SUGGESTIONS that orange lights seen hovering in the sky could be UFOs have quickly been quashed by a chairman of an astronomical society.

This week the Gazette featured a story about a Ruislip man who had seen four orange lights near his house in Park Avenue on Saturday (31).

However, Robin Scagell, chairman of West of London Astronomical Society, emailed the Gazette to say the lights were probably sky lanterns.

He said: "I didn't see them, but the description matches them exactly. These paper hot-air balloons are very popular these days, and can float around for several minutes with the flame illuminating the balloon, which is visible over quite a wide area.

"People often report them as UFOs, and I've even had someone believing they were fireflies, when seen in the distance.

"The planet Jupiter is also in the southern sky in the evening at the moment, and anyone who gets up at around 6am might also see Venus apparently hovering low in the east. Both planets are also good sources of UFO scares."

Pat Munn emailed the Gazette to say she saw five orange lights on October 17 while in Dean Close, Uxbridge, and Charlie Balch also saw them on Saturday (31).