Merseyside Anomalies Research Association

Light in the sky over Runcorn, UK 16th December

The following case has been solved and found to be caused by Venus, but it demonstrates how even experienced investigators can sometimes be fooled by the mundane.  MARA would like to thank everyone who played a part in solving this case including Mark Rosney who originally reported the case and subsequently solved it himself with a good deal of help from Gary Anthony and our thanks go to Gary.  Mark believes he may have seen an aircraft approaching John Lennon Airport at first, then when he went to get the camera from his bag, the aircraft has turned away and Venus has emerged from some low cloud cover in approximately the same area of sky.  

The following report came in from MARA member Mark Rosney.  As I left work tonight I saw something odd in the sky. I managed to take a picture (see below). Summary Sighted: 5:20pm 16th December, Direction: South West (not MARS!) elevation: approximately 15 degrees, Sighting Description: As I left work tonight I saw a meteor in the sky and that made me look skywards. As I walked towards Halton Lea shopping centre in Runcorn, a slowly moving bright white light caught my attention. As I walked, the light became obscured behind some trees and I thought to myself, when I catch sight of it again I'll see landing or navigation lights, thinking it was an aircraft. When I did catch sight of it again, on the pedestrian bridge which goes over East Lane expressway, the light slowed to a stop. Then the brightness intensified to about magnitude -6 to -7.   I suddenly remembered my camera in my bag. I loosed off a few shots but all these suffered from camera shake. Then I leaned the camera on the bridge rail and took one more shot before the batteries failed. This is the one shown below. The light slowly changed colour from bright white to red/orange then purple to blue before disappearing completely (blinking out). Sky conditions were clear with just a little bit of thin cloud cover (as illuminated by the moon as a halo of ice crystals). Duration of observation 3 - 5 mins. My first thought was that it was an aircraft, but it slowed to a stop, went through a gradual colour change and blinked off as though someone had thrown a switch. It could not have been a planet or star as it was moving at first. No navigation lights were visible. If I had to choose something conventional I would have to go for a flare, but I feel this is also unlikely. 

Light in the sky over Runcorn    Zoomed in section of light in the sky

UFO over Runcorn with a zoomed in section of the light on the right

Meteor type UFO seen from Stockport UK on December 6th

MARA received the following report of a meteor type UFO from the Stockport area.  The sighting lasted about 6 to 8 seconds. The witnesses are quite knowledgeable about aviation and skywatching so it is unlikely that they observed an actual meteor or a conventional aircraft.  If anyone has any further information about this sighting, please contact Bill Bimson


 Further to our phone call, I've taken the trouble to work out the headings and positions of stuff involved in the sighting of the mysterious object I observed on December 6 2005 at approximately 21:30.

Our house is in Hazel Grove (Stockport) at roughly N53 22.95' W2 7.80'. This is 5.5 miles from Manchester Airport which is 260 degrees from us. Woodford Airfield (where there is evidently some military aviation equipment - although whether this has any bearing on the matter is speculation) is approximately 3.5 miles from us on a heading of 202 degrees.

I was looking south east (approximately 135 degrees) when I observed the object passing from right to left, heading approximately 045 degrees. I had to look up (inclining my head about 70 degrees) to see it and from comparative observations of regular aircraft and the like, I estimate the object to have been at well above the cruising height of commercial passenger flights, i.e. above 35000 ft - probably more. I also estimate from the knowledge that these aircraft cruise at approximately Mach .85, that the object I witnessed was probably travelling at about 5000mph (i.e. about ten times the speed of a commercial aircraft).

I observed the object make several instantaneous changes in direction in what appeared to be an erratic manner, then witnessed it apparently descend to come close to an airliner which I presume was circling around the boundaries of Stockport prior to intercepting the ILS for Manchester Airport's runway 24R. From my knowledge of regular aircraft movements. I guess that this aircraft was at an altitude of around 3500ft. The airliner was, at the time of my observation, travelling on a heading of approximately 340 degrees (although this is only a rough estimate).

After the object appeared to interact with the aircraft, it then climbed rapidly to its original apparent altitude and resumed its original track of approximately 045 degrees.

The object initially caught my attention by appearing to be a meteorite or shooting star, until I noticed that it was not moving in the way one would expect a meteor or shooting star to move. I then observed that in addition to the white colour of the object, it also had a red glow, but the red was different in character to the red position light of an aircraft, being more of a rose red than the kind on an aircraft.

I'd be interested to know if you are aware of anyone else who saw this object and should point out that this is not the only time I have witnessed something like this. Just to clarify matters, I don't wear or need glasses or contacts and I'm not on any medication!

As you have probably gathered from my description, I am reasonably familiar with aircraft - being dragged to airshows by my husband does that to you. So I certainly know a Boeing or an Airbus when I see one, and I can assure you that neither Boeing or Airbus made that thing which I saw.

 Regards, Maxine Bradbury.

Halewood Lights In The Sky (LITS) seen on 18th November 2005

The Halewood LITS were seen again on the 18th November by MARA member John Hall from his house in Allerton, Liverpool UK,  They were travelling from the direction of Woolton and Halewood which is only a couple of miles from John's home.  A photograph was taken on a film camera, but we don't have that photograph yet.  More information on the Halewood LITS is given further down this page.

Rocking motion UFO over Merseyside 18th November 2005

MARA member Nikki Limb and her husband Jack saw a UFO from their home in Wallasey, Wirral, UK at 3:00pm on the 18th November.  Looking North from their home towards Liverpool and Crosby, the UFO took a course which is believed to be from South East to North West.  The height of the object was described as apparently above airliners in the airspace, but altitude is difficult to estimate when you don't know the size of the object that you are observing.  The object itself was described as a row of white lights (at least a dozen) which looked about the size of an airliner at high altitude or 1/10th the size of the diameter of the moon.  The speed of the object was much slower than that of airliners and took at least 8 minutes to traverse a section of sky.  The motion was not in a straight line and the row of lights rocked back and forth as they moved along.  The object was observed through binoculars to make sure that it wasn't an airliner reflecting sunlight and this was confirmed.  Through binoculars it appeared to change shape to that of a kite and then back to a straight line, but the lights were visible all of the time.  Unfortunately, the batteries on Jack's camera were not charged so we have no picture of this object.  If anyone else saw the object please get in touch with Bill Bimson , especially if you have a picture or video of the object.

Halewood Lights In The Sky (LITS) Make A Comeback: 13th November 2005 

MARA have had several reports of the Halewood Lights In The Sky phenomenon https://www.mara.org.uk/Halewood_LITS.htm from the 13th November.  Some people phoned in to a local radio station to report the sightings.  They were described as 6 or 7 orange balls of light which drifted slowly across the sky.  We have received a video showing 3 of the LITS and a snapshot from the video is shown below.  3 LITS can be seen on the left and the flare on the right is caused by the moon which is just out of shot.   One amazing fact about this video is that it was taken by MARA's youngest ever witness James Doughty, aged 9 of New Hutt School, Halewood.  The LITS were described by James' family as being at about the usual height of the Merseyside Police helicopter (around 500 feet).  Initial estimates put the course of the LITS on a flight path going from east to west on a course through central Halewood, Liverpool UK.  Their speed is very slow.  One of the lights in the video shows what appears to be a small light drop away from it which might indicate a fire balloon solution in this case (see Project IFO for a description of fire balloons).

A picture of James is shown alongside the picture of the LITS.  MARA have permission from James and his parents for his picture to be displayed here.  

3 Halewood LITS 13th November 2005     MARA witness James Doughty: Aged 9


MARA have received a further video showing the phenomenon taken from Roseheath Drive in Halewood and this looks very similar to the first video.

Report of Halewood LITS and a blue Light on 13th November

Hi Bill

 Last night (13th November 2005) at approx 7.35 pm, I noticed a bright light in the sky, I was at the Oak Tree pub in Huyton and looking towards page moss, the light was in that direction but farther back, I thought it was the police helicopter but it was stationary for roughly 20 minutes,  it seemed to have a blue tinge to it, then it just went out!

 Later on that night I was listening to Pete Price and many people called in re the light including one person who took a picture of it, then a family from Halewood saw 5 - 6 orange lights fly over their home, which they did capture on film!  Many people I know also saw this light!

 Just to let you know Bill!  Cheers, Tanya

If anyone has any further information on these sightings, please contact Bill Bimson

UFO Sighting at Prescot and Page Moss, Liverpool. Sunday 9th, October 2005

MARA received the following UFO report from Lee Rose.  If anyone has any further information about this sighting, please contact Bill Bimson

Dear Bill

Yesterday, me and my mate had just dropped my girlfriend off at her house.  When we were driving I saw a couple of lights in the sky, now these lights just at first looked like lights from a tower but they started moving, their were a couple of them. I didn't tell my mate because he would have thought I was nutz. The next thing that happened was a few miles down the road. I saw this flash. Now I am not saying my mate saw it cause I don't think he did. I saw it in the corner of my eye and I know for a fact it wasn't a street light, it was like a Pure White Flash..!!! I looked up and could see this object hovering in the sky with a type of GOLD light coming from it.... and then for some reason I started to get the feeling SICK!!! and I started burning up. After I got home I felt fine?  Does anyone think that this could have caused me to feel sick?

Location: Prescot and Page Moss, Liverpool, UK.  Date: 9th October 2005.  Time: It was around 9:10pm. Size: It was like a small GOLD Ball shape.   Speed: The object was just hovering slowly over the sky and then I saw a white flash out of the corner of my eye.  The sky was clear and all stars could bee seen, and their was no way that this Bright GOLD UFO was a Star. no way. Their was definitely 100% strange happenings in the sky on Sunday.

MARA received a further UFO report from a different witness about a sighting on the 10th October, but we don't at present have the witnesses permission to publish the details.

UFO Sighting on 8th October 2005 at Norton near Runcorn UK

MARA received the following report from Martin Antrobus.  If anyone has any further information about this sighting, please contact Bill Bimson

Hi Bill,

I witnessed an object last Saturday night at around 20.30 hrs from my garden in Norton near Runcorn. I'm an amateur astronomer, just bought some new binoculars and a tripod for the winter and was in my rear garden to take a look at the clearing skies. It had been a wet day but the evening quickly cleared so I got set up outside and was allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness and was looking at the region of sky around Perseus (north east). I heard a car alarm sound off somewhere to my left and looked away from my binoculars and at that moment a fast moving object came into view from behind a neighbours house. It was moving in a north east to south west direction and at very high speed passing above the Norton water tower and towards Preston on the Hill. I live near to a large electricity pylon and there was a sound similar to the noise made when moisture crackles on the wires. Within what must have been a couple of seconds the object had covered 90 degrees of my field of view and had gone behind another house and out of sight. My first thought as it flashed into view was it must have been a pigeon lit from underneath by a street light but I realised that it had pure white lights in three rows along it's side. Some lights (at the rear) looked larger. I'm an ex-military fireman and have worked with fast jets in all weather conditions and have not seen anything resembling this before. The colour of the craft was a sodium yellow and the lights along the side (three rows) were pure white. Height I can only guess at, but it kept on a straight course so would have needed to be at least 500ft to clear the surrounding structures like the water tower and pylons. 

Of note that evening I noticed a couple of sporadic meteors but they were from the direction of the plough. I don't think this object could have been a fireball because it didn't brighten or fade and didn't leave a trail. I regularly witness the International Space Station and satellite passes so I feel happy to discount those as a possibility. Why I'm contacting you is because i was aware of the LITS observed in previous years but had excluded them from my thoughts because of the high speed that my object seems to be travelling. I've had this sighting on my mind all week and have only discussed it with one colleague at work. When I viewed the MARA website tonight I was struck by the similarity between the object I saw and that reported by Phil Gilks on Friday 18th October 2002. It is the lights forming rows that struck a chord hence my reporting this to you. If I can be of further help then please email me.  Regards Martin.

UFO sighting near Manchester Airport England, 23rd July 2005

MARA received the following UFO report from a member of the public.  If anyone has any further information about this sighting, please contact Bill Bimson

Dear Bill,

 I found your website by doing a search tonight on Google.  I hope that I am e-mailing the appropriate person but I wanted to report an unusual sighting tonight.

 I happened to be looking out from my kitchen window out over the garden tonight, in a north-westerly direction at 21.45. I saw an object in the sky. It was a dark, round object, around 20 degrees above the horizon and it remained absolutely stationary for about 3 minutes. It appeared to have caught the last rays of the sun below the horizon because it glinted briefly like a high-flying aircraft; it was this glint which caught my attention.  There were no clouds in the sky and it stood out against the dark blue background. I had thought it was a distant hot air balloon but it unexpectedly moved to the left and then upwards. I shouted out to my wife to get the video camera but the object was too small to focus on.

  Around 3 minutes after I first noticed the object , it moved to the right and then disappeared. I scanned the sky with binoculars but could not see anything.

 We live under a very busy stretch of airspace but typically, I could not see any aircraft at all and there were no vapour trails which I could compare the object's position to. Also, there had been a regular stream of aircraft coming off Manchester Airport's runway 06L but at this point, there was nothing to compare the object's position/altitude with.

 Hope this is of interest. I have excellent eyesight and am a keen planespotter and know that this was no normal aircraft.

 I saw something like this some years ago but didn't report it because somebody else had already posted it on the internet with a description which matched mine perfectly.

 Look forward to hearing from you and am hoping that some other people saw it.

 Best wishes,

Alastair Bewsher

Halewood LITS phenomenon at other places in the world

The Halewood Lights In The Sky (LITS) phenomenon https://www.mara.org.uk/Halewood_LITS.htm is the UFO case that we have the most video and photographic evidence of and up until recently, almost all of the evidence came from the South Liverpool (UK) region and one possible photo came from Fleetwood on the Fylde coast.  However, we have recently received reports from Cheltenham and Essex, UK and Adelaide, South Australia. All three reports are given below and the Essex report has a picture of the LITS. 

The following report comes from the Gloucestershire Echo and remains copyright to the Gloucestershire Echo.  The article is reproduced with permission and describes a very similar phenomenon to the Halewood LITS in the Cheltenham area.


10:30 - 25 August 2005
Dozens of people have reported seeing mysterious orange lights above Cheltenham.  The Echo has been inundated with calls from people who saw the unexplained lights on Saturday night. John Day, 48, took the picture of them while hosting a party at his Up Hatherley home.

He said: "There were about 19 people in the garden and one of the small girls noticed the lights in the sky.  "I was taking a picture of our friends who were celebrating their anniversary and thought these lights looked strange so I started taking snaps. "We thought it was a balloon with lights in at first, but when it passed over the house we weren't too sure.  "The girls think it was a UFO. The lights were strange."  Coach driver Pamela Bailey, 48, pulled over when she saw them.  She was driving the Megabus back from London when she saw the lights from the A40 at Golden Valley.

Mrs Bailey said: "I stopped at the Arle Court roundabout and the passengers were all looking up at the sky.  "I then moved on to to the Westal Green bus stop and three men jumped out to have a look. All the passengers were totally amazed.  "When I got to the depot in Cheltenham all the other drivers had seen them."

John Creed saw the lights with his wife and six friends while at a house in Warden Hill Road, Warden Hill.  He said: "Amazingly, the group seemed at one point to slowly take on the positions of the stars in The Plough or Big Dipper, not unlike those in a scene in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, before drifting apart again.  "These were definitely not conventional aircraft.  "I've had a keen interest in aircraft since a boy and have held a private pilot's licence for the last 33 years, so I'm well aware of the sort of lights displayed on conventional aircraft. "I'm also a retired police officer. We all agreed that these objects were remarkable and unlike anything any of us had ever seen before."

Kevin Downes, 52, was running with his wife Alexandra in Winchester Way, Warden Hill, when they saw the lights at 10.30pm. He said they stopped, hovered above them then faded and dispersed.

Gloucestershire Airport managing director Ian Statham, told the Echo on Tuesday: "Lights on aircraft are red, white or green - not orange."  Rod Salisbury, secretary of Cotswold Astronomical Society, says the lights could not have been meteors.

  • Do you know what the orange lights were?

    If so please call the Echo newsdesk on 01242 271822 or email news@glosecho.co.uk

    Lights in the sky over Witham in Essex

    I saw exactly what has been described in your website last night, Saturday 9th July 2005 - over Witham, Essex.

    Here is what I sent to the Sky At Night email address:
    Can you tell me what these lights might be which we witnessed around 22:30 on Saturday, 9th July.
    Attached are some still images but we also have some video. There were dozens of orange lights moving approximately north to south. They moved steadily and quite slowly, all at the same speed. It took about 20 minutes for them to pass.
    Here are a couple of images. Unfortunately the resolution of my camcorder (which took video & stills) is not that great hence orange colour is not evident.
    Gerry Shepherd

    LIghts in the sky over Witham Essex

    MARA have now received video footage of the Witham LITS from Gerry Shepard and we are very grateful to him.  We can confirm that this phenomenon has all of the same characteristics as the Halewood LITS phenomenon.  A still from the video footage is shown below.

    Witham LITS still taken from video footage

    It now appears that the LITS seen in many places around Essex including the ones in Witham shown above are probable the result of Fire Balloons which are also known as Thai or Chinese Lanterns see the bottom of https://www.mara.org.uk/Project_IFO.htm for a full description of Fire Balloons.

    Halewood lights in the sky travel to the other side of the planet

    MARA received the following report from Ingle Farm on the outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia.

    My friends and I were outside a few hours ago and a set of strange bright orange lights passed over us, and then disappeared gradually. This whole process took about 10 to 15minutes..and they moved very slowly, and also formed into a kind of "U" shape before the disappeared.  Some people in a car passed by, and said they had phoned the airport, and that the "LITS" were definitely not any form of aircraft. This was fairly obvious already, because of the speed they travelled and the total absence of any sound.  None of us had a clue what these lights were, so I decided to look it up on the internet, and then was relieved to see we haven't been the only ones, LOL.
    One of my friends took some photo's with their phone, but other than that we could only admire this strange occurrence.Well I'm not sure if you include sightings from Australia, but in case, we witnessed them in Ingle Farm, South Australia. ­

    The witness gave their exact location as outside "Hungry Jack's" at Ingle Farm on the outskirts of Adelaide and the time of the sighting was around 10-11pm.

    It is impossible for MARA to investigate this sighting properly because of the distance from Merseyside, but the description of the sighting appears to be very similar to the Halewood LITS and this is our first report of the phenomenon from outside of England.  Note that winter is just approaching in Adelaide in late April and all of the Halewood LITS sightings have been during winter.  The witness later confirmed that the picture taken on the camera phone didn't turn out, probably because the CCD chip on the camera phone was not sensitive enough.  He also stated that it was unusually warm in Adelaide for the time of the year which probably rules out any atmospheric explanation for the LITS because all of the Halewood sightings have taken place during cold conditions.

    If anyone else has information on this type of LITS sighting from anywhere in the world please contact Bill Bimson

Click here to go back to the home page