THE mystery of UFOs spotted over Chesham has been solved – by the woman who launched them into the sky.

Three bright orange lights which seemed to disappear were spotted flying over Great Hivings by resident Ian Knight on February 14.

But they were actually Chinese glow lanterns released by Joanne Collins at a friend's house in Berkeley Avenue – half a mile away.

Mrs Collins, a 36-year-old childminder from Poles Hill, had bought them to use at son Max's seventh birthday party a few days previously.

Bad weather meant they could not be set off, but Mrs Collins kept them and lit them after a meal with husband Paul at a friend's house.

The mum-of-two said her brother-in-law told her about the mysterious UFO sighting after he spotted a report on it in the Bucks Free Press' sister paper, the South Bucks Star.

She said: “He said, 'Look what's on the front page of The Star'. I couldn't believe it, it was really funny.

“If you didn't know what they were, they might look a bit suspicious.”

She added: “It was the first time I had bought them. I went to a wedding in Henley last year and they had about 50 going off.

“You light a candle at the bottom and the heat makes it rise.

“It was a cold night and the higher it gets, the colder it gets and the candle goes out.

“They go really high, they just go on forever.”

Mrs Collins had bought them over the internet from a company based in Norfolk.

She added: “They are becoming more common. I hadn't really seen them until my cousin had his wedding.”