THE mystery of the eerie lights floating across the sky above Peterborough in the early hours of New Year's Day has perhaps been solved.
THE mystery of the eerie lights floating across the sky above Peterborough in the early hours of New Year's Day has perhaps been solved.On Tuesday, The Evening Telegraph reported how strange and unexplained lights were spotted in the skies over Peterborough at around midnight on New Year's Day.
Were mystery lights spotted in sky a UFO? 5 January 2009.
Some thought aliens had decided to come from faraway planets to join in the celebrations, and Mulder and Scully from The X Files were on standby to investigate, but then several readers got in touch with their own explanations as to what was really out there.
It turns out that some high-spirited families across the city decided to celebrate the clock turning midnight with something a little different from the usual firework display – they chose to light Chinese lanterns instead.
Have you ever been fooled by mysterious lights in the sky?
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The 3ft-tall lanterns, giving off a warm orange glow, fill up with heat and rise into the sky, a sight many people across the city took to be UFOs circling the city.
Far from being from outer space, the Ambler family from down-to-earth Gostwick, Orton Brimbles, are sure their new year bash for friends and neighbours was the source of the spine-tingling sight.
After the clock struck 12, they lit half a dozen Chinese lanterns and released them while making wishes.
Theresa (31) said: "Surely it can't have been a UFO, it must have been us.
"Many people might think we're strange but we live in Orton Brimbles, not on Mars."
That's one explanation. But, unknown to the Peterborough family, over in Whittlesey, Gary Mason was celebrating with friends at a fancy dress party and they, too, lit the popular lanterns.
Gary, of Irving Burgess Close, said: "We sent about 10 off at 12.15am and all made wishes.
"When we read about the so-called UFO sighting in The Evening Telegraph we just laughed and had a bit of a giggle because we realised it was our lanterns they'd seen."
However, alien-spotters may yet take heart, because one family is not convinced the lights can be put down to Chinese lanterns at all.
Tor Harris (25), of Weedon Close, Paston, said: "My daughter, who's nine, noticed it first. It was hovering in the sky, too high to be a so-called lantern as some people are claiming, and it was there for around four or five minutes.
"During this time it was moving closer, and without any explanation it disappeared. The light in the sky was too big for it to have been a lantern, and it definitely wasn't a firework. It was a bright golden, orange colour."
So, did the city experience close encounters of the Chinese lantern kind – or something else? Perhaps we'll never know for sure.