Published: 12:21 PM 1/8/2013
By Lauren Hirst
Greater Manchester is a hotspot for UFOs, a leading paranormal expert claims.
And Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that there have been a number of reports of ‘unexplained’ sightings of UFOs (unidentified flying objects) last year.
In 2012, areas in Woodley, Atherton, Hulme and Droyslden were all reported to have UFOs lighting up the sky, a freedom of information request made by Mancunian Matters revealed.
Descriptions including ‘a full ring a lights’, ‘huge bright yellow, green and red lights with a huge beam’ and ‘gold and glowing lights’ were reported to the police in 2012 and were later listed as ‘unexplained’.
Stephen Mera, 45, chairman of Manchester's Association of Paranormal Investigators & Training, said: “UFOs have a tendency to gravitate towards certain facilities such as military and chemical sites and airports. Manchester has had a high level of UFO sightings over the years.”
Mr Mera, who has been fascinated by paranormal activity for 30 years, said his organisation had 57 direct reports of UFO sightings in 2012 with many more discussed online – there have already been two reports this year.
He said: “There is sometimes a rational explanation for alleged UFO sighting such as balloons, Chinese lanterns or meteorological phenomena but this is not always the case and what was actually witnessed is unknown.”
“Venus is often mis-identified and last year someone reported the moon as a UFO. People make mistakes but then there are occasions where the results are inconclusive.”
Mr Mera, who lives near to Manchester airport, has witnessed UFOs from his own back garden.
He said: “My most memorable UFO sighting was the Flying Triangle which was first spotted in Belgium in 1989. It is an Equilateral triangle and I saw it steadily moving at 3.500ft from my back garden.”
But there are two spots in Manchester which are renowned amongst paranormal enthusiasts to attract UFOs.
The Shell Refinery in Carrington, which is nicknamed the Carrington Triangle, has been a magnate to UFOs over the years with the first sighting in 1973.
Two police officers and six individuals travelling on public transport all reported an object the size of a bus hanging in the sky.
Mr Mera, whose father was also a UFO investigator, explained: “It was so big that half the country should have seen it but it just disappeared. Since then many people have reported unexplainable objects in the sky around this area.”
The second hotspot in Manchester is Cortoils Chemicals in Salford, which is now closed. The first sighting in this area was reported by 30 witnesses who saw two triangular objects in the sky hovering by Lancashire County Cricket Club.
This sighting was later reported by four police officers who were on duty at the time.
“I have seen hundreds of sightings over the years,” said Mr Mera. “But many people don’t come forward with UFO sighting through fear of being ridiculed.”
However, a recent survey by Mancunian Matters revealed that a significant proportion of Mancunians do believe that there is something more out there.