Bright lights in the skies over Sussex have prompted a raft of reports of UFOs.

Dozens of people have seen the flaming orbs floating overhead in the past two weeks.

The strange sight has led to numerous calls to the police and to The Argus.

But the spotters are clearly divided into two camps.

On one side are those who cannot explain what they saw and who believe the fiery phenomenon could be proof of alien life visiting our planet.

But for others there is a more down to earth explanation – they are simply Chinese lanterns.

The paper balloons containing a tea-light candle are often blamed for UFO sightings.

The heat from the candle gives the lantern lift and sends it soaring into the sky.

Michael Ward-Sale, of St John's Terrace in Lewes, was so alarmed when he saw seven of the strange glowing lights from his window on Saturday that he dialled 999.

He said: “I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

“I saw five at first, they were flying in formation and travelling south west.

“Then another two appeared. I called to my wife to come and look and then decided to phone the police but they didn't seem terribly interested.

“I said to them, 'I'm not drunk'.”

Mr Ward-Sale said he knew about Chinese lanterns as a friend had launched one from his garden on Bonfire Night.

But he said: “I didn't think they could be Chinese lanterns because they were so bright and they were about a mile away if not more.

“Chinese lanterns don't give out much light and these were glowing much too brightly.”

Several other people also called The Argus to report seeing the UFOs.

But Anna Williams from Hove said she had seen people letting off about 15 Chinese lanterns from the West Pier earlier that week and was adamant that these and others set off subsequently were to blame for the sightings.

She said: “I've seen them set off so many times before and they always end up with people saying they are UFOs.

“I think it is worth keeping your eyes open for objects in the sky but if they are orange and glowing then they are probably going to be Chinese lanterns.”

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