A star gazer was left so terrified when a UFO flew over his garden he contacted the Ministry of Defence (MoD), intelligence files reveal.

The shaken man believed he may have had a close encounter with aliens when a “cigar-shaped vehicle” suddenly appeared over his house in Barnes.

He told defence officials the mysterious craft had a white light “flashing round and round underneath”. His sighting was one of thousands revealed last week when the National Archives released previously classified documents on paranormal reports.

The man, whose identity has been censored, said he was finding it difficult to sleep on the night in October, 1998, and went downstairs at about 12.15am to get a glass of milk.

He said: “I decided to take my milk into the garden and sit on the bench. After a few moments I heard a ‘distant roar’ of engines getting louder. Suddenly a huge ‘craft’ appeared over the house, heading in a westerly direction at speed.

“It was a large cigar shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings. It seemed to have two very bright lights at the front and a white light flashing round and round underneath. I think there were also coloured lights at the ends of the projectiles but I’m not certain - I was too bloody terrified.

“There also seemed to be a line of lights (which I took to be windows) along the side. It disappeared into the distance but as it did so it seemed to be getting closer to the ground.

“As you can imagine I felt quite shaken.”

The MOD said it did not have the resources to investigate his sighting, but believed it could have been an airship.

An official said: “Unless there is evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom from an external military source, and to date no ‘UFO’ report has revealed such evidence, we do not attempt to identify the precise nature of each sighting reported to us.”

However, the released MOD documents showed how the possibility of aliens has been discussed at the highest levels of Government, even featuring in a House of Lords debate in 1979.

The Barnes resident suffered further anxiety when he did not realise the clocks went back an hour overnight, leading to him checking his body to look for any signs he had been abducted.

He suffered sleep loss and booked an appointment with his doctor.