In late 1978 / early 1979 there were a series of sighting of mysterious moving lights over the Kaikoura Range that many believed were extra-terrestrial craft. However, unlike many flying saucer sightings, these unexplained objects were seen by credible witnesses and were caught on film by a TV crew. There were even unexplained radar readings that coincided with their appearance. The event caught the imagination of the country and the world (you can see an American news report on the sightings here).
The Kaikoura lights were behind the title of the 1991 Flying Nun compilation Pink Flying Saucers Over the Southern Alps and 28 years after the event The Mysterious Tape Man recorded a track, 'Kaikoura U.F.O.' on his EP The Tape Man Goes to Outer Space.
The Kaikoura "U.F.O.s" were also the subject of the A-side of a single released by Napier band Five Year Mission in 1985. This outfit were as influenced by Sci-Fi TV as they were by punk and sometimes played live in Star Trek uniforms. Both sides of the single can be downloaded at the NZ Punk Archive.
Another sci-fi obsessed band were 1990's Gisborne group TK 421. They're one of those bands that seems lost to history with nothing about them at all available on the net. I remember seeing them play live once. When I requested a song from the EP they stopped and demanded to know how I knew their songs. They couldn't actually believe someone would buy their EP, "Crappy", which included both the track 'U.F.O.' included on the podcast and, probably their best song, 'Godzilla vs Tokyo'.
The podcast concludes with a track from one of my favourite bands of all-time, The 3-Ds. It is, of course 'Outer Space' (clip available on the video page).
Download the Counting The Beat - U.F.O. Podcast