Childrens’ sketches of a flying saucer at their school were so convincing they were passed to police – then filed by the Ministry of Defence UFO department.
The alarm was raised in 1977 when ten children told their teacher they saw a spacecraft hovering near trees during lunchbreak.
So the teacher – called Mrs Hindmarsh – split them up and asked them to draw what they saw.
The results were so similar she gave them to Cheshire police and the case was known as the ‘Close Encounters of a Playground Kind’.
Dr David Clarke, of Sheffield Hallam University, was working at the MoD when the drawings resurfaced in 2009 and he later used them in a book, UFO Drawings From The National Archives.
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He said this week: “When I opened this file, it struck me because it was full of crayon drawings by kids from Macclesfield.
“Kids say all kinds of things but the teacher must have thought this was something to take seriously.
“Then this copper had written a report and sent it to air traffic control in Manchester to see if they had anything on radar.
“This dossier ended up being sent to the MoD UFO desk. The images are amazing.”
The Upton Priory School pupils were not the only ones who reported aliens that year.
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Children in Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, saw a UFO parked up in a field, and others in Anglesey spotted a cigar-shape UFO as they played netball.
The truth is out there… but then this was the era of Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Doctor Who on Saturday night telly…