|Fine conditions with mild to moderate cloud cover, westerly wind, starry night, good visibility despite darkness. Duration of sighting 25-30 minutes.
No other aircraft in the sky at the time or sounds of aircraft.
The witness was standing on his porch after finishing work late. Looking to the west (Pukekohe/Karaka/Patumahoe area) he noticed a bright yellow light, consistent with the size of a bright star, which he gauged to be travelling slowly from west to east towards his position. He estimated the distance to be 10-15 km away.
The light became stationary before moving back in the opposite direction to the west at slow speed. The witness could not hear any sound from the light, as commonly heard from aircraft on flight paths to the west with the wind blowing from that direction.
The light suddenly increased in brightness and then disappeared “as if someone had turned a light switch off.” Note there was some cloud in the sky at the time.
The witness continued to watch the sky and shortly after the light reappeared, but not as bright as it was previously. He sat on a chair to stabilise body movement, so as to ascertain if the light was moving in relation to his surroundings. The light moved east, became stationary briefly, then moved west at a slower speed over a period of 5-10 minutes. The intensity of the light remained consistent. The light made another turn and moved slowly south.
After observing the light for a total of 25-30 minutes, the witness saw it ‘switch off’ again (or go behind cloud).
The witness is familiar with local aircraft flight paths and stated he had never seen an aircraft in that particular direction or area, and had never observed an aircraft move in this manner. The light was moving over distance at a lower altitude than commercial aircraft on flight paths further northwest.
UFOCUS NZ comment:
Detailed diagram/map provided by Officer.