High Strangeness: The Thing in Lake Rotorua

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Thing in Lake Rotorua

In the course of researching my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek, I have found myself going down some strange, unexpected byways of UFOlogy, some of them puzzling, some of them confounding, all of them fascinating...

A few days ago I came across another oddity: an aquatic UFO case that Hynek investigated in the early 1970s, when he was in New Zealand. I'm still working on figuring out the extent to which Hynek investigated the case, but in the process I've been having an entertaining email exchange with Lxxx, the woman who was one of the main witnesses to the event, and it's a great story.

Claiming that her memory was not as good as it used to be, Lxxx directed me to Carl Feindt's Water UFO website, which is probably old hat to many of you but was a first to me. There are enough water UFO's to warrant a website and a "Research Endeavor?" News to me.

Anyway, at the site I found the story of Lxxx and her then boyfriend Rxxxxx, who had been out on a date the night of July 3, 1971, and found themselves parked in their Hillman Minx near the shore of Lake Rotorua, in the town of Rotorua on the northern island of New Zealand. The time was about 1:45 a.m., and Lxxx and Rxxxxx were the only people in the area... it was a very quiet night
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Lxxx heard a strange beeping and asked her boyfriend what is was. Looking around for the source of the beep, they both noticed something odd 25 to 30 yards out on the water, out behind a tourist boat and a moored seaplane... It was a circular, domed saucer in -- or on -- the water.

The report didn't say explicitly what she and her boyfriend were doing in their car on the lakeshore at 1:45 a.m., and I don't want to make any assumptions, but both witnesses did report having to roll down the car window to see what was going on out on the water... Draw your own conclusions.

Rxxxxx reported later in the "CAPR Bulletin" that the object "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 fog 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."

Lxxx's report echoes Rxxxxx's in minute detail: "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."

After fleeing the scene, Lxxx's and Rxxxxx's curiosity got the best of them and they returned to the lakeshore some fifteen minutes after their sighting... Alas, The Thing in Lake Rotorua had vanished.

Forty-three years later, Lxxx didn't have much to add: "not so sure it was unique (probably was pretty amazing at the time seeing it had landed on the lake...well slightly hovering)" she wrote to me. "I dont know if the ufo came from under the water when we heard the beeping or whether it just came from the air as it just appeared out on the lake (close) by seeing it from the side window of the car."

"It sounds a bit of a comedy," she wrote, "but it's true."

Lxxx went on to tell me that her family has experienced a variety of strange occurrences over the years, some of them quite creepy, including one that resonated with me very strongly...
"On one occasion in the early hours of the morning (my son) 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... Then they sped off.  That amazed me at the time.  I thought are they exchanging information.... or fighting."
Zig-zag UFOs, anyone? Are these unique to me and Lxxx?
The reason this story resonates with me is that when I was a child I had a recurring alien invasion nightmare in which I was out in the backyard at night with my family when the sky suddenly filled with brilliant UFOs that looked like zig-zag lightning laid on its side... There were always millions of these things filling the sky, and I knew they were coming for us...

No idea what it means, but I am naturally intrigued by Lxxx's story and I hope she'll remember more details as we continue our correspondence. In the meantime, I confess to being a little confused: should we be watching the skies... or the lakes?
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