HAVE aliens invaded Saddleworth moor, or have they just swung by at the crack of dawn to say hello?

It may sound like science fiction but avid bird watcher Alan Jones of Delph found himself gripped by the sight a strange orb shooting upwards towards the sky from huge ball of bright light.

Alan, 49, whose hobby is watching owl activity, was in his car at Bleak Hey Nook, near Dirty Lane, at about 5.30am when he first heard a huge "whoosh sound" and then saw the blazing light in his rear view mirror.

He turned round and saw the orb rising from the ball of light before it turned red and disappeared in the sky, dispersing into an arc.

"The sound it made was like what you often hear when an aircraft has just landed, but it was really loud," said Alan.

"I know it sounds incredible, but this is what I saw."

Alan, a former design manager for a display exibition company, said: "I've seen some strange things on Saddleworth moor but I've never seen anything like this. It was amazing."

Thankfully, Alan had the presence of mind to get his phone out and take some photographs of what he saw.

He added: "I've never thought about whether there is life elsewhere in the universe, but judging from what saw on Sunday morning, it's got to be a distinct possibility.

"It was beautiful morning with mist hanging over the landscape, and this thing came out of nowhere."

Alan said he had reported his sighting to the local police who said they would investigate.

Now, Alan is appealing for anyone else who saw the UFO early on Sunday morning (July 12) to contact the authorities to confirm his story.

This comes six months after it was revealed claimed sightings of UFOs received by a now-defunct unit within the RAF are to be published online.

The RAF took the decision to wind up its UFO unit in 2009, after concluding that in more than 50 years, no received report had ever disclosed any evidence of a potential threat.

Previously, records from the unit were given to the National Archives, often initially classified before being released after a specific number of years.

But the most recent reports received by the RAF will be placed online, the PA news agency has disclosed, following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Alan's sighting comes almost exactly 10 years after a man reported seeing a UFO in the form of a bright orb in the sky above Warth Mill in Diggle.

The man, only known as Mark, revealed the sighting in a comment on this website. He wrote: “My son and I were driving into Diggle along Huddersfield Road when we both witnessed a strange orange/yellow orb light moving very slowly left to right above the entrance to Warth Mill, which appeared not too high at all. It then changed direction and disappeared slowly into the night sky.”

Mark said what he saw could not have been a plane, helicopter or Chinese lantern.