A GLOWING orange orb was spotted hovering over Accrington by a motorist who is desperate to know if it was a UFO.
The mystery object was spotted by Lee Cairns, who was travelling home from Blackburn to Burnley along the M65 between 6.20pm and 6.35pm on Wednesday 14 January.
Lee, 30, from Burnley, said: "I noticed a strange object hovering over Accrington. At first I thought it was probably just a plane. But as I got closer the object was static, which could only lead it being a helicopter. However, as I got closer it looked nothing like a helicopter. It was too flat and large.
"I was gobsmacked. I even contemplated turning off at the next junction to go back past it and have another look. There has to be an explanation.
"The object had various lights flashing and it was quite low. There were orange lights on all the time and red flashing lights underneath.
"I couldn’t get a good view because I was driving but I watched it until I passed it."
Over the festive period a number of people have spotted glowing Thai lanterns – which look like mini hot air balloons.
But Lee said: "Something like a Thai lantern moves with the wind. The closer I got the more I realised it was static. It didn’t move."
Expert Dr Tim O’Brien from Jodrell Bank Observatory said: "We have had an increasing number of reports of Thai lanterns but I don’t think that is the case here.
"We have also had a number of calls from people in the South West who have spotted a big bright object in the sky. It is actually the planet Venus that can be seen because of the clear skies.
"Sometimes bright stars in the sky, like Sirius, can seem to change colour or flash because of light passing through the atmosphere. That could be the explanation.
"Also, on clear days people can sometimes see aircraft way in the distance that don’t seem to move. It’s very difficult for me to give a definitive explanation."
Have you seen any UFOs above Accrington? If so contact our newsdesk on 871444.