UFOs over Archway: is mystery solved?
By Journal 24THE mystery of the unidentified flying objects spotted over Archway may have been solved.
Pedestrians stared skyward, people screamed and cars came to a standstill when a group of around 15 orange glowing lights travelled southwards over busy Archway roundabout at 5.30pm on February 1.
Eyewitnesses described a "squadron" of lights that moved in formation and appeared to be "controlled".
But an anonymous tip-off has led to a more down-to-earth explanation.
A reader alerted the Journal to a party held not far away at the same time as the sightings.
Now Camden Council has admitted that sky lanterns were launched at a private gathering in Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill - just a few hundred metres away.
A spokeswoman for the council said: "There was a private event at Waterlow Park that evening. It was a small family memorial service. They did set off lanterns, but we weren't aware that they were going to do that."
It is believed the service was held for a young Chinese woman.
"Sky lanterns" or "UFO balloons" are mini hot air balloons that can be bought online for use at parties. They cost as little as £9.99 for a packet of six and can rise as high as 1,000 metres.
Video footage of the lights posted on the Journal's website sparked a huge response from as far afield as the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Poland - with readers split over what caused the phenomenon.
While some are convinced the lights were UFOs, others are in no doubt they were sky lanterns.
Whatever the cause, Islington-based group Ufology and Supernatural Studies (USS) is keen to hear from witnesses so it can put together a full report on the lights. Its head of operations, Paul Southcott, can be contacted on 07799 058409.
MYSTERY solved? The strange lights are caught on camera (above) as they drift southwards over Archway.
Archway resident Pete Muller took this picture from the bus depot in Vorley Road. But like many of the witnesses of the display, he is not convinced they were "sky lanterns" or "UFO balloons".
He said: "I'm not saying they were of alien origin but I really don't think they were balloons or anything like that.
"They definitely moved in an odd way, as if they were under some form of intelligent control. Furthermore, there were several planes buzzing around the periphery and a helicopter too. It was weird."