PREVIOUSLY secret documents on UFO sightings in the district have been released.
The files from the National Archive show reports of UFOs and strange lights over Chigwell made to the Ministry of Defence.
In one report, made in October 2005, seven or eight ‘orange glows’ were seen above the clouds in Chigwell.
The caller said the lights were still, not flashing, and looked like parachute flares.
Three days later, a UFO sighting over Stapleford Abbotts was reported to the MoD.
In September 2006, a man reported seeing a strange object in the sky, again over Chigwell.
Files giving details of sightings over Loughton, which were first made public in 2006, were also included in the documents.
They give details of three glowing orange lights seen hovering over the town in September 2005.
They were later revealed as Thai lanterns released to celebrate the 21st birthday of Colson Road resident Tina May.
A report of a hazy, round, silent white object in the sky over the town was also made in August 2004.
Waltham Abbey resident Peter Robinson, 57, who saw strange lights over his home in Abbey Gardens last year, said the high volume of sightings in the district was probably down to the lanterns.
“It was like a flaming ball moving really slowly,” he said. “When I speak to other people about it, they say that’s what it is – lanterns – but at the time, I thought it was the real deal.”
The MoD decided to start releasing its UFO documents about four years ago, in response to an overwhelming public demand for information.
The full UFO files can be seen on the website www.nationalarchives.gov.uk.