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Braht Lahts in the Skah Department

[Bright Lights in the Sky for non-American speakers]

  •   The Japanese government was able to assure its citizens that a UFO seen over northern Japan in the autumn of 1977 was a satellite burning on re-entry to the atmosphere after being shot down in a test of a Soviet killer satellite. But the Japanese Government refused to tell anyone the source of their information.
  • If you really want to see a UFO, the village of Dinnet in Deeside, Scotland, is the best place to go. The people who live there are always reporting them!
  • The manufacturers of Cutty Sark whisky, who also organized the 1 million Loch Ness Monster hunt, offered a prize of 1,000,000 for a captured alien spaceship in the summer of 1982. All the successful applicant had to do was transport the spaceship to the Science Museum in London for authentication. The British UFO Research Association put the chances of anyone winning the prize at "about nil".
       Within hours of the announcement of the prize, a woman in California sent a telegram to the organizers, in which she claimed that she had her own flying saucer and she was willing to give four people a ride to a 'new small planet'. A trip to London's Science Museum to claim the prize seemed to be beyond her capabilities, however.
  • The House of Lords actually held a debate on UFOs in January, 1979, when the noble lords swapped stories and asked for an official view from the Ministry of Defence.
  • Nine months later, scientists at the Russian Institute of Oceanography produced an explanation for airborne UFOs. They claimed that turbulent weather around hills and mountains can force dust or water particles into a saucer shape, and they also claimed to have made such shapes in a weather chamber in their laboratory. The Russians also came up with an explanation for the growing numbers of flying saucer reports - more and more pollution.
  • Just one month later, a Spanish jet airliner on a charter flight from Austria to the Canary Islands made a forced landing at Valencia because he was being buzzed by UFOs - two very strong red lights. The intruders were also picked up by the Spanish Air Force's early warning system, and the pilot of a military interceptor aircraft confirmed to the airliner's pilot that he, too, had seen the UFOs. None of the airliner's passengers, however, saw them.
  •   Dozens of people saw a cluster of multicolour lights in the sky from Dumfries, Scotland, at 1 a.m. in the summer of 1980. And then the lights did a disappearing act just before a C.I.D. photographer arrived with his camera. The explanation, when it came a couple of days later, was totally disappointing. Post Office engineers had been performing weekend work at a transmitting tower, and they had switched on the lights which had created the UFO sensation.
  • Richmond, Yorkshire, the summer of 1981 - police baffled by reports of a mysterious object in the sky. And then a postman spoiled all the fun by catching the intruder, which turned out to be a two-foot-wide flying-saucer-shaped balloon named Silver Invader.
  • The US Army went on emergency alert in the summer of 1982 when a hysterical woman told the Texas police that a UFO had grabbed the car of General William Westmorland, former Vietnam Supreme Commander, and disappeared into the void. The alert lasted four hours; until they found that the general had not been kidnapped by aliens after all.
  • The group Citizens Against Unidentified Flying Object tried to bring a lawsuit in the summer of 1983 for the release of any extraterrestrials, or their remains, in the custody of the US air force. A judge in Washington gave them the bum's rush.
  • A dome-shaped object lighting up the night sky over Aberbargoed, Gwent, caused panic in the autumn of 1985. Naturally, everyone phoned the police - who alerted the Civil Aviation Authority. It was not until the next morning that the truth was revealed. A light aircraft had been flying around carrying a computer-operated sign-board, which had been flashing out an advertisement for Heineken lager.

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Created for Romiley Literary Circle by Henry T. Smith Productions, 10/12 SK6 4EG, UK. sole RLC, 2000