Published: June 11, 2009
Readers say Burnham-On-Sea UFO
was probably a Chinese lantern

A mystery UFO that was spotted in the skies over Burnham-On-Sea was probably a floating Chinese lantern, according to our readers. invited your comments after we reported on Wednesday how Jordan Gilroy and several friends had watched an unidentified orange ball, pictured here, in the sky above Burnham Area Youth Centre on May 30th at 10.20pm.

Several readers have got in touch since we first published the story with their thoughts about what the UFO was. Here a selection of the emails...

Chris Williams of Swindon UFO Research emailed us on Wednesday morning, saying: "The lantern season is off again, with stories flooding in from around the UK. Your article on the orange 'firey' light in the sky appears, on the information supplied, to fit nicely into the lantern category."

And Robert Moore added: "I have been a long-time researcher into UFO claims and as such am aware of very similar sightings throughout the UK over the past ten years or so. In my opinion, the sighting here - as elsewhere - was probably generated by a Thai aerial lantern; sometimes also called Chinese Lanterns. This is basically a small balloon with an internal heat source and a transparent or translucent fabric that commonly glows with an orange hue. They normally endure for 10-15 minutes at maximum. As a consequence I am fairly sure one of these sky lanterns was responsible for the BoS sighting; not only due to its appearance, but its reported flight attributes, which are consistent with a wind-bourne object."

Nicola Scribbens said: "It was a paper lantern that was released following a wedding celebration. It was somebody I used to know and she's posted her surprise on Facebook at the UFO siting, stating that they had let lanterns go at the end of her wedding evening."

Another reader, Janine, said: "I saw an orange blob in the sky a couple of weeks ago while on holiday in Brean, but as it got closer it became clear that it was a Chinese lantern. These are lanterns with fire (almost like a mini hot air balloon) that raise up to a mile in the sky and are traditionally used for Chinese celebrations, such as birthdays and weddings."

Among the other readers to get contact was Hannah Smith, who stated in an email: "One of my work colleagues saw the same object hovering over the Severn Bridge on that Saturday night. She said it was incredibly bright - almost looked like it was on fire at times. It kept drifting away then coming back, almost as if was looking for something!"


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