Dorset UFO sightings - the explanation

A film crew at the Dolmen Grove Spirit of Rebirth gathering on Saturday

A film crew at the Dolmen Grove Spirit of Rebirth gathering on Saturday

First published in News

WAS it a UFO? A flying saucer? A celestial message from on high? Sadly none of the above.

The conspiracy theorists can pack up their notebooks for now.

The mysterious orange orbs spotted floating across Weymouth and Portland at the weekend can now be identified merely as Chinese lanterns.

The paper objects, which glow with the light of candles placed inside, were released over Portland on Friday and then from two different locations around Weymouth on Saturday.

Around 40 lanterns were released at the annual pagan Beltane gathering at Rodden, near Langton Herring, as part of a celebration heralding the start of summer.

Organised by Weymouth-based pagans from the Dolmen Grove, the Spirit of Rebirth gathering attracted more than 200 people, many of whom put wishes in the lanterns and let them fly into the night.

Shamus Herron, meanwhile, watched his neighbours in Spring Avenue, Rodwell, releasing three or four Chinese lanterns from their garden on Saturday night.

He said: “I think they were left over from New Year. I was just going to bed when I saw these things rising up – they just kept going higher and higher.”

On Portland, student Catherine Watch and her partner Chris Williams, 24, decided they wanted to test out their Chinese lanterns ahead of the Glastonbury Festival in June.

They released theirs near the Kimberlin Club at the top of Portland on Friday night.

“Lots of people let them off at Glastonbury but we can never find any when we are there,” said Catherine, 24. “But we found some down here, so bought them and wanted to try them out to see if they worked.”

The lanterns seem to confuse people as they float silently and tend to follow a steady but rapid course once caught on the wind.

It is not the first time lanterns have been responsible for a rash of supposed UFO sightings.

In January, a similar glowing orange ball was found to be a lantern released by Budmouth Technology College teacher Tammy Riley in memory of her friend, Tristram Baker.

A Portland coastguard spokesman said that lanterns were often mistaken for UFOs or distress flares.

Comments (9)

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9:19am Fri 8 May 09

biggestoaf says...

No! Chinese lanterns?! Who would have predicted that? Apart from everyone who commented on this story two days ago? Sorry - not quite everybody. There was a guy in Southport who seemed very concerned!
No! Chinese lanterns?! Who would have predicted that? Apart from everyone who commented on this story two days ago? Sorry - not quite everybody. There was a guy in Southport who seemed very concerned! biggestoaf
  • Score: -1

9:33am Fri 8 May 09

boxfile says...

Looking at the sponsored links to the right. Are we sure that this is not some kind of undercover advertising campaign started by the Chinese Lanterns In China Corporation (CLIC). Because now millions of us will be releasing these lanterns just to get our names in the paper. Or is CLIC sponsored by NASA and Area 51 as a diversion for the real Alien space ships visiting our planet. What are they trying to cover up? why don't they want us know? why?What? who? When?.
Now that's what I call a story to get your gums into ECHO
Looking at the sponsored links to the right. Are we sure that this is not some kind of undercover advertising campaign started by the Chinese Lanterns In China Corporation (CLIC). Because now millions of us will be releasing these lanterns just to get our names in the paper. Or is CLIC sponsored by NASA and Area 51 as a diversion for the real Alien space ships visiting our planet. What are they trying to cover up? why don't they want us know? why?What? who? When?. Now that's what I call a story to get your gums into ECHO boxfile
  • Score: 0

11:52am Fri 8 May 09

Albo says...

Wise up, Sheeple! This is EXACTLY what our Alien Shape-shifting Lizard Illuminati Freemason masters want us to believe.

I'm wearing my tinfoil helmet so those Alien Shape-shifting Lizards at the Echo can't read my brain-waves. ARE YOU?!?!

PS I am not mad
Wise up, Sheeple! This is EXACTLY what our Alien Shape-shifting Lizard Illuminati Freemason masters want us to believe. I'm wearing my tinfoil helmet so those Alien Shape-shifting Lizards at the Echo can't read my brain-waves. ARE YOU?!?! PS I am not mad Albo
  • Score: 1

12:26pm Fri 8 May 09

I Don't Like The New Echo Website says...

FFS- what is wrong with the Dorset Echo?

Editor:
"Let's produce a story about UFOs (that we all know are those Chinese lanterns) and then we start a campaign to find out what they were"

Person With A Brain:
"But we did this ages ago- in fact, it was exactly the same. We had a story about UFO's, we asked what they were (even though we knew, and all the readers knew- except the guy from Stockport- that they were Chinese lanterns) and then had a story to uncover the mystery"

Editor-
"Don't worry about that- the readers are all morons who will never notice. It's a great idea"

Person With A Brain-
"Are you sure....?"

Editor:
"Yeah, they are definitely morons"

Person With A Brain:
"No, I meant that they will probably notice we are re-hashing old stories because we are too bone idle to actually write anything of any note"
FFS- what is wrong with the Dorset Echo? Editor: "Let's produce a story about UFOs (that we all know are those Chinese lanterns) and then we start a campaign to find out what they were" Person With A Brain: "But we did this ages ago- in fact, it was exactly the same. We had a story about UFO's, we asked what they were (even though we knew, and all the readers knew- except the guy from Stockport- that they were Chinese lanterns) and then had a story to uncover the mystery" Editor- "Don't worry about that- the readers are all morons who will never notice. It's a great idea" Person With A Brain- "Are you sure....?" Editor: "Yeah, they are definitely morons" Person With A Brain: "No, I meant that they will probably notice we are re-hashing old stories because we are too bone idle to actually write anything of any note" I Don't Like The New Echo Website
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Fri 8 May 09

I Don't Like The New Echo Website says...

They will be calling me the "Shakespeare Of The Modern Era" after that little script extravaganza.
They will be calling me the "Shakespeare Of The Modern Era" after that little script extravaganza. I Don't Like The New Echo Website
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Fri 8 May 09

Albo says...

Shakespeare was a memer of the Alien Lizard Shape-shifting Illuminati conspiracy, you know

Hence his play 'Two Alien Lizard Shape-shifting Illuminati of Verona'


Ridiculous? The Echo started it...
Shakespeare was a memer of the Alien Lizard Shape-shifting Illuminati conspiracy, you know Hence his play 'Two Alien Lizard Shape-shifting Illuminati of Verona' Ridiculous? The Echo started it... Albo
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Fri 8 May 09

Ask Archie says...

Cracking pic again! a film crew,surely picture of the actual Dolmen would have been better or even a lantern being released.
Cracking pic again! a film crew,surely picture of the actual Dolmen would have been better or even a lantern being released. Ask Archie
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Fri 8 May 09

X Old Bill says...

Who knows, one day the Echo might even do a re-run the story of the 'Ghost of Bincombe tunnel.'
That was much more fun than UFOs, (from my perspective at the time).
Who knows, one day the Echo might even do a re-run the story of the 'Ghost of Bincombe tunnel.' That was much more fun than UFOs, (from my perspective at the time). X Old Bill
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Fri 8 May 09

CoogarUK.com says...

What a surprise... Not!
What a surprise... Not! CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

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