Like an illuminated ping-pong ball, that's the only way I can describe it.

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



Anonymous said...
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Chris said...

Hi Andrew
Thanks for your comment and the info about where TK421 originated from. I'm keen to check out the Scholnicks but unfortunately information on them seems to be as rare, if not rarer, than that on TK421

Unknown said...

Hi Chris.

Just stumbled over your page, brutha. My name's Res, I used to play in TK421. Very suprised anyone remembers us, but pleasantly so to be honest.

Andrew's correct we're from Gizzy. Justin sang and played bass, Lucas Mucus sang and played guitar, I tried to play drums. We moved from Gisborne to Orkland late 90's and changed our name to The Scholnicks.

After The Scholnicks broke up ( we released one album, 1.0, on Carterco Records... I have no idea how you'd go about getting one now, I'm afraid ), Justin went on to play in rockabilly outfits Bobby Dee And The Dynamite Kids and Graveyard Rumble, both based in Orkland. He then played in Suicide Dogs with Luke Yeoward and Marky Suicide from Hamilton's Cinix, and Mel their drummer. He currently plays in hardcore band Shitripper.

Lucas from TK421 and myself are back in Gisborne and have recently formed a new band. We're called The Rocket Jocks and have just recorded an EP called "Next Stop; Moon!". We have a myspace at if you're interested in taking a listen? Er... we're still crap, though, unfortunately, so would understand if you don't.

Anyways, cheers bro. :) The 3D's fucking ruled, by the way.

Res Rapid

Anonymous said...

Hi Res....
And Chris and all...

dr teeth from Gissy here.
Found this blog trying to find some way to get a digital copy of Crappy. Still have my tape but you know.....So yes people do still look for TK 421 stuff. Was played on Bfm about as year ago too...
Hope all is well fella

Anonymous said...

Teef! How the heck are ya??? :)