Conditions - Dark, fine, 10% cloud cover, strong chilly breeze.
Looking roughly to the North West I often watch planes coming out of Manchester and the headlights can be seen after nightfall rising above the horizon until the planes reach a trajectory of about 30 degrees when the headlights are extinguished.
I see those planes flying in a vector between south and southeast and I would estimate that the altitude is about 5000 feet when they pass the Dilhorne area.
I also see planes flying from east to west over Dilhorne at a similar height and assume that these are heading for Liverpool. These flights are controlled by the Manchester ATC people and are obviously coordinated to avoid any chance of a collision.
At approximately 9.40 PM on Saturday, 18th April, 2009, I happened to notice headlights to the North similar to those of planes taking off from Manchester but coming from a point probably about 15 degrees east of the usual location.
Furthermore the headlights were orange, not the usual white. I will now refer to this plane as the object. I then became aware that a Liverpool bound plane was passing almost overhead.
I must admit that I was somewhat concerned. My vision of the orange light became obscured when the object passed behind my house, and I had to move to the front of the house for a clear view.
The Liverpool bound plane cleared the collision point by about 10 seconds before the object reached it but it seemed as though the object had slowed down. Because of its unusual flight path and the orange light I was wondering if it might have been a helicopter.
However by the time that I reached the front of the house, the bright orange light had dimmed and I became aware that the orange light was in fact in the centre of an array of seven or eight lights forming a slender arc.
The object made a slow sharp turn to the west and just a few seconds later disappeared. I would estimate the trajectory at this point was about 40 to 50 degrees. I have no doubt that the lights indicated that the object was saucer shaped.