New Zealand UFO/UAP Sightings 2010

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: Friday 31 December 2010  

Time: between 10 and 10.30 pm

Location: Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: red light travelling at high speed 


Three witnesses observed a red light pass over Mount Maunganui in a NE direction, and head off over the Tauranga Harbour towards the city of Tauranga.

What captured the witness’s attention was the speed at which the light was travelling. No conventional aviation lights were observed, and the speed was faster than that of aircraft usually seen near Tauranga airport.

Date: Thursday 30 December 2010

Time: 9.45 pm

Location: Waikawa Beach, between Levin & Otaki, North Island

Features/characteristics: large brilliant stationary orange light


Some drifting cumulus cloud at 2-3000 feet. Duration of sighting one to two minutes.

The witness observed a brilliant brick-red coloured light in the sky, 2-3 times the size of Venus.  The witness at first thought it was an aircraft with landing lights, but the colour was different and there was no beam.

The light was stationary, had a definite point source, and displayed no navigation lights, as an aircraft would. The witness used a small pair of opera glasses, then binoculars, to observe the light. Cloud subsequently obscured the light temporarily 2-3 times, before finally obscuring the light altogether.  The light maintained the same intensity throughout the 2 minutes of the sighting.  There was no sound/noise associated with the sighting.

Ufocus NZ comment: The witness is a private pilot with 52 years flying experience. He is also an amateur astronomer, with an interest in physics. The witness had never before observed a light in the sky like this one in all his years of flying experience. He discussed the sighting with an astronomer, formerly of Carter Observatory, who also had no explanation for the light.

Date: Sunday 26 December 2010

Time: 10.21 pm

Location: Cambridge, Waikato, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange light with gold centre


Clear sky, good visibility.  Duration of sighting 2 minutes.

Two witnesses looked out their living room window and saw an unusual orange light approaching from the north.  Although they are used to seeing a lot of light aircraft around their area, they had never seen anything like this light.  The light was noticeable ‘round’, orange, and was steady (not flashing).  It was glowing golden yellow in the centre with a slightly duller red-orange outer glow.  There was no sound associated with the light.

One witness went to fetch a camera, while the other observed the light change direction to head east.  They took still shots (which did not capture the object), and a phone video recording as the light headed east and disappeared from view.

It was difficult to tell the height and distance of the light, but the witnesses described it as significantly larger than the background stars and a bright orange-red.  When first sighted, the light was only a pinpoint of light, but it became larger as it approached and changed direction.

Date: Sunday 26 December 2010

Time: 11.30 pm

Location: Timaru, South Canterbury, South Island

Features/characteristics: large red light with visible horse-shoe shaped object within


Cloudy conditions. Duration of sighting approx 5 minutes.

Witness’s drawing of the light/object.

Two witnesses were travelling by car between St Andrews township and Timaru, some 15 to 30 minutes out of Timaru on the main highway heading inland from the coast.

They saw a large red glow in the sky with what appeared to be a horseshoe shaped object in the centre of it. There were three red beams of light coming out of the bottom of the object. The witnesses stopped the car to observe the object, which was below a cloud bank. The object was either stationary or moving very slowly. One of the witnesses became afraid and they decided to drive off. The light moved down very close to the ground and seemed to briefly follow the car, before moving off. There was no sound from the object. The witnesses drove swiftly away, and lost sight of the light in the low cloud.

Date: Saturday 25 December 2010

Time: 10.50 pm

Location: Levin, North Island

Features/characteristics: pulsing red light; multiple witnesses


Some cloud, a light wind. Duration of sighting approximately 3 minutes.

Four witnesses were sitting inside on a summer evening. The reporting witness noticed a single bright red light through the window, moving horizontally across the sky high above the Tararua Ranges. The light was much brighter than a star or planet. When the light was first sighted it was moving at about the speed of an aircraft. The witness watched the light for about 10 seconds, assuming it was an aircraft of some sort. She then noticed the red light was slowly dimming and then brightening, like a slow rhythmic pulsation rather than the flashing lights of an aircraft. The pulsation was slow and regular and the witness began to feel this was a very strange light.

She alerted the three others, who went out on the deck to watch the light, while she stayed indoors and watched it through a window. The other witnesses were able to see it immediately, due to its brightness and relatively large size. Around this time, the light slowed even further to a stationary position as the three witnesses stepped out onto the deck to observe it. It pulsed about four times, the intensity of the light decreasing with each pulse. On the last pulse it disappeared completely (or the light went out).

All four witnesses had the distinct feeling that its disappearance was in relation to them watching it. They had a strong sense of the light being aware of them. They discussed this perspective and all felt the same way. The reporting witness felt uncomfortable about this aspect of the sighting and found it deeply disturbing. There was no sound associated with the light.

Date: Monday 20 December 2010

Time: 1 am

Location: Kaweka Ranges, Hawkes Bay, North Island

Features/characteristics: 3 bright lights moving slowly in formation


The witness, a keen astronomer, observed 3 bright lights moving slowly high above the Makino Ridge of the Kaweka Ranges, viewed from Taradale. The lights appeared to form an “elongated” (isosceles) triangle formation.

The witness watched the lights for some 10 minutes until they disappeared from view.

Date: Saturday 13 November 2010

Time: 9.30 pm

Location: Lynfield, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: round flame-coloured object


The witness was driving home at the time of the sighting, and observed a round, bright red orange/red light, moving rapidly across the sky.  He stopped the car to watch it and a few seconds later, he saw the light change direction at approximately a 90° angle.  The light was no longer visible after this sudden change of direction

Date: Thursday 11 November 2010

Time: 1.30 am

Location: Brooklands, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: red light moving erratically


A witness was listening to the radio at around 1:30 a.m., while lying on his bed looking out the window, when he saw a bright red light.

It was close to the ground, moving fast and in a spiral motion.  It changed from a clockwise to an anticlockwise motion, at one point doing a zigzag circuit.

The light moved toward the witness’s position, and he could see the outline of an object.  He tried to take a photo of the object with a cellphone, but it was moving too quickly.  The witness estimated the object was about 60 m off the ground, moving erratically.  The sighting lasted some 20 minutes.

Source:  The Press, Christchurch, (not investigated by UFOCUS NZ)

Date: Monday 8 November 2010

Time: 9.55 pm

Location: Wellington, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange/red lights moving erratically


Clear sky, no wind.  Duration of sighting approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

The witness was walking home after work when he spotted an orange light in the sky.  Thinking this was odd he stopped and drew his friend’s attention to the light.  The friend believed it was an aircraft because it was above Mount Victoria, which is a flight path to Wellington Airport.  Not convinced, the witness noticed the light was hovering and moving slowly to his left.  Both noticed a red light intermittently flashing from the orange light, but not in a regular frequency like a light on an aircraft or helicopter.

After viewing the light for five minutes, they watched the light move across the sky, backwards and forwards very smoothly, with no noise, and in a controlled manner.  After another five minutes the light a zigzagged about, hovered, changed directions, hovered again, and then shot straight upwards, becoming small.  The witness observed a red flash from the light, and then he was able to see a dull grey object.  He did not notice the dull grey object straight away, but after staring up for a few seconds, he could see the grey object moving high across the sky, and within seconds it had disappeared.

Date: first week of November

Time: around midnight

Location: Levin, North Island

Features/characteristics: light travelling at high speed


A clear night, lots of stars.

The witness was sitting outside looking east towards the Tararua Ranges.  He saw a small light travelling perfectly horizontally at high speed, but making no sound.  It traveled from north to south and was out of sight within a few seconds.  It appeared to be high above and beyond the ranges.

The witness stated he has seen plenty of shooting stars before, but this was the first time he had seen anything like this.  The light maintained constant brightness and intensity as it traveled from the left of the horizon, moving out of his line of sight on the far right of the horizon.

“If you could imagine a fighter jet passing by, it was moving much faster than that and was perfectly level, with no noise.  I think that’s the thing that got me, no noise, and a perfect line of movement, otherwise I could explain it.  The height and flight path of the light were similar to what aircraft fly at when flying to Wellington, but having said that, there’s no way it could have been an aircraft because it was silent and moving way too fast”

The witness is colour blind and so could not identify the colour of the light

Date: late October 2010

Time: 8-9 pm

Location: Inglewood, Taranaki, North Island

Features/characteristics: two orange lights


Clear starry night; no haze or clouds.  Duration of sighting 4-5 minutes.

The witness observed two bright, round orange lights close together, travelling at a steady speed from west to northeast.  The lights were high in the sky, moving faster than an aircraft.  The lights eventually faded to a pin-prick in the distance

The following day, the witness heard a radio report of similar orange lights sighted over Gisborne.

Date: Saturday 2 October 2010

Time: 8.15 pm

Location: New Plymouth, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange light travelling at speed, disappears


Clear starry night.  Two sightings occurred over approx 25 minutes.

Four witnesses observed an orange light over the city of New Plymouth heading east.  The light then abruptly changed course, then heading north.  It was at a low altitude in the sky, and there was no accompanying sound.  They watched the light until it went out of sight into the distance.

About 10-20 minutes later the reporting witness looked up to see an orange light in the sky in the direction of Waitara.  The light became stationary for a minute or two, changed colour to white, flashed brightly 3 times changing from white to orange, to white, and then orange again.  Then the light “just disappeared like a light being switched off.”

Date: Sunday 26 Sept 2010

Time: 6.35 pm

Location: Woolston, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: two shiny objects cross sky


Clear sky. Duration of sighting around 15 seconds.

A witness observed two small shiny objects moving at speed across the sky, from west to east, from the direction of Christchurch City. At first glance, the witness thought they must be birds, but discounted this given the speed of the objects, and their shiny reflective appearance. The objects were silver/white and their shiny reflective quality did not alter as they passed over and continued east.  They were high in the sky and moved together in a loose formation and in the same direction, deviating from a straight line by moving slightly right or left. The witness lost sight of the objects due to their speed.

Date: Monday 6 September 2010 

Time: 2.15 am (05-9-2010 1645hrs UTC)

Location: Timor Sea

Features/characteristics: lozenge-shaped bright orange light


Position: Latitude 11 degrees 26.5’ South; 128 degrees 09.8’ East
Ship heading: 107 (T) at 12 knots.

The witness states: “I would like to share the following sighting of an object at night over the Timor Sea in September 2010. I was on the ship headed towards Darwin at the time. There is a lot of UFO activity reported in the Northern Territory of Australia, so I reported this immediately afterwards to Alan Ferguson of Wild Territory. He was very interested as they were having regular sightings in NT around that time, and this object was travelling northwards away from the coast. The sighting lasted for about 10 seconds, and the object was travelling VERY fast!!!”

The object was a lozenge-shaped bright orange light – possibly made up of a row of bright lights, with a slight silvery tail that tapered to a point approximately 6 times the length of the object. It appeared ahead of the ship at about 45° on the starboard bow, and crossed ahead (right to left) to disappear behind cloud at about 60° on the port bow (ie. It was travelling more or less from south to north). The object traveled in a straight horizontal path, at an elevation of about 40° above the horizon.

The witness proposed several possible explanations for the light:
Meteor: I have seen many of these all over the world, some quite spectacular, but nothing like this.
Space degree re-entry: again, I have seen these several times, and this did not seem to fit the normal pattern, though I think this could be the nearest possibility.
Naval exercises taking place in the area at the time: yes, there were, but what could it have been?
Aircraft: too fast by far unless it was very close, in which case I should think I would have heard it.
Missile: possibly, but again too fast, even for a cruise missile, and most other missiles have trajectory. Also there were no navigation warnings of live firing exercises which would not normally occur at night anyway.

Date: Saturday 4 September 2010

Time: 6:36 pm

Location: Masterton, North Island

Features/characteristics: dull orange light travelling at speed


Clear sky, light wind, excellent visibility.  Duration of sighting approximately 2 minutes.

Two witnesses were driving north through Masterton, when one witness noticed something similar to a green flare descending or falling through the sky to the west.

Both witnesses subsequently saw an unusual orange light emitting a dull, but clearly visible orange glow.  This light was stationary in the western sky some 50 degrees above the horizon, in the same area they had seen the green light just previously. It was larger than Venus at its brightest, and moved faster than any of the types of aircraft and small airliners seen in Masterton airspace.

From a stationary position, the light suddenly moved at speed from the west to the south east.  This movement was so fast the witnesses stated it was as if the light had disappeared from one point, and reappeared some 15 seconds later in a stationary position approximately 8 kilometres to the south east of Hood Aerodrome.  Its brilliance appeared dimmer than when initially sighted.  The light then disappeared suddenly from the sky.

Ufocus NZ Comment:  The witnesses stated the light was totally unlike anything they had seen before.  It bore no resemblance to aircraft lights or natural phenomena, either in appearance, speed, or movement.  The witnesses were unsettled by the event

Date: Saturday 29 August 2010

Time: 10.40 pm

Location: Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: formation of orange lights


Clear visibility, but some clouds and brief showers; no wind.  Duration of sighting 3-4 minutes.

The witness and a friend were sitting outside when they looked up to see a circular orange light moving west to east in a straight line from the direction of Bethlehem towards the observers.

At first the witnesses thought the light must be a satellite, but realized it was 3 or 4 times larger than a satellite and moving slower.  They then assume it must be an aircraft or helicopter, but they could not hear any sound associated with the light.

After the light passed overhead, it began to ascend until it disappeared from view – a period of approximately 45 seconds after passing overhead.  The witnesses turned around to see a second orange light pass over on the same path.  Within seconds, they observed an orange light veer off to the right (at right-angles) from where they had seen the lights ascend, leaving a trail behind it.  When the witnesses turned back, they saw a third light coming over, again following the same path and ascending out of view.

Throughout the sighting the witnesses noticed there was complete silence, but moments after the lights had disappeared from view, birds began shrieking. The witnesses continued to watch the sky for an hour or so, but did not see anything else unusual.

The witnesses are adamant the lights were not Chinese lanterns.  The lights were high in the sky, bright, and one moved at speed away from the others.

Date: Tuesday 24 August 2010

Time: 7.10 pm

Location: Silverdale, near Whangaparoa, north of Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright green light


Moon visible with a few clouds and mostly clear visibility.  Duration of sighting 10 seconds.

The witness was travelling in her car from the Oteha Valley toward Silverdale, and observed a bright green light reasonably low in the sky above the horizon, and ahead of her.  The light was round, had a ‘solid’ green centre with a defined glow around the outer edges, descending in a downward arc from right to left. The witness estimated its speed as being faster than a light aircraft and she had the light in sight for some 10 seconds before it disappeared from sight.

Date: Wednesday 14 July 2010

Time: 8.10 pm

Location: Manurewa, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


Clear conditions; duration of sighting 20 to 30 seconds.

Two witnesses observed a large bright white light high in the sky.  It traveled very quickly across the sky from south to north, faster than any aircraft the witness is used to observing approaching or descending into Mangere Airport.

Date: Tuesday 13 July 2010

Time: 2 am

Location: Foxton, North Island

Features/characteristics: white light travelling at speed


Clear sky; stars visible.  Duration of sighting approx 3-4 seconds.

The sole witness was in car between Foxton and Levin heading south, when he saw a light that was low in the sky.  It was heading away from him in southerly direction.

The light was moving like a shooting star but leaving no ‘streak’.  The witness reported the light was ‘dull’ or ‘flat’ in brilliance, but was considerably larger than a star.

The witness subsequently saw an aircraft shortly afterwards; it was clearly visible, but was travelling “at snail’s pace” in comparison to the observed light.

Date: Monday 12 July 2010

Time: 8 pm

Location: Torbay, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright light intensifying and disappearing


Duration of sighting 2-3 seconds.

The witness was outside his house in Torbay when he observed a light that he thought was a star or planet low in the northwestern sky.  The light suddenly “went out” for a second, then reappeared in the same place, but now very much brighter in intensity, before switching off again completely.

Date: Friday 2 July 2010

Time: approx 6.42 am

Location: Marybank, Nelson, South Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


Clear sky, stars and moon visible.  Duration of sighting approximately 2 minutes.

Two witnesses observed a large bright white light, like a large star, moving from west to east across Nelson (between Marybank and the Glen).  They did not observe any standard aircraft lights around the light, and there was no sound associated with the sighting.  The light continued on a steady low altitude path, disappearing over hills to the east.

At 6.59 am, the witnesses observed an Air New Zealand aircraft fly out of Nelson, heading north.  They were able to see the conventional lights on this aircraft, and could hear the sound of the aircraft from indoors.  The light they had observed earlier had none of these features.  They noted that the bright light they had sighted had the same intensity throughout the sighting, unlike an aircraft’s landing lights which brighten and diminish depending on how the aircraft is viewed.

Date: Monday 14 June 2010

Time: 8.36 pm

Location: Tokoroa, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright red light executes acute-angled turn


Sky clear, a few stars.  Duration of sighting approx 50 seconds.

While outside his home, the witness glanced up at the sky and noticed a large bright red light moving from north to south.  As he was watching the light, it suddenly changed direction, executed a sharp 80-90 degree turn without any change in speed, and headed east.  The light continued in an easterly direction and passed directly overhead.  There was no sound associated with the light.  One of the witnesses ran through the house to the other side to watch the light progress across the sky.

Date: Thursday 3 June 2010

Time: 6.15 pm

Location: Thames, Hauraki/Coromandel, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light travelling at speed


Very clear sky, no cloud or wind; stars and Venus bright and visible. Duration of sighting 1-2 minutes.

The witness, a science technician, who was very familiar with the night sky, was outside admiring Venus, which was bright in the sky.  She and a second witness noticed another bright white light travelling low in the sky, at a steady, but fairly fast speed.  There were no flashing lights as with an aircraft, and no noise.  She described the size of the light as “slightly flattened (oval) pea size”.

The light approached from the direction of Auckland (NW), made a slight left-hand arc turn, rose in altitude and traveled across the western sky.  The light became brighter than Venus, maintaining a steady brilliance and shape as it approached Thames. The light passed overhead and towards Kopu, becoming subsequently smaller and disappearing within the space of 2-3 seconds, as though it had accelerated at great speed to the SE.

Simultaneously, the witness watched an aircraft with its lights on land at Thames Airport, and noted the difference in speed and appearance.  The witness has observed ISS passes over New Zealand, and noted the difference in size, appearance, speed, altitude, and trajectory, of the light she had observed, stating it was not the ISS. She estimated the light was at an altitude as it disappeared from view.

Date: Monday 17 or Tuesday 18 May 2010

Time: between 11pm and 2 am

Location: approx 100 km off the west coast of the North Island, observed from a yacht

Features/characteristics: red lights rotating around an oval or circular object


Clear sky, many stars, meteors, planet, moon, satellites; north-easterly wind. Duration of sighting approx 60 seconds.

The witnesses, a senior scientist, and a scientist and university professor, were heading north on a yacht approximately 100 km off the west coast of the North Island.  They were on a sailing watch in the middle of the night, looking up at the stars non-stop for reference points to steer towards.

During this time they noticed 5-6 flashing red lights rotating around what appeared to be an oval (possibly circular) shaped airborne object.  By comparison, the object appeared roughly the size of a thumbnail, when the hand is held at arm’s length.  It appeared to be around 500 metres above sea level, moving towards them in an easterly direction, and closer than any aircraft they sighted throughout the journey.  The object was moving slowly towards them at roughly a ‘ten o’clock’ position in the sky in relation to their direction, on their port (left) side.  The witnesses watched it for about 20 seconds, discussing what it could be, then concurred it’s movements were too erratic and at times, too fast to be an aircraft.

The object hovered, then made erratic darting movements for about 30 seconds, disappeared and then reappeared in a similar location for about 10 seconds, then disappeared once more altogether, from a standstill or hovering position.  The reporting witness stated there were no visible clouds in the vicinity that could account for its very sudden disappearance.

That night the witnesses observed shooting stars, which were nothing like the object they saw with a specific light configuration and rotating pattern.  The lights of the gas rigs off the coast of New Plymouth were well behind the position of the yacht when they sighted the object.  There were no other vessels in sight for much of the 4 day trip up the coast, and any the witnesses did see were in their starboard side closer to land.

Both witnesses got the feeling the object disappeared suddenly because they were observing it.

The reporting witness stated she had seen something very similar with her family, at night, between Rangitoto and Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.

Date: Monday 17 May 2010

Time: 6.45 pm

Location: Herne Bay, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: large red light


Clear sky with some stars.  Duration of sighting 20 to 25 seconds.

Looking from Herne Bay, the witness observed a slow-moving light travelling from north to south.  The light was larger than what you would expect to see on an aircraft, and was not flashing or strobing.  It was round, a deep bright red and a ‘solid’ colour.  It eventually faded and disappeared from view over distance.

Date: Friday 14 May 2010

Time: 8.25 pm

Location: Bethlehem, Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: two large orange lights


No wind, sky clear with a few clouds.  Estimated cloud base at about 1500 feet.

The witness was walking through the Bethlehem Heights subdivision.  He observed a bright shining orange light which he initially mistook for an orange street light.  He noticed the light was approaching from the north over the suburb of Brookfield, at about the speed of a micro-light or Cessna aircraft.  The light was below the clouds.

The light flew overhead, and as it did so, the light gradually diminished until it was no longer visible, and appeared to be obscured by a large dark object.  There was no engine noise. The witness likened the fading of the light to an aircraft passing over with visible landing lights, which diminish and disappear from view as they are obscured by the aircraft.

As the light moved away, the witness observed a second light following it on the same course, passing over and disappearing at about 8:35 p.m. It looked the same as the first light/object.  The witness phoned Tauranga Airport air traffic control at 9:45 a.m. the following day, but was advised they had no explanation for the lights.

Date: Wednesday 5 May 2010

Time: 5.10 am

Location: Ruatoki Valley, Whakatane, North Island

Features/characteristics: large bright light low over landform


Duration of sighting one to two minutes.  Clear sky, no wind.

The witness, a logging contract, was in the Ruatoki Valley, at the end of Grace Road by the Whakatane River.  He observed a large bright white light, around the size of a ten cent coin held at arm’s length.  It was considerably brighter and larger than any planetor starhe has seen.  The light appeared from the direction of Whakatane in the north, moving in a straight line towards Opotiki in the east. The witness estimated the light was some 5 km away above the Ohope hills.

He observed the light through binoculars, and could not see strobe lights or other conventional lights that might indicate it was an aircraft.  He stated that as the light moved away from him, the intensity and size of the light did not diminish, as the landing lights of an aircraft would have.  The light was eventually lost from view over low ridge line.

Date: Sunday 2 May 2010

Time: 2.35 am

Location: Halcombe (near Bulls), North Island

Features/characteristics: flashing coloured lights forming triangular shape


Duration of sighting approx 20 to 25 minutes.  Clear sky, stars, little to no wind.

The witness observed a group of flashing lights that appeared to be a triangular shape.  The lights flashed blue, green, red, yellow/white.  The configuration of lights circled occasionally and appeared to move closer to the witness at one point.
The lights were viewed in the distance above treetop height, in the southwest.

Ufocus NZ comment: Mount Biggs is to the southwest of the witness’s position, however from aeronautical maps, Mount Biggs does not appear to be high enough to have any obstruction lights on at.  If the witness’s southwest line of sight is extended, it passes through Ohakea Air Force Base, and they are presently building a high hangar there.  Ohakea ATC advised Ufocus NZ there is a red hazard light on top of a tall crane working on the new hangar.  It is possible the witness saw that light, and the changing light colours and appearance of movement could be due to atmospheric refraction caused by the distance between the observer and Ohakea Air Force Base

Date: Saturday 24 April 2010

Time: approx 10.30 pm

Location: Taupo, North Island

Features/characteristics: 3 witnesses; several lights sighted; dark object with orange light.


Duration of sighting approx. 5 minutes.  Moonlight, stars, some clouds to the south, clear to the north.

The witness was located on the eastern side of Lake Taupo, looking west over the lake. He went out onto his deck and noticed a light breaking through clouds in the far distance, in the south-west.  He initially thought it was an unusual aircraft light as it seemed to be orange, and bigger than aircraft landing lights.  However there was no strobe light, or other conventional aircraft lights.  He could not hear any sound associated with a light. The light was moving at a slower speed compared to the usual aircraft approaching the town. It could be seen through (beyond) bordering trees, flew horizontally, and then gradually rose higher. It was not particularly bright and was distorted by wispy clouds. The light was below cloud level and flying cross-wind.

Witness diagram

Thinking the light was unusual, the witness called to his wife and son to come and have a look at it.  They viewed the light through binoculars (8 power, 30 field of view).  With the night sky lit by moonlight, they saw a very large saucer-shaped black shape, or object outlined above and behind the orange light, an oval shape with a sharpish ‘tail’. By now, they were able to see the outline of the object with the naked eye.

One witness noticed there was another light coming into view, following the same SW to NE trajectory, and within 30 seconds, another followed. They watched the lights climb high in the northern sky. Two further lights appeared following the same path, making a total of five lights sighted. All were the same size and brightness. The last two lights were photographed.

The last light appeared to be lower and closer than the preceding four, with the dark ‘body’ visible as an oval or elliptical shape with ‘flat’ orange lights around it’s perimeter. This object climbed faster to the northeast until it was pin-size, as observed through binoculars. Due to circumstances, the witnesses were unable to ascertain whether the 2d, 3rd, and 4th lights were accompanied by dark shapes also.

In the photo the witness provided, the light is distinctive, with a vague triangular shape apparent to the left of, and above the light.

See similar sightings below:

Date: Thursday 15 April 2010

Time: 8.30 pm

Location: Glen Innes, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


Duration of sighting 50 to 60 seconds.  Clear sky, some stars.

Two witnesses observed a large bright light, brighter and larger than a satellite, moving across the sky north of Auckland, in a west to east direction.  The witnesses felt curiosity as they believed it was not the landing lights of an aircraft due to its size and speed

Date: Monday 12 April 2010

Time: 7.45 pm

Location: Pauanui Beach, Coromandel, North Island

Features/characteristics: large triangular object with orange lights


Duration of sighting approx 50 seconds. Clear sky, a few stars, no wind.

The witness and her husband were standing outside their business premises, when they noticed a strange orange light in the sky out over the sea from west to east, approximately 30° above the horizon. The object remained at approximately the same relative height as it slowly tracked straight towards the witnesses. The object was large and triangular, and had one large orange light at the front, with about five smaller lights down two sides. The object did not change shape, but became bigger and more easily seen as it got closer to the witnesses.

The husband initially thought it was a plane but his wife disagreed, pointing out that it had orange lights unlike an aircraft, and the lights were grouped in a way that outlined the object as a triangle.  As the couple watched, the object stopped dead still, started moving again, stopped, then moved again. It repeated this set of movements four times.
The object maintained the bright light intensity, and subsequently went from being fully lit and bright, to no lights at all, but a slight shimmer of light could still be seen for approximately two to three seconds before the object finally disappeared.  Both witnesses stood waiting for the object to reappear, but this did not occur. At this point the husband agreed it was not a plane.

Date: Friday 9 April 2010

Time: 8.05 pm

Location: Cambridge, Waikato, North Island

Features/characteristics: three distinctive triangular objects in a triangular formation


Excellent visibility; clear starry night.  Duration of sighting three to four seconds.

The witness lives in the north-west side of Cambridge and was observing the night sky, wondering if he was going to see any shooting stars that evening.

He was facing north when he observed three distinctive triangular objects moving very fast overhead.  The sky was cloudless, the Milky Way was clearly visible, and the objects came into view travelling in a northerly direction.
What made this sighting unusual was the speed at which the objects were travelling, not as fast as a shooting star, but much faster than any aircraft he had seen from that viewing position before.  There was no sound from the three objects, however the witness could see and hear aircraft over Hamilton International Airport to the west.  This factor reinforced the witness’s initial thoughts that what he had just seen were not aircraft (by comparing sight and sounds).

The three objects were each approximately the size of his index finger held out at arm’s length (approximately 1 cm wide in the sky), and all three were uniform in triangular size and brightness throughout the sighting.
The objects were nearly as bright as a full moon, and were dullish grey in colour, with whiter coloured edges.  There were no trails from behind them.

It was initially thought the objects could have been RAAF jets returning from Ohakea Airbase to Whenuapai Airbase, but the light patterns did not conform to that of any aircraft tracking in a northerly direction. Our UFOCUS NZ investigator interviewed the witness on site, and estimated the objects appeared at approximately 55 to 60° above the horizon, and were lost from sight approximately 20° above the horizon on a steady south-north track.  The objects maintained a steady illumination, and were eventually blocked from the witness’s view by a tree.  It was not possible to estimate the height of the objects, however, for them to have a distinctly discernible triangular shape, their height would have been dependent on their relative size.

What made this sighting even more unusual was the triangular formation of the three triangular-shaped objects.  Two of the objects were flying side by side in front, and the third was initially in the middle behind, but within the time they were viewed, the rear object made an exaggerated reverse ‘S’ flight pattern before resuming the same triangular formulation behind the other two objects.

The witness has spent many hours viewing the sky at night and is familiar with movement of shooting stars/satellites, as well as aircraft approaching and leaving Hamilton International Airport.  He had never seen anything like these objects and their formation before.  He was unable to find a logical explanation for the sighting

Date: Friday 2 April 2010

Time: 7.50 pm

Location: New Plymouth, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright light travelling at speed, then vanishes


Duration of sighting approx 30 seconds.  Sun had set; clear, still evening, no wind.

The witness was looking north-east over New Plymouth Hospital.  He observed a large bright white light (large – pea-sized), low over the horizon, moving from northeast to east, covering an approximate arc of 50° in 30 seconds.  The light was larger and brighter than Venus (which was not yet visible in the night sky), and maintained the same light intensity until just prior to vanishing (blinking out) after approximately 30 seconds.

The light appeared to maintain a level flight path for the majority of the sighting, then looked as if it was moving away from the witness in the last five to 10 seconds.
Although the distance of the object from the observer was unable to be determined, to cover of the 50° and some 30 seconds, it can be assumed that its speed was considerable.

Ufocus NZ comment: The witness is very familiar with the flight paths of aircraft into, and out of New Plymouth Airport, and advised that the object’s flight path did not conform to those tracks.  It also did not conform to flight paths of helicopters going out to the off-shore oil rig, nor to the flight path that helicopters take when arriving/departing from the New Plymouth hospital helicopter landing pad.

The light could not have been the International Space Station (ISS), as the NASA website showed that the ISS would have tracked NW-ESE on 22/4/2010. It was not possible to obtain specific aircraft movement data from the New Plymouth control tower for that day, but from the witness’s description of the light intensity for the duration of the sighting, and the fact the light suddenly ‘vanished’, we consider it most unlikely the object would have been an aircraft.

Date: Tuesday 30 March 2010

Time: 8 pm

Location: Colson’s Hill, Tokoroa, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange and white orb-like light


Duration of sighting approximately 40 seconds.  Crystal clear weather conditions.

The witness had gone outside to get some firewood.  He looked up at the sky above Colson’s Hill and saw a light moving slowly.  It was a large white orb of light, orange in the centre, with a deeper orange around the outside.  It pulsed very slowly and regularly, much slower than a flashing strobe light.  The light turned away from its track, at which point the lights dulled right down until the witness thought the light was going to go out.  It then turned back again in the direction of the witness, at which point it brightened up to its original intensity.  The light traveled across the sky a short distance, before turning away again, at which point the light dulled down and finally disappeared into the distance.

Date: Saturday 20 February 2010

Time: 9.40 pm

Location: Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: line of white lights


Looking to the west of Tauranga, two witnesses sighted a line of several white lights approaching in a high arc in a formation with each light equidistant apart.  As the lights reached a high point in the sky they disappeared.  The witnesses believed they were not aircraft as there were no flashing lights and no sound.  They later checked with Tauranga airport to see if any flights were arriving or departing at that time, but none were.

Date: Thursday 18 February 2010

Time: 9.45 pm

Location: Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula, North Island

Features/characteristics: two bright lights with surrounding red glow


Duration of sighting 5 minutes.  Heavy bank of cloud to the south, otherwise clear; no wind.

A witness initially sighted a bright red light with surrounding red-ringed glow, moving from the direction of Whitianga in the north, in a direct line beyond Tairua Harbour and Pauanui, heading south along the coast.   The light was much bigger than a star and was travelling slower than a small plane.  There was no sound.   It was lost from view behind cloud bank.

Date: Sunday 14 February 2010

Time: 11 pm

Location: Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: large red/orange light


Two witnesses observed a large red/orange light travelling at speed, high in the sky.  The light travelled from the direction of Tauranga (NE) across the suburb of Welcome Bay, and high above the witness’s house (SW).  The light was silent and left no trail.  It appeared as a large elliptical orange/red globe as it passed overhead.

Date: Wednesday 10 February 2010

Time: 4 am

Location: Kawerau, Eastern BOP, North Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


The witness, a logging contractor, sighted a large bright white light to the south of his position, moving from the direction of the township of Kawerau in the west, towards Waimana in the east.  The light was close to the observer and moving low over tree tops.  It disappeared behind pine trees on a ridge towards Waimana.

The light did not display strobe lights or any other conventional aircraft lighting.  The light did not diminish in intensity or disappear as it moved across the sky, as the landing lights of an aircraft would

Date: Monday 1 February

Time: 9.45 pm

Location: Waltham, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


Dusk, clear with a few scattered clouds; wind northwest to southwest.  Duration of sighting 1 minute.

The reporting witness’s wife saw an unusual light from her lounge window, and went outside to look at it, calling for her husband to join her.  They both sighted a large bright white light, about the size of a ping-pong ball held at arm’s length, moving across the sky from west to east.  They moved to the other side of their property to continue watching it as it moved into cloud.  The light had maintained a steady speed in a straight line, and traveled faster than an aircraft.  The witnesses did not hear any sound.

Date: Friday 29 January

Time: 5.40 am

Location: Whitford, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: dark oval object with blue-tinged light


Clear sky; duration of sighting 10 seconds.

The witness was driving to work early in the morning when he noticed a blue-tinged light beyond trees ahead.  The light was not very bright, but was dull and hazy.  As he got around the bend he saw a dark metallic oval shaped object moving slowly through the sky.

The witness observed the object for approximately 2 seconds moving horizontally, when all of a sudden it shot upwards into the sky at tremendous speed until it was no longer visible.  The witness stated he knew it had disappeared upwards because it left a trail at a 45° angle into the sky, which lasted a second or two before dissipating.  As the object departed its light intensified, with the blue tinge brightening.

Date: Friday 29 January 2010

Time: 10.15 pm

Location: Nelson, South Island

Features/characteristics: large bright white light


Duration of sighting 1-2 minutes.  Clear, still night.

Two witnesses saw a large bright white light travelling from west to east, from north of Motueka, travelling across the bay and over the Glen (Nelson boulder bank), over the hills towards Blenheim.  The light was travelling higher than the altitude of planes that approach Nelson airport.

There were no flashing lights to be seen, as on an aircraft, and there was no sound from the light.  The light maintained a steady speed, path, and altitude.

Date: Friday 29 January 2009

Time: 10 pm

Location: Havelock, Lower Pelorus Valley, Marlborough, South Island

Features/characteristics: ball of bright white light


Duration of sighting 3 to 4 minutes.  Clear night sky, no clouds, no one is, very good visibility.  Full moon and some stars.  Viewed with binoculars.

The witness was on the phone, sitting on her veranda at around 10 p.m.  She noticed what looked like a large bright star moving across the sky and over the valley in a south easterly direction towards the township of Blenheim.  As it got closer, she could see that it was a large ball of bright white light – not sparkling, and with no tail.  It was travelling at a low altitude over the hilltops – much lower than most planes seen in that area (hills approx 700 feet high).
Its speed was steady, “Not zipping across the sky by any means, yet not slow either.”

It did not vary its path, and appeared to keep a constant altitude.  There was no sound on its approach or as it passed (the family is quite familiar with the different sounds of a range of different aircraft that fly over the rural area – there was no sound from this object.)

Her husband also saw the object and viewed it through binoculars.  He was unable to determine any detail – just ball of light.  They watched the light for several minutes as it travelled beyond trees on hilltops at the back of their property.

The witness was on the phone to her mother, who lives in Blenheim, when she sighted the object.  Blenheim is 60 km from the witness’s property.  The mother went outside while on the phone, and also saw the object.  They both hung up their phones in order to fetch cameras, but there was not enough time to get an image.

The witness spoke to her mother again, who told her the light had kept moving in a south easterly direction over Blenheim, towards Marfell’s Beach, heading out to sea south east of Wellington.  She also described the object as a ball of white light.

Date: Monday 25 January

Time: approx 10.30 pm

Location: Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, North Island

Features/characteristics: reddish orange light executes right-angled turn


Starry night, generally clear with some cloudy patches, no wind.   Duration of sighting 30-45 seconds.

The witness, a medical practitioner, was taking a late walk along Mount Maunganui Beach.  He had just followed the progress of a satellite across the sky and out of view, when he caught sight of a new light moving.  He assumed this was a satellite too as it was a similar size, and travelling at a similar speed, but was a reddish/orange colour.

He watched the light travel in a southerly direction for some 20 seconds, but then it immediately performed a 90 degree turn without any change in speed.  After another 10 seconds, the light changed direction abruptly again and seemed to travel at a slower speed, taking some 5-10 seconds to disappear as it rose higher in the sky, fading from view.

The witness has observed plenty of satellites over the years, but has never seen a light in the sky before that moved in this way.  It was not an aircraft, a satellite, or a meteor.  The sudden 90 degree turn startled him

Date: Monday 25 January 2010

Time: 10.37 pm

Location: Heathcote Valley, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: bright orange ball of light


Clear sky, no wind.

The witness was sitting in his living room looking out the window, when he caught sight of a bright orange ball of light in the east.  It appeared to be flickering around the edges like a fireball, or as if it had softer light around the edges.

The witness ran outside and observed it move from right to left in a straight line, until it had moved halfway across his field of vision.  It then moved back to the right, was still a few seconds, and then moved vertically downwards in a straight line until it was out of view, obscured by houses.  The witness described the light moved much faster than the jet, but commented he had never seen any aircraft move “perfectly downwards like that.”

Ufocus NZ comment: The witness was able to take a photograph of the object as it was moving downwards.  The photograph, although taken from a distance, shows a bright orange light in the sky

Date: Saturday 9 January 2010

Time: 11.38 pm

Location: above the Ruahine Ranges, near Tikokino, Hawkes Bay, North Island

Features/characteristics: two orange orbs of light moving erratically


Duration of sighting approx 8 minutes in total.  Very clear starry night, good visibility.  The witness lives in a small country town where there is little light reflected into the sky.

Witness’s artistic impression of what he observed. Lines indicate erratic movement

A witness was outside in the evening when he noticed two “blobs” of orange light in the northern sky above the Ruahine Ranges.  They were “darting about in the sky, dancing toward and away from each other and moving up and down over the entire period.”

The higher object of the two appeared to move towards the other from time to time, but without touching it.  At times, the lower light would briefly disappear and reappear a couple of seconds later.  The witness described the lights as larger than stars, and with a translucent look about them.

The witness thought at first that his eyes were adjusting to the dark light outside, so he looked away and back to be sure of what he was seeing, and moved away from the house lights.  He watched the lights for six minutes, wondering what they were, and then went inside.

Approx 30 minutes later, he heard his dog barking and went outside to investigate the cause.  He noticed the lights were still moving in the same erratic pattern and in the same location, and watched them for a further 2 minutes.

The witness at first wondered if the lights could have been created by two lasers, but discounted this thought, given the rural area he lives in and the fact the lights were high in the sky, and distant over remote ranges.

Date: Thursday 7 January 2010

Time: 10.20 pm

Location: Rototuna North, Hamilton, North Island

Features/characteristics: three disc-shaped objects changing flight formation


The witness went outside to check on a malfunctioning security light.  On turning to go back inside the house, he happened to look into the eastern night sky and saw three disc-shaped objects coming towards him flying in a ‘single echelon formation’ (one behind the other the other on an angle).  The objects were travelling at considerable speed.

As the objects approached the witness could see that each one was a deep grey in colour, initially almost blending into the night sky, but becoming clearer as they got closer to his position.  Still maintaining their rapid speed, they passed directly overhead, at which point he noticed they had changed colour from grey, to a deep orange with a reddish hue.  At the same time, and equally as instantly, they changed flight formation from a ‘single echelon’ to a ‘double echelon (triangular) formation’.  All movements were conducted with speed and precision.  The objects were completely silent as they traversed the sky, east to west.

Date: Saturday 2 January 2010

Time: 10.20 pm

Location: Maungatapu, Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: disc-shaped object and large orange light


Full moon, some high cloud, starry night, no noticeable wind.  Sighting duration approx. 30 seconds.
Four witnesses observed two large bright orange lights of constant intensity.  They were first observed approximately 1 km distant, high above the Turret Road Bridge, moving in a straight easterly direction towards Te Puke.  The two lights were moving directly towards the witnesses, one following close behind the other.

Immediately after the lights were first sighted by the witnesses, the first or leading light “went out,” and the witnesses were able to clearly see a grey, disc-shaped grey object pass directly overhead, followed by the second orange light some 50 m behind.  The disc-shaped object had a small red light rotating rapidly clockwise around the circumference at approximately one revolution per second.  The lights moved at a steady pace, at an estimated altitude of 300

metres.  Both objects maintained constant height, speed and direction during the sighting, and traveled silently.

The reporting witness stated that from his position beneath the object, it appeared a perfect disc-shape, and he was able to view it from different perspectives as it passed over.  He could not estimate the depth of the disc.  He could tell it was grey, as there was reasonable light reflecting from the city on the underside of it.

After passing over, the object and following light were briefly obscured from view by trees.  The witness moved position and observed them disappearing into the distance at the same height, speed and direction, towards the township of Te Puke.

The witnesses were adamant the lights/objects displayed controlled flight, but were not aircraft, and were not drifting, as balloons or lanterns would do (and there was no wind).  Lanterns would be subject to wind flow and not likely to maintain a steady course for long.  The witnesses recorded their observations immediately after the sighting.

They stated, “The brightness of the lights we observe would have been like several hundred watts of constant intensity on a controlled flight path.  With no noticeable wind from our position, it would not explain the speed of the object less than 500 m overhead.  The high cloud was also not moving fast and I suspect that any local prevailing wind currents on the night could be confirmed as not being in the direction of the objects movement.”