'UFO sightings' in Wellington and Taranaki
People who saw strange lights seen in the sky on Christmas evening insist the festive spirit had nothing to do with it.
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Sightings of a "UFO" were reported in New Plymouth and Wellington, although a witness from Waikanae believes there is an earthly explanation.
Jennie Velvin, of New Plymouth, said everyone would think she had had one too many wines when she saw a UFO.
But she was positive she had not touched the booze and that even her husband, John - normally a sceptic - could confirm there had been something strange in the sky above Ngamotu Rd, New Plymouth.
Velvin takes her dogs out the back of the house for toileting at 10pm every evening and is familiar with the night sky.
"I always look up to the sky to see what's there. Sometimes I see a satellite, like a slow-moving star, and we get a lot of helicopters."
But she said what she saw on this night was not normal.
"This was nothing like I've seen in 30 years."
She described the object as a small, fast-moving fiery sun that was heading south towards Oakura.
"It was about the size of a circle you make with your arms.
"It was really low, it looked as though I could have reached out and touched it."
She said she yelled to her husband to come outside.
"He wouldn't believe me if I told him."
The mysterious object had already disappeared into cloud by the time he got there, but a second one the same as the first travelled past soon after, and he narrowly missed capturing it with his camera.
Velvin said she could understand if people were sceptical about her sighting but declared she was "not a kook".
She did not believe in aliens but was frustrated she could not explain the sighting, she said.
"I'm sure you'll get people saying it was shaped like a space ship, but I'm just determined to find someone who saw this thing, I don't know where it came from."
She said she remained open-minded.
"I don't think it's little grey men, but I've always been a believer there's something out there."
Chris Welson said he noticed three orange lights travelling over New Plymouth on Christmas night about 10.30pm.
"They were travelling pretty fast and the first two were reasonably close together while the third was a little further behind.
"They were going in a straight line heading south or southwest by the looks of things."
But Doug Batterbee suspects three bright lights he saw in the sky at Waikanae on Christmas night were fire balloons - small hot air balloons which use a fire to warm the air inside and lift them up.
He was puzzled when he saw the first flickery, orange light quite high up in the sky, but then he saw another two which appeared to have been launched no more than three blocks away from where he was watching.
Strange lights seen in the sky over Taranaki in February turned out to be floating lanterns.
A man said he and two other people also saw something strange in the sky above the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville around 10.30pm on Christmas night.
An orange light which appeared to be about 4500 metres above ground, and two to three times more luminous than an aircraft's navigation light, had approached fast from the northwest. Then it went to the left, returned to where he had first seen it, shimmered and disappeared.
During the 15 seconds he watched it, the light moved very fast, the man, who did not want to be named, said.
The unnamed man, who said he was a pilot with about 400 hours flying time, including night flying, he had never seen anything like it before.
Craig Henrksen posted on Stuff's Facebook page his account of a UFO, seen from his home near Wellington airport.
''I hadn't touched a drop of alcohol either,'' he wrote. ''At 0145 on 26th Dec I saw one of these 'lights'. I thought it was a reflection of street lamps on my window but realised it was moving. I opened the door and watched this orange ball of flame move at a constant speed heading south almost as high as a plane would fly until roughly 40 secs later it was too small and far away to see. Im pretty sure it wasn't Santa.''
And this video below was posted on YouTube, showing strange lights over Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast.