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Close Encounters of the Home Counties Kind
Published: 8:52 AM 1/18/2012

Two 'alien aircraft' sightings in one week in 'UK's UFO hotspot'


They hover in close formation against the backdrop of a cloudy Kent sky. The two mysterious bright lights were photographed on January 6 floating over Chatham.

Less than a week later, four similar lights were seen over Essex, shining brightly against the dawn. The remarkable sightings were made just 30 miles apart in an area now dubbed the country's UFO hotspot.

Griskas Photo

The first image was captured by Ernestas Griksas, 21, who was taking a picture of a cherry-picker outside his home in Chatham at around 1 pm. Unexplained: These two bright discs were seen over Chatham in Kent on January 6.

He said: 'There are two white discs I can't explain. I'm nowhere near a flightpath. One is slightly fainter as if it is further away or going at a different speed.'

Cummings Photo

Double trouble: A week later these four glowing discs were seen 30 miles away in the sky over Essex. When he looked at the image afterwards he saw the bright disc-shaped objects.

The second sighting came last Friday at 7am when car salesman Josh Cummins spotted four bright objects in the sky as he drove to work through Loughton, in Essex.

Mr Cummins, 21, told the newspaper: 'I nearly crashed. I stopped to take this picture with my mobile. It was like the UFOs were surfing the clouds. They were there for 15 seconds then vanished. 'I wasn't a believer in UFOs but this made me think again.'

UFO fanatics will no doubt lay claim to the sightings as evidence to support their theories of alien life.

Expert Nick Pope said: 'Assuming the images are genuine, they're interesting, though the smaller objects (in the first picture) weren't seen at the time, which raises the possibility of some glitch with the camera.

'As for the large one, I'm not sure. It might be some sort of atmospheric plasma phenomenon, but it's difficult to say. He added: 'The South-East does seem to be a hotspot at present. I'm not sure why.

'One possibility is that it's a self-fulfilling prophesy, where one media report smokes out more from the same area. 'Another is that it's a consequence of population density as there are more potential witnesses if there's anything odd in the sky.'

Both sightings were about 75 miles, as the crow flies, from Rendlesham Forest, in Suffolk, which became known as the UK's Roswell after a group of servicemen went into the forest to investigate some mysterious lights and came out convinced they had seen seen an alien spacecraft.

Meanwhile, TV presenter Chris Evans reported an unexplained sighting yesterday.

He tweeted: 'Approx 40 mins ago went out to walk the dog. Something passed overhead - alight, too low for a shooting star and then disappeared. Berkshire.'

He added: 'Looked too fast for a Chinese Lantern. Hope it was something exciting.'

Sightings of strange objects in the sky are often explained away as aircraft, reflections in camera lenses, satellites, flares and ball lightning, among other phenonmena.

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