UFOs, mysterious creatures - 7 strange things that happened in 2019

10:38 am on 31 December 2019

From mysterious creatures to strange sightings, here are seven odd things that happened across the country in 2019.

1. Mysterious creatures discovered

An Auckland man and experts have been left baffled after his mother discovered alien-like looking creatures on her kitchen floor.

An Auckland man and experts have been left baffled after his mother discovered alien-like looking creatures on her kitchen floor. Photo: Facebook/Tim Clerke

On 6 February the NZ Herald reported that an Auckland man was baffled after his mother discovered alien-like looking creatures on her kitchen floor.

The man, Tim Clerke, shared a video of the weird creatures to Facebook, asking people if they knew what they were.

One person responded that it could be miniature bats, another said it could be mutant mice, but Clerke thought it was something more alien-like.

However insect expert Eric Edwards said it was possible the unknown specimens could be rat-tailed maggots but wasn't entirely sure.

The mysterious creatures have still not been identified and so the debate continues.

2. A UFO sighting?

In March a bizarre 'UFO' sighting at a west Auckland beach left a couple terrified.

A person was at Karekare Beach on 31 March when they saw strange lights in the sky, Newshub reported.

The person posted to Reddit: "We were on the beach, my boyfriend and I, and saw two bright orange/red lights far on the other end of the beach.

"In a matter of seconds, one of the lights started moving at full speed, in a straight line, no more that 200m above the water until directly in front of us."

The person said after two minutes the strange object moved away, but then they spotted five more objects surrounding them at the beach.

They fled and then posted to social media to ask if anyone else had had a similar experience that day.

Some said it could have been Chinese lanterns or meteorological equipment, but others believed it was evidence of something unexplainable, Newshub reported.

3. A 'loud rumble' in the south

Many people in the South Island were baffled by a loud rumble on 16 May.

Hundreds of Facebook users took to the Dunedin News Facebook page to figure out what the sound was.

The noise was reportedly heard along much of the Otago coastline and inland as far as Outram, Middlemarch, Palmerston and even Queenstown, the Otago Daily Times reported.

A Dunedin resident told the Herald it sounded like a cannon firing on Anzac Day and also thought it was an earthquake but there was no shake.

The next day MetService confirmed there was a lightning strike off the coast of Otago, which would have been the likely cause of the loud rumbling noise.

MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said it was probably just what's called a squat thunder storm, where the cold air from the land was warmed quite a lot by the sea air.

4. Alien-like noises

An Auckland resident reported hearing a "mythical" creature making 'alien-like' noises outside her Mt Albert property on 24 June.

The resident posted a video to Facebook of a spine-chilling noise that could be heard in her garden, Newshub reported.

While some commentators were horrified, others thought it could just be a possum.

Newshub reported that a spokesperson from the Department of Conservation confirmed the alien-like noise was a possum.

"Definitely a possum, they normally make this sound when they've met another one."

5. 'Big flaming ball'

'Big flaming ball' thought to be a meteorite sighted over Auckland.

'Big flaming ball' thought to be a meteorite sighted over Auckland. Photo: NZME

A woman in Auckland reported witnessing a "big flaming ball" shooting over the city on 23 July.

Jamie Creedon said she witnessed what she believed to be a meteorite over Albany, in north Auckland.

"I have never seen anything like it. I thought 'oh a shooting star' but it was massive and I could hear the whirr sound," she told the NZ Herald.

"It then disappeared completely. I actually thought I was going crazy."

She was not the only one, Stardome Observatory in Auckland confirmed that it had received several reports of the sighting.

"Reports suggest it was unusually low in the sky, which is certainly possible if it was taking longer to burn out," a spokesperson told the Herald.

6. Meteor sighting

On 9 September a Paekakariki man reported spotting a meteor off the Kāpiti Coast, which was likely a meteor that was also spotted over Nelson.

Gary Wheaton told Stuff: "It was like a streak of light screaming across the sky."

He initially thought it was a flare from a boat but realised it was far too high.

Police confirmed they were called about what appeared to be a boat flare but said it was more likely it was a meteor, Stuff reported.

Residents in Nelson city and in the small town of Wakefield also reported seeing a meteor with an orange tail blaze a path eastward across the region.

Duncan Steel, of the Centre for Space Science Technology in Alexandra, said the meteor seen would have been enough to "light up the night sky" if it had happened later, and would be referred to by the technical term "fireball".

He told Stuff that the meteor could have been a "natural" meteorite, but said it was also very likely, given the direction it was travelling, for it to have been a piece of "space junk".

7. Strange bangs

In the Bay of Plenty on 11 October residents posted to a number of Tauranga Facebook pages reporting that loud, sudden bangs were keeping them awake.

They complained of hearing the noise as late as 11pm and as early as 5am, the Bay of Plenty Times reported.

One person said it sounded like a firecracker while another said his dog would not come out from under the deck as the noise echoed in the area.

The Western Bay of Plenty Council said it had received multiple calls.

Its compliance and monitoring manager Alison Curtis said the noise was just the annual orchard "bird scarers" and was nothing for people to be frightened of.

Curtis told the Bay of Plenty Times it was a "useful tool for orchardists to scare birds off the buds on kiwifruit orchards".

"From mid-August to mid-October is the time when orchardists use bird scarers frequently as that is budding time on their orchards," she said.

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