Below are a selection of first-hand accounts from people who have witnessed strange lights in the skies over Bundaberg city and surrounding region. All but two are recent.
Christmas night sighting
UPDATE: Since this article was first published, another resident has come forward to recount their tale of a UFO.
A reader said it was about 9.30pm on Christmas night last year when she saw something in the sky at Innes Park.
"I was looking toward the west when this orange bright light was coming from near the horizon across the sky eastbound," the witness said.
"It was too bright to be a high plane, and to me it looked like a helicopter flying low - except there was no sound. I thought it was really weird and called my husband and we had family and friends staying and they all came out."
She said that during that time, another light came from the same area, and then a third.
"By then the first was halfway across the sky and came to a complete stop and just sat there for a while (eventually fading out) the second and third ones slowed right down and eventually came to the same point where the first had faded out," she said.
"Eventually all three disappeared.
"It was a real orange colour, almost the same colour and brightness as orange street lights I could see in the distance at Innes Park (except for the fact that these were in the centre of the sky)."
She said it as they tried to take a closer look, the objects went further away.
"My husband was trying to view it through the binoculars and said that they just got further and further away, but he couldn't identify what it was," she said.
She said at the time of the sighting, everyone was too entranced to stop and think to film it.
"We were all too mesmerised to even think of filming it - bummed about that now," she said.
"The ones that were on the Sunrise program a few weeks ago up at Cardwell are about the closest I can describe."
The witness said she had tried to figure out an explanation for the lights in the sky.
"People have suggested drones.... but as I gather the Queensland Government fishing vessel drones have white lights," she said.
"Maybe Chinese lanterns.... except we are right near the sea, so the wind rarely travels from west to east. And, I'm still not convinced that Chinese lanterns would all slow right down at the same point, and then suspend for a period of time before fading out."
The witness said she had wondered if the intense colouring of the objects had been a reflection of the moon, which was a bright shade of orange that night.
"The whole thing lasted about 3-5 minutes, it's hard to say because you're just so fascinated at the time, and desperate for other people to be witnessing the same thing to corroborate," she said.
"If it weren't for my family and friends all seeing it, I'd be second guessing myself even today.
The local said she wanted to know if other people in the area had seen the same thing, and urged them to come forward to share their experience.
Experience still baffles
ON DECEMBER 14, Jason was out the back of his house in Thabeban talking to his cousin on the phone.
"It was a very clear night and I could see all the stars out, I was looking out in the north east of the sky when I noticed (I had been looking that way for a few minutes) a bright light appear about half way in the sky," he said.
Jason said he thought it was a bit strange because if it was a plane he would have seen the light from the start.
"It seemed to accelerate on a 45 degree angle heading towards the atmosphere, it was only viewable for around 20 seconds, and then it appeared to get brighter as it made its course and then it was gone," he said.
"I didn't see it leave the atmosphere (doubt I'd know even if it did) it just vanished."
Jason said he was left puzzled by the object he had seen in the sky.
"I doubt it was a plane as they don't go towards the atmosphere, I assume a weather balloon would go directly upwards, not on an angle," he said.
"I also do not think it was a rocket as this thing did not leave a trail of smoke at all, it also appeared out of nowhere, I've seen plenty of rockets in the skies over my life and this wasn't a rocket."
The Bundaberg man, who wished only to be known by his first name, said he could not come up with an explanation for what he saw.
"I've never seen a UFO, but I couldn't explain this and it's baffled me ever since," Jason said.
He said it was impossible to think of a rational explanation for what he had seen.
"I told my cousin what I had seen and she was a little scared, I've not seen anything like this before," Jason said.
Anonymous account of green cylinder in sky
ONE NewsMail reader sent in their account to staff at the paper, after initially being reluctant for fear of ridicule. However, they decided to share their story while keeping their name withheld.
Driving home in Bundaberg on the night of January 16, the anonymous witness said they saw a green cylinder in the sky.
"I didn't mention it to the others in the car until suddenly the object shot straight up into the air... pretty much exactly the opposite way a meteor would," the witness said.
"The speed of which this thing moved was faster than anything I have ever seen. After a few swear words and a face of shock I got the attention of a friend next to me who said 'you saw the green UFO as well didn't you!'"
The witness said they were aware of quite a few "strange" accounts of sightings in Queensland recently.
"The driver of the car also said she seen a flash of green fly past but didn't take much notice as she was focused on driving," the witness said.
UFO over Mt Perry
TONI Brown said her husband had seen a UFO over Mt Perry on January 17 this year.
She said the object appeared as a chrome sphere.
Green ball looked like a meteor
TRUDIE and Terry Stables were driving to Woodgate on Monday night on holiday from the Gold Coast when at about 9pm they saw something strange.
"Both my husband and I saw a very bright iridescent green ball with a white centre and with a long yellow tail fall from the sky," she said.
"It lasted about four seconds then it changed to a bright orange glow before it disappeared from sight. It was an amazing thing to see."
Mrs Stables said it was an amazing sight to behold.
"I think it may have been a meteor," she said.
A gift from the skies?
A READER shares their unexplained experience:
"We decided one evening to sit outside in the cool, not long ago and were looking at the stars," she said.
"There was nothing too exciting, a couple of what we call shooting stars, but then suddenly, simultaneously, a couple of us gasped out loud."
What she saw next, she said was breath-taking and "very real".
"A strange, almost twisted crescent shape hurtled from the sky near us. It was not too big - an odd crinkled shape of light and shade on a shaft of energy/light," she said.
"The event was swift, others did not see it, who were looking the other way."
The witness said the "shaft of light energy" landed across the road near a brick fence. She said what happened next was out of this world.
"Incredibly a tawny cat appeared that simply walked off," she said.
"It had not been there and with the street lights on, we would have been noticed if it had been.
"Is this how the aliens send back abductees, even if they're animals?"
Childhood sighting recalled
AMBER Beattie has shared her childhood experience.
"When I was a kid, this memory has stuck clear in my head since, I saw this long, silver thing in the air that looked like an aeroplane without wings or any tail stabilisers," she said.
"It was a crystal clear day, not a single cloud in the sky… I was watching it for a good minute or so while we were driving over near the cemetery at Avoca."
'It didn't seem to be moving much, and after I established that it wasn't a plane, I turned to my dad to point it out and by the time we looked, it had vanished... I had only looked away long enough to say 'Dad, look at that'."
Cluster of lights causes intrigue
JOSHUA Watson shared his experience.
"About four years ago in the late afternoon when the stars had just come out I saw what looked like three stars bunched together that almost looked like one star," he said.
"It was moving across the sky fairly quicky - I thought it just must have been a satellite, but all of a sudden it slowed right down then shot down the sky and back up super quick.
"It was changing direction unbelievably, then it came to a complete stop for a few seconds the disappeared, I could not believe what I'd just seen."
Have you ever had a UFO encounter?
This poll ended on 25 January 2013.
Yes, I've seen an object or two that I couldn't explain
Yes, I have seen a lot of strange objects
Yes, I have seen cylinders or strange lights
Yes, I have clearly seen alien spacecraft in the sky
Yes, I have witnessed alien activity and have been abducted
Yes, I have witnessed alien beings
Not personally, but have heard accounts from friends or family who I trust
No, I believe there is a logical explanation to what people see that doesn't involve aliens
I haven't seen a UFO, but I do believe we're not alone
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Have you had an encounter? Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience anonymously.
What UFO Research Queensland has to say:
BRISBANE based UFO Research Queensland say that if reports of UFO sightings in the region are to be believed, then it's a sign of a new phenomenon.
UFO Research Queensland president and researcher of 25 years Sheryl Gottschall said UFO sightings had to be studied individually to know if witnesses were seeing the work of clever hoaxers or the real deal.
"Obviously people are seeing something," Mrs Gottschall said.
"Sometimes people misinterpret what they see."
While Mrs Gottschall said while hoax methods sometimes made use of materials such as helium balloons and glow sticks, there were usually certain signs a sighting was real - such as sudden sharp turns.
"They're the classic manoeuvres we look for," she said.
She said sharp right-hand turns of objects in the sky were beyond our physical capabilities and indicated something more out of this world.
Mrs Gottschall said clusters of sightings did occur from time to time in some areas and that Mt Warning, Toowoomba, Logan and Tully had all had their fair share.
She said that while it was quite common for retired military members to reveal their sightings in the US, Australia had a different culture and attitude to UFOs where people didn't tend to talk so much about them.
"(In the US) there's a lot of evidence of people of that calibre talking about what they know," she said.
Mrs Gottschall said she had seen four UFOs in her life and had one encounter.
"People can be traumatised by encounters because of fear and that can stay with them a long time, other people have encounters and say they are uplifted by them," she said.
What the Australian Centre for Astrobiology has to say:
AUSTRALIAN Centre for Astrobiology at the University of NSW director professor Malcolm Walter said it was not uncommon to see a lot of strange lights in our region but there was no need to attribute them to alien visitations.
"In your area there is a lot of naturally occurring phenomenon that leads to lights in the sky," he said.
Prof Walter said the brilliant light produced in the night sky could be from meteors the size of marbles that burn up in the atmosphere.
"Or it could be from natural gas escapes that catch fire," he said.
Do you think Bundaberg is a UFO hot spot?
This poll ended on 25 January 2013.
Yes, the sightings are too common
No, there's no such thing as aliens
Possibly - it requires more research
No, there aren't all that many sightings
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Readers share their experiences in Queensland:
Abduction near Tully
IT WAS 1966, in Tully, north Queensland. Never done drugs, so was completely straight.
Was working on a cane farm and housed in barracks, not in Tully, but nearby.
One night, rather than walk to the ablutions block, and dark anyway, decided to water the grass.
Two bright stars in the distance caught my gaze.
They were larger than others, brighter, and appeared to move.
Transfixed, I watched further; as they did appear to grow bigger, changing colours, then, moving, hovering circling, turning variously, orange, yellow, red etc, gracefully floating while keeping their balance.
Then one drew closer and I could see it had coloured lights around the perimeter of a distinct saucer shaped body. The other stayed a little at a distance.
It appeared that when the disc moved clockwise the ring of lights could go the opposite direction.
It was amazing - red, orange, yellow green lights, fluctuating too. Some colours, were bigger lights than others. Beautiful.
A time passed, and I found myself standing in front of my door at the barracks. I did not walk there.
Where had the time gone? The main craft had come closer to me, that night, a mesmerising, beautiful sight.
Next thing, I found I was inside the craft.
These beings were all of Caucasian appearance, tall and dressed in blue.
They dressed me in blue also, then offered me a couch to sit/lie on. Whatever I wanted.
They communicated without words (telepathically?) and were truly very courteous. I noticed the interior had no angles and no seams. It was softly, but well lit.
Then, they began to tell me things. Here, are some - remember this is 1966.
They said there would be "healing patches" to assist healing, to place on people's skin.
They also showed me a healing method where they placed the patient under a white cloth, while above them, is suspended a circle of spectrum lights in similar colours to their disc ship.
They explained how the imbalance of illness caused colour gaps, that the lights restored, by filling the colour gaps.
It could turn either way, clockwise or anti-clockwise, and move freely across the whole body area.
One was the main communicator, others busied themselves variously.
Some sat nearby to listen then went about their business. I asked about their energy system, and they said I would find the answer in the face of a sunflower.
I spent many years puzzling this. Till, decades later, I walked past a little country bookshop, and was drawn to a book about the Apollo 13 mission in the window.
I went in, opened it randomly, and there, was this sunflower!
A black and white photo of the face of a sunflower. It was there, to describe a mathematical ratio for spirals by Daniel Bernouli and I recalled that the blue friends also said their energy was derived from air and water.
Their demeanour was very warm and friendly, not at all threatening.
The following evening, I went out to look again and a silvery cylinder shaped object hovered upright, nearby, as if just following me, but I was tired, and went to bed.
It was about seven or eight foot high, never touching the ground, just about a foot or two above it. Completely silent.
The next day, I was surprised to find a long meandering path of dried grass, about 18 inches to two foot wide, where the upright hovering object had been.
Since then, there have been patches for healing and I did get to look into the face of the sunflower - a scientific example of spirals in nature. Air and water.
It was the most wonderful experience. I actually miss them.
Ray Killick's close encounter:
ON THURSDAY, May 5, 2011, my wife and I were returning from Ipswich after I had undergone surgery at Ipswich Hospital.
We headed for our new home in Tieri, Central Queensland from our motel at 5.30am.
The weather was quite foggy for some distance, but later cleared to a nice sunny day.
We traveled along the Warrego Highway, through Dalby then headed onto Roma.
Somewhere after Dalby we encountered a very strange sight.
Driving along a craft appeared, crossing in front of our car from left side to right side, directly in front of us, and not very high above us - about 500 metres above and ahead.
It was about the size of an airliner and appeared to be landing.
It was a beautiful shiny green/blue colour and there was a small whitish vapor trail behind it.
The object didn't have wings.
It was only visible for a very short time as there were high gum trees on both sides of the road.
We were both in shock at what we saw and didn't believe what we saw. I said to my wife "did you see what I saw'" and she said "yes what was it?" I didn't know.
When we stopped further on past Roma we stopped to take some photos of some camels grazing close by over a fence along the road.
A young lady also stopped to take some photos. We talked and she had also had seen the strange craft.
Unfortunately we didn't get her name as a witness.
We don't know what we saw, but it wasn't anything we have ever seen before.
I have become interested in UFOs ever since and have just about viewed every internet site since then.