Duration of sighting approx. 5 minutes.
Moonlight, stars, some clouds to the south, clear to the north.
The witness was located on the eastern side of Lake Taupo, looking west over the lake. He went out onto his deck and noticed a light breaking through clouds in the far distance, in the south-west. He initially thought it was an unusual aircraft light as it seemed to be orange, and bigger than aircraft landing lights. However there was no strobe light, or other conventional aircraft lights. He could not hear any sound associated with a light. The light was moving at a slower speed compared to the usual aircraft approaching the town. It could be seen through (beyond) bordering trees, flew horizontally, and then gradually rose higher. It was not particularly bright and was distorted by wispy clouds. The light was below cloud level and flying cross-wind.
Thinking the light was unusual, the witness called to his wife and son to come and have a look at it. They viewed the light through binoculars (8 power, 30 field of view). With the night sky lit by moonlight, they saw a very large saucer-shaped black shape, or object outlined above and behind the orange light, an oval shape with a sharpish ‘tail’. By now, they were able to see the outline of the object with the naked eye.
One witness noticed there was another light coming into view, following the same SW to NE trajectory, and within 30 seconds, another followed. They watched the lights climb high in the northern sky. Two further lights appeared following the same path, making a total of five lights sighted. All were the same size and brightness. The last two lights were photographed.
The last light appeared to be lower and closer than the preceding four, with the dark 'body' visible as an oval or elliptical shape with 'flat' orange lights around it's perimeter. This object climbed faster to the northeast until it was pin-size, as observed through binoculars. Due to circumstances, the witnesses were unable to ascertain whether the 2d, 3rd, and 4th lights were accompanied by dark shapes also.
In the photo the witness provided, the light is distinctive, with a vague triangular shape apparent to the left of, and above the light.
See similar sightings below: