VILLAGERS had a close encounter of the baffling kind over the Bank Holiday weekend.

A bizarre light was seen crossing the sky near Brompton, Northallerton, sparking a local UFO alert.

The unidentified flying object was spotted on Saturday between 8.30pm and 9pm as dusk was beginning to fall.

A couple, who prefer to stay anonymous, saw a bright triangular shape on the horizon over Water End. It appeared to traverse the sky under power and was visible for about a minute.

"It was first thought that it was a hot air balloon - however the object took off at pace," said their son-in-law yesterday.

He added: "It was no helicopter, plane, weather balloon, meteor or anything like that.

"Two other people on the same street saw it - the woman a teacher and the other a scientist - they too were gob-smacked and baffled.

"The object they saw was flame red and completely silent. It was in the distance and fairly large. They tried to get the binoculars and camera but it had gone."

The authorities were also mystified by the sighting.

A police spokesman said there had been no reports of any unusual activity on the area on Saturday night.

And a spokesman at nearby RAF Leeming was also unable to shed any light on the matter.

"Nothing strange was reported to our control centre and we had nothing out flying on Saturday," he said.