NZ Astronomer UFO Sightings


1972 - Astronomer sees yellow sphere UFO over Wairau Valley, Blenheim, Sth Is.

This is an excerpt from an article printed in the Blenheim Marlborough Express, just 4 days after the ‘Kaikoura lights’ sightings over Cooks Strait, Marlborough and the Kaikoura coast, December/January 1978 -79.

‘Astronomer Discounts Venus and Weather’

A well-known astronomer, Mr John Morgan, of Renwick, feels “a wee bit uptight about people who explain the UFO sightings as Venus and weather phenomena.”

“I am an assistant director of the New Zealand Astronomical Society, and I watch great chunks of sky,” he told The Express today.

“I have a special interest in meteors and when observing am not concentrating on one star, but on about one-third of the night sky.”

“The Clarence Bridge sightings are UFOs. I have seen them myself four times. They were similar to the object shown on the Australian television film.”

First Sighting
Mr Morgan particularly remembers his first sighting. That was on March 10, 1972.

“I have seen two or three since. The first was about four miles away over the Wairau Valley. It was a yellow sphere, and it was tracking a small aircraft, a Cessna or some such plane. I watched it for five minutes. It was at a height of about 500 m. The time of the observation was 8.35 pm.”

The local liaison officer for the Carter Observatory, Mr Roger North, confirms one of the sightings. He was with Mr Morgan at the time.
“It was a bright light. We could not explain what it was.”

Source: The Marlborough Express, Thursday January 4 1979.



One of the 'Kaikoura lights' photographed over Cooks Strait 1978/9.



Astronomer confirms seeing unidentified bright light

This is an excerpt from an article entitled ‘Astronomer discounts Venus and weather’ printed in the Blenheim Marlborough Express, just 4 days after the ‘Kaikoura lights’ sightings over Cooks Strait, Marlborough and the Kaikoura coast, December/January 1978 -79. It continues on from the excerpt above.

“The local liaison officer for the Carter Observatory, Mr Roger North, confirms one of the sightings. He was with Mr Morgan at the time.
“It was a bright light. We could not explain what it was.”

Incident
Just before Christmas, Mr North learned of an incident along the highway near Ward. A motorcyclist was riding home to Ward from Blenheim when he was followed by a bright light in the sky above and behind him.

“He was pretty scared. In fact, he was petrified and rode home as quickly as he could.
We don't know what it was.”
Mr North suggested that the present spate of sightings might be a “dimensional thing.” Though it sounded like science fiction, dimensional travel could be a possibility. Could the area off Clarence be a dimensional window?

Black Birch
Meanwhile, the Carter Observatory on Black Birch has been unmanned during the Christmas and New Year holidays and, consequently, during the times Wellington radar and Argosy pilots recorded and saw unexplained echoes and lights.

The Observatory extends a bird’s eye view of the Marlborough east coast where the initial and consequent sightings of lights and objects have been made.
Today a Victoria University lecturer, Mr J. Troddle, will move in at the Observatory with some sophisticated equipment to observe an occultation of a star by the moon.

Mr North says that he will ask Mr Troddle to keep an eye out for anything unusual.

Mr North does not discount the existence of UFOs. An amateur astronomer himself, with a special interest in the Magellan Clouds, he has observed several explainable objects in the night sky over the years.

Source: The Marlborough Express, Thursday January 4 1979.




Mysterious 'Kaikoura light' photographed over Cooks Strait/Kaikoura 1978/9.

Photographic imageof the famous 'Kaikoura lights' of 1978 taken from onboard the Argosy aircraft. These images were at first identified as the planet Venus by a number of astronomers, and this perspective was quickly adopted by the press and relayed to the public. However this was later proved to be incorrect, as Venus had not yet risen at the time the photos were taken. The pilots were experienced professionals who were well aware the light they were observing was not Venus


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