THERE were more than fireworks over Longridge on New Year's eve after one resident saw 'something very strange' in the skies above his house.
Businessman Jonathan Barker and his wife Zoe were outside their Green Nook Lane home watching a new year display when they saw a bright, fire-coloured light moving slowly across the sky.
"We watched this 'thing' for about two minutes," said Mr Barker. "It was going from east to west, there was no sound whatsoever and it was a clear night.
"It was not a shooting star - I've seen many of those before and it did not come down to earth - and it was not a helicopter."
He spoke to a neighbour, who had also seen it and wondered what it was, and next morning research on Google led him to believe it must have been something from the International Space Station.
"But I understand that nothing from there was passing over at the particular time we were watching - around 12.10am New Year's Day," Mr Barker added.
" Very strange! I wonder if other residents in the area witnessed what we did? If so, I would like to put this mystery to bed!"
However and also on Google, the Satellite Sighting Information service recorded activity over Preston on Friday Jan uary 2 at 6.14am, January 3 at 6.40am, January 4 at 5.34am and on January 5 at 6am.
So perhaps what the Barkers saw was just one of the SSI's satellites which had escaped detection!
Apart from recognised satellites, there were many reports of UFO activity which flooded in to the Ministry of Defence last summer.
Clusters of up to 100 mysterious objects, bright white lights and strange, triangular shaped objects were just some of a huge surge in UFO sightings reported last year to the ministry which, after it opened its own 'X-Files' in 2007, revealed 135 UFO sightings from across the UK.
They stretched from Liverpool to Dover and from Llanelli to Derby, and experts agreed that the number of suspected flying saucers hit unusual highs that particular summer.
Malcolm Robinson, who studies the phenomenon, said: "Something very bizarre is happening in the skies over the UK."
The founder member of Strange Phenomena Investigations, added: "There has been an unusual number of sightings recently.
"Some experts believe it could be linked to global warming and craft from outer space are appearing because they are concerned about what man is doing to this planet."