Be careful of Test UFO hoax ongoing in the area.
by Liam Sloan
The mystery surrounding a string of UFO sightings in the West Berkshire skies may have been solved by reporters at newburytoday.co.uk.
Reports of low flying orange lights have surfaced regularly over the last two years.
A Swindon taxi driver dropping a fare in Hungerford earlier this summer spotted four bright orange shapes in the sky, and last September a triangle of glowing lights was photographed over Greenham Common.
Witnesses saw them hover for three minutes before speeding off into the night sky.
When we reported yet another sighting of orange orbs above Greenham in mid-August, newburytoday.co.uk received an enigmatic letter claiming to solve the UFO mystery.
The package included a “UFO Hot Air Balloon” – a flying lantern designed to trick unsuspecting alien hunters into thinking ET was dropping by.
The unnamed correspondent claimed friends had released similar balloons over West Berkshire for two years, leading to a spate of reported UFO sightings phoned into newburytoday.co.uk.
In the name of science, we launched the balloon from Stroud Green with a previous UFO-eyewitness on hand. Once it had risen into the sky, it caught the breeze and appeared from the ground as a silently gliding light.
Steve Hillen – who spotted a low-flying orange light with his daughter last month – did not think it explained his previous sighting.
He said: “The ones I saw were a bigger shape, and more orangey.”
But Steve Harris, of Newbury Astronomical Society, thought the balloons could offer an explanation for the UFO sightings.
“It certainly looks very impressive. The way it flares up – somebody with a video camera could easily take a film of it, zoom in, and with distortions coming up it could look very much like a UFO.
“It could be a good contender for some of the ones that we’ve seen.”
He said other explanations could include space junk, low flying military helicopters, or satellites.
“The International Space Station is especially bright – almost as bright as an aircraft with landing lights on,” he said. [link]