Details of Sighting

Date 26th April 1979 Time 10:30PM Place Palmerston North

Date 26th April 1979 Time 10:30PM Place Palmerston North

Date 26th April 1979 Time 10:30PM Place Palmerston North

The light source was quite circular and was large enough to present itself as a disc

Enclosed Letter

Telephone: Palmerston North

RNZAF Base Ohakea
Private Bag

In reply quote: OH 3/17/AIR

9th May 1979

The Chief of Air Staff
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Defence Headquarters
Private Bag


Enclosed is a UFO sighting report from Wanganui.

Flight Lieutenant
for Commanding Officer



The Commanding Officer
RNZAF Base Ohakea
Private Bag

Dear Sir,

I am writing, as requested, to inform you of my sightings of the UFO’s over Palmerston North on Thursday. I am a member of the band Redacted Name who all saw the UFO’s.

At approximately 10:30PM on Thursday night we left the Lounge Bar of the Albert Motor Lodge to return to our accommodation. While crossing the carpark (cnr Main/Albert) we noticed an ‘orange ball’ in the sky, which we later estimated at roughly 5,000ft high, and about 45º up from us. The ball moved quite rapidly, considering its size, from a northerly to a SSE direction. At its closes point it gave the appearance that it was burning, as the edges seemed somewhat jaggered and constantly changing like fire. It also pulsated from very pale to darker orange.

As the object got further to the south, it ‘appeared’ to send off showers of red sparks at 1015 second intervals. This may have been atmospheric conditions. Also on two or three occasions, as it headed away, it appeared to dip and move from side to side very rapidly, and without the normal turning room a plane would need. It would move and return to its continuous line in a matter of one second or less.

This object was in our view for 57 minutes at a guess, before becoming too distant to see with the naked eye. We then decided to return home, but as we turned around, we saw three similar objects, in a shallow V formation, in approximately the same position we saw the first. The three moved and looked the same as the first, but tended to move to a slightly more easterly direction. None of the objects made any sound that we could directly relate to them, there was the odd swishing sound, but it wasn’t constant, so was probably traffic in the city.

Before the three were out of sight, myself, Redacted Name and a Redacted Name who was staying at the Albert went to the reception and rang Ohakea, who told us to ring Palmerston North Airport, but there was no reply. The police were no help, so we rang Ohakea again, but didn’t get very far. So Redacted Name tried and eventually got through to someone in charge.

If you should require any further information please contact our base address, Redacted Information Wanganui. We’ll possibly be there after next week for about a fortnight, otherwise one of the guys in the flat will know where we are. Best ring late at night.

I look forward to being of assistance.

Yours faithfully,
Redacted Name


telephone 71 383

Aerial Phenomenon

1.On 26th April 1979, I was the Duty Operations Officer for RNZAF OHAKEA. Whist at home, on call, I was contacted by the Ohakea telephone operator, who, at 2255 hours, informed that she had been contacted by several residents of PALMERSTON NORTH, who were enquiring about the ‘orange lights’ that were traversing the city. One such caller a Redacted Name was put through to me. He stated that he, and several others, had observed coloured lights travelling from north to south above the city. I asked him to submit a written report to the Base Commanding Officer.

2.Shortly afterwards, whilst I was exercising my dog in Featherston Street, I observed a single orange light, approaching from the north north east, and at about fifteen degrees above the horizon. Being a single light source, it was difficult to estimate range, but I assessed it to be about eight kilometres away and tracking along the watershed of the northern TARARUA Range. The weather was calm, clear and cold but it is unlikely if any noise would have been heard at that range.

3.As my family and I had observed an aerial phenomenon in the evening of 20th April, I was anxious to find witnesses of this sighting. Across the road, two youths were operating a C.B. radio. I asked them to confirm the sighting, and for their names and addresses. These are included in the Appendix.

4.At 2305 hours, I arrived back at my house. In transit, the lighted disc had been observed against a moving background, but he impression was gained that its track curved from south south west to south east. For two or three minutes, my family and I observed the now stationary disc, still at an elevation of about fifteen degrees and at a range of about fifteen kilometres. With the aid of 8×30 binoculars it was possible to make out the disc shape of yellow light, surrounded by thin corona of red light.

5.At 2307 hours, the size of the distant disc grew smaller, giving the impression of a rapid climb, directly away from these four observers on a heading of 130 degrees True, and with an angle of climb of 25 degrees, until it disappeared into the background of stars.

6.I then rang the WELLINGTON Air Traffic Control Centre, and spoke with the duty radar operator. He was informed of the sighting and informed me that he had neither known traffic nor unidentified blip in the area to the south east of Palmerston North. The Defence Duty Staff Officer was next informed of the sighting, with the coincidence of the last point of observation being identical to that sighting of the 20th April.

7.At 2335 hours, Redacted Name rang me again, stating that the initial sighting had been of a single light source at 2230 hours, seen initially at anelevation [SIC] of 45 degrees, to the north. The disc had passed overhead of the observer and his two companions, who were standing in the north forecourt of the ALBERT Motor Lodge, Albert Street, Palmerston North. As it did so, at an estimated five to eight thousand feet, a pulsating swishing noise was heard. It was not thought that this could be mistaken for traffic noise. As the disc passed to the south, it was observed to emit sparks, which remained incandescent until they fell from sight behind the immediate horizon. The disc disappeared from sight in a like manner. The course of this first disc appeared to be erratic about south south east.

8.At 2235 hours, the three observers saw a shallow vic formation of three orange discs of light. These flew on a course of approximately SSE, overflying from the north. These too, disappeared from sight behind the local horizon. Again, Redacted Name was asked to submit a report in writing to the Base Commander.

9.In the absence of the Base Orderly Officer, the Ohakea telephone operator was asked to request the Orderly Officer to inform the Base Commander of these sightings and to anticipate the receipt of report(s).

10.I have no objection to this report being made available to the media.

(G.R. Allin)



Initial Report received from:
TAWA, Wellington.

His associates:
Palmerston North.

Witnesses of sighting at 2300 hours:
Self, wife, son and mother.

ASHHURST. Telephone
Palmerston North. Tel.

Report Regarding Allin’s Phone Call

Department: DASO
File No: Air 39/3/3
Date: 27 APR 79

1.At 2320 hours last night I received a telephone report from S/L G. Allin, Ohakea Operations Flight Commander and the Duty Operations Officer, concerning a UFO sighted over Palmerston North.

2.The following is the contents of his verbal report which he intends to follow up with a written report.

‘At 262245M the Ohakea Teleop contacted the Duty Officer regarding UFO’s over Palmerston North. At 262300M the Duty Officer sighted the UFO similar in appearance, course and pattern to the sighting on 21 April 79 to which there were also 3 family witnesses plus 2 nearby civilians.

The UFO was on a SSW course, height approx 45000ft, about 8 miles away (approx) over the mountain range above the watershed. UFO motion ceased at 2302 elevation + 20º at approx position 130º T Palmerston North Township at a distance approx 10 miles. It then receded gradually on 130º T to approx 20 miles range, remained steady until 2305 then gradually receded into the star background.’

‘At 2306 Allin contacted the Radar Controller at WN ACC who reported no radar or traffic movement in the area at that time.

A civilian observer will be forwarding a separate written report to CO. RNZAF Ohakea. This observer is a Redacted Name who was staying at the Albert Motor Lodge, Albert St, Palmerston North last night. His residential address is:

Redacted Address

Redacted Suburb

Redacted City

WGTN (no telephone)

End of report

3.A few minutes after Allin had finished his report I received a further callthis time from Mr Moyes, Duty Supervisor, WN ACC. He rang to confirm that he had spoken with Allin. He advised that he had been radar operator prior to and during Allin’s observations and that he had not observed any unusual sightings at that time or any other time during the evening (other than normal traffic). He did observe, though, that WN Radar was not renown for its reliability and that it would not be capable of picking up an object at 4000’ over Palmerston North. The report in the ACC log confirms Allin’s verbal report. I advised Moyes that a written report was not required. Note: Moyes in conversation made the comment that he considered UFO phenomena do exist and that a scientific survey should be set up!


Report taken from file number
AIR 39/3/3 Volume 3