THE MORELAND CASE
Date: Monday 13 July 1959.
Time: Between 0530 and 0545 hours.
Duration: 2 to 3 minutes.
Weather conditions: Dark morning, cold, still, with thick cloud at 600 metres (2000 feet) approximately.
Witness: Mrs Eileen Moreland
Location: Cow paddock, Renwick, near Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand
The Moreland encounter occurred twenty years before the now-famous 'Kaikoura UFO sightings and filmings', which were also made in the region of the north-eastern coastal district of the South Island of New Zealand. As the location of the Moreland sighting was close to Woodbourne Airbase, the Royal New Zealand Airforce treated the matter seriously and mounted an enquiry into the incident, the outcome of which is still under wraps today.
At 5.30 a.m. on Monday 13 July 1959, Mrs Moreland walked across a flat paddock to round up her eight cows and bring them in for milking. The cows had spent the night under pine trees which surrounded the 1.2 hectare (3 acre) paddock. The morning was cold with a blanket of cloud at a height estimated (to be 600 metres (2000 feet). Mrs Moreland had first gone and .turned the light on in the milking shed, then with torch in hand,she set off over the paddock to round up the cows. However, whilst only halfway across the paddock, some 45 metres (150 feet) from the shed, she noticed a green glow emanating fromthe cloud above and bathing the ground below in a 'ghostly green light'. She stood looking upwards, puzzled as to what it could be, as there was no moon, and thinking to herself the light was in the wrong position to have been caused by the moon anyway.
Suddenly two green lights 'like eyes' broke through the clouds towards the ground, which was now fully illuminated by green light. Looking at her hands she noticed that she was also bathed in a green glow. It was reported in the Nelson Mail that at this stage, Mrs Moreland's first thoughts were 'I shouldn't be here', so it is not surprising that she then dived for the pine trees at the side of the paddock. The cows were clearly discernible in the green light. Running among them she made for shelter by the trunk of a pine tree.Looking back she observed a 'saucer-shaped object' with two green lights on the bottom (also descending to within a few metres off the ground, and then hovering about 4 metres (13 feet) above some peach trees. There were two 'circumferential rows of orange-green-jets set into bands at the top and bottom of the main body of the object'. The jets were said to be a brilliant orange colour, with greenish centres and faded to the outside, through orange to yellow. 'The jets also made a faint hissing noise and were located about 1 1/2 feet [46 centimetres] in towards the centre from the upper and lower edges of the metallic bands'. The object hovered in the centre of the paddock about 5 metres (16 feet) above the ground, the object then 'motionless', the jets immediately shut off and reappeared at a slight angle.
Each band (into which the jets were set) began to 'counter-rotate' at a very high speed. The top band was said to be'whirling from right to left while the bottom was whirling from left to right'.
One report stated 'the speed became so great, the bands of light became continuous, like halos'. There was no noise heard that sounded consistent with the revving of any conventional engine. However, Mrs Moreland did report hearing a humming sound. There was a transparent dome-shaped structure on the top of the object, the interior of which was brightly illuminated with a bright white light that appeared to be eminating from the centre of the object. Mrs Moreland became somewhat apprehensive when noticing the object was occupied. Mrs Moreland stated to the Press, that inside the object she had seen two men, who were dressed in skin-tight metallic suits (likened to alluminium foil by Mrs Moreland), that reflected light and 'crinkled and creased' with movement. The man at the rear had suddenly stood up and leaning forward on his 'hands', looked downwards at something in the direction of the flickering white light source. Mrs Moreland estimated his height to be a little over 152 centimetres (5 feet). No facial features were seen as the man was not facing her, together with the fact that large silvered opaque helmets rising from the occupants' shoulders, covered their heads. The 'man' sat back down to his former position, the object then tilted slightly, the bands of jets stopped 'whirling' and the illumination cut out momentarily, then with no rotation of the bands, the lights on the bands were on again. There was a loud 'whoosh' of air, the object rose vertically (while the body was still at a slight angle) and disappeared into the cloud at tremendous speed. During this manoeuvre, Mrs Moreland heard a high-pitched whine, the 'screech' of which was said to be unbearable, and she described the movement of the object as unbelievably fast. Mrs Moreland stood somewhat dumbfounded among the trees, not knowing what to do. There was a wave of warm air
and an ozone smell, likened to that of 'hot pepper'. Mrs Moreland pulled herself together, rounded the cows up, at which time she heard the distant town clock striking a quarter to six. This enabled her to calculate the duration of her encounter to have been approximately two to three minutes, although it seemed much longer to her.
Mrs Moreland completed her milking before going back to the house and waking her husband and family to tell them of her experience. Her husband was an employee of the Royal New Zealand Airforce, based at Wood bourne. He had not laughed at his wife's story, as she had initially feared he may have done, but rather urged her to telephone the police and report the incident to them, which she did. Mr oreland subsequently informed the Airforce authorities at Woodbourne, who also took the story seriously. Mrs Moreland was later interviewed by Airforce officials who visited the area where she had seen the object, and indicated that residual radiation had been found there.
Mrs Moreland's hands began swelling several days after the incident, and her wedding ring had to be cut off as it had become painfully tight fitting. She also consulted her doctor regarding the development of brown pigmented areas on her face. The pigmentation lasted long after the swelling of her hands subsided. Not until six years later was the last 'blotch' of brown pigmented skin gone. This was a brown patch over her right eyebrow that just seemed to suddenly disappear. There were also reports that the row of peach trees overwhich the UFO had hovered died, and later had to be pulled out, while grass in the same area grew at a much faster rate than grass elsewhere on the farm. Mrs Moreland also informed me that the only cow that was disturbed by the UFO was never able to calf again, for reasons unknown.
Mrs Moreland had undergone a series of audiotone readings at her home (and not in Wellington, as had been previously reported), supervised by Airforce personnel, in order to determine the noise levels Mrs Moreland heard during her encounter with the object. The results were that she identified the hovering noise at 25 000 cycles, and the high-pitched 'scream' that the object had made while ascending, at possibly an even higher rate. Mrs Moreland described that later to me as 'ear splitting'.
The Moreland case has attracted much interest over the years among UFOlogists. Dr Allen Hynek and the late Dr James E. McDonald have both visited her, to hear for themselves her story. During the recent Kaikoura UFO fever Mrs Moreland's case was touted around by several gravy train riders, eager to expose a bit of New Zealand's UFOlogical history. Challenges had been made to the Minister of Defence, Mr
Gill, to release the official files held on the Moreland case. The Minister was reported in the Christchurch Star, 10 July 1979, as having offered to release the files if Mrs Moreland consented. This she was not happy to comply with, as it has been over twenty years since the event, and she has now remarried, and wishes to live her retirement out in peace. Mrs Moreland wrote to me expressing her feelings on the matter and we can not in any way blame her for now wishing the matter to rest. I have documented her case in detail in the hope
that all the information relating to the case is contained herein, and trust she will be protected from the pestilence of pseudo-psychics and over-zealous copy boys, who have hounded her over the years.