A FAMILY has appealed to the people of Epping to help solve the mystery of a strange series of red objects seen flying over the town.

The three shapes, all with a red outer layer and a flaming yellow middle, were seen drifting silently in a line at a constant speed over the town centre on Saturday November 7 at around 8.30pm.

Witnesses say the objects were travelling too fast to be Chinese lanterns and were too close together to be planes.

Youngster Piers Barford, 11, saw the shapes with his parents in Broadoaks, Epping.

He said: "At first I thought they were fireworks but they did not explode and there was no noise.

"Then I thought they were planes, but why would three planes be on fire and closer than normal planes would fly, and be heading the same way and evenly spread out?"

His family, who snapped these pictures (see right) of what they saw, do not think the unidentified flying objects were alien spacecraft, but would like other residents with any possible explanation to come forward.

The Epping Forest district has previously been described as a hot-spot for UFO sightings, although some have put this down to the proximity of nearby Stansted Airport.