Fwd: Wedding lanterns spark UFO scare (UK)
- Wedding lanterns spark UFO scare
By David Jackman
IT was a breathtaking sight which was thoroughly enjoyed by guests at the
wedding of an Epping couple.
But the release of some 60 to 70 illuminated Thai lanterns into the night
sky over Leez Priory, near Felsted, sparked fears that aliens were on
Police received several calls from concerned residents who spotted a
series of bright lights passing over their homes.
A police spokesman said that one caller reported "a large amount of red
lights" in batches of five or six lights over Bannister Green on the
evening of Monday, March 21.
Other callers contacted Stansted Airport concerned that extra-terrestrial
activity was about to land.
The situation was eventually resolved when the airport's control tower
identified the source of the strange lights.
Dozens of 5ft high x 3ft wide lanterns were released at regular intervals
from the wedding reception of Joanne Lye, from Epping, and Tom Fradd, from
Theydon Mount, at the 16th century Tudor mansion.
Joanne's father, Stephen, said: "It was very impressive.
"They float away slowly and create quite a stir. It was very good."
But he admitted that when the wedding was being planned no one had even
considered the reaction the display might have caused.
"I hadn't even thought about it," Mr Lye said. Admitting that the lanterns
could have been seen by unsuspecting people as possible UFOs, he said:
"They did cluster in the night sky."
Grant Barry, from Stapleford Abbotts, whose company Sky Lanterns imports
the lanterns, said: "They're like tissue paper with a bamboo frame.
They're lit and float up into the night sky.
"It's like a fireworks display, but it's quiet, more tranquil, more
peaceful than a fireworks display.
"They go for about ten minutes, burn out and then come down slowly. It's a
11:40am Sunday 3rd April 2005
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