In the morning of July 13, 1959 at 05:30, Eileen Moreland turned on the milking shed light, and walked across a flat paddock surrounded by trees to bring in the small herd of cows for milking, with a torch in her hand. It was a dark morning, cold, with no wind, with a thick cloud layer estimated at 2000 feet. She then saw that there was a bright green light among the clouds, which puzzled her because it was the wrong place for the moon. When she had arrived halfway in the yards’ meadow, she saw two large green lights “like eyes”, surrounded by an orange circle, igniting in the cloud and going down quickly. The worrying green light lit all the meadow, she looked at her hands and saw that she was bathed in this green glow too and thought that she should not be here. She then ran among the cows bathed in the green light into a group of pines on the other side of the meadow and stood there to observe.

Looking at the paddock she saw a flattish, saucer-shaped object slowly descending from about 50 feet above the ground and stop its smooth descent some 30 feet above the grass, hovering about 15 feet above a group of peach trees of 10 to 15 feet high. The ratio of height to width of the object was about 1:3, it was between 7.5 and 8 feet high and some 20 to 25 feet across. It had two circumferential rows of orange-green “jets” set into bands at the top and bottom of the main body. The jets were of brilliant orange color with greenish centers, and faded to the outside through orange to yellow. They made a faint hissing noise. They were located on metallic bands about 1.5 feet in towards the center from the upper and lower edges of the object.

The object hovered motionless about 40 yards out in the center of the paddock. When the craft stopped descending, the jets immediately shut off and reappeared at a slight angle. Each band of jets then began to counter-rotate at high speed, the top band from right to left and the bottom from left to right. The speed became so important that the bands of light became apparently continuous “like halos”. There was none of noises of a car or plane engine, instead, there was a loud humming and a hissing noise of the “jets”. The witness became apprehensive when she saw that there was a clear, glassy dome-like structure on top of the object, filled with a pure white light, the source of which was not visible itself, but seemed to arise from the center of the object. She saw that there were two figures seated one behind the other and facing the same way a little over an arm’s length apart. The two figures were dressed in almost skin-tight metallic-looking suits that crinkled and creased with each movement, and reflected the light. The figure at the rear stood up suddenly and leaned forward on his hands, as if to observe something between him and the other figure in front, possibly the brightly flickering light source. Mrs. Moreland thought that he must be a little over 5 feet in height. She could not see the face as he was not facing in her direction and the large silvered helmet covered from shoulder to shoulder. The figure then sank back to his former position while the front figure had not moved during the observation.

After a minute or two, the craft was slightly bent, the bands of jets turned off, then were re-ignited, without rotation. There was a strong hot air draught that reached Mrs. Moreland, and the craft rose vertically with its body always at a slight angle, accompanied by a very strong, almost unbearable high pitched whining sound, and it was lost from sight in the clouds. There was then a strange hot odor that Mrs. Moreland with compared with that of pepper and that thereafter was suggested to be the odor of ozone.

Eileen Moreland was so dumbfounded that she remained in the group of trees during one moment not knowing what to do. Then she decided to resume her normal tasks and gathered the cows, which had not reacted much to the object as only one or two did get up. She felt shaken a little shaken and embarrassed, not knowing at all what to make about what she had seen. She entered then the house and woke her husband, who had worked in night shift, and who did not make fun of her as she had feared, but asked her whether she had had phoned the police force or the Air Department. She told him she had not, and although she thought nobody would believe her she then phoned the police, who seemed interested. Her husband phoned the Air Force at Woodbourne.

An article about the sighting including descriptions of Mrs. Moreland was published in the Nelson Evening Mail newspaper. It created such interest that their farm was plagued by hordes of inquisitive sightseers, with people wandering all over the property, uninvited, leaving gates open, upsetting the cows and generally creating such a nuisance that the Morelands said that if this should happen again they would not tell about it. Drawings of the craft and occupants were made. She was visited by the police and a representative of the Air Force, R. Healey, Operations Officer, and F. Simpson, a pilot, as well as an aviation engineer, D. Thynne, who requested a detailed sketch of the object. The Air Force personal indicated that residual radiation had been detected where the object was seen.

It was later noticed that the row of fruit trees beneath the position where the UFO had hovered died and had to be pulled out. On the contrary, grass in the vicinity grew much faster, becoming several times taller and much greener than grass elsewhere. After several days, Mrs. Moreland’s hands started to swell and patches of brown color developed on her face. She showed these symptoms to her doctor. The swelling gradually disappeared, but the brown patches on her face persisted much longer, with the last spot, above her right eyebrow, disappearing only six years later.

Craft’s schematics based on  Mrs. Moreland drawings, redrawn by Bryan Dickenson, and confirmed by her on May 31, 1975.


New Findings

With the December 2010 New Zealand government UFO file release regarding this case, and with the main body of these papers with some censored folios, still revealed fascinating further detail, and tantalizing allusions to sensitive details. In fact as the 1959 investigation progressed from CONFIDENTIAL classification to TOP SECRET. Based on clues presented on the document like a full height drawing of the ufonaut with a great grade of detail regarding his gear and physical characteristics, seems to indicate that Mrs. Moreland had a “very” close encounter indeed.

The initial story was to the effect that she had only seen a craft descend, hover and then ascend. She subsequently told the investigating officer about the landing of the man, who she described as “like any other man” as far as she could tell, though his left hand was “missing below the wrist”. This ‘man” shouted at her in a foreign language. In a fright she hit out with her torch and ran for nearby trees. The man re-boarded the vehicle, which was hovering some 10 -12 feet from the ground. It then ascended straight up into the sky emitting a high-pitched whistle and leaving a patch of hot air and a smell like that of burnt pepper.

A more in depth research can be found at the theozfiles blog for your consideration.

Some of the sketches presented on the 2010 declassified  UFO materials by the government of New Zealand regarding this case.


- Blenheim, Marlborough, New-Zealand, Eileen Moreland
- theozfiles by Bill Chalker: The Moreland Revelations

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