“THE truth is out there” as they say and newly-released files reveal that some local people may indeed have had “a close encounter of the third kind”.

The files have been released from the National Archives and detail three sightings of UFOs – one over New Earswick and the other two over Malton and Pickering. All were reported to RAF Fylingdales, which tracks objects in space.

The first report came in September 1988 when a nine-year-old girl and her mother reported seeing a “round, bright disc” over New Earswick and heading in the direction of York. The report states the disc appeared to “hover or slow down then spin slowly before disappearing”. It was apparently accompanied by a loud whistling noise which initially awoke the girl and her mother – who are not named. The report from RAF Fylingdales states the woman and her daughter sounded “lucid and well-informed”.

The second sighting dates from July 1989 when a dome-shaped UFO, which was lit at one side and revolving, was seen over Pickering, heading south before turning east. The observer, who is not identified, reported that it accelerated away “in spasms”.

The final report for North Yorkshire released from the National Archives came from a woman who described herself as a “stargazer”. Between 11.10pm on June 1 1991 and 1.30am the following day, the woman reported seeing three lights – blue, red and white in colour – which were flashing and moving in a circle. Then a silvery object appeared from the area of the Plough star constellation and accelerated northwest.

She then reported a round, silvery object – about the size of Venus – travel towards the Whitby area, although the officer at RAF Fylingdales noted that this could have been a satellite.

At 11.50pm a round object was seen with smaller UFOs zig-zagging around it. They were initially slow-moving, but then accelerated. Similar sightings were reported by the woman over the next couple of hours.

But in a letter to the woman, a flight lieutenant at Fylingdales, put the sightings down to meteorological phenomena.

He said the Aurora Borealis – also known as the Northern Lights – probably appeared that night. He himself saw that, on the night in question, the whole of the northern sky was alight with colourful clouds.

The sun’s rays reflect off these high-cloud formations and particles in the ionosphere, causing pockets of colour.

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