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World UFO Day: UFO sightings mapped as Cambridgeshire makes list of top 20 hotspots

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It is World UFO Day on July 2 (yes, that’s a thing), and Cambridgeshire has made it on to a list of the top 20 UFO hotspots in the UK.

UFO sightings were recorded by the RAF for 50 years
UFO sightings were recorded by the RAF for 50 years

Admittedly, with eight reports listed for the county in one year, it can’t rival London (54), Kent (30) or Lancashire (24) as the country’s UFO spotting capitals.

But Cambridgeshire matches Hampshire and Brighton for sightings, and beats Liverpool and Edinburgh (6 each).

Reports of unidentified flying objects have soared over the last year as tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX company began launching batches of Starlink satellites into orbit to provide global internet coverage.

It aims to have up to 12,000 of them - much to the consternation of astrophotographers and some astronomers, who fear the distracting ‘string of lights’ that can now regularly be seen traversing the sky will affect their observations.

Chinese lanterns are also a cause of UFO reports - but people have been discouraged from sending these off into the sky because of the risk that they can cause fires and environmental damage.

UFO sightings are more common than you might think...
UFO sightings are more common than you might think...

Some sightings, however, are never explained.

For years, the Royal Air Force was responsible for recording public reports and submitting them to the National Archives - and you can pay for access to those.

But the UFO wing of the RAF was shut down in 2009, after finding no evidence of a ‘potential threat’ after 50 years.

The final documents compiled by the group - covering 1997-2009 - have been made public under a Freedom of Information Act request to the Ministry of Defence.

The Cambridge Independent has peered into these X-files to find reports for Cambridgeshire, which you can view on this interactive map. Just click on an alien icon to read the description. Can’t use the map? We’ve also listed them below.

A YouGov survey this year found that 19 per cent of Britons believe it’s somewhat or very likely that aliens currently live on Earth, while 65 per cent say it’s not very likely - and 15 per cent are undecided.

About 36 per cent of people in a 2018 poll said they believe in extra-terrestrials, compared to 29 per cent who said they don’t, with the remaining 35 per cent undecided. The largest group of believers (43 per cent) are under the age of 34 - men are more likely to believe than women, the survey found.

The strange sightings league table, compiled by Fresh Student Living, is based on the 2009 reports made public by the MoD.

UFO data from 2009, compiled by Fresh Student Living
UFO data from 2009, compiled by Fresh Student Living

21 of the sightings recorded for Cambridgeshire 1997-2009

  • 2am, July 5, 2009: Peterborough - “Two objects, one with a brighter light. The second one was behind it and had a dimmer light. No navigation lights. Not normal. Reluctant to say it was a UFO - perhaps it is a plane.”
  • 2pm, August 2, 2009: Hauxton - A retired merchant seaman saw “glider-like objects in the sky, flying around in an anti-clockwise direction”.
  • 8.20pm, October 16, 2009: March - “Seven orange and red lights, not moving, no shape, disappeared one after another.”
  • 9.59pm, November 7, 2009: Peterborough - An ex-Royal Navy Commander saw an “orange sphere 30 degrees above the eastern horizon”, moving at “substantial speed” with “no noise, no normal navigation lights, just [an] eerie orange glow”.
  • 6.55pm, November 14, 2009: Haddenham - “a large bright, white light, no trailing light ray groundwards, so not a police helicopter or aircraft heading for Mildenhall. And no sound or vibration.”
  • 8.56pm, February 11, 2008: Huntingdon - “A long, thick, red streak shot across the sky. There was a silver ball of light attached to the front of it. It was rather large. The ball then got
  • bigger and burst.”
  • 8pm, September 20, 2008: Chatteris - “Multiple bright glowing objects, between 5-10,000 ft heading from south to north.”
  • 8.30pm, April 12, 2007: Duxford - “Fifty objects, each with a single orange light. They gathered, before ascending directly upwards.”
  • 11.20am, November 6, 2006: Peterborough - “Something like shells, with pale pink in the middle, all flying the same speed in formation.”
  • 8.10pm, November 2, 2006: Huntingdon - “Lights that were a really dull yellow. The lights looked like they were interacting with each other.”
  • 12.30am, June 4, 2005: St Neots - “The object looked like a dim red light. Was zig Zagging across the sky in an easterly direction. Was faster than a plane.”
  • 4.45pm, June 8, 2005: St Neots - “The object looked like a rod. Through binoculars it appeared to shine silver, but was grey to the naked eye. Was moving around.”
  • 9.45pm, February 8, 2004: Ely - “Four lights, one brighter than the others, sometimes fading.”
  • 6am, June 14, 2003: Girton - “Small circular object. Blue and white translucent.”
  • 4am, October 31, 2001: Wisbech - “Well-defined blue object, which was fat at both ends, but slim in the middle.”
  • 10.20pm, October 26, 2000: Cambridge / A14: “One huge triangular object, with two bright rings and two circles of light. Was moving across the sky very fast.”
  • 12.04am, March 4, 1998: Wyton - “Lights were seen dancing in the sky. The lights went up and down in the sky and seemed to keep pace with the witness’s car.”
  • 7.15pm, March 23, 1998: Histon/Cambridge - “Five, round, smooth objects. There were red and blue flashing lights, going round in a circle and another light in the centre. Quite fast.”
  • 12.30pm, November 15, 1998: St Neots - “Two shapes the size of a car, burning in appearance. They were spinning and silent.”
  • 9.30pm, April 17, 1997: Ramsey - “Red, white and blue lights in a triangle shape, were flying across the sky.”
  • 11.59pm, July 26, 1997: A14 - “Looked like a laser beam in the sky. The witness followed the light for about 10 miles in the car.”

Source: Ministry of Defence

Have you ever seen a UFO? (37698966)
Have you ever seen a UFO? (37698966)

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