Kaikōura UFO mystery still flummoxing locals 40 years on

Forty years on from an unidentified flying object (UFO) sighting that put Kaikōura in the international spotlight, those who witnessed the strange occurrences are still confused by what they saw.

Three bright lights appeared in the Kaikōura sky in December 1978, bewildering those to witness it - including air traffic controllers John Cordy and Andy Herd.

It was even caught on camera by an Australian film crew who was in the area trying to capture footage of them.

Journalist Quentin Fogarty said they were transfixed by the mysterious lights, some of which were the size of a house.

"We saw this string of lights, it started as a small pinpoint of light then grew into this large pulsating globe with tinges of orange and red," he said.

"I'm sitting there transfixed - we were told after it was about the size of a house."

The objects even appeared on radar, further confusing air traffic staff.

The Muldoon Government said it was squid boats, the moonlight bouncing off cabbages or venus rising - but those who were there aren't convinced.

"Come on, radar returns from a field of cabbages? Squid boats doing 180 knots at 14,000 feet?" said Mr Cordy.

Even Mr Herd, a sceptic according to his son, believed the flashing lights were not normal.

"My father was a very sensible man," Daniel Herd said. "It would have taken a lot for him to believe that this was something as unusual as he did believe that it was."

Further complicating the mystery is other sightings of UFOs six years earlier in 1972, and a US scientist who studied the lights admitting he believed it wasn't a hoax... or explainable as squid boats.

Newshub.