For some time, there had been a spate of UFO sightings in the area, and an investigation was called for. As the Argosy soared over the Pacific Ocean, northeast of South Island, they had their first sighting of a UFO. One of the television film crew members Quentin Fogarty, stated that he saw a row of five bright lights which were pulsating and grew from the size of a pinpoint to that of a large balloon. The whole sequence was then repeated, the lights now appearing over the town of Kaikoura, between the aircraft and the ground.
Air Traffic control at Wellington radioed the plane that they had a return for an unknown object following the Argosy. Startup took a 360 degree turn, in an attempt to confront the UFO. Although crew members could not see the UFO at this point, Wellington again radioed the plane:
"Sierra Alpha Eagle, you have a target in formation with you... target has increased in size."
Finally, the crew made visual contact with the UFO. The plane's navigational lights prohibited film being taken of the object. Startup turned off the lights, and the crew members could see a large, bright light. Television crew members were able to film 30 seconds of the object with a hand-held camera.
Startup reversed the plane's direction, and now the UFO was not visible, although Wellington was still getting a radar echo of the object. Finally, the Argosy landed at Christchurch with the UFO still visible on radar.
The very next night, the Argosy again took to the skies, and very soon had two UFOs in sight. One of the television cameramen observed one of the UFOs through his camera, describing it as a spinning sphere, with lateral lines around it. Only one of the UFOs showed a return on the plane's radar. Near the end of the flight, two lights could be seen. Wellington ground control still had the objects on radar.
The film taken by the Australian film crew would be shown all over the world. The BBC network gave a lead report on the film on an evening news show. Naturally, the film was quickly debunked by skeptics. They gave many alternative explanations for the UFOs. However, the Royal New Zealand Air Force had planes on full alert to confront the UFOs if it became necessary.