|The witness to the sighting is a 26 year old male saw-mill operator. The sighting occurred when he was walking home along Cameron Road, between 10th and 11th Avenues, having visited friends.
It was a warm, still evening. The sky was very clear and cloudless, and there were many stars visible. The witness had occasionally been glancing at the sky to admire the stars as he was walking.
Some movement of light caught his eye, and he saw three oval lights approaching in a triangular formation, moving from south to north at an estimated 80 kms/hr. The lights looked strange, as although they were bright, they were not diffusive or radiating light. They appeared to be very low - below 500 feet, but despite this, the witness could not make out any form or outline of an object. His initial thought was that it was an aircraft, however he realized that there was no sound at all.
As the lights came closer he saw that they were large, circular, and bright yellow/white. He described them as, "Like bright dinner plates - flat, not sending out a beam or glow of light, but still extremely bright." The formation was "bigger than a car, but smaller than a house." He became apprehensive when the lights changed configuration as they came closer and passed overhead. The two rear lights moved forwards diagonally, and merged with the leading light briefly becoming one, before moving back to the triangular formation. The witness said, "It was quick - and you could see an 'after-blur' of the movement."
He watched the lights continue silently on their course repeating this pattern, until they were no longer visible. He stated he had felt both excited and apprehensive at the same time.
UFOCUS NZ comment: Hamilton Air Traffic Control informed UFOCUS NZ that there were no scheduled aircraft in the Tauranga area at that time and date. Both Tauranga and Rotorua airports were closed for the night. An unofficial source informed us that there may have been SAS manoeuvres in the area at that time, possibly in conjunction with the airforce. However, following enquiries with Whenuapai Operations, we were told that there were no military aircraft in the area at that time and date. SAS manoeuvres took place in following weeks.
The triangular formation of lights moved in a northerly direction. The rear two lights merged with the lead light becoming one, then returned to the triangular configuration. This pattern was repeated as the lights moved across the sky.
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