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THINGS that glow bright in the night are still causing a stir around Fort William. In recent weeks there have been numerous reports of mysterious unidentified flying objects in the sky at various locations across the Highlands, and one of the latest, near Fort William, is backed by these amazing photos.
On the back of Mr MacLeod's report, other witnesses have now come forward having seen unexplained objects travelling across the night sky. One of them, retired paramedic Chris Bird, captured the UFOs on his tripod-mounted camera with incredible results. Mr Bird (71) and his partner Anne, of Burnside, Bunree, Onich, witnessed four UFOs from their home shortly after 11pm on Friday, June 4. "We were looking across to the Corran Ferry and over on the other side there's a crevasse, and they just seemed to come out of there," said Mr Bird. "There were four of them and they all came up at separate times. One came up, followed by another and then two came up following a completely different course. "They were reddish glowing lights and they seemed to gently rise and kept going, and going, until they disappeared into the high cloud." He added: "My camera was on a stand with a timed exposure, and I took some photos of them. When I blew them up they were quite bizarre - with squiggles and so on. "One of them looks like a flower pot with other trailing parts coming off it. One of the people around here thought it could have been Chinese lanterns, but I have never seen one, so I would not know." And Anne said: "It was really strange. It was not fireworks because of the direction they went in and then disappeared into the cloud. They were definitely odd. "It was my first encounter with anything like that." Another witness of strange aerial goings-on was Alastair MacPhee, of Bruce Place, Fort William, whose son is an Apache helicopter pilot in the RAF. He spotted an unexplained light that same weekend. "When I first saw it, it was about 10.50pm and was coming from the north," he said. "It came straight over from the north and stopped round about above Caol. Then it went on in all different directions, north, east, south, west, spinning about.
"One light was shining and disappeared a couple of times and then came back on. At first it was just like a pinhole of light and when it came back on it was like a big headlight going on." And, he asked: "How could it fly in different directions if it was a Chinese lantern? They do not have a headlight. And who switched it on? It is a mystery to me and I am very, very curious." A couple of days earlier, Rev Donald MacQuarrie, of Duncansburgh MacIntosh Church, Fort William, also reported a strange light in the sky and took a photo which, unfortunately, was not clear enough for publication.
The latest UFO mystery is one of many reported recently. But, despite checks with Inverness Airport and the RAF Moray bases, there have been no reports of any untoward activity being picked up on radar. A spokeswoman for RAF Kinloss said the MoD no longer comment on UFO enquiries. In March, Culloden man Rob Jackson reported large UFO lights over the Moray Firth, Inverness and Nairn on four occasions. His story was backed up by his mother, who was a witness to one of the sightings. Then, on May 1, 25 orange lights were spotted by a group of students who were holidaying in Foyers. At one point during their half-hour experience, two of the lights almost collided, but then quickly changed direction to avoid contact. The next day Karl King, who works at RAF Lossiemouth, and his wife, Heather, reported a UFO sighting in the direction of Inverness. Planespotter and part-time pilot Bill Renny, of Anderson Street in Inverness, saw another inexplicable object over the Kessock Bridge on the evening of Thursday, May 20, and Cathy Gunn from Wick saw a "glowing, tumbling light" three weeks ago over Tain.
The latest UFO mystery is one of many reported recently. But, despite checks with Inverness Airport and the RAF Moray bases, there have been no reports of any untoward activity being picked up on radar. A spokeswoman for RAF Kinloss said the MoD no longer comment on UFO enquiries.