Well, New Zealand are following the lead of other countries and the Defence Force have finally waded through the necessary paperwork and so are finally set to release their ‘UFO files'. The release was originally scheduled for February (2010) but the Defence Force prevented this so that any personal data could be redacted to comply with privacy laws announcing that the release was rescheduled for before the end of this year.
And the release is now imminent it appears as if the press-embargo has been lifted as several local and national news agencies are running the story today (22nd December 2010) announcing that details of the famous 1978 incident which came to be known as the, “Kaikoura Lights' is amongst the thousands of secret files on New Zealand's UFO reports that are due to be made public this week. It's stated that the files which total more than 2000 pages will be issued in 12 volumes which date back to the early 1950s and include every witness account of unidentified flying objects reported to the authorities. So as every media-report I've seen so far includes a mention of the Kaikoura lights I'd thought I'd share a video I uploaded a couple of years ago just before the 30th anniversary of the event in 2008, but firstly here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:
The Kaikoura Lights is a name given by the New Zealand media to a series of sightings that occurred in December 1978, over the skies above the Kaikoura mountain ranges of the northeastern South Island of New Zealand. The first sightings were made on December 21 when the crew of a Safe Air Ltd cargo aircraft began observing a series of strange lights around their Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy aircraft, which tracked along with their aircraft for several minutes before disappearing and then reappearing elsewhere. The pilots described some of the lights to be the size of a house and others small but flashing brilliantly. These objects appeared on the air traffic controller radar in Wellington and also on the aircraft\'s on-board radar. The objects were also seen by hundreds of people on the ground.
On December 30, 1978, a television crew from Australia recorded background film for a network show on interviews about the sightings. For many minutes at a time on the flight to Christchurch, unidentified lights were observed by five people on the flight deck, were tracked by Wellington Air Traffic Controllers, and filmed in color by the television crew. One object reportedly followed the aircraft almost until landing. The cargo plane then took off again with the television crew still on board, heading for Blenheim. When the aircraft reached about 2000 feet, it encountered a gigantic lighted orb, which fell into station off the wing tip and tracked along with the cargo aircraft for almost quarter of an hour, while being filmed, watched, tracked on the aircraft radar and described on a tape recording made by the TV film crew.
And here's the video:
Defence lifts lid on Kiwi X-files
Thousands of secret files on New Zealand's UFO reports are set to be made public, nearly 32 years to the day after our most famous sighting. The files include every witness account of unidentified flying objects reported to authorities since the early 1950s, including the 1978 Kaikoura mystery. They had been held by Archives New Zealand, which was to make them available in February after requests from the public, but the Defence Force stepped in, saying it needed to remove personal identification to comply with the Privacy Act. The Defence Force promised to release the files by the end of this year and is due to make them public this week. More than 2000 pages of files will be issued in 12 volumes. Squadron Leader Kavae Tamariki said the Defence Force would not comment on the files' content.
"We've just been a collection point for the information. We don't investigate or make reports, we haven't substantiated anything in them.....The Defence Force did not have the resources to investigate UFO sightings."
The director of research group UFOCUS NZ, Suzanne Hansen, said she had been trying to get hold of the Defence Force files for nearly two years:
"I started lobbying, and at first they said there was no way in the foreseeable future they'd be released. It's been a long time coming."
In August last year The Press sought access to the files under the Official Information Act, and was told by the Defence Force the request "would require a substantial amount of collation, research and consultation to identify whether any of that information could be released", and it was "not in a position to deploy staff to undertake that task". It said public files on UFO sightings were available from Archives NZ. But when access to those files was requested from Archives NZ, it emerged they had been borrowed by the Defence Force. Ms Hansen said she hoped the files would reveal more detail about some of New Zealand's most famous cases, including the Kaikoura sighting on December 21, 1978. Wellington man John Cordy, 77, was in the air traffic control tower on that night and still maintains there was no logical explanation for what happened.
He and his colleague witnessed inexplicable radar readings at a time when no aircraft were cleared to be in the area. At the same time, crew on an Argosy cargo plane reported strange lights around their aircraft, which tracked them for more than 60 kilometres. Numerous theories were put forward, but Mr Cordy said none fitted the bill:
"It wasn't a squid boat, it wasn't Jupiter, it wasn't Venus, and it wasn't harbour lights. What it was I do not know...."
Ms Hansen, who has investigated UFOs for more than 35 years, said she had witnessed numerous "sightings" in her life, the first when she was eight.
"I was living down in Gisborne in the late 70s, early 80s, around the time of the UFO flap – when there's quite intense activity, a lot of sightings.....It's reasonably easy to tell whether something is an aircraft because in New Zealand, and worldwide, there are certain legal configurations of lights, so if they don't have those characteristics, it's not identifiable.....Then you're mainly looking at movement, whether it's able to hover, whether it's moving erratically."
(300th Blog Post!!)