Go Back Report # 443


The 1971 Lake Rotorua Incident was recorded by the son (Robert) of, the witnesses but the full name is being withheld per the witnesses’ request.  

Lake Rotorua 1971.  

       In July 1971, on lake Rotorua, Leah and Robert saw a Saucer. Below is the event recorded a year later by the New Zealand, CAPR organization. Also the pair were interviewed by Dr J Alien Hynek, when he visited New Zealand around that time, around 1971/1972. The interview was conducted at a private residence in Miramar, Wellington.

       Dr Hynek was the Worlds leading authority on Aerial Phenomena, UFO's and related paranormal activity. He was hired as an advisor on the film, "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind." He also founded the Centre for UFO studies. (CUFOS) and was a integral part of the US Government top secret 'Project Bluebook' which studied the UFO phenomena.         
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3 July 1971. Rotorua. Sunday, 0200 (Landed) Type 1. Witnesses 2.  


Although this sighting was made on 3 July 1971, the witnesses did not report it until April this year, when they learnt of CAPR's existence. The witnesses, Leah and Robert, her boyfriend, do not want their names released for fear of ridicule. Both witnesses impressed us as being sincere and emotionally stable. Perhaps the most significant factor in the evaluation of the witnesses reliability is the fact that the witnesses do not claim to have seen an alien spacecraft. In fact, Robert is still sceptical about the spaceship hypothesis. The question which both would like answered is simply "What was it?"   

For those interested in orthoteny, grid theories, etc. The object's position was approximately 38.1313 S latitude, 176.2516 E longitude, as determined from a 1:12500 map of the area (NZMS17 ROTORUA)    

Robert's Report:         

We had been to the Saturday night pictures which finished at about 10:30 to 11:00, and as Leah, was fairly new to Rotorua, we went for a drive around the town, and then out to the airport at Rotokawa, we got back to town by about mid-night by the town clock, and stopped for some food to eat at the Lake Front. We drove to the lake-front and parked on memorial drive facing the Queen Elizabeth hospital, i.e. on the lake side of the road, adjacent to the wharf.

       The weather was fine, with little wind, but cold, as it is normally at that time of the year. The moon was out and the stars were shining. There was no noticeable cloud. The lake was calm, and could be heard lapping against the water-front wall. About 25 yards out from the wharf the float plane was moored, (the float-plane's a Cessna 172, I think). About 10 yards from the float-plane, a small launch was anchored. The tourist launch "Ngaroto" was berthed at the wharf as usual. At approximately quarter to 2, the last of the cars parked nearby left, leaving us the only car on Memorial drive, or in the area for that matter. We were slumped down in the cars seats talking, when Leah asked me "What the noise was?"

       I hardly had time to reply when we both stared out of the window facing the lake, which I wound down and saw what appeared to be an inverted plate with a small dome on the top. The dome was dark grey, and the base of the saucer appeared to be light-grey to white in colour. There was a fog1 around the base of the object, therefore I couldn't tell if it was floating or hovering. Set off-centre on the dome there was a bright red light which rotated clockwise, and seemed most intense when pointed towards the car, at the same time as the light pointed towards the car, a metallic sounding "beep" rang out, the frequency of both the light and the beep was about once per second.

       We sat and looked at it for about 4 minutes while deciding what to do. Then I started the car (a Hillman Minx) and took off at fairly high speed, when we got to the corner, some 25 yards from where we were parked, I could still see the object in my rear vision mirror, but because I had lost my exhaust pipe earlier in the day, we couldn't tell if it was still beeping. The light seemed to be beamed at us all along the Drive. We drove through town past the post office. The clock showed 2:15. We then drove into Tutanekai St. and saw 3 people walking along the road towards the lake. L. asked me to go and have another look at the object, we continued down Tutanekai St. towards the lake, but on arriving where we were originally parked, there was nothing to be seen.

       The sighting seemed to be around about 3 to 5 minutes duration. I estimate the size of the object to be about 30 to 40 feet across, at the base, as compared with the wingspan of the plane and about 10 to 15 feet high at its highest point. The dome seemed to be about 2 feet high.

I think that the dome rotated, and the red light was off-centre, as it (the light) seemed to come around from the right to the left, as stated previously in this report, and seemed to disappear behind the craft.

Apart from the dome there were no other irregularities, and the object in my opinion was metallic and solid. During the entire sighting there was no change in colour to the object itself. The object was slightly behind the float plane, and the launch, but in between them. Between 25 and 30 yards out, as compared with the main wharf.       

Leah's Report:           

The date of the sighting was about the first Sunday in July 1971 [Note: The first Sunday in July of 1971 is the 4th-CF-] and the time, approximately 2:00 - 2:10 am. I was parked by the lakefront on Memorial Drive in Rotorua with my boyfriend. And as we were slouched in our seats, we didn't see the object land or surface from the lake.

       I was quite startled to hear a shrill beeping sound and asked Robert what it was. He was just about to reply and I sat up and looked out of my side of the window which Robert had wound down and was facing the lake.

       To my surprise I saw a huge dome or half of a saucer shaped object which appeared to be sitting of hovering in between the float plane and a small boat anchored on the lake. I couldn't judge what size it was but it was very large and seemed to be a whitish colour. There was a fog around the base of the object. There was also a red or orange light in top (just like a traffic cops car) and it was flashing in a clockwise direction as far as I can make out and beeping at one second intervals as the light turned towards the car. This sounds quite strange I realise. According to the reports I've heard no-one has ever heard beeping sounds.

       However, Robert then tried to start the car and I slid down below the window level. It wouldn't go at first (mainly because he hadn't turned the key on) and then we took off as fast as possible. When we reached the bend about 25 yards away I looked back and the object was still there and I don't know if the beeping sound was still going as the exhaust pipe had fallen off the car that day and it was very noisy.

       We then drove quickly into town and it was quite strange because the only other people we could see were two girls and a guy walking along Tuanekai Street. The town was just dead by that time. It was then I told Robert to go back by the lake just out of curiosity and see if it was still there. We mustn't have been more than about three minutes and when we arrived back at the scene there wasn't a thing to be seen. Only the float plane and the boat. The water was very calm and there were absolutely no noises. So we motored back to the nurses home which is in Haupapa Street and sat there for about ¼ hr.

       Robert was a bit shaken and so was I for that matter.

Robert's April 1972, sketch of the object.

Notes: Leah recently said that the object was as big as a house. She said that when they met Dr Hynek, he asked them was it a handspan in size to them. She said yes but found it hard to gauge accurately the size. Very big and close. Leah was 19 at the time and Robert was 18.

(Robert in his youth had also chased a metallic disc on his bicycle)    

At the window, July 1971.    

In July 1971, only a day or two after the lake Rotorua incident, Leah was In bed in her Rotorua boarding house, when she heard a huge "whooooossh" go past her window. This noise was unusual and scared her at the time. "Although cars travelled down that road, there was no accompanying car sound." "It was as if it was at window height."

       "It was a fairly well travelled street, regularly"

       "It was like a forceful object was passing fast without a motor"

       In 1971 her mother in law admitted that she had also heard a unexplainable whooosh

on occasions, at night when she was in bed. 

Roof of the flat, July 1971.   

Peririka Street Boarding House. Top Room.

       Leah was living in a rented room at the boarding house at the top floor.

And Robert was visiting her.

       In July 1971, also a few days after the Lake Rotorua incident, Leah and Robert were in their flat, at night when suddenly they heard footsteps on their tin roof, right next to their window. A roof which their window looked out to. They were especially scared because whatever was causing the noise right next to their room, was invisible. The sound of its feet walking across the roof, sounded as though they were clawed, but not a bird. "As heavy as a human and in the same momentum a human with two legs would walk". It was too big for that and besides, the noise which was walking past was coming from nothing. "In fact it was so close to the bed and window and on the same level that we felt the presence as if it was right outside the window, within an arms length. And as we ran down the stairs in terror we could hear it on the roof walking above." It was directly outside their window and their view onto the roof was very clear too. They decided to make an escape, and ran downstairs and outside the car, where they both sped off. "We didn't even look back as we ran to the car, but as we got into the car we looked back and there was nothing on the roof and we had a perfectly clear view of the roof."

       "Robert ran to the car first and opened the door and then I made a run for it."

       "The house was not surrounded at all with trees, only neighbouring houses." The only

person in the flats basement was an old drunk who wouldn't have noticed anything.

       "Once in the car we sped off to Elizabeth street which was the street that ran parallel

to Peririka street."      

Even to this day our family has continued to have occasional strange experiences and members of the family have seen Unidentified objects. On one occasion in the early hours of the morning my mother and I witnessed two pinpoint lights in the sky flying about, and then a big exchange of what looked like zig-zag lightning between them. Whether they were fighting or exchanging something, remains to be seen, but it left us stunned.                                                          

This reference: CAPR Bulletin Volume 2, Number 1, June 1972. (Bulletin 5)

With Thanks to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): http://www.cufos.org/ for finding it and forwarding a copy.        

Note#1: There are several cases where the only fog in the area is that around the UFO. I therefore believe that this is not fog but steam, generated by the UFOs surrounding field.-CF-

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

New Zealand, North Island, Akaroa County

Lake Rotorua   Unable to get coordinates for the lake itself, but the city below is right on the shore of the lake.-CF-

Rotorua            Latitude 38-07-00 S, Longitude 176-19-60 E [Airport]

Rotokawa         Latitude 38-07-00 S, Longitude 176-19-60 E

Reference: http://www.fallingrain.com/world/

From the text: The object's position was approximately 38.1313 S latitude, 176.2516 E longitude, as determined from a 1:12500 map of the area (NZMS17 ROTORUA)        


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