New Zealand UFO/UAP Sightings 2011

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: Saturday 31 December 2011

Time: between 11.20 and 11.30 pm

Location: Oratia, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: low level red light(s)


Overcast conditions. Duration of sighting approximately one minute.
A bright red light was initially observed to the north of the witnesses’ house, and underneath a heavy overcast sky. They saw a red light airborne beneath the 1300 foot cloud base, moving steadily at constant altitude and in a straight line from the direction of the city towards the SSW (the1300 feet cloud ceiling was confirmed with Auckland airport tower at approximately 11:40pm).

The light was traveling at less than the speed of inbound commercial jet airliners, but faster than the speed of helicopters previously observed on a similar path flying out to the west coast.  The brilliancy of the light did not change. It was 4 finger widths above the horizon and 1 km distant, putting it at a height of approximately 1000-1200 feet.
The light was a strong, steady dull red and of considerable size, i.e. it was not just a point of light, but twinkled like a star, and resembled a larger red version of the planet Venus.
What was most unusual was that the light did not reflect on the clouds above, and this gave the witnesses the impression the light was beneath something solid. The witnesses lost sight of the light beyond trees as it disappeared to the SSW of their house. They both were quite sure it was some sort of moving airborne vehicle.

As the light approached, one witness thought he could make out multiple red lights giving the impression of one larger light, while the other witness perceived one light.
There were no normal aircraft lights and it was completely silent. The witnesses decided it could not have been from a ground based laser, as the light did not shine upwards through the clouds, and did not ripple and diffuse as would be expected from a reflection. They contacted Auckland Airport control tower at approximately 11:40 pm describing the event and were advised there had been no air traffic in their area at that time.

Ufocus NZ Comment:
The witnesses live close to aircraft flight paths to the west of Auckland International Airport and are very familiar with aircraft types, flight characteristics, and their lighting systems. If the light had been associated with an aircraft, the witnesses would have definitely been able to hear the engine sound.

Date: Saturday 31 December 2011

Time: 10.10pm

Location: Parklands, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: triangular formation of orange lights


Overcast conditions. Duration of sighting approx 20 seconds.

Two witnesses observed a distant triangular formation of orange lights moving from the north. It hovered briefly before heading in a westerly direction, turning away from the observers. The 3 distinct lights became dimmer, but the orange ‘haze’ was still visible. The light then ascended sharply until the witnesses could no longer see it.


Date: Monday, 12 December 2011

Time: Early hours of Monday morning

Location: Kaimai Ranges, Bay of Plenty, North Island

Features/characteristics: Lights, Arial object, and Non-Human Entity


A sighting initially of a large orange light, and then of a low-hovering, non-conventional aerial object and a non-human entity.  The object moved to within 5 metres of a group of hunters.  Read article:  ‘Hunters Tracked by a UFO and Its Occupant’

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2011

Time: 9pm

Location: Matamata, Waikato, North Island

Features/characteristics: configuration of red/orange lights


Three witnesses observed a diamond, or possibly triangular shaped configuration of orange-red lights in the sky. The configuration descended uniformly (indicating the lights were probably on a large single object) and slowly. It then hovered, ascended, descended a second time, before moving away from the witnesses. It then began an ascent into the sky and out of sight.

The witnesses reported the object’s movement initially looked slow and “heavy”, but as it moved away it moved much quicker. The object had quite a number of red-orange glowing lights on it.

Date: Sunday 4 December 2011

Time: 4.44am

Location: Queenstown, South Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light moving erratically


Starry night. Duration of sighting approx 2 minutes.

The witness was looking to the north at Orion’s Belt, when a light came into view moving at a similar speed to a satellite. It tracked southwards for some 30 seconds. It looked like a bright satellite, but the witness described the light it gave off as “concentrated”.
The light then began to alter its speed as it traveled across the sky in an arc to the south-west. It would speed up, slow down and moved erratically. The light would almost come to a standstill and then speed up again.

The witness was able to see this clearly using the surrounding stars as a reference. The light continued on its arc moving erratically until it was out of view because of distance.

Date: Friday 2 December 2011

Time: 11pm

Location: Mt Pleasant, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: large triangular object outlined by orange lights


Witness’s drawing of triangular object with accompanying smaller lights

Conditions partly cloudy with wide patches of clear sky in the east; fairly still with only a light breeze. Duration of sighting 10-12 seconds.
The witness was outside enjoying/observing the night sky before retiring to bed. He had observed two satellites, planes heading to Christchurch Airport over North Canterbury and the Southern Alps, occasional seabirds, and the ‘Light of Hope’ laser light from the CBD. He stood facing the eastern sky so as to avoid light pollution from the city and local lights.

A quick-moving set of red lights in the south caught his eye, and at first he thought it was a satellite, but it was moving too fast and low, and consisted of multiple lights. He discounted ameteorite as it was moving too slow to be this. He also discounted an aircraft given the size, proximity, and light colour and configuration. Also, it moved silently.

The witness recognized the object was very large and had a solid triangular body with red lights around the exterior or perimeter. They were not blinking, but were dullish and not overly bright.  There were also other independent red/orange lights preceding and following the object. These lights were pulsating and moving erratically.

The speed of the large object was fast and steady. He could clearly see the underside of it and the triangular shape as it moved from south to north. The witness quickly moved position further up his path to keep it in view as it flew overhead to the east. It was eventually lost from view beyond a tree line however, for a few seconds he could see it partly through the trees. During the 10-12 second sighting the witness saw the object move across approximately 50-60 % of the sky.

The witness has not observed anything similar in a lifetime of keen appreciation of nature, weather, photography, and casual night sky gazing.

Date: Saturday 19 November 2011

Time: 11.15am

Location: West Melton, near Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: daylight multiple witness sighting of triangular objects


Clear blue sky with high cirrus clouds. Duration: 5 sightings over a half hour period.

Over this period, three witnesses observed five instances of triangular shaped objects (which they described as “craft”) performing unusual manoeuvres at high altitude.
Sighting 1: 2 objects
Sighting 2: 1 object
Sighting 3: 2 objects
Sighting 4: 2 objects
Sighting 5: 1 object
The witnesses were of the opinion that a total of 2-3 objects were involved, due to the objects disappearing into the blue sky, and then reappearing as the next separate sighting.  The objects were approximately half the size of an airliner at altitude, but their silver triangular shape could be clearly discerned.

In the instances when 2 objects were sighted, they performed twisting and turning manouevres in and out of cirrus-type cloud (similar to aircraft ‘dog fighting’) in formation and at speeds estimated to be at least twice as fast as a jet fighter. One witness is familiar with jet fighter aircraft, and stated the manoeuvres the objects made were outside the ability of known jet fighters.

At the time of the sightings, the witnesses also observed a high flying jet leaving a contrail, and commented that the triangular objects did not leave any type of trail. All the triangular objects tracked south to north and traversed approximately 5/8 of the observable blue sky. The final sighting involved a single object, and one witness had the impression it slowed in speed and appeared to open ‘swing’ type wings before disappearing.

Ufocus NZ Comment:
This is a most interesting sighting in that it occurred in good daylight conditions, allowing for specific observations by the witnesses.
The possible known aircraft appearing in this part of the world, and having the semblance of a triangular shape would be from the USAF. These would be the B2 bomber, the F117 Nighthawk, the F22 Raptor, and the F35 Lightning.
The B2 bomber does not have the manoeuvring capabilities as witnessed.
The F117 was withdrawn from active service in April 2008.
The F22 has a triangular wing plan form with a noticeable characteristic cockpit nose extension.
The F35 also has a triangular wing plan form with a noticeable cockpit nose extension.
Neither the F22 nor the F35 have ‘swing wing’ capability.

Date: Tuesday 15 November 2011

Time: 10.30pm

Location: Browns Bay/Rangitoto Island, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: triangular light formation


Conditions overcast. Duration of sighting 4-5 minutes.

The witness observed three lights very low in an overcast sky just above Rangitoto Island and seaward of Browns Bay. The lights were in a triangular formation and appeared to be hovering over the sea. They were larger in appearance than a star, and shone with flickers of red, green and purple, but remained a very bright white most of the time. One light descended slowly and out of sight, before coming back into view. The witness went to get his partner but by the time they returned the lights were gone.

Date: Sunday 13 November 2011

Time: 11.25pm

Location: Browns Bay, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: erratically moving lights


Moon and stars were visible in a clear night sky. Duration of sighting approximately 4-5 minutes.

The witness observed two lights in the sky, just like a stars, small and very bright. One light moved from the centre of the sky (in his vision) upwards at speed and became stationary. The second moved upwards and close to the first, then moved erratically from side to side as it descended near to the horizon where it became stationary. It remained in this position for a brief moment before disappearing at high speed to the south-east. The witness looked for the first light after that, but it had also disappeared. The first light was the same size as the stars in the sky, and the witness initially thought it was a satellite until it shot upwards in the sky, faster than any plane he had seen.

Date: Thursday 10 November 2011

Time: 4.15am

Location: Queenstown, South Island

Features/characteristics: white lights moving erratically


The two witnesses were on a work break and watching the night sky, which was clear with stars visible. A light, which they initially thought to be a satellite due to its speed, appeared to the north of them tracking across and down the sky. It subsequently abruptly stopped and maintained its position for approximately two minutes, before making an ‘S’ type movement and disappearing in an right-hand arc to the east, fading from view. The light, (approximately the size of Mercury in the sky), gave the appearance of being in the upper atmosphere due to the refraction of its light emissions.

Approximately 5 minutes later the witnesses saw a similar light appear a considerable distance away from where the first object had disappeared. This light was moving southeast at the speed of a satellite, when it stopped abruptly to the east, and maintained this position for the remainder of the sighting period, until the witnesses had to return to work.

Date: Tuesday 8 November 2011

Time: 7.00pm

Location: Deanwell, Hamilton, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright orange light/object


Twilight, almost clear sky. Duration of sighting 60 seconds.

Two witnesses observed an orange light east of Hamilton, glowing so brightly that in the daylight it stood out easily, and appeared to be at a very high altitude. The light was cylindrical or oval. The witnesses estimated the brightness as being at least 10 times brighter than an aircraft landing light. It was at a high altitude but they could still see its distinct shape. “It looked like a bright orange tic-tac. The glow off it was amazing”
The fact the witnesses could see it easily gave them the impression that this light/object was quite large. They watched it travel at a consistent speed and altitude for more than 60 seconds, as it traversed the sky from an easterly direction toward the SSW of Hamilton. The track of the object gave the impression of a curved flight path. The object was lost to sight when it was obscured by cloud.

Date: Sunday 23 October 2011

Time: between 11.15 and midnight

Location: Sunnynook, North Shore, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright orange light(s)


Sky clear, stars visible, little wind. Duration of sighting approx 40 seconds.

The witness observed an orange light which moved across Sunnynook and on up the East Coast Bays in a northerly direction. The light changed direction towards the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in the northeast, and ‘switched off’ like a light.
The light was bright orange, emitting a glow around what appeared to be a central darker object. It made no noise, although the witness was able to clearly hear a small plane which was further away, lower in the sky, and flying in a different direction.

The witness estimated the light came within 1000 metres at its closest point as it moved over Sunnynook.

Date: Friday 14 October 2011

Time: 11.20 am

Location: Tapeka Point, Bay of Islands, North Island

Features/characteristics: anomalous orange object photographed


Overcast weather conditions.

The witness was on a sailing trip in the Bay of Islands. While looking towards land, he noticed an orange, roughly spherical object, hovering or stationary at an approximate altitude of 30 m, and approximately 800 m distant years above the hills. He observed the object for approximately 15 seconds. Not having binoculars available, he took a photograph with his DSLR camera and looked down at the image on the screen to check if he had captured the object. Upon looking up again to observe the object, he found it was gone. He did not have time to alert other people on the boat to its presence.

Large orange object visible in centre of photo above hills behind beach settlement.

Cropped image

Close up.

Date: Sunday 9 October 2011

Time: 10.35pm

Location: Army Bay/Stanmore Bay, Manly, Whangaparaoa, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: two orange lights travelling at speed


Fine clear conditions, no wind. Duration of sighting approximately 30 seconds in total.

Two witnesses were travelling home by car on the Whangaparaoa Peninsular when they noticed an extremely fast moving orange (ball-like) light travelling horizontally in the sky. The light was travelling from north-east to south-west at a speed faster than a light aircraft. They estimated the light was at an altitude of around 500 m.

The witnesses stopped the car and got out when they saw the first light and were surprised not to hear any noise associated with it as it passed overhead. This light was followed a few seconds later by a second light of approximately the same size and colour, travelling silently at the same speed on the same route.

Both witnesses formally lived in the UK between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and so I used to the lights from aircraft and to assessing their altitudes. Following this sighting, they submitted a report to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and Airways Corporation NZ, and requested information under the Official Information Act concerning radar data from that evening. They received a reply from Airways Corporation stating they had reviewed the radar data and advised that no targets were recorded between 10-11 pm on 9 October 2011 at Whangaparaoa Peninsular, and they could not comment as to what the objects the witnesses saw may have been.

Date: Saturday 17 September 2011

Time: 4am

Location: Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: anomalous blue light


Light low cloud, but clear visibility, light wind, moon. Duration of sighting 30-60 seconds.

A witness observed a hazy blue light moving quickly over Upper Riccarton, through the clouds. No further details

Date: Sunday 28 August 2011

Time: 7pm

Location: Kingsland, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright orange orb of light


Clear weather conditions. Duration of sighting10-15 minutes.

A witness was on his porch when he observed a silent reddish orange light in the northwestern sky, which at first he thought must be an aircraft. However he noticed it was stationary in the sky. The light began changing colour from orange to deep red, and to a glowing orange-yellow.

He alerted his friend to the light, and they called a third witness from inside the house. The light appeared to move towards the witnesses’ position, and at this point the first witness ran to get a camera. Upon returning, his friends told him the light had moved away to the northwest. Its glow softened as it moved quickly away and out of sight.

The witnesses also saw and heard an aircraft in the sky at the time, with conventional light configuration and colours. It was headed northwest in the direction of RNZAF Whenuapai Air Base and the witnesses are sure the pilot must have seen the light.

Date: Monday 27 June 2011

Time: 12:45 am

Location: Raglan Beach, west of Hamilton, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light


A stationary small star-like object to the NW of Raglan caught the attention of two witnesses due to it being much brighter than other stars in the vicinity. The night was clear, and during a ten minute period the object appeared to move in small erratic circles, and flash blue/green/orange, before eventually growing dimmer, prior to the witnesses leaving the area after 30 minutes.

Ufocus NZ Comment:
We consulted Stardome Observatory in Auckland. They considered the light could have been the bright star Arcturus, which is brighter than any of the other stars nearby. Over 30 minutes it would have dropped slowly towards the horizon. Vega was almost due north and Saturn almost due west, so they would not match the description of the light’s direction.

It was not Venus, as at this time of the year, Venus is quite close to the Sun and may only be seen in the east in the late dawn before the Sun rises.
The changing colours/movement may have been refraction caused by the starlight travelling through different atmospheric layers of warmer (less dense) and cooler (denser) air.

Date: Sunday 26 June 2011

Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Raurimu, near Owhango, King Country, North Island

Features/characteristics: two bright white lights hovering and changing position


Clear starry evening; light wind. Duration of sighting 5-6 minutes.

The witness was viewing the stars when he noticed two large intensely bright silvery-gold balls of light hovering side by side low over the hills to the NNW of his house at Raurimu. The lights were much brighter than a full moon. The witness immediately rang a friend who also confirmed the sighting.

Both lights were of the same size and brightness and were estimated to be 2-3 km distant. After hovering side by side, the right-hand light moved to hover above the other light. The bottom light then increased in brilliance, while the upper light moved off to the west then southwards at speed, and this was also witnessed by the friend. The remaining light then rose to assume the position vacated by the first light, and then it too proceeded west and southwards to disappear south of the village. As both lights moved away, their brightness visibly decreased. The second witness, who has an aviation background, was also interviewed and was positive the lights were not associated with any type of aircraft.

Date: Tuesday 21 June 2011

Time: between 11.15 and 11.30am

Location: Papamoa Beach, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island

Features/characteristics: falling light, cylindrical object


Daytime sighting, clear cloudless blue sky. Duration of sighting several minutes.

The witness looked out a window to see a very large bright light falling vertically from the sky. It came to a standstill out over the sea, and a cloud-like mist gathered around it. The witness now believed she must have been mistaken, and that it was just a cloud. She watched the cloud as it stayed stationary, then began to move slowly lower. At this point she called out to a neighbour and a nearby workman, who both also observed the mist form into a distinct tear-drop shape, as the cloud moved position from side-to-side. The three witnesses were then shocked to see a long bright silver cylindrical object, estimated to be 20-30 feet long, emerge from the cloud and move off rapidly south in the direction of Te Puke.

The first witness described it as “like a silver ruler in the sky!”
The neighbor observed a purple glow coming from the rear of the object as it headed away.  None of the witnesses heard any sound associated with this event, yet they heard an aircraft in the sky to the west after the sighting.

Ufocus NZ comment: The first witness called the local radio station to see if anyone else had reported seeing this event. The next day the radio station interviewed the witness on air, and claimed the sighting could be explained by a large aircraft in the area carrying out aerial tests for the presence of ash from the Chilean volcano. The witness stated categorically that the light/object she and the other two witnesses observed could not be compared with a large aircraft and that the light/object had not made any noise. In addition, the light/object they observed had fallen vertically, and remained stationary for some time, which an aircraft could not do. The radio announcer dismissed their observations in favour of his explanation that it was an aircraft they had observed.
A UFOCUS NZ staff member was travelling into Tauranga from the northwest at approximately 11.30 am. She observed a large matt metallic grey aircraft flying slowly inland to the west from the direction of Tauranga Airport. The engines were clearly audible as it passed over Tauranga Harbour. It could not be compared to the description provided by the witnesses.

Date: Sunday 22 May 2011

Time: Approx 8pm

Location: Manly, Whangaparaoa, North Island

Features/characteristics: lights in formation execute acute-angled turn


Clear sky. Duration of sighting approx 4 seconds.

A witness sighted two bright orange/gold lights approaching from the south east. They were at high altitude, travelling in a straight line, and their speed was constant. During the time the observer watched them, they travelled halfway across the sky before making a sudden 45 degree change of direction. They disappeared at speed away from the witness to the northwest.

Date: Sunday 17 April 2011

Time: 4.30-5.00 am

Location: Ohope Beach, Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, North Island

Features/characteristics: light moving erratically; multiple witnesses


A crystal clear, starlit night. Duration of sighting approx 20 minutes.

The witness finished work at 3 a.m. and drove to the west end of Ohope Beach with a friend. At around 4:30 am the witness noticed an oval bright light in the sky and drew her friend’s attention to it. At first they thought it was most likely to be a satellite, or plane. After observing the light for some 10 minutes they noticed it became very dim for about 20 seconds, before brightening considerably in intensity again. The light then began to move erratically in the sky, moving in circles over an area, then moving backwards and forwards over that area on a straight path for approx 2 minutes before becoming stationary and increasing in intensity.

The light then dimmed until it was no longer visible. It reappeared in a different position in the sky where it began the same process and movements as described above. The light reappeared a third time in its original position and repeated the procedure again. It finally dimmed until no longer visible, and the witnesses did not see the light again.

The reporting witness felt scared and confused, and could not rationalize what she had seen.

Date: Saturday 16 April 2011

Time: 10.40pm

Location: Between Otorohanga and Pirongia, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light travelling at speed


Some light cloud; stars and moon visible. Duration of sighting 2-3 seconds.

The witnesses were driving home to Pirongia when they both sighted what they assumed to be a meteor coming into the atmosphere and burning up. The light was much bigger than a ‘shooting star’, with which they are familiar, and it did not fall earthwards, but seemed to maintain a more level flight path, tracking very fast from the southeast of them toward Hamilton. The light was silver-white, left a trail and appeared to be much lower in the sky than a shooting star would normally be. The large light “blinked out”, and as it did so, a smaller light broke away from it and dropped towards the west at a right angle to the path the larger light was on.

Ufocus NZ comment: Possible meteor.

Date: Monday 11 April 2011

Time: 5.00 am

Location: Lyttelton, Canterbury, South Island

Features/characteristics: circular group of bright lights


Clear, starry night. Duration of sighting from darkness to sunrise.

Two witnesses observed an intensely bright light above the eastern hills of Lyttelton. It was stationary above the hill line. The witnesses observed the light through binoculars and saw that it was actually a circular group of lights. They telephoned a friend, who also observed the light(s). The lights were lost from view in daylight.

The two witnesses took photos, in which the lights appeared red and blue.

Date: Sunday 20 March 2011

Time: 5.45am

Location: Hawera, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white light makes U-shaped manoeuvre


Clear conditions with soft morning glow, stars and moon visible. Duration of sighting 10-12 seconds.

The witness was driving to work when he happened to look up and noticed a star-like object through the windscreen of his car. At first he thought he was looking at a shooting star. The unusual light appeared much brighter than Venus. It was approximately the size of a ten cent piece held at arm’s length, initially appearing some ten finger-widths above the horizon. It traveled at “shooting star speed” in an upward arc, and then suddenly commenced a downward, and then an upward manoeuvre in a U shape, giving the appearance of being controlled in its movements. As it climbed out of the U shape, it blinked out.

Date: Thursday 10 March 2011

Time: 11.30pm

Location: Waiheke Island, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange lights hover and move at speed; unusual shaped object


Very clear night; no noticeable clouds or wind. Duration of sighting three to four minutes.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. to witnesses were having a coffee on a yacht moored in Matiatia Bay, Waiheke Island, when they noticed three bright orange/red balls of light in a triangular formation to the south east, over the Coromandel Peninsula or possibly over the sea between the Peninsula and the observers. The lights remained stationary for approx two minutes before moving higher in the sky, then disappearing together at “incredible speed” out of sight.

Approx 30 seconds later another single orange/red glowing ball of light appeared from the west to north east, following the direction of the three previous lights. This light became stationary for approx one minute then disappeared at the speed of the previous lights, up into the atmosphere.

Almost immediately following this, a further single orange/red light approached from the same direction as the previous lights and repeated the manoeuvre. The witnesses considered whether the single lights were from the original group of three.

During the third event, one of the witnesses viewed the light for 1-2 minutes using high-powered Ocean Binoculars while it was stationary and moving slowly. He described it as a ball-shaped object at one end, with a cylinder shape attached, which had one continuous light along the visible side.

After this light had disappeared in a similar fashion to the previous five lights, the witnesses waited and watched the sky for another 30 minutes, but did not observe any further phenomena. They noted the lights and their movements did not conform to conventional aircraft, the appearance of stars or planets, or the appearance and characteristic movements of satellites or meteors. The witnesses are accustomed to observing such objects.

Date: Thursday 10 March 2011

Time: between 9.00-10.00pm

Location: Waimate, between Timaru and Oamaru, South Island

Features/characteristics: flashing red light moving at speed


Rainy conditions; some stars visible. Duration of sighting several minutes.

Two witnesses were driving between Timaru and Oamaru when the first witness noticed a stationary red light flashing white ‘flecks’ intermittently. As the witness watched the light, it appeared that the light was pacing the car. The witness drew the light to the attention of the second witness, and both watched the light as it moved further away through the sky and could no longer be seen. They observed the light change speed and rapidly move from north to south east and out of sight. The witnesses were looking south towards Dunedin.

Date: Tuesday 8 March 2011

Time: approx. 11.38 pm

Location: Swanson (sighted over Waitakere Ranges), Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright white flashing light performs acute-angled turn


Some cloud low in the sky. Duration of sighting roughly three minutes.

The witness was outside on his deck when he saw a flash in his peripheral vision and turned his head to check what it was. Within a second there was another flash of light and he noticed a bright light, much larger and brighter than a star, coming across the sky. It appeared from the direction of South Auckland heading northwest, before making a sudden 90 degree change of course heading out across the Waitakere Ranges and accelerating out over the sea in the west.

The light moved faster than a satellite, or the conventional speeds of a plane or aircraft. The light was clearly visible high in the sky and passed directly overhead. As it approached it appeared larger in size, pulsing like a flashlight being turned on and off. It changed course suddenly, not at all like an aircraft, with no banking or observable flight time to alter course. The light increased in speed and soon travelled too fast for the witness to follow and he lost sight of it.

Date: Monday 28 February 2011

Time: approx 2 am

Location: Brightwater, Nelson, South Island

Features/characteristics: bright light moving at speed; executes acute loop and turns


The witness woke to the sound of a lot of dogs in the neighbourhood barking. He went to investigate to make sure his dog was okay as it was unusual for it to be barking. Some of the dogs were making strange howling noises which the witness considered to be unusual. While calming his dog down, the witness looked up into the sky to the north-west towards Kaiteriteri/Motueka. He noticed a very large bright white light which he thought was a star. As he was looking at it, the light suddenly shot straight up into the sky and executed a loop at high speed, doubling back on itself before shooting across the sky and disappearing towards the horizon.

The witness decided to report the sighting in early March, as the unusual aspects of it had been worrying him. He could not make any sense of what he had witnessed, and did not consider the lights could have been in an aircraft due to the time of night, and the speed at which the light had executed sudden changes of direction.

Date: Saturday 26 February 2011

Time: 8.00-8.30pm and 9.00-9.30pm

Location: Victoria Street, Hamilton, North Island

Features/characteristics: two orange lights


The sky was partly cloudy with many stars visible at the time of these sightings.

The witness was with friends when they observed two lights above or just near the broken cloud base estimated at 2000 feet. Both lights were orange in colour, and were in view for some 5 minutes each.

The witness was able to use binoculars to observe the second light which was traveling at considerable speed. The lights both traveled in a SE to NW direction, and were lost to view behind the clouds.

Date: Saturday 19 February 2011

Time: 9.00-9.30 pm

Location: Pyes Pa, Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange ball of light


Weather at the time of the sighting was a broken cloud base of approximately 2000 feet, with light showers.

The witness and a friend observed a dull orange ball of light traveling north to south from Port Tauranga to Oropi. The light was traveling at helicopter speed, and appeared to be above the cloud. There was no strobe light as there would be on a helicopter. There was no light reflecting off the clouds from the object, and it was lost to view behind the clouds.

Date: Saturday 12 February 2011

Time: approx 10.35pm

Location: Mairangi Bay, North Shore City, North Island

Features/characteristics: three bright lights traveling at speed.


High cirrus type cloud with minimal stars visible. Duration of sighting 2-3 minutes.

At approximately 10:35 pm the witness and partner sighted 3 very intense bright lights traveling at speed in a straight line east to west.  The lights were below the cloud base, but not reflecting any light upward onto the cloud. Using binoculars, the lights appeared circular, but the witness could not see any objects within the lights due to their intense brightness.  The three main lights seemed to have other lights flicking on and off around their outer peripheries.

The witness is a former pilot, and estimated the height of the lights as being at an altitude of some 25,000 feet.

The first light was white, the second was brilliant red, and the third was green, and their size was estimated as very large, being as large as a saucer held at arm’s length. The speed of the lights did not appear to vary during the duration of the sighting, and all disappeared over the western horizon.

The lights did not leave “tails” and were completely silent in their passage.

At the time of the sighting, the witness also observed a passenger aircraft descending to land at Auckland International Airport.  The lights of this aircraft were nothing like the other three lights he had observed.

Date: Monday 31 January 2011

Time: approx 9.45pm

Location: Waitarere Beach, Levin, North Island

Features/characteristics: large orange/red light; three small white lights forming triangular formation


Clear night sky, westerly wind. Duration of sighting about 5 minutes.

The witness was looking through his glass garage door to the south, when he noticed a bright orange/red light. At first he did not think much of it and presumed it was a planet, however as he was watching the light it went out a view behind the central frame of the door. The witness assumed he had probably just moved his head without realizing, so he moved slightly in order to view the light again, and again, the light moved slowly behind the central frame of the door.

The witness went through the door into the courtyard and lined the light up with a corner of the roof of his house, and again it very slowly moved out of view to the west. He moved in order to keep a view of the light and for the next minute it moved west in the sky across the roofline.

Witness’s diagram showing movement of the 4 lights

At this stage the witness thought it was most likely a satellite and continued to watch it.

However, the light began to fade in intensity, and as it did so, another much smaller white light suddenly appeared just to the left of it and began to move slowly straight downwards, before turning 90° to the west. The witness knocked on the backdoor to attract his wife’s attention to come and have a look. As he was doing this he saw a second small white light appear to the right of the larger light and start moving down and to the west at about a 45° angle. The witness’s wife came out to watch and as he was pointing towards the lights, a third small white light appeared below the original and headed west towards the other two small lights. By now the original light had faded somewhat and the other three smaller lights were already hard to spot as they now headed southwest, maintaining a changing triangular formation.

The original orange/red light faded out completely over distance, and the witness lost track of the other three as he tried to explain to his wife what he had been observing. He stayed outside from another five minutes but did not spot the lights again.

The witness also stated that this was the third time in the last two months he had seen unusual lights in the sky. Prior to the last two months, he had never seen anything in the sky he could not explain as being an aircraft, satellite, or natural phenomenon.

Date: Wednesday 26 January 2011

Time: 9-9:15 pm

Location: Martins Bay, North of Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: triangular object with large red light


A large intensely bright red light was observed on a clear night by some 10-12 people as it traveled along the East Coast between Kauwau Island and North of the Whangaparoaoa Peninsula, at an altitude of approximately a kilometre. The light traveled on a course between Kawau Island and half a kilometre or so North of Motuketekete Island, heading towards the southern end of Martins Bay. When it was about half a kilometre from the shore, it veered left, making a 50 to 60 degree turn, and headed towards Wenderholm and Waiwera.

There seemed to be no noticeable change it altitude or brilliance as it came toward the witnesses, but after the turn, the red light could not be seen, just a very dimmed light was visible from side on.

The principal witness viewed the object through binoculars and was able to discern a triangular shape that was darker than the night sky behind it. There were no other lights on the triangular object, apart from the one red light. The red light projected in a 180 degree arc from the top of the triangle. It was as if the triangle was flying standing on end, with the wide base being wide at the bottom and the top being a point.

Ufocus NZ Comment:
The principal witness is currently an international cabin crew member for a major airline. He has some 17 years aircrew experience, and during that time he has spent many hours on the flight deck, and observing the environment and sky out aircraft windows. This is the first such sighting he has experienced.

Date: Tuesday 11 January 2011

Time: 10.36-10.39 pm

Location: Arrowtown, South Island

Features/characteristics: red light emitting gold glow; noise as light moves off


Duration of sighting approximately 3 minutes.

The witness observed a small red light with a bright gold light around it, or to the rear of it. He watched the light as it moved up a nearby valley from the North West, moving slowly, and similar to the speed of a helicopter. The light moved across the sky and hovered above the township. The witness was situated at a high point in Arrowtown, and estimated it to be some 800 m in altitude, and about 1 km away.

After a minute to two, he called his wife to come and witness the event, mainly due to the fact that it was a quiet evening and the sight made no noise that they could hear. They both watched the light, which remained stationary for about 30 seconds before it proceeded directly north, still making no noise, and moved into light cloud about 2 to 3 km north of Arrowtown. As it disappeared from view, both witnesses heard a thrusting noise similar to that of a jet engine for about five seconds, but saw and heard no more after that.

Date: Saturday 1 January 2011

Time: evening

Location: Alderman Islands, some 20km east of Tairua & Pauanui, Coromandel, NI

Features/characteristics: two intense flashes of light


Fine, clear conditions; many stars.
Two witnesses were at anchor on their yacht at the middle island of the Alderman Islands, off the Coromandel coastline. They were looking up at the stars in an easterly direction. At an elevation of approximately 50 degrees, well above the rock pinnacle, they both observed two flashes of intense light over a 20 second interval. The intense flashes of light were similar in colour to blue/white Xeon car lights. The size of the source was at least 30 percent of the apparent diameter of the moon, and there was no obvious motion or sound associated with the bright flashes of light.

The light emitted by the flashes lit up the sky, although there was no apparent thunder or lightning on this clear night.

Ufocus NZ comment:  irridium flare?