At first, I could not believe my eyes, as I sat staring at the photo that was given to me by Frenchman Daniel Ubertini.
The photo was taken in Suva on the 5th of this month at approximately 1pm in the afternoon. It shows a group of fishing vessels moored together but the interesting thing was that, when the photo was enlarged, there was a strange object that was in the air above the boats.
I had actually thought it was just a piece of rubbish floating in the air, but Daniel's theory clearly baffled me.
He says that this is possibly a UFO sighting in Fiji.
Daniel is a seasoned journalist who has spent 17 years travelling between France, Brazil, Tahiti and the Reunion Island, setting up newspapers and television stations. Apart from that, he was a former French Navy sailor whose biggest assignment was building the moorings for the atomic bomb that was detonated at the French Polynesian atoll of Mururoa in 1968.
The retiree came to Fiji on board the Tongan ferry 'Otuanga'Ofa which was repaired at the boatyard in Walu Bay earlier this month. He was indulging in his personal tradition of taking photos (of Suva) when, he captured this photo.
With a heavy French accent, Daniel recounted his story and different encounters with this so-called UFO over the years.
"But what I knew is that the UFO can take any kind of shape, but why I want to take this picture of these three Korean boats is a mystery, because there is nothing special about them, but I like travelling so I just enjoy taking pictures," he says in his best English.
"You know, how can you throw from the boat something so big and so high? It's like a pipe. Even if a man throws that, it's quite high," Daniel says.
"I dunno! Look! What is it? Somebody throw something away or this is a bird here, you know the size is quite huge. See there is a rope, I dunno, I dunno, I dunno. Do you see a bird like that? I just want to show you that because it was strange. I don't want to say it's a UFO. You know it's very strange to have that flying like that without any shape that we can relate it to you know. It's just something flying, you know something coming from where, it's just dropping down or what?
"You can have it (he says of the photo) and make an enlargement of that and ask if somebody lost something from the plane or helicopter you know," Daniel says.
When enlarged, the object seemed strange and since there are no UFO or astronomical experts with UFO tendencies in Fiji, the photo will probably remain a mystery or even treated as rubbish or as a hoax by the uninitiated.
It is, however, not coincidental, after the Frenchman continued with his story and also produced several more photographs that shows his encounter with equally strange shapes and phenomenon in other countries.
His most recent "UFO" sighting was in Tonga on January 21 ,three years ago, when he took a photo of an aeroplane at the airport .
The plane was stationary at the time
and in actual size, the dark shapes could
not be seen clearly. Only when one zooms in, can the shapes be clearly seen.
The photo was taken with his hand-held Samsung camera, and he said that all he wanted to take was the photo of the plane.
"It's not a bird, it's not an airplane, it's not a star, and you see, there are three," Daniel says
"But there was no reason for me to take these pictures, except, I want to have the express in the background. But I didn't see anything, so there was nothing special to make it take that picture
When asked how big it was, Daniel said a guy from the NASA described it as "massive" which meant it was probably the size of a house or a big truck. It seemed like they were just making a survey," Daniel adds.
Daniel's his first ever so called UFO sighting was in 1977, on Reunion Island, an island off the African coast and east of Madagascar.
Daniel took a photo of a Boeing 747 jet taking off from Reunion Island and only saw the strange shapes on his camera after he developed the photos. 1977 following a 747 in the
"And you see, it's a bright spot just before the things appear. You see on the same wing and it's only light and I didn't see that when I took the photo. My mind just told me to take that picture," he tries to explain in sensible English.
Daniel said he had sought scientific opinion on these photos, but after he didn't get much help from his own countrymen, he turned to American scientists in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980
"They did some good things, they sent back 25 of my pictures and they tell (me) that they know it's not an hoax, but "we can't tell you what it is and we don't want to tell you it's a UFO because nobody can prove anything it's a UFO," Daniel said.
"But when I went back two years ago, the company was not listed anymore, it's as if they had disappeared," he added.
Not one to give up, Daniel immersed himself in further research and turned up an interesting bit of information which was recorded by a trading ship, which sighted a strange shape off the African continental coast in 1917, some 60 years before Daniel made his sighting.
"That shape of the UFO was a drawing from a log book of a sailing boat in Africa in 1870. The captain of the boat drew this thing in his log book, but when you see this circle and the tail, and when you see that (pointing to his photos), you can tell that there is something similar. You can tell by seeing it from a different angle," Daniel says.
After three such encounters, Daniel now firmly believes that these strange shapes and apparitions have been following him wherever he goes.
"There is some thing very strange happenning to me sometimes. Without any reasons, I don't know why, but without seeing the things, I take a picture of it or it seems like I got.... I dunno.... it's like a mystery. I'm not a mysterious guy, I am a journalist. I just do my job taking pictures and sometimes, it seems like some things coming in front of my camera without reason but just revealing themselves. "
"You can't see them, and if you can't see them, they just want to show the world they are here. There is a little trick between them, and for me to be in the picture. It's very...I don't want to show I am a crazy guy.... but it's very strange, but I don't want to go deep on that, but they are here and I know it's like a game, and I got my camera and they move in front of the camera as if to say "hey stay," Daniel says.
His encounters have forced Daniel to re-examine himself and he has admitted that he is a cynic and he had a hard time trying to impress upon himself on the possible existence of extra terrestrial beings. In the end he gave in, but he still maintains his faith.
"I believe in God, and it's no problem for me to believe in God and believe in the UFO too, but you know, where I can explain where I am coming from, or asking them where they are coming from, but I think they know already.
"You know when I was taking pictures here, they were here too. It seemed like their minds are like our minds. But I don't want to sound like a science fiction book, but it seems like there is a connection between them and us. You know, they want to talk about why they are here but it seems like the governments don't want us to know much about them. Probably they know what they are," Daniel says.
But at the end of the day, Daniel is still a journalist through and through, getting a scoop is all he wants.
"I dunno about the connection, but one day, I would be able to establish contact. I don't want to sound crazy but I think that is the last frontier," he says.