Geometry in the Sky

Copyright © 2007 Suzanne Hansen

Rectangle, rectangular prism, trapezium. No – not a geometry lesson, but a list of shapes of unidentified objects seen in New Zealand skies in 2007.

Trapezium-shaped object, National Park, Central North Island

On 8 March 2007, at around 10.30 pm a policeman (Witness 1) and friend (Witness two) were out 'spotlighting' feral deer in a rugged area of the central North Island volcanic plateau very close to active Mount Ruapehu. They decided to travel up the railway line on their way home to National Park Village, and drove through an area of around 80 hectares of land where the scrub had been burnt down to the dirt.

As the pair crossed the main trunk line in their vehicle, Witness 1 commented, “We’ve got company!” Looking back down the burnt area around 80 metres away, they saw a strange display of lights roughly at or near ground level: four very bright red/orange lights evenly spaced, and a larger single yellowish light above. The lights illuminated an odd trapezium-shaped object. A quick conversation passed back and forth between the two men. Witness 1 thought it must be a vehicle, but Witness 2 disagreed and commented that most people would not even consider entering that rugged terrain in a vehicle, especially at night. They thought it could be a fire in front of an object, or a large tent with lights inside it – although extremely unlikely in this area.

To end the quick debate, Witness 2 jumped out of the now stationary vehicle to shine the spotlight on this unknown object (the spotlight unplugged as he exited the vehicle). Much to their surprise and amazement the object, described as ‘bigger than a bus’, immediately rose up and took off, making an extremely swift and completely silent exit in a southerly direction at very low altitude. The two men observed the lights just suddenly vanish, as if they had been switched off.

Witness 2's drawing of the object they observed.

The next day the two men returned to the location and conducted a ground search for any marks or indentations where they had seen the stationary object. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, they surmised the object had likely been hovering just above ground level. They realized it had been concealed in a little dip in the land, obscured from view from nearby National Park Village houses. Just 100m southwest of where the object was seen is a railway power substation, and National Park Village is situated some 500m north of the area.

When interviewed, Witness 2 noted that as they approached the railway line, they should have been able to see the object or the glow from the lights, as it would have been roughly in front of them. However it was not until they turned their vehicle that Witness 1 (the policeman) suddenly noticed the lights, which may have been switched on briefly before take-off.

Witness 2 stated, “I keep going over and over what we saw, but can’t make any sense of it. My friend thought people would think we were mad if we reported it. I don’t know if it is connected, but I have had a dry throat since. This is the second time in my life I have seen something inexplicable”.
(The witness described having seen an orange glowing cigar-shaped object with his brother in 1977 when he was eight years old (this coincides with a UFO ‘flap’ that occurred in NZ at the time).


Rectangular prism-shaped object, Pyes Pa Highway, Tauranga/Rotorua, North Island

On 11 March 2007, in a daylight sighting, a witness observed a rectangular-shaped (shoe box shaped) object in the sky near Rotorua, central North Island. Strange - you may think? Impossible aerodynamics? In fact box-shaped craft are regularly seen and reported all over the world. I saw one myself in 1991, also hovering over the Pyes Pa Highway forestry between Rotorua and Tauranga. 

Trapezium-shaped object, Tauranga, North Island

Five days later on 16 March 2007, at around 11 pm, two witnesses had another unusual sighting lasting around five minutes. It occurred near a rural subdivision on the outskirts of Tauranga city, when a witness was accompanying a friend to her car in the driveway. They looked up to see a large (bus sized or larger) amber/orange glowing object moving slowly eastward above treetops beyond the subdivision. As the object moved closer, the shape appeared to be rectangular; as the object moved higher, the sides appeared to be sloped at an angle like a trapezium. At one stage it tilted briefly and appeared to have an oval shape on the top. It was lost from view in cloud over the sea.



An artist's impression of the glowing orange object sighted by the two female witnesses.

The two women were shocked by what they had seen. Witness 1 considered it was a UFO, as the object moved soundlessly and did not have wings or resemble any known aircraft. Witness 2 did not believe in the existence of UFOs and insisted it was a satellite or meteorite (neither are possible explanations for the object).  She hoped Tauranga Air Traffic Control would confirm that it had been an aircraft, however ATC stated that there were no aircraft over this area at the time of the sighting.

The similarity between the three objects sighted in March 2007 is striking, particularly the March 8 and 16 sightings, both of which appeared to be trapezium-shaped with glowing amber/orange lights. The witnesses to the March 11 and March 16 sightings both commented that the object appeared to look slightly different in shape as it turned and tilted. The hunters in the March 8 sighting noted a large yellow light on top of the object, which could account for the description given by the two women of an oval shape on top of the object they sighted. It is possible that all sightings were actually of the same object, allowing for variations in movement of the object and angle of observation.

As is the case with some New Zealand UFO sightings, these objects were sighted around the time of considerable seismic and volcanic activity, particularly in the Central North Island:

  1. 15 Feb: White Is; lake temp. reaches highest ever recorded; lake level drops 6m
  2. 21 Feb: Auckland rocked by 3 Hauraki Gulf earthquakes, 4.5 Richter scale max.
  3. Feb – March: earthquakes throughout central Nth Is
  4. 17 Mar: Mt Ruapehu crater lake swells; lahar warning issued
  5. 18 Mar: Lahar occurs and flows over unstable crater lake lip
  6. 19-20 Mar: Swarm of over 100 earthquakes following lahar
  7. 21 Mar: Neighbouring Mt Ngauruhoe shakes into life after 30 years of deep sleep
  8. Early April onwards: numerous earthquake swarms near Matata, & central Nth Is

Similarly, on June 13, 2005, the crew and skippers of two charter boats traveling off Whakatane, Nth Is., observed a large glowing red object, that briefly followed one of the boats, and moved up and down the coastline before hovering over the Matata hills for several hours. There had been numerous swarms of earthquakes occurring very shallow beneath Matata in the preceding weeks, and at the time of the sighting.


Further reading:

For more info on unusual craft shapes visit: http://www.uforth.com/
For more info on recent NZ seismic activity visit:
http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/quakes/recent_quakes.html


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