton. The lights now appeared dimmer than their earlier brightness.

As the lights moved towards the witness, and then away from him above the roof of the house, he was able to clearly see that instead of just two lights as initially thought, they were in fact preceded by a first light. The three lights were positioned at the three points of one large isosceles triangular-shaped object or craft. Each of the lights was about the size of a thumbnail held at arm’s length. When first observed at a great height coming out of the night sky, the lights appeared brighter than a star, but became dimmer when the object passed over his section. The object/craft blocked out the stars as it passed over his house towards the brighter lights of the city. The witness was able to clearly discern the bottom of the object/craft and its physical shape due to the city lights reflecting off the underside. It appeared to be a dark/brownish colour, but this could be due to reflection of city lights. The sighting, from the point the object passed over and then beyond the roof of the house and out of sight, lasted approximately 15-20 seconds, and there were no speed changes in this time. The object was completely soundless.

He stated, “The ease of movement with which the craft traveled was quite intriguing. More intriguing however, was the fact that the craft made no noise. No noise emission, of any kind, came from it. The object exhibited very smooth controlled flight characteristics.

The witness stated that he has never believed before that UFOs exist, and has had no interest in the subject, however he is now re-thinking these attitudes having witnessed this unconventional object with his own eyes.

“I felt surprise, awe, amazement, and some trepidation.”

Date: Monday 26 January 2009

Time: between 5.15 and 5.30 am

Location: Waihi, Coromandel/Hauraki, North Island

Features/characteristics: two lights moving erratically 


Emailed sighting with subject line: ‘Sighting, from non-believer.’

“I am needing to contact someone about two unidentified flying objects that I witnessed today at around 5.15 to 5.30 am, in the location of a small town called Waihi. They were to the west over the hills from my back window.

I was closing my window because I had woken up from the cold and my blinds banging from the wind. My eyes were drawn to the sky and I had to blink and rub them a few times as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Moving up and down, and around each other, playfully almost, were two solid light forms. There was no sound and the movements were like none I had ever seen before from anything I have ever seen in the sky. I was frozen with fear, and this has shattered my belief system, as I had based my beliefs in God and Christian views my whole life.

This was not a pair of planes, helicopters, or anything else I can think of. One object seemed to sit in one place for a while, and the other streamed across the sky and further away, eventually disappearing southward. I lost track of the other in my panic to wake my mother up who also lives in the house.

Date: Sunday 25 January 2009 

Time: 9.30 – 9.43 pm

Location: Somerfield, Christchurch, North Island

Features/characteristics: series of 17 photographs of an anomalous light


Some cloudbanks in the sky, with drifting veils of cloud. Planets, if visible due to the cloud cover, would have been declining rather than climbing. The witnesses do not live near regular flight paths to and from Christchurch Airport.

A witness observed a “very” bright light in the sky, through an uncovered window. Its intensity was so unusual that he drew it to the attention of a second witness in the house. They considered that the light was so large and bright that it could not be an aircraft, and no wing or strobe lights were visible. They also ruled out planets or stars, as the light was below the cloud cover.

The witnesses ran outside to get a clearer view, and watched as the light approached them directly from the north northwest. They were not at all sure what it was, and began thinking that logically, it must be an aircraft. However the light then made a sudden almost 90 degree turn to the east. It was not a wide arc as an aircraft would perform, but instead was a swift and acute-angled turn.

The witnesses felt something was amiss with this light, and one of them ran to get a camera. He took a series of 17 photos of the light, ranging from 2-38 seconds apart. The photos were all taken when the light was moving from just in front of and above the witnesses to the east, and was ascending after it had performed the acute turn.

As the witnesses watched the light move and change direction, they noticed that the intensity of the light had not changed, as one might expect the landing lights of a turning aircraft to do. It was not until the light was receding, that it also became dimmer. One of the witnesses observed that the glow of the light actually “went out” and he saw a dark coloured object in the sky before it disappeared into the distance. This was not observed by the other witness, whose view at that point was blocked by branches. Both witnesses state that the quality of the photos does not do justice to the brightness and ‘strangeness’ of the light, and the overall event.

The photos were taken on a Lumix LX3 camera, on an automatic setting. There is very little camera blur or movement in most of the photos (branches and shrubbery in the foreground are clear), although some ‘elongation’ of the light does occur in several photos, indicating some hand-held camera movement and shutter pressure. The photos posted below are enlargements of the light only, however the original photos show a tree and a cloud bank as reference points, which illustrate the movement of the light in the sky and into the distance throughout the series of photos, in relation to the reference points. We have omitted the last photo due to space – the light is barely visible in this photo.

The 17 photos were taken in the following intervals of seconds:
6, 3, 4, 5, 3, 12, 2, 5, 2, 3, 4, 2, 38, 4, 5, 25.

Ufocus NZ Comment: As an aircraft performs a turn, the landing lights diminish until no longer visible. However in this case, the intensity of the light did not diminish following the acute turn. The light only diminished as it receded into the distance.  There is a flight route into Christchurch airport from the northwest, for aircraft inbound from Australia, however on turning left or right on approach, the lights would no longer be visible. This was not the case with this sighting.

Date: Sunday 25 January 2009

Time: 10.45 pm

Location: New Lynn, Waitakere, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright light executes acute turn


Patchy cloud with wind direction from north to south; sighting duration approx 15-20 seconds.

The witness, an ambulance officer, sighted a large star-like light that he at first thought was a satellite. It moved across the sky from south to north (observer was facing west) at about the same speed as a satellite, until it suddenly stopped momentarily and then moved at 45 degree angles erratically for approximately 4-5 seconds, before ‘disappearing’ instantly as if it had been “switched off like a light bulb”. The observer described the angles of movement performed by the light as “faster than I can compare to anything.”

Date: Saturday 17 January 2009

Time: 11.40 pm

Location: New Lynn, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright light executes acute turn


The sky was clear with a few stars. The duration of the sighting was 15-20 seconds.

The witness sighted a bright white light “about the size of a small nail head” that passed high overhead at speed, travelling in a northerly direction. At first the witness thought it was a shooting star, until the light suddenly changed direction at a 45 degree angle, continued straight for a couple of seconds, then changed direction again, continuing a “staggered” or erratic flight path briefly, before disappearing from view to the north.

Date: Wednesday 14 January 2009

Time: approx 10.45 pm

Location: Kaikoura, South Island

Features/characteristics: anomalous orange light baffles astronomer


A clear, moonlit night. Duration of sighting around two seconds.

The witness and her two children were atop a hill in Kaikoura taking part in a skywatch.  The group guide was pointing out the rising Moon and the Milky Way.

The witness heard a crackling sound and looked up to see a thumbnail-sized orange light with a tail of white sparks, distance from observer unknown, but she guessed that it was well out over the ocean. At first the witness thought she was looking at fireworks of some sort, but then realized that it could not be, given its location. There was a sudden flash which lit up the sky (similar to the brightness of lightning) for a moment, followed by a faint ‘pop’ and a crackling noise, and the light suddenly disappeared.

Date: Saturday 3 January 2009

Time: 10.25 pm

Location: Masterton, Wairarapa, North Island

Features/characteristics: multiple witnesses, close encounter, physical effects on witness


Duration of event approximately 5 minutes.

A retired school teacher and keen astronomer, was outside when she observed an orange/yellow/red sphere of light descending from the sky at phenomenal speed. The object was followed by a “fire trail”. Around 100 m from her backyard shed, the light “stopped dead in its tracks” above a eucalyptus tree in an adjoining paddock. The witness stated that the light was shimmering brightly, with light coming off it like sunlight reflecting off chrome. The object then began to spin in circular movements, before becoming stationary again. It then began spiraling towards the witness and hovered about 5 feet above the ground near the base of the trees, approximately 40-50 walking paces from the witness.

At this point the witness was “blinded” by the intensely bright light. She found that she could not move at all and was “paralysed and transfixed to the ground”. She felt entranced and could not even contemplate running away from the object.

After a short time, the light/object moved back up to tree-top level and “shot off at phenomenal speed.” The witness felt as if the light/object had ‘held’ her while it ‘checked her out’, before releasing her from its hold and departing. She was unable to reliably ascertain the size of the light/object due to its extreme brightness. She spent the next ten minutes checking the night sky before going inside.

When she awoke on Sunday morning the witness was plagued with several unusual and hitherto unknown ailments, which she attributes to the encounter.
I had strange pains I’d never had before. I couldn’t get up and I was all stiff around the middle of my body. I felt as if I was seizing up and I had a very dry throat.”

The witness also reported abnormal pains in her head “like it had been held in a vice” and “a thin pain like a pencil line round my forehead.” She also felt of phantom loss of feeling between her knees and ankles, which gave her the curious effect of “walking on air” and experienced a “crackling around my head like the ‘dawn chorus’ (like many birds chirping in the early morning) – even though I don’t get tinnitus”.

The witness reported the incident to police but said she was met with skepticism by the duty officer.

The light/object was also sighted by a number of other witnesses. A close neighbor who lives directly opposite and has a full view of the eucalyptus tree, said she also saw a “big bright round light” at the same time/date and for the same duration. She said the spherical object “wasn’t a plane, a helicopter, or a weather balloon – it was silent.”

The light/object was also witnessed by residents of nearby Gladstone earlier in the evening, who saw it flying low and silently overhead at an estimated 100 feet above the ground.

Ufocus NZ comment: Continuing effects:

  • The area of bushes and undergrowth below where the light/object hovered is burnt and dying.
  • 21 days after the experience, the witness was still experiencing noises she describes as being like “radio static and cicadas around my head – but not actually in my ears – but rather like two inches from my head – like surround sound!
  • The witness has had never-before-experienced problems with speaking and writing – especially pronouncing complex or long words.

She has bouts of ‘grogginess’ and fatigue.

Date: Thursday 1 January 2009

Time: approx 12.25 am

Location: Ohope Beach, North Island

Features/characteristics: large ‘square-looking’ red light


Duration of sighting approx 4 minutes; the sky was clear, no wind, no haze, moon and stars, no clouds.

Six witnesses observed a very large bright red light, almost square-looking. The light appeared ‘solid’, and did not flash like that of a plane. There was no noise from the light, and the witnesses stated it was not a flare or fireworks, as it stayed in the sky for so long, and moved horizontally over distance and changed direction.

They all noticed the light, which was first seen at the height that a helicopter or light aircraft would travel in the sky, and appeared to be moving in the direction of the observers, tilted or slanted slightly downwards. All agreed it was not an aircraft, nor anything that they had ever seen before. The intensity of the light and the shape stayed the same, although the colour changed from a bright red to a lighter almost orange. The light traveled at speed from the sea to the harbor side, then moved south, then southwest.

The light “just suddenly disappeared, almost like it had turned around, but suddenly the sky was clear – there was nothing there!”