UFO spotters have discovered that the truth really is out there - after sightings of strange lights in the sky were confirmed as Chinese lanterns.

As reported in The Northern Echo, residents in Darlington thought they were witnessing an alien invasion when they saw bright orange orbs hovering in an arrow formation above the town on Saturday night.

Watch the footage here

Police and officials from the nearby Durham Tees Valley Airport could not explain the sightings, but it has now emerged that revellers at a wedding set off the novelty lanterns during the celebrations.

Dan and Becky McKeown are now enjoying their honeymoon in Holy Island, Northumberland, and were surprised to hear about the commotion they had caused when relatives told them their party had made the papers.

"I can solve the mystery - the lanterns were part of my son's wedding reception," said Mr McKeown's father, Kevin.

"They had a party at St Augustine's parish centre in Darlington, and there were quite a few children there so they set these lanterns off to entertain them.

"Kevin rang me last night and I told him about the story in the paper - he couldn't believe it.

"It's hilarious, they had no idea that people would think they were UFOs.

"We are happy to confirm that aliens are not invading Darlington."

Be warned, there are elements of strong language in the accompanying video