Mysterious goings-on in the Filey TriangleAugust 14, 2005
Why an eight-mile stretch of North Yorkshire coastline could prove to be an extra-terrestrial tourist hotspot.
THE truth, it seems, is out there - along an eight-mile stretch of North Yorkshire's coastline.
Legions of UFO enthusiasts from across the UK have descended on what has become the nation's prime location to witness strange and other-worldly shapes in the skies between Scarborough and Filey.
They recorded at least 50 sightings of unidentified flying objects last year between the two seaside resorts, which now appear to have an increasing allure for extra-terrestrial visitors.
Since the start of this year, a further 85 sightings have been made and North Yorkshire is now considered the UFO spotting capital of Britain with dozens of other incidents recorded across the county during 2004.
Nationally, the public's fascination with UFOs has dwindled since the mid-1990s pinnacle that coincided with the huge popularity of the US television sci-fi drama The X Files.
But a burgeoning underground network of enthusiasts across the region has meant the rate of sightings has continued unabated.
UFO investigator Russell Kellett has found himself at the centre of the UFO mecca after moving to Filey five years ago from Bradford.
The 42-year-old has experienced his own taste of the unexplained, including a bizarre close encounter at a railway crossing in Yorkshire 17 years ago.
Mr Kellett was left with raw, red scarring on his hands, neck and face after he spotted a bright light hovering above as he waited on his motorbike at the crossing near Keighley in 1988.
Since then he has spent up to 15 hours each week scanning the skies above Yorkshire in the hope of capturing evidence of UFO activity on his video camera.
North Yorkshire's lack of light pollution and the clear skies along the East Coast make the county an ideal hunting ground for UFOs.
Mr Kellett said: "Since 1988 I've been on a journey to find out what has been happening. I do believe that it's not all about friendly ET-style characters coming to visit us.
"I really do believe we need to find out things before it's too late, and there's nowhere better to do this than here in North Yorkshire.
"The area between Scarborough and Filey is without doubt the UFO capital of Britain - we've got the statistics and the sightings to prove it.
"It's remarkable that we have had so many sightings here, and it's down to the hard work all the enthusiasts are putting in."
The close encounters in North Yorkshire last year include:
n A multitude of UFO sightings in Filey, dating back to 2004, including descriptions and video evidence consisting of flying triangles emerging from the North Sea.
n A disc-shaped UFO captured on film over Selby and there has also been reports of a huge UFO hovering over the Drax power station during the daytime.
n A transparent ring-shaped UFO spotted pulsating in the night sky over Skipton on May 20 last year.
n Images of a jellyfish-shaped UFO captured by a couple who pulled over in their car at Whixley to the west of York.
n Multiple sightings of supposed fleets of small UFOs flying in formation at Scarborough.
Andy Kelly, of Colton, Leeds, who is a computer specialist contracted to work for British Aerospace, was one of the witnesses to a sighting of a boomerang-shaped UFO near Selby in May last year.
Mr Kelly, 49, who has been a keen aviation enthusiast since the age of 16, said: "I was driving along the M62 back to Leeds and I spotted an aircraft circling overheard as if it was looking for something.
"Then I saw another shape in the sky, and to this day I don't know what it was. I know what a conventional aircraft looks like, and it certainly wasn't something I have ever seen before."
Despite the dwindling interest in UFOs among many sections of the public, a network of enthusiasts has formed across the country since the British UFO Hunters group was established in 2002.
The spotters, who have dubbed themselves an "underground response
unit" to the unexplained, now aim to be at the location as quickly as possible of any sightings which are reported to them.
But the group's founder, Chris Parr, admits it is not an exact science.
"It is down to luck and being in the right place at the right time," he said.
"The popularity of ufology has declined and this has tied in with the demise of The X-Files. The series made so many people aware of the subject.
"But Yorkshire remains the hotbed of UFO activity for the whole of Britain, there have been so many sightings in recent times it is attracting a lot of interest from across the country."
Mr Parr's own fascination with UFOs was triggered in 1984 when he was bathed in a bright shining light while making a cup of coffee in his kitchen in Whitehaven, Cumbria.
According to Mr Parr, the intense ball of light then sped off and vanished into the night sky.