The mysterious lights spotted over Taranaki have also been reported in Napier, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch, but a rational explanation has been offered.
Jennie Velvin was startled by the sight of two orange orbs travelling past her house on Ngamotu Rd in close succession on Christmas night.
She said the objects looked like low, fast-moving fiery suns travelling southward.
Since the Taranaki Daily News reported on the sighting yesterday calls have flooded in of further sightings of unidentified flying objects.
Anne Murdoch, of Oakura, said she saw three on Christmas Eve.
"They seemed to be coming from Ahu Ahu Rd.
"They got about halfway through the beach then disappeared."
"I saw that! I was on my way to a church type thing on Christmas day and I saw it go over Francis Douglas going southwest towards the Westown shops! I thought it was just me!" a commenter on the Daily News Facebook page offered.
It appears the mysterious fiery orbs are not new on the local scene.
Jacinta Lawrence, of New Plymouth, said she saw an object of the exact same description about a year ago.
"It was a big orange ball, very strange."
Georgina Hudson, who lives near Ngamotu Rd, said she saw similar objects that were triangular-shaped in February.
Ms Hudson said she rang the police and asked them to contact the control tower at the airport to warn them, but the police did not take action.
She didn't think the objects were extra-terrestrial but they were definitely some sort of craft, she said.
"I don't think it's somebody from space, but probably Nasa doing checks."
But one self-described UFO fanatic from New Plymouth said there was a darker explanation for the objects.
"They're coming in different shapes and forms," Shane Lowery said.
"Sometimes people get hypnotised when they see them, they can't move, they are paralysed.
"They are demonic, there is something going on."
But there are also plenty of people offering a rational explanation for the floating fire balls.
"I was drunk, saw four of them and wasn't even dumb enough to think they were UFOs.
"They were lanterns as you could see them burn out and fall back down," Corey Nicolson wrote on the Daily News Facebook page.
"They would have been paper lanterns.
"I saw some of these being set off in Merrilands around 8:30-9pm," one stuff.co.nz commenter said.
New Plymouth Astronomical Society president Rod Austin said paper lanterns were the most logical explanation for the unidentified objects.
"We've had a lot of fog and they get up to a height where they appear larger than they actually are."
He said the south-west direction the objects were reported as travelling in could be explained by the easterly breeze Taranaki has had in the last few days.
"I don't think it's got anything to do with the Mayan end of the world," Mr Austin said.
This video was posted on YouTube, showing strange lights over Paekakariki on the Kapati Coast.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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