The truth is out there for extra-terrestrial enthusiasts now the National Archives has released secret Ministry of Defence files on eyewitness accounts of UFOs.
Several sightings in Richmond were reported between 1997 and 2007 and anyone interested can view the documents for the first time by downloading them from the National Archives website.
According to the files, Twickenham is the borough's hotspot for alien encounters, with four recorded sightings, compared with two in Richmond and one in Teddington.
Richmond Scientific Society secretary Dr John Bradbury said there was a "strong argument" for the existence of alien life.
He added: "There are so many possible planets where it could exist.
"Extra-terrestrial intelligence is very likely."
Some of the newly-released reports describe first-hand alien encounters, involving people being taken aboard space ships and befriending extra-terrestrial visitors.
In addition to the eight MoD files, the National Archives, based in Kew, has produced a podcast and a videocast, together with further background information on the subject.
Almost 200 files are set to be made available over the next four years.
Senior archivist at the National Archives Howard Davies believes the latest release "will undoubtedly be of interest to many people all over the world".
In the videocast, Nick Pope, former UFO investigator at the MoD, said that UFOs continued to be one of the most popular subjects for information requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
Recorded UFO sightings in Richmond
- On February 21, 2005, a vague report was made indicating that something had been seen in the sky in Teddington at 10am.
- A record from Richmond revealed that on June 21, 2003, a doughnut-shaped object was spotted moving from left to right and side to side at 4.43pm. One side was shiny and reflective, and the other black.
- On February 15, 2002, a sighting was made in Richmond of a very odd flashing light on a moving object, spinning above London at 3.56pm.
- Records show that on September 24, 2000, at 12.02am, one, or possibly two golden lights, moved incredibly fast in the Twickenham skies before disappearing.
- An eyewitness claimed to see a single white light with a faint light behind it moving slowly over Twickenham on April 28, 1998, at 11.40pm.
- A report was made on July 27, 1998, of a large, circular object, that had blue lights that were spinning moving above Twickenham at 11.20pm.
- On August 2, 1997, at 10.18pm lights were seen in the sky over Twickenham. They were white, very dim and were moving west, making erratic movements.
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