French visitor photographs 'UFO' over Waikato
Retired French photojournalist Daniel Ubertini, 67, had a slightly other-worldly experience in the Waikato 10 days ago.
As he uploaded shots taken at a Rotorua marae, he noticed something unusual.
There appeared to be three elongated objects in the sky – a larger one at the right side of the image, and two smaller ones on the left.
"They are the shape of nothing I know," he said. "They were not aircraft, not birds … what were they?"
Ubertini has asked himself that question around several photographs he has taken over time – six to be exact. Most were taken before the day of the drone, where misidentification might be more plausible.
His first UFO shot was in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
A subsequent photograph featuring a questionable image was taken in Tonga in 2009 … then there were two in France during 2014, another in Tonga in 2015, and now the one in Rotorua in January.
The fact-driven photojournalist and aviation enthusiast is quick to deny anything akin to obsession around UFOs. But his tally is an unusual one.
"I took my first photo of a UFO in 1977," said the internationally-published Ubertini. "At that time I was not completely thinking of UFOs."
That incident was in Reunion Island, when he was photographing an Air France B747 taking off. When developing the shots, he noticed an object roughly the size of the engine flying above the wing, with an apparent 'tail' at the back.
In 2009, he discovered "a shape resembling a DVD with a hole in the middle" appearing above and behind a plane on the tarmac in Tonga.
He sent the shots to Arizona and to the French Space Agency investigations unit, Geipan - neither could identify the objects, and filed the images away.
Ubertini stayed with friends in Cambridge in late January en route to his home in the south of France. While here, he visited the Rotorua marae and took his most recent UFO shots.
"I never try to take those kinds of photographs – but I do photograph a lot of aircraft, and I do believe there are things happening that we cannot explain."