Sunday, July 16, 2006

UFO Photographed Over Auckland

UFO Over Auckland
'UFO sighting' in Auckland


Mystery surrounds an apparent unidentified flying object seen in the skies above Auckland's Viaduct Basin.
     Sunday News has obtained footage of the object - spotted flying at speed over the waterfront in broad daylight.

We have sent the image to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Defence - both of which have been unable to identify it.

The sighting has also been referred to the world's foremost UFO expert, American Dr Bruce Maccabee - who works with the Roswell UFO Museum.

Roswell, New Mexico, is the site of a reported UFO crash in 1947, during a spate of hundreds of "flying saucer" reports in America.

The American airforce issued an official release confirming the discovery of a "flying disc" but quickly changed their story after the government became involved - leading to cover-up claims.

The object photographed at the Viaduct Basin was flying above the industrial tank farm in the mid-morning sun last October.

It was taken by well-known photographer Richard Simpson who was completing an assignment for a magazine feature.

"It was travelling extremely fast. In fact I'd have to say definitely faster than a bird," Simpson told Sunday News.

"If it was clearly a bird we'd say, `Nah it's a bird' and forget it. The way it came into the frame, it was that fast moving, it was a lucky grab."

Art director Duncan Lucas, who was working with Simpson, decided it needed further investigation.

He was unable to explain it even after bringing the image up to a higher resolution.

"I'd like an explanation. I don't know what it is," Lucas said.

"Personally I'm not a UFO believer, I remain unconvinced either way.

"I don't know if it's a pod of little green men - but I'd like to know what was flying around that day.

"It is a real mystery."

Simpson and Lucas brought the image to Sunday News' attention after reclaiming the film following the magazine's closure.

The Auckland image has intrigued UFO experts.

Sue Hansen, of UFOCUS New Zealand, consulted fellow expert and air traffic controller Graeme Opie before commenting.

"It is a UFO in terms of being an unidentified flying object. It's a very striking photo, I'd like to know more about it," Hansen said.

"We both agree it's not a bird.

"I think it's definately not an aeroplane and it doesn't look like it's been faked.

"It does have some characteristics of a disc shape."

She said the shadowing around the object was of greatest interest.

"Where the sun is overhead, you wouldn't expect to see shadowing.

"The only thing that may explain it is ionised air around the craft."

Murray Bott is the New Zealand director of the Mutual UFO Network, a world-wide organisation which studies and researches the phenomenon.

"It's a very interesting picture," said Bott, who described the object as a "UFO or aerial phenomenon".

"I'm exceptionally interested in any UFO photographs around New Zealand, particularly around Auckland."

Peter Davenport, director at Seattle's National UFO Reporting Center in America, said he saw lots of similar photos.

"I cannot positively identify the anomalous object above the white tanks," Davenport said.

"But my first guess would be that it is a bird, possibly a pigeon. Of course, that is only a guess."

Auckland Stardome astronomy educator Jennie McCormick agreed.

"I can see it's a bird," she said.

"As soon as I opened up the first photograph I thought it was a bird. There's an open beak and the wing is being reflected by the sun."

But the object stumped two Government organisations.

Bill Sommer, manager of communications at the Civil Aviation Authority, said: "At first glimpse I thought it could be a helicopter.

"After that, when the photos started getting higher resolution I wouldn't have a clue."

And Danielle Coe, a spokeswoman for the New Zealand Defence Force, said: "It doesn't appear to be one of our aircraft." UFOs have been reported in Wainuiomata and Oamaru over the past year.

More . . .

See Also: ". . . Engineering Physicist Tarter . . . Has Been ET-Hunting For More Than 25 Years . . ."


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