Pouraua South Road stretches for a mile across a gravel surface on the Hauraki Plains. It heads into an uninviting scrubland where manuka bushes predominate. Here a fifty-acre block of land is owned by a former dairy farmer, Bert O’Neil, who on 4 September 1969 made a startling discovery. Something, it appeared, had landed on his property leaving a bleached circle of manuka about fifty feet across, there were three V-shaped grooves of disturbed peat soil in the centre of the circle, each about two or three inches deep and spaced precisely nine feet apart. Nowhere had the manuka been crushed, leading Mr. O’Neil to theorize that “three legs had been slid into the ground and then splayed outward.” A reporter for one of Auckland’s weekend newspapers wrote: “The manuka, which is extremely healthy elsewhere, seems to have been bleached grey-white and dry by heat inside the clearly defined circle. The scrub has definitely not been burned.” The Ngatea circle caused considerable excitement — more than any previously reported UFO sighting in New Zealand, in fact, for here at least was something tangible. Hordes of people came by car for days after, trampling about the area in search of heaven knows what. As usual, official investigators were among the late arrivals, and before long the explanations were coming at rapid-fire pace. The area had been hit by a “blight,” thus the grey-white manuka; the marks in the ground had been made by pigs, rooting for feed; and so on. A fungus was found to be growing on the manuka, and this was acclaimed as the cause of the condition of the scrub — although no one was able to state why only a near-perfect circle had been attacked. Then it was found by scientific examination of the manuka, that the branches and trunks were dry of sap and had been “cooked” from the inside out — rather as if they had been exposed to extreme radiation. A TV garden-show host, Reg Chibnall, made independent tests on the soils from inside the circle and from outside; he found that seed grew normally in the latter soils, but produced miserable, diseased-looking plants in pots containing soil from inside the circle. The then Minister of Science favored the fungus-and-pigs version and dismissed the whole affair. Meanwhile, scientists at Auckland University concluded that dead spiders in the bleached manuka area had been killed from radiation. Mr. Don Lockwood, of Waihi, made another interesting discovery: twenty-two feet out from the centre-line position of the ground marks, the manuka showed signs of where the radiation had ended and the rest of the tree had died. This point of demarcation was just above ground level, but increased in height up the trees the further to the south the checks were made. Tree and other samples were collected by Mr. H.L. Cooke, of Tauranga, and these were examined by a horticulturist in the same city. Mr. Stuart-Menzies, who gave the following report: “The scrub is radioactive and has been cooked instantaneously from the inside outward. I know of no earthly source of energy which could produce this effect. The manuka was bleached dry but showed no visible signs of burning. Every ounce of moisture in the plant had been instantaneously vaporized, and it was bone-dry and brittle. This is most unusual in manuka, which normally takes a long time to dry out. Some kind of high-frequency radiation cooked the material from the inside outward. The energy received reduced the pith to black carbon, without the outside showing any sign of burning. The cells in the medullary rays were burnt by the sudden vaporization of cell sap. A meteorite or lightning could not do this, and it was too sudden for combustion.” Mr. Stuart-Menzies added that the process appeared to have been similar to that employed in infra-red-cooking, “but on an enormous scale.”
Originally posted by Isittruee
Interesting. The "official" sources of course gave the spray and fungal excuse while the private investigations say other wise. They do both agree on one thing though. It happened 3-6 months before he found it. So my two points are.
1: The effected area sketch in no way looks like any kind of craft was there. It has no kind of shape. Unless "official" investigators drew it that way on purpose.
2: how does an 8" deep depression stay there for 3-6 months? Rain water didn't fill it with other soil? No type of animal treked through it and obscured it?
"A crude radiography test for radioactivity was carried out in one depression and in the middle of the triangle, but this proved negative. Soil and scrub samples were taken. A piece of ti-tree was subjected to a gamma spectrum test; this proved negative."
The Wellington Evening Post of September 10 carried the feature; Wellington Victoria University staff had noted it; but when a leading horticulturalist, Mr Stuart-Menzies of Te Puna (near Tauranga) released to the press the results of his examinations of samples taken from the Ngatea circle, things really began to pop. According to Mr Stuart-Menzies, the scrub-weed within the affected area had been killed by. Mr Stuart-Menzies had been called in to examine samples by Mr Harvey Cooke of Tauranga.
The horticulturalist elaborated: "Manuka from the circle was radio-active and had been cooked instantaneously from the inside outward. Every ounce of moisture in the plants had been instantly vaporized; they are bone dry and brittle. The energy received has reduced the pith to black carbon without the outsides showing any signs of burning."
Mr Stuart-Menzies added that he knew, "no earthly source of energy which could produce these effects; some outside object appears to have landed on the spot, and in taking off, emitted the energy which cooked the plants."
In a press release dated October 14, Mr R.Chidnall joined Mr Stuart-Menzies in repudiating the Minister's findings. Mr Chidnall said he agreed that saprophytic fungus was present, but this was a secondary state following death and did not explain how the plants died. When he examined the material he found "a set of states" which he could not fit into any ordinary pattern. Under the microscope, considerable differences were found in the dead wood from the affected area to that found in other areas. He also found that the soil from the circle would not support growth. "I sowed seeds in soil which I collected from the affected area, and they sprouted and died within 48 hours they just keeled over and died!" Seeds from the same packet planted in soil from outside the circle were still growing naturally, he said. Mr Stuart-Menzies agreed that he could see no evidence that the manuka was killed by spray or fungus. Saprophytic fungus lived only on dead material and did not kill. He added that Geiger counter readings taken within a week of the circle being discovered registered radiation in the thicker pieces of manuka.