Places in Surrey
Lights in the sky
The lights in the sky
Can you help us to explain the latest phenomenon that is attracting attention in the Surrey and Sussex skies?
From as early as April 2008, we started to receive reports of unexplained bright orange lights in the sky. Sometimes static and sometimes moving, the numbers of these lights varied, but everyone who reported them, were very clear on one point. The colour.
The sighting came from Grahame, who said he had seen three bright orange lights in the sky, following each other at regular intervals heading from North to South, at 21.30pm near Varndean School in Brighton.
The Brighton skies
He told us "Over the next few minutes, a further five similar orange lights went over following in an orderly manner. We did not hear any noise at all as they went over and guess they were approximately 500-1000ft above us."
Grahame claimed he saw these lights on the evening of Saturday 5th April so you could be forgiven for thinking it was a late April Fool prank.
But then Andy Clarke contacted us to say he had witnessed up to a dozen round orange lights, visible from Redhill, heading in an easterly direction from the town, on Saturday 12th July, at approximately 22.40pm.
"There were about seven visible at same time, not travelling particularly fast. Totally unlike any planes or helicopters. I did manage to take a photo on my phone but how ever my friends or I look at it, it seems unlike anything we have ever seen. I didn't make much of a fuss because of the ridicule I would receive from friends. When I checked the sky half an hour later, there were no longer any sign of the objects."
Are there UFO's up there?
More sightings, started coming in. One from Anthony Connor on the night of the 26th July, at 21.30pm. He was walking along a footpath that leads from the A259 at East Dean, heading towards the village hall in East Dean village. He says "We saw hundreds of individual lights moving slowly inland. We stood and watched for about ten minutes, and they kept on coming."
Melanie in Dorking emailed to say she had seen five bright orange lights, which appeared to be stationary. She parked her car to take better look but the lights had vanished. This was at 21.30pm on 2nd August.
Lisa Daddy told us that on the 27th September she was taking washing in, at 8pm, and noticed a "formation of orange lights in the sky, slowly rising up from a North Easterly direction and then disappearing." She called her husband out to see about twenty to thirty lights.
A year on and we are still receiving regular reports of strange lights over Surrey and Sussex. Can you help explain what might be behind this phenomena?
Lights above the West Pier
In April 2007, lawyer Stefan Simanowitz and flatmate flatmate Paul Storey, were cycling on the Brighton and Hove seafront when they spotted two flame coloured lights in the sky between the Palace Pier and the West Pier.
There are suggestions that the lights could possibly be Meteor showers. These are caused by debris from a comet burning up in the atmosphere. This produces spectacular shooting stars which blaze across the night sky.
However, meteors move across the sky much faster than the orange lights have been said to.
Read more about Meteor showers
Another theory is that the floating orange lights are made by Chinese Sky Lanterns. These are paper "balloons" which are attached to a small burner, similar to a tealight.
Once lit, the burner heats up the air inside the balloon, causing it to rise slowly, and float away on the thermal currents until the burner's fuel is spent.
See more about Sky Lanterns
THE UFO-OLOGISTS VIEW
Kenneth John Parsons is the Founder and Chairman of The British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society based on the Surrey/Hants border.
On the Sky Lantern theory, he has been quoted as saying "That's usually the standard explanation given by the debunkers to dismiss such cases."
"I have studied actual film of the release of these lanterns and one can easily see the tell-tale flickering of the flame from the tea light." He says people "are living in denial about this phenomenon."
FROM FURTHER AFIELD
It appears that Surrey and Sussex folk are not alone.....
last updated: 28/07/2009 at 13:11
Have Your Say
Have you seen the orange lights in Surrey, Sussex or North East Hampshire? Do you have a theory on what may be causing them?
Chris in Findon
West Byfleet Sighting
danielle nelson ,glenn durrant and luke lambourne
Nigel & Nikki
Ja & Tel
John Long (Amateur Astronomer)
Natalie & Emma
martin & sarah
lena and Jess
Robert and Trevor Ellis
jason brooks brighton
Malcolm and Belinda
Sarah and Jason Brown
Mr Brian Lockyer
Miss Karen Endean
josh from nottingham