THE mystery about recent UFO sightings in the Cardigan and Aberporth area could have been solved this week. The unexplained orange lights reported by a number of people on at least two occasions were probably giant Chinese lanterns.

Ben Giles, of Ultima Cleaning, Cardigan, has claimed responsibility for both events.

He said: "I felt I had to contact the Tivy-Side to put the minds of the readers at rest as to sinister forces."

He added: "I make no comment as to whether dark forces exist and to their activities, but I do know that they were definitely not operating in Penparc on the night of Sunday, October 4; nor the following week.

"I know this as my family and our neighbours were responsible for the phenomenon that was seen – both times. After helping Rod and Vicky Walker set up their new shop Mundos Gifts in Cardigan over the weekend Rod kindly gave my children a huge Chinese lantern, the kind you light a block inside and let it fill with hot air and then let go."

He explained: "I have never seen lanterns of that size – a small alien could fit inside if their ship had broken and they needed other transport!"

Mr Giles said they let off the lantern, which drifted slowly over Penparc at the time local residents Nick and Erika Partis reported seeing an unidentified orange light near their home in the village.

Mr Giles said: "The lantern rose and dropped as it went, finally it rose so high it must have met a crosswind and did as they stated shoot off at great speed towards Lampeter.

"I do admire Mr Partis's courage in going public with this, but I can assure everyone that there is nothing so sinister here, just two families, a clear night, one giant lantern and a crosswind.

Mr Giles says the later sighting reported by several people was most probably due to five large lanterns set off at the Penrallt Hotel at a wedding.

"We sent off five lanterns into the sky from there. The weather was blustery and immediately they blew out to sea, but made the strangest patterns as they went. We let them off about 8.30pm, just when the evening reception started," said Mr Giles.

"So to put all minds at rest the phenomenon was just large Chinese lanterns from Mundos Gifts, and a windy clear night -- and the Giles family again. Sorry to all who actually thought they had seen a UFO," he added.