INVENTION: Flying saucer is out of this world
THERE are some strange goings-on in a small Peterborough workshop.

Mysterious flying saucers seen around the city have pricked the curiosity of secretive US defence officials. A group of dedicated space enthusiasts at GFS Projects Limited which stands for Geoff's Flying Saucer have been tinkering away with some alien designs in their own Area 51 in Saxon Road. For six years, Geoff Hatton and his team have worked tirelessly to take a giant leap into the unknown and created six realistic flying saucers.

And now the uniqueness of the machines, which can take off vertically, fly, hover and land, has attracted the imagination of the American officials who went to see if the truth really was out there. Like a scene from the X-Files, the men in black flew across the Atlantic to check out the UFOs and see if the truth really is out there.

But what the US officials want with the mysterious machines remains Top Secret.

Geoff, of Eastfield Road, Peterborough, who was celebrating his 67th birthday on Monday, said: "It is extremely pleasing to have anything you do recognised by other people.

"It was an exploratory meeting set up by a third party. After the meetings I had the impression they were pleased with what they had seen. We will just have to wait. I have no idea what they want them for."

The hub-cap like machines look like they've been lifted from a '50s B-movie. They glide gracefully through the air using the Coanda principle, which involves jets of nozzled air being attracted to a nearby curved surfaces. To date, all the prototypes have been battery-powered, but GFS believe larger versions could have proper internal combustion engines.

Geoff, who first came up with the plans for the saucers while sitting on his dining room table, added: "We are the only company in the world doing this sort of thing. The future is shaping up to be very promising indeed." Shane Miller (24), of Parnwell, Peterborough, is the youngest member of the team.

He said: "When I first saw the saucers when I started last August, I simply said 'wow'." The team are not relying on the outcome of the visit from the American government as the company is constantly dreaming up new ways of marketing the saucers.

They believe the flying saucers can be adapted as toys, to aid mountain rescues, land mine detection and even as a state-of-the-art scarecrows. To set the ball rolling, the company secured a 43,000 SMART grant from the Department of Trade and Industry and equity funding from a group of investors. The saucers range from 10ins to three feet in diameter.

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