For the dozens of internet posters (some more serious than others) discussing recent mysterious lights in the skies above Hertfordshire, this photograph may go some way to unlocking the mystery.

The floating, circling UFOs seen last Saturday night were, it would appear, little more than Chinese lanterns released as part of a wedding celebration at the Bushey Police Club.

Robert Rosamond from the British UFO Research Organisation (BUFORA) confirmed residents weren't "seeing things" and that his organisation had received a great many similar reports in recent months.

He said: "Chinese lanterns or variations upon a similar theme are being sighted up and down the country at present.

"Common traits are flying in formation (due to the fact that they are more often than not tied together); that they are all apparently of a uniform colour and generally of equal brightness.

"Often one or two are observed to rotate around each other or perform some other kind of independent manoeuvre (the wind will obviously have different affects upon any single or number of lanterns in the group at any given time.)

"One or two or various of their numbers will and often do suddenly 'disappear' or even flare up and then disappear (depending upon the sequence of pre-launch candle lighting.)

"Ufology has been aware of this particular trend for the past four years or more, so it isn't particularly new to us. The fire service is equally unimpressed with them on the basis that they are potentially serious fire hazards under the right circumstances."

Bushey resident Debbie James was one of many people to witness the lights.

She said: "Thank goodness they were just lanterns. I'm having a party later in the year and will be buying some of my own. They are really beautiful.

"In reality the back gardens of Bushey wouldn't be the first port of call for aliens."