I was very interested to receive the UFO Casebook update from the good BJ Booth this month on January 25th, and to see that one of the updates refers to news that New Zealand is planning to release hundreds of secret files regarding UFO sightings in New Zealand from 1979 through 1984. The reason it perked my interest is because of this earlier post I wrote regarding Bruce Maccabee.
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that Bruce was first pulled into the CIA’s data-collection efforts into Ufology when he was invited to speak at the Agency on the 1978 New Zealand sightings that he had gone over and investigated in 1979. FUFOR, of course, was not happy with Bruce’s involvement with CIA contacts – in particular, Kit Green and Ron Pandolfi – but that’s a story for another time (I covered some of it in that earlier post).
What the New Zealand Reports May Reveal
The New Zealand Defence Force, following the lead of other countries like the UK, will start releasing all of those UFO files starting in 2010, once they are done redacting identifying information to protect the privacy of individuals.
The one particular sighting that most Ufologists are anxious to get a hold of the government files for, was the case that Maccabee covered – the lights in the sky over Kaikoura. The lights were documented on Australian news, aircraft followed the lights, and there was a radar signature as well. You can read Maccabee’s report via his MS Word download. Here is an excerpt from the pilots found in Bruce’s report.
Then, at 0251 a bright light appeared, far ahead of the plane. The plane called Wellington to find out if there was a radar target in that direction. Wellington reported ??a strong target at 12:00 at 20 miles?? (point 33 on Figure 6). The plane told Wellington, ?We have that one, also, and quite a good visual display at the moment. It looks like a collection of lights.?
Fogarty recorded the following message over the next 93 seconds, ?About 30 seconds after that last statement we have another one right in front of us, very bright. Seems to be a long ways away?and another one just to the left of it. That one flashed extremely brightly. They?ve both now faded?..The other one?s flashing again. It?s giving off an orange flashing light. It looks like an aircraft beacon. It?s moving off. It?s extremely bright? it fades?. and it?s dropped. It seems to have just dropped at an incredible speed and it?seems to be rolling and turning. In fact, one light has another beside it??Oh, I don?t know? I really don?t know what is going on?It appears to be over the hills?..There appears to be a whole cluster of them, in fact.?
At this point in the tape, about 1 minute after the sighting started, Crockett yelled to Fogarty (the tape recorder picked up his voice in spite of the engine noise), ?I can?t see anything.? Then Fogarty resumed his commentary: ?You can see orange and red among the lights. There?s one particular one that keeps flashing to the right hand side of? you can see three distinct lights. In fact it looks very much like the same sort of pattern we saw when we came down over the Kaikoura coast on the way down, but there wasn?t as much flashing. It really is, uh, quite strange.?
Something Real and Something Strange
Obviously, the pilots saw something strange. Radar picked up on unidentified objects, and the film crew on the plan even captured vague images of the lights in the distance. The event and the sighting had a lasting impact on many of the witnesses.
According to the news report, one man who worked for the Transport Ministry at the time of the sighting reported that he was working on location at the Christchurch International Airport when it occurred. He reported that he saw U.S. Air Force planes “with unusual call signs” flying through the area at the same time – and even today he is interested to learn more about what the lights really were.
“For the US Air Force to come all that way and spend three days here, there must have been something going on.”
So the question now is this – among all of the other files from New Zealand which may be interesting all on their own, will there be anything new within those files that might help explain the famous mysterious New Zealand UFO lights over Kaikoura?
I plan to keep an eye on these reports and if there is anything interesting regarding this case, I’ll be writing up a report on it over at RealityUncovered. All we can do right now is wait and watch…and hope that they don’t redact half of the documents for the sake of “privacy.”