Update - AN Urmston family were shocked to see a formation of mysterious orange lights flying past their home.

The first of five bright orbs, described as balls of flame, were spotted by Karen and Nick McCartney, aged 44, of Clevedon Avenue and daughter Alex, aged 15, at around 10.50pm on Wednesday, August 13.

From their back garden the family saw a further four bright objects fly over head in the space of 25 minutes.

Karen, who has another daughter, Rachel, 11, took pictures of the strange lights and said: “They all came from the same direction and just looked like massive balls of fire. There was no noise or smoke and they were flying lower than a plane would. “I’d never seen anything like it before. I don’t particularly believe in UFOs, I just want someone to explain what they were.”

Karen explained how the bright spheres eventually faded out of sight towards Stretford.

Steve Mera, of the Manchester Association of Paranormal Investigation and Training, confirmed there was a rational explanation for the orbs. He said: “The spheres turned out to be Chinese lanterns that were let off by a group of youngsters on Bradfield Road.

“The lanterns were travelling in the same direction as the wind and at the same speed, which was a giveaway.” Steve added that candles lit inside the paper lanterns, which are cheap and readily available, caused them to lift off the ground like a hot air balloon would.

He said UFO sightings have increased by 40 per cent this year with 150 reports in the past three months and added: “There are often rational explanations like exotic aircraft, birds and meteorological phenomena. "Still, about 10 per cent of sightings remain unexplained."