SKYGAZERS have been gripped by our mysterious red objects story - last week's front page - with many saying they witnessed them hovering in Bromsgrove skies.

We have had an amazingly large response from readers to the article.

Within hours of the newspaper hitting the streets our newsroom was inundated with calls and e-mails from residents letting us know what they saw.

Last week's story concerned Pat Maguire's sighting of two extremely bright red, unidentified objects heading towards Droitwich on May 16.

However, some of you are now telling us they were out on Saturday evening, into Sunday morning, and others have seen them in Bromsgrove skies over the last year.

One Bromsgrove resident said he saw "frequent flashes from the Wychbold area as bright as sheet lightning."

New Road resident Margaret Harries and Wendy Wright, from Harwood Park, also saw flashes, but Sidemoor resident Patrick Gunnell said the lights changed colour to orange, then yellow.

Town resident Shaun Middlemas said the object appeared to move like a "weather rocket" and launch a probe on a parachute.

Delivery driver Sameer Mitter came to a standstill, distracted by a strange object - the shape of which he has sent to us (as above).

One explanation is they were Chinese lanterns which, when lit, rise into the sky using hot air from its own flame to power it. However, descriptions do vary from this.

Some have described the objects as balls of flame, while others say they looked like burning hot air balloons, helicopters, even planes.

Many say the objects dropped out of the sky, turning black, then seemingly disappeared. Despite differences surrounding their appearance, and number, the overwhelming majority say they were silent.

Local UFO researcher, John Hanson, who has a written a series of volumes dating from 1940 to 2008 cataloguing the day-by-day account of UFO activity in the UK, said: "Chinese lanterns can usually explain some of the phenomena, but it would be wrong to say it accounts for all.

"Strange things are happening out there," said Alvechurch-based Mr Hanson.

Mark Blackmore, from Breme Park, simply said: "Whatever it was, it was a nice sight for a while."

Meanwhile, John Hanson is now appealing to any residents who saw the objects to contact him on 0121 445 0340.