UFOs Around the World: New Zealand
by Robbie Graham September 29, 2018 (mysteriousuniverse.org)
• In this installment of ‘UFOs Around the World’, Robbie Graham visits New Zealand to talk to author and founder of the UFOCUS NZ Research Network (for UFO sightings), Suzy Hansen, and Harvard professor Dr. Rudy Schild. UFOCUS NZ is currently the only active UFO sighting investigation and research group in New Zealand.
• In addition to herself, Hansen says that the most active and prominent New Zealander researchers were Fred and Phyllis Dickeson, Harold Fulton, Harvey Cooke, and currently, the Dickeson’s son Bryan Dickeson. The Dickesons were former NZ Air Force personnel who worked tirelessly to publicize UFO sighting investigation data, established nationwide discussion groups and published the UFO magazines Satcu and Xenolog. Bryan continued to investigate UFO sightings in the 70’s and 80’s. Bryan has recently digitized some 6,500 New Zealand UFO sightings from his parents’ research material for the UFOCUS NZ’s website.
• Hansen considers the Kaikoura Lights sightings of 1978/79 as the most compelling of NZ sightings. These anomalous lights were seen by pilots, filmed, and recorded by Wellington Airport radar, although the NZ government and mainstream scientists tried to debunk the incident. The 16mm film was sold to a media company in the US, never to be seen again.
• While the NZ government refrains from official comment on UFOs, the NZ Prime Minister and many governmental departments did investigate the Kaikoura Lights. There was an official UFO investigative unit within the government until 1976, but it was ended when the government declared that UFOs posed no military threat. But whenever they did investigate an incident, they told witnesses that if they went to the media the government would deny any knowledge.
• The New Zealand Government and Ministry of Defence have largely taken their lead from the US, Australia, and British governments in terms of limited transparency and information on UFOs. In 2009, the New Zealand Chief of Defence Force, Lt Gen Jerry Maeparae informed Hansen that two Defence officers had been assigned “the task of assessing classified files in relation to this topic, with a view of the classification”. Most government and military UFO reports remain classified, however.
• The most prolific UFO sightings occurred in the Gisborne/East Cape area of the North Island during what came to be known as the ‘Gisborne UFO flap’ of 1977 to 1980. Hansen notes that a significant number of UFO sightings were reported beginning just 10 days before the massive Christchurch earthquake in 2011, and continuing through to several weeks after the after-shocks had settled down.
• After 44 years of UFO research investigating hundreds of sightings and thousands of witnesses, Hansen believes that many of these UFO incidents occurred for a reason or purpose controlled by the occupants of the UFOs themselves. Science is now validating the physics behind UFOs, and of course we now know there are plenty of habitable planets out there with similar attributes to Earth. Hansen says that it is only a matter of time until we truly understand why we’ve been visited for centuries by other beings.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be conducting interviews with leading UFO researchers from countries around the world in an effort to paint a picture of global UFOlogy today.
This week, our global UFO trek takes us to New Zealand, and to Suzy Hansen, an author, researcher, experiencer, and former professional educationist. Suzy is the author of The Dual Soul Connection: The Alien Agenda for Human Advancement, with contributions by Dr. Rudy Schild, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics, Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA.
Suzy is also the founding Director of the UFOCUS NZ Research Network(NZ UFO sightings), and coordinator of Communicator Link (advocacy & support for experiencers/abductees). She was instrumental in lobbying for the release of the NZ MoD UFO Files in 2010/11. She has been lecturing internationally for more than 20 years and has featured in numerous interviews, articles and documentaries.
RG: Who have been the defining figures in New Zealand UFOlogy over the past 70 years (for better or for worse), and why?
SH: The most active and prominent researchers in my opinion were Fred and Phyllis Dickeson, Harold Fulton, Harvey Cooke (all gone now), and currently, the Dickeson’s son Bryan and I guess—myself!
The Dickesons were former NZ air force personnel who worked tirelessly to publicise UFO sighting investigation data. They established nationwide discussion groups and published the UFO magazines Satcu and Xenolog. They also hosted well-known UFO personalities to NZ, including author Erich von Daniken and contactee George Adamski.
Bryan Dickeson investigated UFO sightings throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, and spoke at early New Zealand UFO conferences. He is also a trained regression therapist and investigated New Zealand’s first publicised abduction experience. Bryan now resides in Australia and has contributed significantly to Australia’s UFO research too. He has recently digitised some 6,500 New Zealand UFO sightings from his parents’ research material, which will soon be available to the public on UFOCUS NZ’s website.
The late Harold Fulton was also ex-air force and investigated some of New Zealand’s most significant UFO events along with the other researchers I have mentioned. His focus was on aviation sightings and his data was meticulous and scientific.
The late Harvey Cooke was perhaps the “Mr Personality” of UFO research here, and, although he never had a UFO sighting himself, his passion and enthusiasm for the subject was endless. Harvey contributed significantly through TV and radio interviews, organising conferences, and he ran one of the world’s longest-standing UFO groups for 55 years. His memory for names and dates was legendary.
RG: What do you consider to be the most compelling NZ UFO incident on record, and why?
SH: Without a doubt, the Kaikoura Lights sightings of 1978/79 are the most renowned NZ sightings. The two main sightings that occurred in December 1978/79 were captured on film, seen visually by pilots and a film crew onboard one of the flights, and appeared on Wellington Airport radar and the radar of the two Argosy aircraft involved. These anomalous lights were observed by many members of the public as well over a period of weeks.
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