An exclusive Keighley News story about a mysterious ball of light seen hurtling across the night sky has sparked an out-of-this-world response.

The website version drew a phenomenal number of hits, and several readers have e-mailed possible explanations for the strange sighting.

And we have received reports of other unexplained flying objects spotted in the skies above the Keighley area, stretching back several years.

Last week we revealed how theatre nurse Jeanette Bray, of Myrtle Drive in Cross Roads, had seen a burning object speeding across the sky. She captured an image of it on her mobile phone.

Some readers have suggested it may not be a coincidence it was the same night – February 15 – that a meteor dramatically broke up in flames over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, damaging buildings and injuring about 1,000 people.

Commenting online about the Cross Roads sighting, a website visitor with the user name pjl20 said: “Was this a genuine meteor or just a random piece of ‘space junk’ burning up in the atmosphere on re-entry?

“Whatever it was, unless it can be firmly identified, it remains another UFO mystery sighting.”

Accounts of other strange sightings in the same area include one from Nicholas Andrews, who works in Keighley, relating to an incident about five years ago.

He said: “I was in Oakworth sitting with a friend on the doorstep of her house in Dockroyd – looking across the valley towards Cross Roads – when we saw something that looked like a rocket moving fast in a straight line from right to left.

“It was ascending at an angle of about 20 or 30 degrees. It appeared to have come from between Haworth and Oxenhope.

“We saw it initially against the backdrop of the other side of our valley. We watched for some time as it continued to ascend, eventually seeming to join the stars as it faded into the distance. Very puzzling.”

Another incident happened early on New Year’s Day, 2010, near Cononley, when an off-duty policeman saw a bright orange light – shaped like a squashed ball – move across the sky from the direction of Keighley towards the village.

It suddenly turned left, towards Cowling and the Lancashire border, before rising and disappearing out of sight. He then noticed a second orange light that followed exactly the same path, followed by two more orange objects that again completed the same manoeuvre.

The sighting is among more than 400 by serving or retired police officers recorded on the prufospolice website.

Detective Gary Heseltine, who runs the site, told us that historically Yorkshire was a UFO hotspot. “With regard to my website, of all the police sightings, the biggest concentration is in the county of Yorkshire,” he said.