Published: 06:00, 11 August 2020
| Updated: 08:34, 11 August 2020
Geese-shaped metal ships, 'aliens' in a lightning storm and extraterrestrials surveying a Spitfire on an episode of Flog It - it may not be Roswell but Kent boasts the second highest number of UFO sightings in the country.
The most recent Ministry Of Defence data show the Garden of England's 30 reports was second only to London's 38 sightings after the Royal Air Force (RAF) shut down a 50-year-long investigation.
Among close encounters were objects "transparent like a jellyfish" and lights "looking like a tornado spinning" and "sounding like an industrial train".
Sightings peaked between 8pm and midnight and air traffic controllers, pilots, police officers, journalists, amateur astronomers and RAF staff were the most likely to spot a UFO.
In 1961, the government placed the RAF in charge of recording reports from the public and submitting them to the national archives.
The project ended in 2009 after higher-ups decided there was no evidence of a 'potential threat' and shut the UFO wing of the RAF down.
An RAF spokesman said it was an inappropriate use of resources seeing as it served no defence purpose.
In 1997, 19 UFO reports were recorded in Kent. For the following 12 years, reports did not rise above 10 until 2009, when they shot up to 30.
A spokesman for the RAF said they could not explain the dramatic increase because they "would not speculate on what people did or did not see back in 2009 or indeed in any other year."
Around 98% of UFO sightings can be explained if reported quickly, according to the British UFO Research Association.
This vast majority of explainable sightings are aircrafts, satellites, meteors, stars and planets. Some could be due to weather balloons, birds, paper lanterns, hallucinations and hoax reports.
However, many of Kent's sightings are yet to be explained.
Two With a Blue Hue
On June 7, 2014, a report of two bright white lights with a blue hue around them was published on The Paranormal Chronicles website.
The observer from an unnamed area in Kent added: "I noticed at the same elevation coming in from the south, another light. This light appeared to fly up toward the first light I had seen.
"I believed it was a jet intercepting an aircraft which had taken off from Heathrow. I then saw movements from this smaller one, like nothing I have ever seen before. It was sporadic, extremely fast and in no way continued to resemble a fighter."
They said the speed of the object would have destroyed any man-made craft. However, just five minutes later, the original light reappeared - hovering in the sky until it faded away.
Two days earlier, on June 5 at around 11.10pm, a similar sighting of a brilliant white light and two smaller objects was reported in Tunbridge Wells. Several sightings were also reported in Wales at the time.
The UFO in the Lightning Storm
On June 18, 2019, a strange blip was filmed against the backdrop of a spectacular thunderstorm.
Slowed footage filmed on the Isle of Sheppey shows several lightning strikes flashing before a strange round object appears in the sky.
User tizzyprelude, who posted the clip, wrote: "Upon reviewing the video, I stumbled upon this. What do you think? Something is definitely there and has moved within one frame."
Agreeing the footage was odd, one commenter under the username Dom M offered the explanation: "Could be the lightning reacting to your camera sensor, who knows?
"What you need to do is look at that part of the screen before the lightning and add a filter to see if the object is there before the lightning."
The Six Hovering Lights
Several people reported seeing six strange hovering lights in the sky over Folkestone in Feburary 2016 - with one passenger filming the lights from a car on the M20.
Many believed they were flares launched from a nearby military range, given the smoke trails they left in their wake.
However, the Ministry of Defence said this was not the case.
A spokesman told KentOnline there was no activity on Lydd Ranges on the morning when the lights were spotted at about 10.30am.
The origin of these lights has remained a mystery.
The Ringing Diamond
An investigator from the British UFO Research Association went to Wingham to look into a case from July 15, 2012.
Ray (a pseudonym) told the investigators he was out on one of his regular walks with his son and their dog when he spotted what he at first believed was a flock of geese.
He added: “I kept my eye on it and realised it was going too fast to be birds. Then I realised I was not looking at something a few hundred meters away - it was maybe five miles away.
"I saw it was a solid object - dark grey or black. It was pointed at the front, hence me thinking I was viewing geese from my ground angle, and square-like to the back. It had about five sides, like a classic diamond icon.
"It passed out of sight behind the trees of a small coppice. I tried to explain it away. Said maybe it was a shadow of something on the clouds. But there was absolutely no way I can think of to explain what I saw. I have seen most kinds of aircraft in flight as I was obsessed with the things as a kid and lived next to a military and commercial airport.
"When I got back to my parents’ house I told my mother what I had seen. She said she's been seeing weird stuff in the sky all week. She's even heard them - they make a buzzing or ringing noise.”
The craft was sketched, but no explanation could be found.
Sizing-up a Spitfire
The internet group 'ufosightingsdaily' claimed an episode of BBC's Flog It aired with a "rod or disk drone" investigating a Spitfire flying over Manston airfield.
The footage investigated in May 2016 shows a thin white line pass under the plane as it soars across the clear blue sky.
Scott Waring, who runs the website, wrote: "Here is a great capture of a rod shooting past an old Spitfire to investigate this beautiful craft. I'm sure it wanted to see this one close up, because, really? How often do you get to see one of these?"
According to a report in January 2012, the Third Kind has had run-ins with the air force before. People across Gravesend and Dartford reported hearing low flying aircrafts - some of them chasing a strange light.
Adrian and Jessica, from Istead Rise, said: "We looked out on the patio toward the sky and saw a reddy orange shaped object (which was very low in the sky) and was an oval shape but quite large.
"It was moving in an unusual pattern (unlike conventional aircraft) and did a tight abrupt circle before shooting off in such a fast fashion that the two jets that appeared were too late to catch up with it."