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Star-gazer spots "bright orange" UFO above Crawley

By This is Sussex  |  Posted: March 04, 2009

  • Adam Smith

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AN AMATEUR astronomer who was stunned to see three burning orange objects in the sky thinks they were UFOs.

Adam Smith, of Steyning Close, Northgate, was standing in his garden in the early hours of Sunday morning when he noticed the first Unidentified Flying Object passing through the sky above his house.

The 27-year-old said: "I was in my back garden having a cigarette at about 12.10am when I looked up and saw this bright orange ball.

"It looked like a satellite burning up in the atmosphere at first but it kept on going.

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"It was so bright it looked like it was on fire. My girlfriend freaked out a bit because she thought a plane was on fire.

"We watched it for a couple of minutes then another one came across and another one followed that too. We were watching for a good few minutes."

The eagle-eyed stargazer has been observing space for about 10 years with amateur telescopes and says he has never seen anything like it before.

Adam, a father-of-four, added: "I've seen meteors burning up, satellites flying over and these Chinese lanterns that keep getting mistaken for UFOs and this definitely wasn't anything like that.

"They were pretty big and they were moving about one and half times faster than a satellite would (about 400 miles an hour). I can't explain it, it really took me back."

In 2008, there were eight UFO sightings in West Sussex reported to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), six of which referred to bright orange lights.

Over the years the MoD has received so many orange light sightings from people that it commissioned a report investigating the unexplained phenomena in 2006.

The report attempts to explain the lights as "buoyant charged masses", potentially of gasses and electricity, although warns pilots not to attempt to out manoeuvre the "electrically charged plasmas".

Despite the MoD findings, one UFO specialist, Graham Allan, who has been investigating specific cases, claims the science behind the plasma ball energy theory is flawed.

Mr Allan said: "Sightings like this are on the increase, I'm having a look at three since Christmas in Staffordshire alone.

"I think the main reason for the MoD report is to protect pilots but after speaking to various scientists it seems the science behind it doesn't really add up."

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  • Emptydrum  |  December 21 2011, 3:22PM

    Both myself and my wife seen two small aircraft with bright orange lights last night, the 20.12.2011 then followed by another two aircraft, this was about 9pm, and were flying at about 500 to 600 miles per hour. The height was bout 30 to 50 thousand feet. We were just going foe a walk after watching TV. This is the first time we have ever seen this sighting in our lives. Anthony, Crawley

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    Jason, Crawley  |  January 05 2010, 3:10PM

    Jenny, you are joking about dialling 999 right?

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    jenny, east sussex  |  December 31 2009, 12:30PM

    we have seen several batches of these, the first time was 30/12/08, thought is was a plane on fire! phoned 999 and they said they would phone gatwick. heard no more. most recent was xmas day jst gone, about 7 pm, seven of them, one after another, travelling quickly AGAINST the wind, so definitely not chinese lanterns. someone told me they were army flares, but they would not travel the way these do. what is going on? we and many others here have seen them, what are they?

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    Jason, Crawley  |  December 14 2009, 5:23PM

    Good to see this little joke is still going strong

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    Peter Tomsett, Furnace Green Crawley  |  December 13 2009, 8:01AM

    Hi, myself my wife and my daughter on the 12th of December 2009 watched these orange balls float over furnace green I saw three of them they were seem to be burning and saw something fall from one towards the ground over Tilgate my wife and daughter saw two, they seem to be moving slowly to start with we got out of our car expecting to hear a helicopter engines but they were silent we followed them in the car towards Pease Pottage were they seemed to climb in altitude and speed up until we could not see them any more.

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    Allan, Crawley  |  December 12 2009, 5:30PM

    I saw these orange lights in the sky at the beginning of november and have just been driving home and just seen them again. I was totally freaked out again!

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    graeme porter, SA  |  October 12 2009, 2:20AM

    I saw the exact same thing and we are in rural SA so I don't think the Chinese :Lanterns would have lasted from WA to SA

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    Jason, Crawley  |  September 28 2009, 7:43AM

    There was a wedding party or something going on as I could here the noise from my house!. Several lanterns were set off so I expect that this is what you saw. I watched them going up.

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    daniel, crawley ifeld  |  September 27 2009, 6:45PM

    on the 26th of september 2009 around 19.30 i also saw 5 orange lights in the sky. one at a time they moved slowly across then faded out. weird but is there somethink out there

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    Zoe, Horley  |  September 26 2009, 9:29PM

    I want to know if anyone else saw the 5 bright orange flying objects at approx 10.20 this evening. The weren't planes. (having living next to the airport for 20 years its easy to distinguish. They didn't move like burning satelites (too big) or meteors. They weren't helicopters... 5 came in from an easterly direction one after the other but closely and then eventually moved up and disappeared.... strange.....