Fears that aliens were taking over Northland have been allayed by weather experts who say a cloud - not an alien mother ship - was the object hovering off Ruakaka Beach early today.

The "spaceship" was hovering in an area where ships wait to dock at Northport, fuelling speculation that alien observers were mimicking human behaviour and preparing to land on Ruakaka Beach, about 30km south of Whangarei.

The oval shaped "spaceship" was a pink colour, which panicked locals initially believed was the colour that the ship's red hot hull had cooled to, after entering the earth's atmosphere.

One photo taken seems to show figures standing atop the "spaceship", scanning the land.


However, the proportions of the figures compared to the "spaceship" suggest that only three or four aliens would fit inside the ship, further suggesting that the visitors were here on a recreational visit, rather than arriving en masse to take over.

But MetService Meteorologist Lisa Murray said the object was not an alien spacecraft - it was a lenticular cloud.

"Often when we get these clouds we get the association with spaceships. It's because they have a smooth edge and they're quite shallow and stand alone," she said.

Ms Murray said as wind blows across mountains or hills it forms waves. If there is enough moisture in the air, these waves will condense to form lenticular clouds.

She said the reason the cloud was pink or orange would have been because of the early morning light.