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"110039 JUL 98 

By Mike Harrison, PA News 

Mystery today surrounded a series of lights seen high in the sky along the
length of western Britain. 

Coastguard stations and the police were flooded with calls from people who
spotted the bright display late last night. 

Many reported the lights taking the shape of the letter `Z' or number `2'. 

While the lights were seen from Scotland to Cornwall, the largest number of
calls came from the Irish Sea area. 

One high-flying aircraft reported what appeared to be a large explosion in the
sky above the Isle of Man. 

An RAF rescue controller said that were no reports of meteorites and so far no
explanation for the sightings. 

Coastguards in Belfast reported dozens of 999 calls and said they had seen
lights in the sky which they had watched for an hour above the north coast of

Watch manager `Bungy' Williams described the lights as forming a large Z-

He said: "It was very prominent and was due north of the Coastguard station.
We were able to watch it from the windows. 

"I can say that I have never seen anything like it before. 

"It was a larger shape than the moon but as we were unable to measure the
distance it was impossible to judge its actual size. I made a drawing of the
object which shortly before midnight began to fade. 

"It appeared to be moving very slowly westwards. When we first saw the object
it was not completely dark. It was higher than the clouds and occasionally it
was obscured by passing clouds." 

Another report was received by Teesside Air Traffic control tower near
Newcastle upon Tyne who reported seeing an object resembling the letter `Q' in
the sky west of their position. 

In a statement, the Department of Transport said: "The sightings were from as
far apart as Cornwall to the Clyde, west to Belfast and east to Leeds. 

"Air traffic control systems were contacted and it was established no aircraft
were missing or overdue. 

"RAF Fylingdales early warning station reported no undue activity, as did
Jodrell Bank. 

"The sighting still remains a mystery and the big Z is still hanging there. 

"We can only summize it is space debris or a comet." 

To add to the mystery, the statement adds: "Coastguard and air traffic control
are satisfied this is not aircraft related, so we can only assume whatever it
is comes from `out there'." 

Shortly after midnight the mystery of the mysterious light in the sky appeared
to have been solved. 

An airline pilot who landed at Midlands Airport reported seeing a large
meteorite entering the atmosphere when he was flying to the UK from France. 

The meteorite began breaking up as it entered and left a long trail in its

The pilot said he watched as winds formed the trail into shapes resembling
letters which had been reported on the ground."