They may sound too bizarre to be credible, but they make gripping reading nonetheless ? the first-hand accounts of ordinary Britons who claim to have seen UFOs in our skies.
After the Ministry of Defence released details last week of around 7,000 sightings since 1977 ? including reports from policemen, military pilots and air traffic controllers ? FEMAIL went back to five of them to hear their incredible stories.
RUTH NOVELLI, 61, lives in Bushey, Hertfordshire, with husband Bruno, 60. In 1984 Ruth reported a UFO sighting to the MoD.
She says: To this day, my children have never forgiven me for not waking them up the night my neighbour and I spent several hours gazing at what looked like a UFO in the night sky.
Twenty-four years on and it’s come back to haunt me with the previously secret Ministry of Defence report in which my sighting is recorded.
It was April 26, 1984, and as night fell, we saw out of the kitchen window what looked like a huge shining star in the sky. …
It started to change colour ? pinks, reds, blues and greens ? and there were balls of light coming off the sides.
The object stayed in the sky, occasionally moving sharply back and forth and side to side.
We lived close to the Bentley Priory RAF headquarters so initially decided that if it wasn’t a star, it was perhaps military equipment being tested.
Suddenly, an almighty flash of bright light passed over our houses and we were so panicked that we called the RAF HQ. They claimed they knew nothing about it, so my neighbour and I called the police.
Almost immediately, they came and blocked off our road while scrutinising the sky. We were asked to fill out lots of forms detailing what had happened.
Nobody ever told us what it was we’d seen, but the following day local papers carried reports of strange lights sighted above the Thames. A friend of a friend said she’d seen something similar on the same night.
The weirdest part of the whole episode was when a local UFO enthusiast called me a few days later.
LYNN JONES, 33, lives in Wrexham, Wales, with partner Leigh, 32, and their three children. In 2007, she saw strange lights hovering over the town.
The MoD was alerted but the lights remain unexplained.
Until the day I saw a UFO myself I had never even thought about them ? I didn’t believe such things happened.
But even now, when I look back on what I saw, I can feel the fear creeping over me again ? it was a truly terrifying experience.
It was 12.30am and I was in bed when Leigh came rushing in saying he could see strange lights in the sky.
I felt so sleepy I waved him away, but he drew back the curtains and I literally gasped at the sight.
There in front of us was a formation of seven brilliant white and yellow lights, which together had formed the shape of a cigar.
Leigh and I were dumbstruck. We opened the window and listened for any noise but there was none.
Yet, the lights above us were clear as could be ? they were incredibly white and mesmerising.
We decided to use the video camera so we could zoom in on the sighting.
As I went to find it, I felt frightened. I hoped that looking through the video would reveal it was just a plane, but it wasn’t.
The next day I phoned my local paper to see if anyone else had seen anything. It turned out the police had received a phone call in the middle of the night ? and the paper had also received sightings from around six other people in the area all describing the same thing.
Since then I’ve been contacted by a number of UFO enthusiasts all wanting to see the film.
Through them I’ve discovered that this area is renowned for UFO sightings ? it was near here that the “Welsh Roswell” happened in 1974 in the Berwyn Mountains when one day a huge tremor was felt and police later found the remains of an unidentified object.
Rumours are that the military destroyed a UFO.
To be honest, I have tried to put it out of my mind. I found it very unsettling and going over it all again raises more questions than it answers.
Nevertheless, it would be correct to say I am now more open-minded to the possibility that we may not be alone.
YVONNE UNDERWOOD, 51, lives with husband Richard, 54, in Northampton. At 9.30pm on February 3 this year, she saw a UFO.
My husband and I live in a beautiful location, next to a golf course, and because we don’t have any close neighbours we never draw the curtains.
Then one day, while I was watching a film on TV, I glanced out the window and was left aghast.
There in the sky I could see five bluey-white lights. I leapt out of bed to get a better look.
They were moving steadily and very low in an oblong formation. I felt my mouth go dry wondering if it was some aircraft going to crash land. We often have police helicopters fly over our house but this was something else ? there was no noise at all.
I shouted to Richard to come and look. But as he did the lights seemed to pass by the house and out of view of the bedroom window.
I ran to the front of the house, where from one of the bedrooms there is a balcony.
As I opened the door my hands began to shake. It sounds silly now but I wondered what on earth I’d find.
The lights had been so low I almost expected to see something in the front garden. But there was nothing at all.
I came back in the house visibly shaking and terribly frustrated that Richard hadn’t seen it as well.
A few days later I was still so bothered that I contacted our local newspaper. I wanted to know if anyone else had seen them or if there was some logical explanation.
They contacted the MoD, who confirmed nothing untoward had gone on that night ? however, there had been 27 such sightings in Northamptonshire in the past decade.
Over the next few weeks I was teased by a few friends and I think my children thought I had lost the plot.
I kept going over the incident in my head but I still couldn’t come up with any explanation.
I even tried to work out if what I saw was car lights reflecting on to the road that runs past our house.
A few weeks later I then discovered through my father-in-law that another man walking his dog nearby had also seen the same thing. Like me, he’d been astounded. His sighting tallied with mine.
It was a relief because until then I’d felt as if I were going mad. I’ve always had an open mind about UFOs but until February it never crossed my mind to even look at the sky for one.
Truthfully, it has shaken me ? the worse thing is not having an explanation and realising however much you try to analyse what you saw, you will never know the truth.
SEAN TIERNEY, 46, runs the Hull UFO Society. He spotted a UFO in 2001 and reported it to the MoD, but no explanation was given. Sean says:
Vicki and I were driving through Scarborough in February 2001. It was just a normal night but it was clear and cold.
Suddenly, I saw two bright white balls of lightmoving steadily, one in front of the other, about 4in apart.
I was so excited that my first reaction was to call my son Sean to come and meet us and video what we were witnessing.
For me, it’s more evidence in my mission to prove UFOs exist.
Since the age of 11 I have believed in the existence of alien lifeforms ? it was also the same age I saw my first UFO, when I observed strange lights and what looked like meteor showers in the sky.
As an adult I was more interested than ever and aged 21 went to my first Hull UFO Society meeting. Now I’m running it.
I’ve lost count of the exact number of times I’ve reported sightings to the MoD but it must be between 20 and 30 now.
During this particular sighting in 2001, though, we watched the lights for about eight or nine minutes before they were lost behind a building or a cloud.
I wasn’t alarmed, just intrigued to watch it making its way across the sky.
When I looked on the Hull UFO Society website, I saw that other people had posted messages in the sightings section saying that the lights had been seen as far away as Nottingham.
I have tried to rationalise what I saw, but as there was no noise or flashing lights
I’m sure it wasn’t a military plane.
Just to be certain I wrote letters to Humberside Airport, Humberside Police and all the local RAF bases and the MoD, who all assured me there’d been no planes in the sky that night.
Intriguingly, the MoD confirmed that there’d been other sightings that night, although it refused to offer an explanation. I’m certain that what we saw was a UFO. – dm