New Zealand UFO Sightings 2015

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The extent of our investigation and analysis of sighting reports is dependent upon the data received, and the length of time elapsed between the sighting event and the receipt of a report.  If applicable, additional comments are made at the bottom of a report.  Each report is only a brief summary of the full details.

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Page last updated:  Monday 12 September 2016

Date: Wednesday 2 December 2015
Time: 10.20 pm
Location: Taupaki, Waitakere, Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: unusual (unconventional) flying object
Clear night sky. Duration of sighting 1 to 2 minutes.
The witness was driving along Taupaki Road towards the railway crossing when she noticed what she thought was an aircraft, visible hovering over trees and houses. The object appeared to be around the size of an average house. It began moving slowly, certainly not at the normal speed of an aircraft. It moved on a parallel course to the road in a westerly direction then turned towards Swanson; she kept glancing through the passenger window to get a better view of it. She noticed it had short wings (sloping/delta) and observed three bright lights, red and blue, illuminating an undercarriage - what she described as a ‘carriage’ or ‘box’ underneath the object, with two large square windows brightly illuminated. She drove to the corner of Taupaki Road and turned left into Waitakere Road, and was able to keep the object in view for at least half the length of Waitakere Road. The proximity of the object was difficult to determine.
As the witness lived nearby, she accelerated to get home in order to alert her partner and son to this object however it disappeared in the interim. As her car windows were closed she cannot say whether the object made any noise, and she commented she has never seen an aircraft matching the description of this object.
The witness posted her sighting on a community blog in the hope of finding other witnesses, and delivered flyers to houses in the area where she saw the object hovering.

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2015
Time: 9.15 pm
Location: Tokomaru Bay, East Coast, North Island
Features/characteristics: 2 large airborne objects/aircraft
Overcast sky with some low cloud. Duration of sighting 6-8 seconds.
The witness heard a jet engine sound and ran outside. It was unusual to hear aircraft in this area, the only usual aircraft being helicopters.
He observed two large aircraft fly down the valley towards his position, turning directly overhead in formation in a southerly direction down the coastline towards Gisborne. The wingtips had bright red lights, and white lights highlighted the underneath of the aircraft enabling him to see panels on their undersides. He could clearly see the body and wings of the objects but not the tails. He estimated their altitude at about 200 m; they seemed to be flying low.

UFOCUS NZ comment: it is likely the witness saw military aircraft that were in New Zealand at that time to take part in military exercises: see Whakatane newspaper article below.

Date: Saturday 24 October 2015
Time: 11.30-12.10am
Location: Reporoa, Central North Island
Features/characteristics: flashing coloured lights
Crystal clear skies. Duration of sighting 40 min.
The witnesses, a farmer and his wife, observed flashing red/orange, blue, and white lights, in a strobe effect, moving from right to left (clockwise) around an object. The object was high in the sky to the east (towards the coast). The lights appeared stationary in the sky and at first the farmers assumed it was a plane flying directly towards them. However they grabbed binoculars to take a closer look at the lights, and observed a white beam of light extending down below the lights. They described the beam of light as like “looking at a diamond sparkling”. The beam of light extended down from the object two more times during the duration of sighting. They attempted to capture this on film but were unable to pick it up with their camera. After watching the light for quite some time, they lost interest and went inside, returning 5 minutes later however the object was no longer visible. The object/lights had remained stationary the entire time the farmers were watching it.

Date: Friday 4 September, 2015
Time: 10.05 pm
Location: Point Chevalier, Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: bright yellow ‘torpedo-shaped’ object
Weather mainly clear with some light cloud. Duration of sighting 60 seconds.
The witness looked at the night sky from her front porch before retiring to bed. She observed a large very bright flying object, shaped rather like a torpedo, crossing the sky from roughly north east to south west. The object glowed bright yellow, with a circular bright red light on its upper surface. The red light had a faint ‘halo’ around and above it.
The object was high in the sky, and the witness estimated it was not travelling as fast as a jet plane would. She commented that usually hears passing aircraft, even the highflying jets, but there was no sound whatsoever from this object throughout the duration of the sighting.

Date: Friday 28 August 2015
Time: 5.30 am
Location: Taranaki, North Island
Features/characteristics: descending light changing colour
Conditions cloudy and calm. Duration of sighting 3 minutes.
Two witness was in his back yard looking out to sea when a small bright star-like light appeared, moving down from a high altitude and increasing in size as it did. During this time it changed colour from green to blue, and then turned red and remained that colour. When it reached near sea level, it executed a right-angled turn and headed south at an incredible speed which left the witnesses shocked and somewhat afraid.

Date: Tuesday 14 July 2015
Time: 7pm
Location: Henderson, Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: orange light
Clear night sky. Duration of sighting 5 min.
The witness observed a round shimmering orange/red coloured light stationary in the sky. At first he thought it was a planet until it moved off in an easterly direction at a smooth and fast speed.

UFOCUS NZ comment: possibly a sky lantern.

Date: Wednesday 10 June 2015
Time: 4.10 pm
Location: Dunedin, South Island
Features/characteristics: airborne white sphere
Conditions clear, blue sky, sunny. Duration of sighting approximately 20 minutes.
The witness, his wife and children were driving to an appointment in Dunedin when they sighted an object in the distance straight in front of them. The object was white, but whilst stationary, was turning and catching the sun which sent a flash of silver like a mirror reflection. It then turned upwards and started to climb in altitude, clearly visible as a white sphere. They kept the object in view periodically, but within a timeframe of 5 minutes it was lost from view, until they arrived at an intersection and regained view of the object. The witness and family were then speechless to see that the object had climbed to an altitude during that time, beyond capabilities of conventional aircraft. The white sphere appeared to then remain stationary at a high altitude for a further 15 minutes.

Date: early May 2015
Time: approximately 6 pm
Location: Lyttelton, South Island
Features/characteristics: triangular-shaped objects with pulsing orange colour
Conditions clear and calm. It was dusk at the time and the sun had just gone down. Duration of sighting two minutes.
The witnesses (husband and wife) were on the outside balcony of their home in Lyttelton when they saw two airborne triangular-shaped objects about ½ km away, making no sound, and travelling from east to west towards Governors Bay.
The objects flew in a fixed formation as they traveled at an estimated speed of 80 kph at an estimated altitude of 1,000 ft, one slightly above the other. They moved away and beyond Governors Bay and were lost to view beyond distant hills, appearing as thumbnail-sized triangles in the distance. The colour of each was identical; a pulsing orange colour. There were no other objects in the sky.
One witness guessed they may have been two helicopters with odd lighting, however helicopters are not silent, and their lighting must comply with CAA legal lighting regulations.

Date: Saturday 25 April 2015
Time: 5:22 pm
Location: New Plymouth, North Island
Features/characteristics: three objects maintaining steady flight formation
Cloudy sunset.
The witness is a keen amateur photographer, and was taking photos of the sunset. When checking the photos next day, the witness noticed that 2 of the photos had a formation of 3 objects that showed they tracked across approximately 5km of sky in some 15 seconds. The objects were transiting south to north below the cloud base, estimated to be approximately 3000 feet high, and were to the west of New Plymouth. The objects were not sighted visually, or heard, on the 25th April when the photos were taken.
Enlarging the photos, the witness could see that the objects did not appear to be aircraft, and they were definitely not birds, bugs or anything the witness had ever seen before.
The witness forwarded the photos and pertinent camera data to UFOCUS NZ, seeking clarification as to what the objects may have been. As the objects maintained the same formation in both photos, it was unlikely that the objects were birds or bugs at close range, and initial UFOCUS investigator impressions were that the objects may have been aircraft returning from an ANZAC Day fly-past. However, the time of day did not fit, as the aircraft would have flown in the early morning, and would be back at their base by lunch-time.

UFOCUS NZ Comments:
As Saturday 25th April was ANZAC Day, the UFOCUS investigator checked with the RNZAF at both Whenuapai and Ohakea, and they advised that they had no military planes or helicopters in the New Plymouth vicinity at around 1720 on that day. Warbirds at Ardmore and Warbirds at New Plymouth advised that all their flying was done early in the day and they did not know of any Warbird aircraft in the New Plymouth area at 1720. The investigator also checked with Te Kowhai airfield, and was advised that there would have been no aircraft operating from Te Kowhai at that time.
These queries covered all options, as the objects in the photos are holding a "loose battle-type formation" in both photos, and their positioning does not vary, and thus gave the impression of aircraft in formation.
From the estimated 5km the objects traveled in 15 seconds, the objects’ speed was calculated as approximately 1200kph ( 650 knots), which would suggest that the objects were not conventional aircraft. All logical aircraft operations for the day have been ruled out, and the records from the New Plymouth Control Tower were not obtainable. Origin of the object(s) remains unknown.

Date: Saturday 11 April 2015
Time: 9:30 pm
Location: Kaikorai Valley Road, Dunedin, South Island
Features/characteristics: triangular object blocking out the stars
A clear starlit night, no moon or wind. Duration of sighting approximately 10-15 seconds.
The witness was outside talking on her phone when she observed a dark grey/black coloured triangular object that obscured the view of the stars within its shape.
The object had 3 elongated steady orange lights, one on each point of the triangular shape, with the two leading sides longer than the rear of the triangle (isosceles). No windows, domes or other lights were observed, and there was no change in light intensity as the object tracked on a west-to -east heading. There was no reflected light on the underside of the object.
Its altitude was estimated at approximately 1500-2000 feet, and at approximately one km distant. The object’s size spanned 3 thumb-widths (hand held at arm's length), giving the object an approximate 20-30 metre span. The object gave the impression of being semi-transparent, as if it was trying to “cloak” or blend in with its background, as it traveled smoothly and silently from right to left in front of the witness, maintaining a constant speed and altitude, until it got smaller and disappeared from sight.

Date: Sunday 10 April 2015
Time: 4.30 am
Location: Dunedin, South Island
Features/characteristics: sonic boom and pulsing sound
The witness and his wife were awoken abruptly to a loud sonic boom followed by a pulsing rhythmic noise which lasted 40 seconds and consumed every room in the house. They thought it could be a meteor exploding, but to their surprise there was no mention of it in the media, and their neighbours had heard nothing.

Date: Sunday 5 April 2015
Time: 10 pm
Location: Forrest Hill, Sunnynook, Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: orange-red light
Conditions were clear, with the moon a few hours before a lunar eclipse. Duration of sighting 3 minutes.
The witness observed a single light vertically overhead, slightly larger than an aircraft or helicopter light, but not blinking. It was orange-red and brighter than any star in the sky. She observed the light, which was the size of a pin-head, as it moved in a straight line from west to east travelling slightly faster than an aircraft or helicopter, until her view was obstructed by the neighbours' house. There was no sound and no changes in shape or size until the light started to move away.
The witness attempted to capture a photo of the light on her phone, but it malfunctioned and would not start up.

Date: Sunday 5 April 2015
Time: 9 pm to 9.23 pm
Location: Tauriko, near Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island
Features/characteristics: brilliant white light, appears and disappears
Conditions partially cloudy, but clearing, with stars and moon visible. Duration of sighting 20+ minutes.
The witness and his son (18 yrs) were returning to Hamilton after a trip to Tauranga and had stopped at the last petrol station in Tauriko, before driving over the Kaimai Ranges. First, they needed to wait for their motor to cool down, and to refill the radiator.
During this time they observed a light (about the size of a one-dollar coin held at arm’s length) appear to the southeast above the Kaimai Ranges (on their left). Then in the blink of an eye the light disappeared and reappeared on their right-hand side, to the northwest. It was stationary, but blinked on and off for three to five minutes before blinking out altogether, and after a couple of minutes it reappeared. There was no sound associated with the sighting.
The light remained stationary, but blinked completely out after about 20 minutes. At that point the witnesses filled the radiator with water and continued on their way.
While driving up the Kaimai Ranges towards Hamilton, the witness again saw a white light high up in the sky to their right (in the northwest). He assumed it was now higher in the sky than before because it appeared smaller. He was feeling uneasy and didn’t want to alert or frighten his son.
Suddenly something which looked like a square, vividly coloured partial rainbow, shot over the truck and landed in the field beside them. He was very shocked and asked his son whether he had seen it, but at the time his son had been looking down at their dog asleep on the floor. The witness found it strange that the “rainbow” was square, but it had all the colours. He felt that for a split second time had stood still, in spite of the fact that he was driving at about 80 kph and had had a good look at all the colours. At that moment no traffic was coming towards them, and there was no traffic behind. The stretch of road was kind of dark and yet all of a sudden it lit up so that he could see the square rainbow. He found that very strange.
The witness and his son continued on their way to Hamilton without seeing the light again.
During the initial sighting of the light at the petrol station, the witness’s son felt dizzy, then suddenly light-headed; he felt as if there was “only air in his head”. His son also mentioned that he believed that “they” knew he and his father were standing there watching them, and that “they”, in turn, were watching the witnesses.
The witness and his son had had only one other experience with a sighting in Hamilton in 2012, and it was also a white light. He reported this also, and noted that for a long period after the sighting he had also had dizzy spells at times.

Date: Friday 13 March 2015 
Time: 9:05 pm
Location: Pahiatua, Tararua, North Island
Features/characteristics: bright orange light
Conditions were calm with a clear starry sky; ideal for observing movement. Duration of sighting five seconds.
The witness described how he enjoys going outside to view the night sky on clear evenings. On this occasion he observed a large orange-tinged light come into view (thumbnail sized). It passed directly overhead and appeared to gather significant momentum, travelling at a relatively low altitude (estimated 500 metres) at considerable speed and on a path towards the SW, slightly west of Pahiatua.
There was no noise at all from the light/object as it passed overhead and out of sight.

UFOCUS NZ comment: possible sky lantern?

Date: Sunday 8 March 2015
Time: approx. 10 minutes past midnight
Location: Mt Pleasant, Christchurch, South Island
Features/characteristics: a series of red and white (and possibly blue) strobing lights.
Conditions were cloudy. Duration of sighting 1-2 minutes (twice).
The witness was driving south on SH1 to Christchurch, and about 10-15 km north of Amberly he saw a bright white light to the south. It was airborne, a hand-width from the horizon, reducing to about the size of a $1 coin when overhead. He initially thought it was an aircraft, but it was too bright, appeared stationary, and was too late to be a commercial flight.
He continued driving towards the light, travelling at 100 kph, and thought it might be moving slowly towards him, but as the light became closer it appeared to vacuum in on itself and shot straight up for about 100-200 metres. It then disappeared for maybe one second, then reappeared as a series of strobing lights. These almost seemed to be aircraft navigation lights, but were too fast and too bright and they appeared as a single line underneath the object before it disappeared from view, again travelling north.
The witness immediately rang his wife, and while on the phone he saw the strobing lights about 2-3 km ahead, again stationary. The lights were red and white, and maybe blue, and seemed to strobe from side to side, apparently underneath an object. After 1-2 minutes he lost sight of it as it passed overhead.
There were no witnesses, although the driver of a truck in front of him may have seen the lights. There was little road traffic at the time.

Date: Friday 27 February 2015
Time: 9.12 pm
Location: Masterton, North Island
Features/characteristics: airborne object
Conditions clear with excellent visibility, no wind, bright moon. Duration of sighting 30 seconds.
The witness observed the object, which had a slight orange tinge. It was travelling in a straight line from east to west at twice the speed of a jet, but it didn’t resemble a jet. It then shot straight up at terrific speed and disappeared.

Date: 11 February 2015
Time: 10 pm
Location: Otara, East Tamaki, South Auckland, North Island
Features/characteristics: white and blue beam of light
Conditions cloudy with breaks in cloud. Duration of sighting 4 seconds.
The witness was standing at the top of outside stairs when a strong blue light lit up her backyard. She then saw a large, long white and bright blue beam shoot across the sky and disappear into foggy clouds.
The witness described the beam of light as being as fast as lightning, only longer and larger, and it was high in the atmosphere. There was nothing else unusual to be seen.

UFOCUS NZ comment: this was likely to have been a meteor.

Date: Saturday 24 January 2015  
Time: 9 pm
Location: Paraparaumu, North Island
Features/characteristics: strong white light over hills
Clear conditions. Duration of sighting approx. one minute.
A witness observed a “strong” bright white light moving from east to west over hills near Paraparaumu, describing the light as about the size of a twenty cent coin held at arm’s length. The bright light was seen come slowly over the hill, moving in a westerly direction before shooting away high into the sky and disappearing

Date: Sunday 18 January 2015  
Time: 10.45pm – 11.00pm
Location: Longwoods Forest, near Winton, South Island
Features/characteristics: bright white light with unusual flight characteristics
Clear starlight night, no moon or planets visible. Gusting NE wind. Duration of sighting approximately 2 minutes.
The two witnesses were out on an evening hunt, trying out an FLIR E45 thermal imaging camera. They noticed how clear the sky was, after the bad weather earlier in the afternoon. One witness then observed a very bright white light moving across the sky at a rapid pace. He called the other witness's attention to this immediately, as the characteristic of its flight path was not a perfect arc, but fluctuating around (best described as ‘bobbing’). The light suddenly stopped dead, seemed to ‘float’ around slightly, reversed direction, made a sudden, erratic course change to the north, then south, and then slowly continued on roughly the same initial flight path before accelerating rapidly to the ENE. The light was estimated to be at an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet, and could have been some 3-4 kilometers distant. Its initial speed was estimated at some 300 knots, and it was traveling on a west to ENE track. The large light (estimated size half a thumbnail held at arm’s length) was upwind of the observers, and no sound was noticed, and no navigation or strobe lights were visible. No lights were in use by the witnesses at the time, and their eyes had fully adjusted to light conditions. The dog accompanying the witnesses acted strangely at the time of the sighting, and the witness cannot recall hearing any of the usual animals, insects or birds at the time of the sighting, but forest noise returned after the sighting, and the dog's behaviour returned to normal as well. As the witnesses started to continue walking along the forestry track, the light was obscured momentarily by a couple of pine trees. Visual contact was lost for no more than 10-15 seconds, but the light had vanished. Clear sky was visible in all directions, so it was impossible for any standard/known aircraft to perform such acceleration.

UFOCUS NZ Comment:
One of the witnesses is a current Commercial Pilot, and so is familiar with aircraft operations, and he is positive that the object and its associated flight behaviour/characteristics did not conform to any known current technology. He stated that if the light observed was a ‘landing light', the light must have remained trained on their location, as it did not vary in its intensity, and therefore he believes the landing light theory is not applicable.

Date: Wednesday 7 January 2015
Time: approximately 11-11.10 pm
Location: Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island
Features/characteristics: airborne glowing orange ball of light
Conditions clear with some cloud, no wind, near full moon. Duration of sighting 5-8 minutes.
The witness and his daughter were doing some night fishing off the boat ramp at Sulpher Point, Tauranga CBD, when in the distance he saw what he at first thought was a small plane on fire. He yelled to his daughter to watch as it came towards them. The witness then called to his second daughter who was sitting in their car and she shone a torch up at the object, at which point the object appeared to pause or slow down.
The object flew slowly, about 5-8 kph, from south to north at an estimated altitude of 100-150 metres as it passed over the harbour bridge to where they were standing, then picked up speed and height to around 150-200 metres as it headed towards Mount Maunganui and the ocean. It finally flew through cloud formations, but was still clearly visible as it travelled through breaks in the clouds, lighting the clouds orange as it passed through them.
The witness described it as a fuzzy/glowing orange ball of light that appeared to have a vapour trail or tail almost like a comet. He was adamant that it was not a lantern or plane as he could see it clearly in front of him and it made no sound at all.
The witness also commented that fish activity in the area increased as the object moved closer then completely disappeared when it left. He also mentioned that he had never experienced anything like it in his life.

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