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Date: September 4 1969
Time: 1930 hours (7.30 pm)
Location: Wellington to Blenheim, across Cook Strait
Aircraft: Bristol Freighter, of Straits Air Freight Express
Witness/es: Capt. R. Cullum, First Officer Faircloth
‘The time was shortly before 1930 hours on September 4, 1969. It was a dark night, with no moon. Capt Cullum and First Officer Faircloth, the crew of a Bristol freighter of Straits Air Freight Express, had just taken off on a routine run from Wellington to Blenheim across Cook Strait. This turbulent piece of water separates the North and South Island of New Zealand.
The crew noted that apart from four to five-eighths scattered cloud, visibility was some 20 miles. As they were climbing steadily towards 3,000 feet, Wellington radar suddenly came in on the intercom. The airport terminal radar was tracking an unknown which was four miles dead ahead. The freighter at this time was flying north into wind, and started then to swing around to the west, heading for the coast, where it turned again to south south-west on course for Blenheim.
The aircraft had overflown the coastline and turned for the southerly heading when F/O Faircloth, who was piloting the plane from the Captain's seat, spotted a bright blue, pulsating, fluorescent light. The blinking blue light was below them, and to the right. It was an estimated two miles from their aircraft. The pilots informed Wellington radar of their visual sighting and their position fix was confirmed. Radar was tracking the object the pilots were watching.
It was noted with some surprise that the object was ‘flying’ very slowly at an estimated 50-60 knots (some 70 mph). There was a northerly wind of 30-35 knots, which meant the UFO was only moving at an air speed of 25 knots. The pilots noted that the blue light flashed every two to three seconds and was as bright as a first magnitude star at its brightest. The UFO maintained a steady southerly course.
The pilots watched the unknown for approximately two minutes. They made no attempt to close with it, and the aircraft soon left it behind. Meanwhile Wellington radar continued to track it.
Some 90 minutes later, F/O Faircloth was making a return flight to Wellington and again spotted the mystery light. This time it appeared as a cluster of lights, some 15 miles distant, off the coast of the South Island in the vicinity of Cape Campbell beacon. F/O Faircloth contacted Wellington Radar and told them of his further observation and the position. Wellington confirmed that this was the same object and that they were still tracking it. Immediately following the first public disclosure of this interesting incident by the Wellington Evening Post in its September 23 issue, I wrote to Captain Ridgwell Cullum asking him for his first-hand account and also for that of F/O Faircloth. The Captain's report was back within ten days, and fully confirmed the press account. There were no contradictions or inaccuracies. Although Captain Callum promised that F/O Faircloth's report would be forthcoming, it has not yet been received.
Captain Cullum provided a detailed sketch, showing plottings, which is included with this report.
Originally posted by thesearchfortruth
Do you know of any skeptical explanations for the case?
A number of other possible explanations of this radar/pilot-confirmed sighting were also made in the September 24th follow-up press report. It was suggested that the object was an unscheduled private aircraft, or a helicopter, but the object’s slow speed and its pulsating blue fluorescent light made these explanations very weak. There has been no further public comment about this incident.’
Originally posted by thesearchfortruth
reply to post by adeclerk
Wouldn't trained military pilots be able to identify a helicopter? And what would be the purpose of taking an unscheduled flight in a helicopter, going 25 knots, with a big bright pulsating blue light attached to your vehicle?
Originally posted by SeekerLou
You would think that folk should understand that these guys ARE trained. So, of course, they would know the difference. It seems a lot of folk just do not give the mil credit in their training anymore nor do they seem to consider experience as accounting for anything these days.
Originally posted by adeclerk
Any chance it could be a lighter than air aircraft