Paper lanterns spark UFO report

BBC News, UK/August 30, 2009

Reports of bright orange lights over the night sky on Tyneside were sparked by illuminated paper lanterns being released in a park, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing clusters of lights speeding through the sky from the Gateshead area on Saturday night.

One man called police to report orange-coloured objects flying over his house, a police spokesman said.

Inquiries later found a number of paper lanterns had been set off in nearby Saltwell Park.

Rob Middleton, 55, of Consiton Place, Gateshead, said dozens of people came out on to his street to view the objects.

He said: "There was about 30 or 40 lights in total and they were flying in formation in a straight line for up to about half-an-hour.

"They were really low and there was no tail behind them, they were definitely not aeroplanes.

"Everyone was gathered in the street watching and some people were expecting an alien invasion."

Andy Howland, 38, of Leeds, also saw the lights but from the other side of the River Tyne during a visit to Newcastle.

He said: "It was a really weird sight. At first there was little clusters of about four or five lights and then after that there were big rose-coloured ones.

"They all came in from the Gateshead area and then headed out to sea."

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