Published: Friday 3rd September 2010, 7:00AM BST
Shropshire’s claim to the the UFO hotspot of the nation was given more weight today with another reported sighting in the skies over the county. Strange lights in the sky are becoming commonplace in Shropshire and Stirchley, Telford, was the latest area to be added to the list.
Shropshire Star reader Joshua Lester-Rigg said he witnessed “a huge fireball” crossing the sky and plumetting down to earth.
Joshua, from Stirchley, said: “I was in my back garden and was looking in the sky. “I don’t know if what I saw was a UFO or a meteorite falling to the ground by Stirchley Fields and the Town Park.“I only saw it for a split second but it was a huge, orange fireball and it was travelling at high speed diagonally towards the ground.“The light appeared as bright as the moon’s.”
Joshua said he was wondering if any other readers saw what he did at about 9.15pm on Wednesday.
He said: “I wonder if anyone can tell me what it was I saw?”
Shropshire was known as a UFO hotspot as far back as 2008 when there had been more than 20 sightings in the county over the previous 40-odd years.
Joshua’s sighting is just the latest in a string in Shropshire which have left residents baffled.
Among the newest witnesses was the Shropshire Star’s very own video journalist James Shaw who saw – and filmed – an unidentified flying object over Shrewsbury on July 27.
Research, conducted by Virgin Media, saw the county achieve fourth place for the most UFO sightings behind West Yorkshire with 34 sightings, Nottinghamshire with 29, and Lancashire with 23.
The Virgin Media Files were compiled from data going back to 1961 and highlights 22 unexplained sightings in Shropshire alone.
They include a sighting on the A5 towards Telford, where a motorist saw 13 coloured lights in the sky which appeared to be circling an object about 100ft in size.
The research was carried out to mark a month-long Sci-Fi extravaganza on Virgin’s TV on demand service.
Nick Pope, the former head of the Government’s UFO project, said at the time: “While we currently have no explanation why certain places in the UK are alien hotspots, there are areas where mysterious objects are repeatedly witnessed, so people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Shropshire.”
By Simon Hardy