Video - Coast encounters of the third kind... Did UFOs really land in Yorkshire?
North Yorkshire's burgeoning reputation as the place to see if the truth really is out there is being capitalised on to give Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) hunters the chance to witness some of the locations where sightings have been made.
UFO investigator Russ Kellett, who is based in Filey on the Yorkshire coast, is compiling a list of sites where strange lights and mysterious shapes have been spotted in the skies above.
He is now in talks with coach companies to establish a new brand of UFO tourism after amassing a huge archive of evidence about unexplained sightings across Yorkshire.
Up to 50 sightings have been reported annually between Scarborough and Filey alone, and North Yorkshire is now considered by many as the UFO spotting capital of Britain.
North Yorkshire's lack of light pollution and the clear skies along the East Coast make it an ideal hunting ground for UFOs.
Mr Kellett maintained that the county can rival the Mecca for investigators – Roswell in America, where a UFO was supposedly found in New Mexico in July 1947.
He added: "If millions of people head over to Roswell for what is one particular incident, I really do believe that we have something equally special here in North Yorkshire.
"There has been a dedicated band of investigators who have compiled a lot of video evidence and photographs. It is not about hearsay, there really is actual proof.
"It is a fascinating topic, even for people who are sceptical, and these tours will give people just a little insight into what it is like to actually witness a UFO in the skies."
Among the locations due to be included in the tours, which are due to start later this year, is Selby where a flying saucer was spotted in 2003. Scarborough will also feature after the resort was the location of an apparent UFO landing eight years ago.
The village of Silpho, on the North York Moors, will also be included after becoming an unlikely focal point for an army of UFO hunters and paranormal investigators.
It hit the headlines more than 50 years ago after a mysterious machine was found smouldering in bushes on remote moorland nearby.
Mr Kellett is also organising a UFO conference, called The Flying Saucers Have Landed, after the success of the inaugural event which was staged in Scarborough in October last year.
Some of the world's leading experts on UFOs will be appearing at the conference, which will be held this year in Filey, to unearth new evidence and try to establish if there really is extra-terrestrial life.
Among the speakers due to attend are Flying Saucer Review editor Harry Challenger and abduction investigator Hilary Porter, the co-founder of the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society (BEAMS).
Other eminent UFO investigators who are due to attend include Philip Mantle, who will be providing a snapshot of 30 years of research, and Winston Keech, who will be showing exclusive footage which he has caught on video.
Mr Kellett, 47, will also discuss his own experiences of the unexplained, including a bizarre close encounter at a railway crossing in Yorkshire 22 years ago.
He was left with raw, red scarring on his hands, neck and face after he spotted a bright light hovering above as he waited on his motorbike at the crossing near Keighley in 1988.
Since then he has spent up to 15 hours each week scanning the skies above Yorkshire in the hope of capturing evidence of UFO activity on his video camera, although he has had to curb his investigations recently after arthritis has left him with chronic back pains.
Mr Kellett said: "There are so many questions that remain unanswered, but hopefully the conference will give people a lot more food for thought. In my opinion, the evidence which has been compiled provides clear evidence that we are certainly not alone."
The conference will be held in the Evron Centre in John Street, Filey, on June 26 and June 27. Tickets priced at 15 per person per day, or 10 for concessions, are available from the centre.
The Silpho flying saucer
One of the most intriguing – and enduring – cases of UFO sightings in North Yorkshire is centred on the tiny village of Silpho on the North York Moors.
The Yorkshire Post carried an article on December 9, 1957, under the headline: "Has Yorkshire got a flying saucer? Mystery object found on Scarborough moors".
A little over a fortnight earlier on the evening of November 21, 1957, an 18-inch metallic saucer weighing 35lb had been found on moorland between the villages of Silpho and Hackness.
Once it had been opened, 17 thin copper sheets were found inside engraved with hieroglyphics.
The fate of the flying saucer has become increasingly murky. Rumours emerged it had been sold to a scrapyard and lost forever, while others said it had turned up in a fish and chip shop in Scarborough.