FORGET Roswell — it seems Strines maybe the new Area 51 after claims a UFO was spotted in the sky on Sunday night.
Pub-goers at the Royal Oak on Strines Road were mystified by three red lights in a triangular formation slowly moving across the sky at around 9pm.
The lights were also spotted by residents in Romiley and Marple, who wondered whether they were having a close encounter of the third kind.
Jameson Moon, 39, landlord of the Royal Oak and an aviation enthusiast, immediately consulted his radar and discovered the ‘object’ was not registering.
He said: «One of the customers was outside having a cigarette when he saw the lights and we all went outside to have a look.
«The lights were moving very slowly across the sky and they were some distance apart it eventually moved behind a cloud. There is no way it was a plane and it didn’t show up on my radar.
«I was amazed. I have never seen anything like this before and may never seen anything like it again. I am usually a sceptic but after seeing this I am not sure.»
Jameson’s mum Grace added: «Everybody in the pub saw it. I think the whole village saw it and we hadn’t had too much to drink.»
Christine Smith, 56, from Romiley, added: «My husband and I saw the lights hovering above Marple. They were there for about 15 minutes then dissapeared.
«We live under the flight path and it is normally very busy but I have never seen anything like this before.»
Brian Vike director of HBCC UFO Research, based in Canada, explained that recent sightings of lights either on their own or in a group have turned out to be Chinese lanterns.
Mr Vike said: «The lanterns people release are for some kind of festival, weddings or some other event. Or people just playing around maybe hoping to get some type of excitement over something strange happening, when indeed it is nothing to get excited over.»
However, UFO expert Nick Pope, who used to run the British Government’s UFO Project, is not convinced that the explanation lies with lanterns and believes the object could have been a large UFO.
He said: «It’s an intriguing image — something extremely interesting has been captured here. While many recent UFO sightings in the UK have been attributable to Chinese lanterns, I’m not convinced this is the explanation here.
«While it’s possible that three Chinese lanterns might briefly end up in a triangular formation, it’s inconceivable that they’d hold such a pattern constantly.
«It seems a very strange coincidence that three lanterns would be snapped in the shape of a perfect triangle. This raises the intriguing possibility that what we’re looking at here is the underside of a triangular-shaped UFO, with lights at each corner. If this is the case, the object is massive.
«The fact that the three lights held the pattern makes it highly likely that we’re dealing with lights on the underside of a single object, as opposed to three separate objects.
«That the object disappeared behing cloud suggests it was vast, as one would expect the cloudbase to be at a height of several thousand feet.
«When working at the Ministry of Defence I investigated many sightings of such triangular-shaped craft.»