UFO sightings in North East skies were meteors

UFO sightings in North East skies were meteors Photo: Adam Badrick

Reports of mysterious lights in the region's night sky have flooded into the police.

They came in at about 11pm on Friday night but have been attributed to meteors rather extra terrestrial visitors.

Gary Fildes, the lead astronomer at the public research facility the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, said this was the largest, "best one by far" meteor he has ever seen:

"It was the largest, most spectacular meteor I have ever seen. There were 25 of us observing last night when we spotted something.

"Some people initially thought it was a helicopter the light was so bright, but we soon realised it was a meteor."

– GARY FILDES, HEAD ASTRONOMER, KIELDER OBSERVATORY

Gary Fildes said some people grew scared at one point as it looked as though the meteor was going to hit them.

Taken near to the Kielder Observatory Credit: Ross Herron

"We are 300 metres above sea level so we had a good view of it, it was in the sky for around 40 seconds, people did feel worried at one point as it looked as though it was heading straight for us."

– GARY FILDES, HEAD ASTRONOMER, KIELDER OBSERVATORY

There is speculation today that the 'fireball in the sky' was actually 'space junk' burning up in the atmosphere but the astronomer thinks there is too much evidence against this theory.

Mr Fildes says there was a huge surge in meteor activity before the large meteor was spotted and then afterwards, suggesting to him it was in fact a meteor.

He also says it was coloured slightly green suggesting the presence of metals like copper or iron, plus it was travelling East to West which Gary says would be unlikely for 'space junk' to do.

For more on this story see ITV National News site.