Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty have been a hotbed of unusual aerial activity recently, with multiple sightings of strange phenomena in the region's skies.
On Monday or Tuesday night on October 29 or 30, at least four people at the Challenge petrol station on Malfroy Rd witnessed five glowing orbs move slowly across the road toward Sunset Rd for about 30 seconds before they disappeared behind some trees.
A Challenge petrol station employee, who only wanted to be known as Michelle, said she and at least three others watched the orbs, which appeared about 8pm just before dark.
"A customer came in and asked 'can you see that?', we were all wondering what was going on.
"They were all perfectly round with a larger orange-coloured orb leading about four smaller orbs all in a line about the same distance apart. They were moving on an angle before they disappeared be hind some trees.''
Michelle said the glowing orbs were in the sky about 200m to 300m away from the service station forecourt and they watched them for about 30 seconds.
"There's no way they were lights from a plane, they were too big and were not flashing. Our first thought was it was something military but there was no noise and they were just floating there.
"We were all a bit freaked out but we weren't imagining things. I'm not one to sensationalise things ... I was reading the paper every day to see if anyone else had seen them.''
Michelle said they all knew they had seen something strange but she had not talked about it since.
"People might think I'm a bit mad, but I was in the air force and I know what an aeroplane looks like,'' she said.
In another recent sighting, a Lake Tarawera resident who wished to remain anonymous, said he photographed a bright orange orb as it slowly moved across the lake about two months ago.
The man, who lives on Spenser Rd, said he and his wife watched a colourful floating orb for about five minutes before it floated off to the right of Rainbow Mountain heading toward Tauranga.
"We saw it heading from roughly a southern position heading north low in the sky. It appeared to be a rotating ball with varying colours. It was not along any flights paths that I see airplanes on either.
"It continued going north at a steady, relatively slow speed, so I had time to get out the camera but unfortunately the picture isn't that great.''
The man said he was left with a strange feeling he had seen something out of the ordinary.
During a number of separate sightings this month a rural Rotorua resident filmed what he described as a "blinking ufo object and big bright sphere object'' as well as a "bright light ufo, strange skies ufo and fireballs''.
The man uploaded his films to the video sharing website YouTube identifying himself as horsefarmer1000.
In one of the videos there is also an obvious meteor shower at the end and satellites in the sky. But, there are some floating, flashing lights in the videos which do not look like an aeroplane or helicopter.
One of the videos has had more than 3280 views with the filming taking place on November 4 and November 8.
Horsefarmer1000 declined to be interviewed by The Daily Post but links to his films were sent to New Zealand UFO investigation organisation Ufocus NZ.
Ufocus director Suzanne Hansen, who is based in Tauranga, said she had watched the videos posted by horsefarmer1000 but said without speaking to the person it was difficult to say what was going on.
"I did not see anything that could not be explained in conventional terms.
"If people believe they have captured a UFO on film, we are able to send it to the United States for photographic data analysis with either a physicist and optical data analyst, or a retired NASA scientist, who assist Ufocus NZ in our work.
"We think this is a more credible way of ascertaining its veracity than posting it on YouTube.''
However, Ms Hansen said the organisation had received some very detailed sighting reports in the Rotorua/Tauranga/Kaimai area in the past year.
"In December 2011 we received a report from a small group of witnesses who observed an object, which was not an aircraft, which came to within 15m of their position and "followed'' them for a couple of kilometres.
"In March of this year, we received a report from a scientist who had a similar experience at a Northland beach and who provided an identical description to that given by the December 2011 witnesses.
She said in June, a person onboard an aircraft approaching Tauranga from Rotorua saw a silver/white disc-shaped object at a low altitude above the treetops and in July a retired commercial pilot saw a large silver spherical object accompanied by two white/silver V shaped objects over Tauranga Harbour.
Ms Hansen said there had been numerous reports in the Bay of Plenty and throughout the country, of very large orange balls of light.
"It is interesting to note that when the December 2011 witnesses first sighted an anomalous light, it was a large orange orb. As it came closer they were able to see the object within this orange glow.
"At close proximity the object had ``switched off'' the glow and the witnesses were able to see considerable detail.''
Ms Hansen said the organisation had received more UFO sighting reports this year than in any other year.
If you have had an encounter or sighting of a UFO you can contact Ms Hansen at www.ufocusnz.org.nz.