A surgeon hailed a pioneer in the removal of devices implanted into humans by aliens is headed for Rotorua.
Dr Roger Leir won't be performing surgery when he visits in September but will speak at a conference, hosted by Ufocus New Zealand, which will focus on UFO sightings and other extraterrestrial-related phenomena.
Although Rotorua was chosen to host the conference for practical reasons, it is coincidentally part of a triangular section of the Bay of Plenty - between Waihi Beach, Whakatane and Rotorua - which is a particular hotspot of UFO activity, according to Ufocus founder Suzanne Hansen.
"There is also a pattern of increased sightings whenever there is seismic activity. It may be that the UFOs are tracking what is happening with the tectonic plates."
Ufocus treasurer and conference facilitator Graeme Opie, who is also the senior air traffic controller at Hamilton Airport, said in the past year there had been about 12 "credible" UFO sightings in the skies over New Zealand.
"A lot of people don't report them because they are scared of being labelled kooks ... or they report them directly to the police or the defence force and we never get to hear about them."
Between 150 and 250 people are expected at the conference in Rotorua with Dr Leir as a keynote speaker.
While his resume sounds like part of a script from an episode of The X Files, the organisers of the Future Perspectives conference, at the Rotorua Convention Centre in September, insist the American is the real deal and they want to be taken seriously.
Dr Leir, who holds qualifications as a foot surgeon, is touted as a world pioneer in the surgical removal of devices planted into people, supposedly following alien abductions.
According to the biography posted on the Ufocus website, Dr Leir has performed 12 separate operations to remove implanted objects from people, the most recent in September. As with the other 11 cases, the patient was an abductee who had "a lifetime of close encounter experiences".
The website claims the objects he removed, some of which look similar to small metal pins, had been tested in some of the world's most prestigious laboratories and baffled scientists, in part because "some of the tests show [radioactive] isotopic ratios not of this world ... comparisons have been made to meteorite samples".
Ms Hansen, who lives in Tauranga, said she was certain Dr Leir was "on the level ... he has spoken at hundreds of conferences and is very credible".
"He began as a non-believer [in extraterrestrials] but he became fascinated with these objects that showed up on x-rays with no point of entry or exit on the body.
"I can only surmise that they might be some kind of tracking device or something that monitors aspects of a person's health."
Ms Hansen said she expected the conference to generate a lot of interest.
"People have a great fear of being ridiculed if they come forward [with stories of UFO sightings]."
Dr. Roger Leir