|Flight Officer Hosie had not long left base on a cross-country training flight, and was climbing to a pre-determined normal coordinate before leveling off and taking up his new heading.
Just as Flight Officer Hosie's aircraft was approaching operational altitude of 20,000 feet at heading 060 true in clear sky conditions, speed 380 to 400 knots ground speed, he spotted a rapidly flashing light ahead of him at 10 o'clock. The flashing light was immediately mistaken for another aircraft at an altitude slightly above Hosie’s aircraft, moving at approximately the same speed. Had Hosie maintained his present heading, the flashing light would have crossed in front of the aircraft from left to right. The flashing light appeared to be on a near easterly heading.
Flight Officer Hosie was immediately disturbed by the presence of another suspect aircraft in an area well clear of normal air routes (civil), and no other Canberras should have been present.
The pilot therefore immediately contacted Ohakea Tower flight control, who acknowledged there were no other aircraft in the area. Flight control then double- checked with Wellington (80 miles south of Ohakea, civil and military flight control centre) and they confirmed that no known aircraft was in the area. (No private planes can operate at this height in New Zealand).
Flight Officer Hosie noted that the bright flashing light emitted two flashes per second, and although he had the ‘unknown’ under observation for a full minute, it maintained its brilliance. The light passed between his aircraft and a background of cloud. Hosie established that the light that was 3 miles distant, when he was then required to change course northwards to carry on his flight exercise.
There was no cloud below Hosie's aircraft, and there was no moon. There was no radio interference or any other unusual effect from the presence of the light.
A full report was requested by the Air Department, who followed up with further questions to clarify certain features of the incident. The navigator did not see the unidentified light as he was busy with position plotting at the time. The flashing light was clear white in colour. The object was beyond surveillance radar range (Wellington).
Other UFO / UAP sightings from March 1963
‘Unidentified Flying Object Seen’
The Daily Telegraph, Napier, 12 March 1963
A bright green unidentified flying object was sighted by a Napier woman on Sunday night. It was seen from Nelson Crescent and appeared to be moving fast across the northwestern sky. Mrs T. P. Husheer, who sighted the object, said this morning it was between half and a quarter the size of a full moon and had a large fiery green tail about six times as large as its body.
“When I was a small girl, I saw Halley's Comet, and from what I can remember it was something like that”, said Mrs Hasheer. She chose to the object at 8:47 p.m.
“It was traveling so fast, I saw it only for two or three seconds”, she said.
Civil aviation authorities reported they had no knowledge of aircraft in the vicinity at the time.
‘Object in the Sky’
The Wairoa Star, 13 March 1963
A group of Lucknow Street residents watched an object travel across the sky on Monday night, with considerable interest. It was seen by Mr H. L Ratcliffe, who described it as “a green star traveling quite fast’. From similar recent reports, there is little doubt the object seen by the people was a satellite.
UFOCUS NZ note: A satellite would neither ‘green’ nor ‘traveling quite fast’.
‘Object in the Sky’
The Manawatu Evening Standard, Palmerston North, Tuesday 26 March 1963
A Hastings resident, who was camped near Hunterville last Sunday, was completely mystified by an object he saw in the sky at about 8:30 p.m. The camper, Mr A. Taylor, said the object, which was directly overhead, was similar to a small star, only reddish in colour. He watched the object for about 20 minutes, and during this time, it moved firstly to the right and then to the left, and later returned to its original position. Mr Taylor said it was smaller than Mars and did not leave any trail when it moved. “It could not possibly have been a planet and was obviously something controlled”, Mr Taylor said.