The truth may be out and about in Northland with numerous reports of strange phenomena above the region - from curious lights, mysterious craft and even a possible alien landing, and video footage being sent overseas for expert analysis.
Suzanne Hansen, network director for Ufocus NZ research, which collates UFO/UAP (unidentified flying object/unidentified aerospace phenomena) reports, said she had received 237 such sightings so far this year, with many from Northland.
Ms Hansen said there had been a significant increase in sightings involving descriptions of actual objects (not aircraft) as opposed to "lights in the sky" sightings.
"Several of these have involved the sighting of entities in conjunction with an object," she said.
However, president of the Northland Astronomical Society Terry Hickey said there were sound explanations for what people thought they had seen. Mr Hickey said he believed there was alien life "out there" but that it had yet to make it to Earth.
But Ms Hansen said specific objects have been described, with reports coming from scientists, pilots, aviation personnel and police.
She said a "top scientist" had reported seeing an object land in an isolated part of Northland, that was "definitely not an aircraft or like anything else he had seen".
"In these cases, we have withheld most of these reports to see if corroborative reports come in. This has been the case in each of these cases, with corroborative sightings of identical objects coming in from different parts of the country," Ms Hansen said.
"We have also had a number of reports from people who said they had previously been sceptics, but have had to change their perspectives having had a sighting themselves that they could not explain. There are several photos and video footage being examined overseas by analysts."
Most of the reports this year have been from the BOP/central North Island, Auckland and Northland, Canterbury and Manawatu, with the balance spread around the country.
But Mr Hickey said in the 42 years he had been in the society he had yet to see any UFOs and doubted if any had even visited our planet.
"There are very good explanations for what people report, but it doesn't make a very good story if you can explain it," he said.
He said the recent upsurge in sightings was probably down to Venus being close to Earth and Jupiter also clearly visible, particularly around dawn and sunset. An increase in iridium satellites was also responsible for false sightings, he said.
"Because Venus is always between us and the Sun it's always close to the horizon when it's visible. It's very bright and can create an optical illusion where people think they see things that aren't there," Mr Hickey said.
But he said with billions of stars out there, and even more planets orbiting them, it was highly likely that there was intelligent life out there somewhere.