THE truth is out there for UFO spotters in East Lancashire after three close encounters were made public for the first time.

Contained in 4,000 pages of declassified Ministry of Defence documents are three cases of curious happenings over the skies of Colne and Burnley.

A copper gold triangle moving at right angles caught the eye of a Colne resident on 18 October 1994.

Lancashire Police were also alerted to a stationary bright flashing red light hovering above a garden in the town on 23 February 1996.

In Burnley, authorities were informed of 250 sight-ings of an object in the sky which was travelling at high speed towards Hebden Bridge on November 22 1995.

The document described weather conditions as norm-al and “two brilliant lights first two occasions, amber third time.”

More than 800 reports between 1993 and 1996, plus material dating back to 1981, are documented in the documents released on Monday.

This was the fourth batch of UFO information put on show since May last year.

Chairman of Bolton UFO Society, Phil Catterall, 45, estimated five per cent of cases were unexplainable and is sceptical about the new data.

He said: “What we have seen is only the tip of the iceberg as anything of real significance would not have been placed on public record by the MoD.

“That kind of information would be withheld as it would be classed as too important and a matter of national security.

“In the past six months alone I have been informed of 10 sightings in East Lancashire.

"The most interesting case occurred in March when a couple driving along the A666 saw a bright light circling Darwen Tower before shooting off at tremendous speed towards Blackburn.

“The million dollar question is, what exactly are we seeing?

“To get the answer, people must keep reporting what they witness so we can compile statistics and investigate.”

Mr Catterall’s group is in operation throughout the North West and has several members in the Blackburn area.

To join, e-mail

Access to the released information is available at the archives in Richmond, Surrey or go to the website below.