WHAT were those strange lights above Oxenhope last night? Was it a UFO?

Well actually, it turns out that it wasn't aliens after all.

It was the work of an Oxenhope man George Chatburn and his business partner Eoin O'Grady.

The two men organised and decided to get locals talking by flying their drones over a Yorkshire village when the sun set last night.

"We're one of few companies in the UK who have permission to do drone flights," said George.

"There were 20 drones in formation flying 110 metres, or approximately 350 feet in the air.

"We were trying to drum up a bit of excitement, having an alien spaceship hovering over a Yorkshire village.

"We'll be doing shows across the UK, but we've chosen Oxenhope to do a test show on a farm in the middle of Yorkshire.

"Anybody in the area should have been able to see it for two miles.

Although they have done different drone test flights, George said: "It's the first time we've done the alien test flight.

"It's just something a bit different.

George, a sound engineer who grew up in the Keighley and Bradford area, has experience working on West End shows.

But when work dried up last year due to Covid-19, George turned his attention to flying drones.

"I've done Jersey Boys, Hairspray and Avenue Q, but there's been no work in the last year. It all stopped, just like that."

So he and his business partner, Eoin, who he met doing Avenue Q, decided to start up a company, Derby-based FlightShows, doing drone flight displays.

They had to get past their first obstacle - getting a drone display licence with the Civil Aviation Authority, which took a total of six months.

George said: "Now that we have permission, we can fly 1,000 drones in the UK.

"You use a computer to control them and can create any pattern, picture, or logo you can imagine.

"It's all choreographed, like a dance," said George. "And the drones can fly at 45mph.

"It's really, really cool and they're quite spectacular," he said. "We'll do big shows at events like festivals around the UK."

George explained that the drone light shows, like what done in London at New Year instead of fireworks, is the way forward.

"Slowly over time I think they'll replace fireworks," he said. "They're much more environmentally friendly and you don't have the big bangs or air pollution.

"They also have that wow appeal," added George. "I think this is the start of big things."