This article was published in the daily newspaper Rochdale Observer, U-K., on March 9, 2004.
Kids thrilled by close encounter of mystery kind
[Picture with caption:] MYSTERY in the skies... Daniel Hamer, Louis Stansfield, Jessica Hamer and Cameron Stansfield. A GROUP of children playing in Littleborough reckon they have had a close encounter with a UFO.
So vivid was their experience at about 7pm on Thursday they have started to draw what they saw.
They say the spacecraft hovered slowly just over the rooftops for several minutes and then shot off at hyper speed.
Lindsey Stansfield, of Timbercliffe, Summit, said her sons, Louis, aged eight, and Cameron, aged five, were playing with friends on a trampoline outside their home when they spotted the 'extra terrestrial'.
She said: "The children saw the object flying slowly above the houses. Some of the children thought it was triangular in shape and others square, but it could have been to do with what angle they saw it."
"It had red lights around the edge and yellow lights in the middle. They rushed in to tell us about it, but the time we got out it had gone. The children say the object had stopped above the house behind us and then shot off in hyper drive. Later that evening they started drawing pictures of what they had seen."
"I would like to know if anyone else in Littleborough saw the object."
Louis said: "I looked up and saw some lights flashing in the sky. I went in the house to get my mother, but when we went out it had gone."
A spokesman for the National Air Traffic service said: "There was no reported alien activity in controlled airspace that we are aware of."
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: "I am not aware of any other reported sightings. We do have a UFO report line telephone number so that people can report things which they cannot explain."
She said sightings were checked to see if they had any defence significance, whether the UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile air activity. But this had not been found to be the case.
"We believe that there are rational explanations for such sightings such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena," she added.