Man claims red orb in wood was UFO

IT WAS a close encounter of the red kind!For 20 years Leonard Gibney has remained silent about coming face to face with what he believes was a UFO in an Ipswich wood.

IT WAS a close encounter of the red kind!

For 20 years Leonard Gibney has remained silent about coming face to face with what he believes was a UFO in an Ipswich wood.

But today he has plucked up the courage to come forward following a string of unusual sightings reported in The Evening Star.

There have been so many apparent sightings of UFOs in the county that some believers claim Suffolk is a portal for visiting alien craft.

Mr Gibney, 67, of Bromley Close, Ipswich said his encounter took place in the summer of 1989.

He was living in a flat overlooking Belstead Brook and Spring Wood when he first caught sight of what he described as “reddish pink lights” swarming across the sky.

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He said: “My flat was fairly high up and looked down onto the A14.

“I kept seeing these lights darting across the fields.

“First I thought someone must have been messing with lights. They were visible for a few moments then disappeared.

“I didn't want to jump to any conclusions but I talked to a neighbour soon afterwards and he told me he saw a red sphere from his window at around the same time.

“I can recall also the Rendlesham Forest incident when some airmen talked of seeing spheres.”

Things were about to get even stranger for Mr Gibney when he actually came face to face with one of the mysterious red spheres.

As he strolled through Spring Wood one evening, he suddenly saw a “luminescent orb” descending from the clouds.

It hovered 50 yards away from where he stood for around ten seconds before vanishing completely.

Mr Gibney said: “I could have thrown a stone and hit it. It was like a big bright red beach ball, 10ft across. Then it just disappeared like someone had flicked a switch.

“I can't prove what I'm saying is the truth. I'm not certified insane and I am in charge of all my faculties. I'm as sceptical as anyone else but I'm just saying what I saw.”

Have you had a close encounter with a UFO? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Sightings of UFOs were rampant during 1989 - nowhere more than over Belgium.

On November 29, 1989, a triangular UFO with lights sparking underneath was seen by multiple witnesses, including three groups of policemen.

On more than one occasion, two F-16 fighter jets chased the unknown flying craft, but without results.

The triangle moved very low and very slowly over the city of Glons, southeast of Brussels.

Five radar stations reported the object, which would not answer requests to identify itself.

Radars showed the UFO dropped from 10,000 to 500 feet altitude in five seconds.

Sightings of the giant triangles continued for months, being witnessed more than 1,000 times.

The Ministry of Defence last month released paper records of almost 1,200 UFO sightings reported between 1987 and 1993.

The files were posted on the National Archives website and included the story of an alien banana-man spotted in west London in May 1989.

The records also showed a member of the public reported seeing “one bright yellow/white light with a small red light” near the A14.

Another woman said that while walking her dog near Norwich, in November 1989, she was approached by a man with a “flying suit” and “a Scandinavian-type accent”.

On March 31, 1989 British policemen were sent to investigate a glowing flying saucer after hundreds of people reported seeing it land in a field in Surrey.

As they approached the craft, a door opened and a small figure wearing a silver space suit walked out. The flying saucer turned out to be a hot air balloon that had been built by Richard Branson, who had taken off in the balloon the day before, planning to land in London's Hyde Park on April Fool's Day.

A wind change had blown him off course and into in the Surrey field a day earlier than expected.