Secret files only now released showed that the Ministry of Defence once investigated a UFO sighting – off one of Blackpool’s popular piers.
Alien sightings along the Promenade are nothing new – after all the Illuminations once boasted a whole series of colorful Alien heads and the Doctor Who exhibitions wierded out visitors for years.
But the grainy photograph sent to the MOD gave defence boffins pause for thought... if only for a few minutes.
The reports released by the National Archives, include sightings reported to the MoD’s UFO Desk between 2007 and 2009, when it was closed.
The sightings, which saw a surge in 2009, came from across the British Isles including over many national landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Houses of Parliament.
An email sent to the UK’s own version of the X-Files hot desk described photographs taken at a Blackpool Pier in October 2008 which had later shown aircraft that had not been in the area at the time.
Sent in August 2009, the note from the unnamed writer said: “I have recently downloaded some photos dating back to October last year which upon closer inspection revealed some aircraft which I could not identify at the time nor could hear or see.
“Could you check your records to see if there were any manouevres in the area to explain the craft pictured in the photos which I have attached.”
Checks were made, which confirmed there were no RAF or Army movements that day, but Royal Navy records could not be fully checked and a response was sent to the sender in September.
But a message from one member of MoD staff to another suggested what they thought the real cause might be.
The unnamed official said: “I have done a trawl of the likely suspects and I can confirm that there were no manouevres or exercises taking place in the Blackpool vicinity during October last year.
“Everyone who has seen them think that two of the photos look like stunt kites that have broken loose from their control strings or perhaps we cannot quite see the attached strings in the photos.
“That would explain the lack of noise reported by the photographer. The third looks like a seagull head on.
“However, clearly without being there we can’t be definitive.”