Meteor theory over sighting of Uppingham UFO

A mystery object was seen in the skies above Uppingham.

One Rutland Times reader photographed the 'UFO' and a youngster drew a sketch.

A father and son were the first to report their UFO sighting to the Rutland Times.

Stephen Pepper and eight-year-old Sonny were travelling back to the town from Launde Abbey on Wednesday, November 22, when they saw the object above Uppingham.

They say it had a large dome shape on top with lights that looked like an erupting volcano. It stayed in the sky for a minute and then disappeared.

Stephen, of The Beeches, Uppingham, said: "I know for sure this was a UFO. If I had been stumbling out of the pub at the end of the night then I might have questioned myself but this was at 6.15pm when I was driving home from work."

Bob Hicks, of Leicester, also spotted the UFO while walking his dog in fields near Bisbrooke. He was visiting relatives at the time and managed to capture the object on his mobile phone before it disappeared.

He said: "I just put it down to a trick of the light."

Oakham man Jon Brackenridge, of Brooke Road, read about Mr Pepper's story on the Rutland Times website.

At around 6pm on the same night Jon was looking out of the windows of his second floor flat towards Uppingham.

He said: "At first I thought I was seeing things and my girlfriend was a bit sceptical so I put it to the back of my mind, but now I know somebody else has seen it too.

"I saw a incredibly bright light above the fields and knew it wasn't an aeroplane because I used to be in the RAF and know 99 per cent of the aircraft.

"I continued to look and after around 10 seconds the light plummeted downwards and disappeared. I ran outside as I then thought it might have been a plane crash but saw absolutely nothing in the fields."

But while these UFO spotters have their own theories about the glowing object, a Met Office weather forecaster and astronomer at RAF Wittering has his own suggestion. Julian Cooke believes it was an "unusually large" meteor.

He said: "Fireballs are meteors or meteorites which are brighter than normal and although they are not common, they are not that unusual either.

"There has been a meteor shower which was at its maximum last Tuesday and they do tend to spread over a few days either side. Most are the size of a grain of sand but they can be much larger and will burn for much longer or even explode in with a flash in the upper atmosphere.

"It is quite a sight but nothing to worry about."