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Details of Sighting

Date 16th October 1952 Time 8:30PM Place Karori, Wellington

Date 16th October 1952 Time 8:30PM Place Karori, Wellington

Date 16th October 1952 Time 8:30PM Place Karori, Wellington

Its appearance was like the reflection of a searchlight on the bottom of a cloud

Enclosed Letter

FLYING SAUCERS

Attached is a report of a meteor like object sighted on 16th October 1952 by Mr. John R. Jennings, employed as an occupational psychologist at DSIR.

In view of this and other similar reports which have appeared in the Press recently, I spoke with Mr Adams, an astronomer at the Carter Observatory. He stated that the numerous ‘Flying saucer’ reports received at the observatory have all been capable of rational explanation. He has received no information from any international astronomical societies which suggests that the phenomena is anything but natural.

The two foremost authorities on meteors in New Zealand are Mr. Ronald MacIntosh of Auckland and Dr. Elliot of Canterbury University. The latter has a radar installation which plots meteors and Dr. Elliot would no doubt co-operate if requested to give information.

Report

FLYING SAUCER OVER WELLINGTON

Just after 8:30 PM on 16th October 1952 I was outside my front door (upper part of Messines Road, Karori, Wellington) facing East, admiring the clear sky and stars, when I saw what for a moment I took for a meteor. My next reaction was that this was a very large meteor about to land uncommonly close. Then, ‘no, it is not a meteor, it is a flying saucer’. The object was flying from East to West, at a guess about mid-way between Eastbourne and the Heads. It went very fast, some three, four or five (?) times as a fast plane. Its appearance was like the reflection of a searchlight on the bottom of a cloud, but its course, from my angle, took it well clear of the two or three small clouds in the sky which lay to the South of its course. It became obscured by some small trees, and I rushed forwards to try to follow its course to the West, but I could not see it again. It did not seem to be travelling at a very great height, perhaps 10,000 feet, but this was very difficult to judge, as was its size. There was no sign of searchlight activity, or a searchlight cone. A ‘saucer’ seemed to be quite a good description of the objects.

I went indoors, and said to my wife ‘guess what I have seen’. ‘A flying saucer’ she replied. ‘Yes’. ‘Why did’nt [SIC] you call me?’ ‘It went far too quickly’. (There was a cartoon in the Evening Post depicting various flying kitchen utensils). My strongest drink had been milk. Having had this experience, I think I should report it, at any rate within my Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

John R. Jennings

Report taken from file number
AIR 39/3/3 Volume 1Parts 1 and 2

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