By The Ardrossan HeraldTHE SIGHTINGS of strange objects in the skies over Saltcoats more than a month ago continue to fascinate people in the local community - and Herald readers around the world.
The owner of a factory in Thailand, Ron de Jong, emailed us this week with his own take on the mystery.
“I have read your article about the possible UFO sightings in your town,” said Ron.
“I am the owner of a Chinese sky lantern manufacturer in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, and we have a website which shows around 10 videos of the many shapes and sizes that our lanterns come in and I thought you may find this useful. As I do not know enough about your sightings I cannot be the judge but maybe you can come to a conclusion.”
After viewing several videos of the fireworks we are still unsure that lanterns are the cause of the sightings on April 27. Although they go high in the sky it would depend on the weather to simulate the same movement. And as some reports say that the UFOs changed shape - and others claim that they moved in odd patterns - it would be impossible to definitely state that people had seen Chinese lanterns.
This week The Herald has also been looking into past UFO sightings by delving into recently-released Ministry of Defence MoD files.
It appears that the area around Saltcoats has been a major hotspot for strange lights in the sky over the years. And as many readers will remember, West Kilbride was dubbed “the new Roswell” (the American desert site where eyewitnesses claimed to have seen aliens landing in the 1950s) in 2004 as no fewer than 12 reports of strange lights flooded in.
It appears that all the recorded sightings in local skies took place between the months of April and May and between 10pm-12am. One of the most bizarre recordings of lights over West Kilbride was on May 30, 2004 when one eyewitness claims to have seen five bright lights flying together around 12.15am. Another strange sighting was later on in the year on November 26, where a witness reported seeing 25 flying objects in groups of five fly over and head north.
But West Kilbride isn’t the only place that has had some strange sightings. According the MoD files, on November 19, 1996 a witness saw large, bright orange lights in the sky over Dalry at around 11.30pm. The sighting lasted for 15 minutes and is very similar to the reports we have received recently.