Chesham UFO riddle solved

Chesham UFO riddle solved

Joanne Collins with a glow lantern mistaken for a UFO

A glow lantern in the sky

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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.”

Comments (29)

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11:13am Tue 3 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?
Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station? TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

11:30am Tue 3 Mar 09

SDJones says...

shouldnt be allowed, could be potentially dangerous
shouldnt be allowed, could be potentially dangerous SDJones
  • Score: 0

11:36am Tue 3 Mar 09

Steve Totteridge Hill says...

TheT0nemeister wrote:
Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?
Stick in the mud!
[quote][p][bold]TheT0nemeister[/bold] wrote: Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?[/p][/quote]Stick in the mud! Steve Totteridge Hill
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Tue 3 Mar 09

wierdo says...

I agree. These are dangerous.

Clearly they could lead to real UFO's being missed and the planet being invaded by what we mistakenly assumed to be lanterns.

Ban them immediately.

warm-even
I agree. These are dangerous. Clearly they could lead to real UFO's being missed and the planet being invaded by what we mistakenly assumed to be lanterns. Ban them immediately. warm-even wierdo
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Tue 3 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Steve Totteridge Hill wrote:
TheT0nemeister wrote: Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?
Stick in the mud!
Steve I think your undermining the seriousness of this. I like to have a good time with friends to but as quoted in the article above "They are becoming more common." this could be the start of something big! Which will get out of hand, burn down homes, nature reserves possibly causing wild bush fires in our forests. Fortunately at the moment its only a few individuals lets hope these things get banned and bring an end to all the UFO (potential arson threat) mystery!
[quote][p][bold]Steve Totteridge Hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TheT0nemeister[/bold] wrote: Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?[/p][/quote]Stick in the mud![/p][/quote]Steve I think your undermining the seriousness of this. I like to have a good time with friends to but as quoted in the article above "They are becoming more common." this could be the start of something big! Which will get out of hand, burn down homes, nature reserves possibly causing wild bush fires in our forests. Fortunately at the moment its only a few individuals lets hope these things get banned and bring an end to all the UFO (potential arson threat) mystery! TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Bloke from says...

TheT0nemeister wrote:
Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?
Or worse still in a pile of that dog poo that is left everywhere!

I do hope that Joanne takes the time to track them down and pick up her litter! Those little metal candle holders can be quite sharp and may hurt someone or something...
[quote][p][bold]TheT0nemeister[/bold] wrote: Yes we all knew they where chinese lanterns. I personally think these are a huge fire hazard what if one hand landed on someones head or worse still ended up in a petrol station?[/p][/quote]Or worse still in a pile of that dog poo that is left everywhere! I do hope that Joanne takes the time to track them down and pick up her litter! Those little metal candle holders can be quite sharp and may hurt someone or something... Bloke from
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Tue 3 Mar 09

MikeyPikey says...

So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday.
And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work.

kids and helium baloons beware.....
So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware..... MikeyPikey
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Tue 3 Mar 09

wayneo says...

MikeyPikey wrote:
So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....
It would appear that is what they are suggesting ; it is the typical attitude of ban it in case it might be dangerous as opposed to it is dangerous. Crikey, they'll have stabalisers on motorcycles next.
[quote][p][bold]MikeyPikey[/bold] wrote: So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....[/p][/quote]It would appear that is what they are suggesting ; it is the typical attitude of ban it in case it might be dangerous as opposed to it is dangerous. Crikey, they'll have stabalisers on motorcycles next. wayneo
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Bloke from says...

The offence of littering:
People who carelessly discard litter in any open place are committing a criminal offence. This includes private as well as public land, and land covered by water.

Prosecutions for littering are brought under section 87 - Offence of Leaving Litter - of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The offence is: "A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter in any place to which this section applies and leaves it.”
However, a person convicted of this offence could be liable to a maximum fine of £2,500 (a level 4 offence on the standard scale).

I end my case.
The offence of littering: People who carelessly discard litter in any open place are committing a criminal offence. This includes private as well as public land, and land covered by water. Prosecutions for littering are brought under section 87 - Offence of Leaving Litter - of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The offence is: "A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter in any place to which this section applies and leaves it.” However, a person convicted of this offence could be liable to a maximum fine of £2,500 (a level 4 offence on the standard scale). I end my case. Bloke from
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Tue 3 Mar 09

wierdo says...

Good point Bloke. There are enough people on here moaning about dog poo, cat poo, swan poo etc.

Do we now have to get up in the morning and start clearing up lanterns from china too?

If they are not to be banned, then surely local govenment should be able to add a tax on them to pay for the clearing up...

cell-next
Good point Bloke. There are enough people on here moaning about dog poo, cat poo, swan poo etc. Do we now have to get up in the morning and start clearing up lanterns from china too? If they are not to be banned, then surely local govenment should be able to add a tax on them to pay for the clearing up... cell-next wierdo
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Tue 3 Mar 09

MikeyPikey says...

Like i said Bloke, heaven forbid a child lets go of a helium filled baloon this summer....
Like i said Bloke, heaven forbid a child lets go of a helium filled baloon this summer.... MikeyPikey
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Bloke from says...

Now I am cross...

Having just popped out to get some lunch, my front offside car tyre burst causing me to swerve off the road and into another parked car, finally coming to rest in a lamp post!

When I looked at the tyre, imagine how surprised I was to find a little candle holder wedged in my tyre!
This is now going to cost me a lot to repair!

* This post may contain lies

park-room
Now I am cross... Having just popped out to get some lunch, my front offside car tyre burst causing me to swerve off the road and into another parked car, finally coming to rest in a lamp post! When I looked at the tyre, imagine how surprised I was to find a little candle holder wedged in my tyre! This is now going to cost me a lot to repair! * This post may contain lies park-room Bloke from
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Blueberry says...

So first the BFP reported something that was clearly not a story.

Now they're trying to make the fact that it wasn't really a story into a story.

It's either some very clever post-structuralist existential joke. Or it's feeble space-filling disguised as journalism.
So first the BFP reported something that was clearly not a story. Now they're trying to make the fact that it wasn't really a story into a story. It's either some very clever post-structuralist existential joke. Or it's feeble space-filling disguised as journalism. Blueberry
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Ilya Stavinsky says...

UFO coverage became a big business, for this reason many Ufologists are interested only in one thing to keep fire about UFO going.
They are not interested in discovering truth about UFO esspecially if this truth will undermine their business. For example, about 1 year ago I discovered that AFOs (Aliens Flying Object)live in our Earth's atmosphere and invited all "well-known" Ufologists (journalists, hunters etc.,) to show them AFOs in the night sky anywhere in the world and specifficaly in Manhattan (Columbus Circle, 59st) and in my place. None of them expressed interest to accept my offer. Read my article on internet; "Aliens live in our Earth's atmosphere" and other articles related to this subject.
UFO coverage became a big business, for this reason many Ufologists are interested only in one thing to keep fire about UFO going. They are not interested in discovering truth about UFO esspecially if this truth will undermine their business. For example, about 1 year ago I discovered that AFOs (Aliens Flying Object)live in our Earth's atmosphere and invited all "well-known" Ufologists (journalists, hunters etc.,) to show them AFOs in the night sky anywhere in the world and specifficaly in Manhattan (Columbus Circle, 59st) and in my place. None of them expressed interest to accept my offer. Read my article on internet; "Aliens live in our Earth's atmosphere" and other articles related to this subject. Ilya Stavinsky
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Blueberry says...

How is it "big business"? They may get paid for the odd article or TV appearance, but surely it's not hugely profitable?
How is it "big business"? They may get paid for the odd article or TV appearance, but surely it's not hugely profitable? Blueberry
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 3 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

wayneo wrote:
MikeyPikey wrote: So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....
It would appear that is what they are suggesting ; it is the typical attitude of ban it in case it might be dangerous as opposed to it is dangerous. Crikey, they'll have stabalisers on motorcycles next.
Don't be silly I would'nt go as far as stabalisers. The simple solution would be to just ban motorcycles.
[quote][p][bold]wayneo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MikeyPikey[/bold] wrote: So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....[/p][/quote]It would appear that is what they are suggesting ; it is the typical attitude of ban it in case it might be dangerous as opposed to it is dangerous. Crikey, they'll have stabalisers on motorcycles next.[/p][/quote]Don't be silly I would'nt go as far as stabalisers. The simple solution would be to just ban motorcycles. TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Ilya Stavinsky says...

S Bucks:
The point is that there is a conflict of interest between finding the truth about UFO and running UFO business.
May be you are right the word "big business" is too strong.
S Bucks: The point is that there is a conflict of interest between finding the truth about UFO and running UFO business. May be you are right the word "big business" is too strong. Ilya Stavinsky
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Tue 3 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

MikeyPikey wrote:
So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....
Look here pal if you set one of these babies off next door to a petrol station, combining wind speed and trajectory it could well fly straight under the cover and across the forecourt causing widespread panic and catastrophe. Suddenly nice paper lantern becomes pretty lethal fire ball!
[quote][p][bold]MikeyPikey[/bold] wrote: So are people really suggesting banning a rice paper lantern that has a tea light in it that gets blown out at a mouses cough because its a fire hazzard? and yet everyone will quite happily continue to support the barrage of explosives that get launched into (or near to) the night sky through the months of October and November? i'd sooner see a flock of silent laterns pass overhead....anyday. And as for landing in a petrol station.... what one of the many un-covered ones.... they dont come down until they are out anyway - thats how they work. kids and helium baloons beware.....[/p][/quote]Look here pal if you set one of these babies off next door to a petrol station, combining wind speed and trajectory it could well fly straight under the cover and across the forecourt causing widespread panic and catastrophe. Suddenly nice paper lantern becomes pretty lethal fire ball! TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Plus ça change... says...


Imagine the view from its biodegradable flying webcam.



Imagine the view from its biodegradable flying webcam. Plus ça change...
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Save Wycombe says...

I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe.
I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe. Save Wycombe
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Tue 3 Mar 09

MikeyPikey says...

ok so what about all these smokers dropping still lit fags out of car windows, flicking them over fences now they are all forced outside and away from the safety of indoor ashtrays.....?

and to suggest someone would let off a latern in the forecourt of a petrol station is rediculous.

I still hold up that fireworks are far more dangerous, and litter the country far more than a biodegradable rice paper and wax latern.... ok i'll accept that the tin foil candle holder may cause all 8 lanes of the M40 to close while the highways agency remove it.......
ok so what about all these smokers dropping still lit fags out of car windows, flicking them over fences now they are all forced outside and away from the safety of indoor ashtrays.....? and to suggest someone would let off a latern in the forecourt of a petrol station is rediculous. I still hold up that fireworks are far more dangerous, and litter the country far more than a biodegradable rice paper and wax latern.... ok i'll accept that the tin foil candle holder may cause all 8 lanes of the M40 to close while the highways agency remove it....... MikeyPikey
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Tue 3 Mar 09

RSIAW says...

Save Wycombe wrote:
I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe.
So youve never set off a firework or been to a display?
1000s of people each year are maimed and killed around the world,by fireworks.As far as i know,there have not been too many from chinese lantern.Maybe that tells you something.

[quote][p][bold]Save Wycombe[/bold] wrote: I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe.[/p][/quote] So youve never set off a firework or been to a display? 1000s of people each year are maimed and killed around the world,by fireworks.As far as i know,there have not been too many from chinese lantern.Maybe that tells you something. RSIAW
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Tue 3 Mar 09

Blueberry says...

Yes, RSAIW, it tells me there are probably far more fireworks let off than lanterns.

But without knowing the relative numbers it's impossible to know the relative risks.

Yes, RSAIW, it tells me there are probably far more fireworks let off than lanterns. But without knowing the relative numbers it's impossible to know the relative risks. Blueberry
  • Score: 0

8:33am Wed 4 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

RSIAW wrote:
Save Wycombe wrote: I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe.
So youve never set off a firework or been to a display? 1000s of people each year are maimed and killed around the world,by fireworks.As far as i know,there have not been too many from chinese lantern.Maybe that tells you something.
The issue here is not FireWorks its chinese laterns! Get with the script! The shear increase in chinese latern related cases recently reported in the BFP is startling. This is just an accident waiting to happen.
[quote][p][bold]RSIAW[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Save Wycombe[/bold] wrote: I can't believe any responsible adult doesn't see problem with lighting a candle and setting it off on a random flight - having no control over where it might go! At least helium is safe.[/p][/quote] So youve never set off a firework or been to a display? 1000s of people each year are maimed and killed around the world,by fireworks.As far as i know,there have not been too many from chinese lantern.Maybe that tells you something. [/p][/quote]The issue here is not FireWorks its chinese laterns! Get with the script! The shear increase in chinese latern related cases recently reported in the BFP is startling. This is just an accident waiting to happen. TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

8:56am Wed 4 Mar 09

Blueberry says...

As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight.

The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs.
As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight. The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs. Blueberry
  • Score: 0

9:26am Wed 4 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Blueberry wrote:
As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight. The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs.
Its not just the case of the floating bonfire this is only one harard. These things could quite easily get court up in a plane engine taking off from booker airfield (technically known as a Lantern Strike) causing the pilot to ditch the plane in the Wye river.
[quote][p][bold]Blueberry[/bold] wrote: As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight. The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs.[/p][/quote]Its not just the case of the floating bonfire this is only one harard. These things could quite easily get court up in a plane engine taking off from booker airfield (technically known as a Lantern Strike) causing the pilot to ditch the plane in the Wye river. TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Wed 4 Mar 09

Steve Totteridge Hill says...

TheT0nemeister wrote:
Blueberry wrote: As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight. The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs.
Its not just the case of the floating bonfire this is only one harard. These things could quite easily get court up in a plane engine taking off from booker airfield (technically known as a Lantern Strike) causing the pilot to ditch the plane in the Wye river.
You really have no idea do you.

The little flame heats the air up and the balloon goes up! After about 3 minutes (100's of feet in the air) it runs out of fuel (goes out) and drifts back down to earth.

There's more danger from the real balloonists that carry a great more fuel!
[quote][p][bold]TheT0nemeister[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Blueberry[/bold] wrote: As has already been poited out, as long as the candle is lit, the lantern floats; it only sinks when it goes out (or goes out when it sinks), so it's not going to set anything alight. The main risk of these lanterns is silly stories about UFOs.[/p][/quote]Its not just the case of the floating bonfire this is only one harard. These things could quite easily get court up in a plane engine taking off from booker airfield (technically known as a Lantern Strike) causing the pilot to ditch the plane in the Wye river.[/p][/quote]You really have no idea do you. The little flame heats the air up and the balloon goes up! After about 3 minutes (100's of feet in the air) it runs out of fuel (goes out) and drifts back down to earth. There's more danger from the real balloonists that carry a great more fuel! Steve Totteridge Hill
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Wed 4 Mar 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Steve are you a weather man? Potential Scenario: You send one of these incendiary devices up in the air the next minute maybe 1 minute into flight and 50ft up in the air it gets into trouble with a North Eastly coming in over the Chilterns. The cooling effect of the air causes the device to plumet drastically maybe 35 ft but just enough to guide it through a poor unsuspected neighbours second floor window. Just taking a few words from your above comment "Flame" "Heats" "Balloon" "Fuel" we suddenly have a situation on our hands.
Steve are you a weather man? Potential Scenario: You send one of these incendiary devices up in the air the next minute maybe 1 minute into flight and 50ft up in the air it gets into trouble with a North Eastly coming in over the Chilterns. The cooling effect of the air causes the device to plumet drastically maybe 35 ft but just enough to guide it through a poor unsuspected neighbours second floor window. Just taking a few words from your above comment "Flame" "Heats" "Balloon" "Fuel" we suddenly have a situation on our hands. TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Wed 4 Mar 09

Blueberry says...

If it "plummets drastically" the flame will go out!

And if there's such a cold wind, it's unlikely there would be many windows open.

There are far more dangerous things to worry about: crossing the road, being a smoker etc etc
If it "plummets drastically" the flame will go out! And if there's such a cold wind, it's unlikely there would be many windows open. There are far more dangerous things to worry about: crossing the road, being a smoker etc etc Blueberry
  • Score: 0

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