AN RAF officer had a close encounter with the third kind in Somersham nearly 15 years ago, it has been revealed.

The National Archives have released around 6,700 pages of UFO reports, including a picture of a 'light ball craft' landing in a unknown garden near Cambridge.

On a frosty November day a sergeant, from RAF Marham in Norfolk, spotted a bright white light for two to three seconds while on foot in Somersham in November 1998.

The mysterious object, that looked like a comet, was travelling in an arc to the north-east at 5.50am, and was closer to the Earth than the stars according to the report the sergeant made to the base commander.

Another airman at RAF Marham reported a white ball with a long tail over the A17 at Boston in the same month.

The files also show how two fighter jets were scrambled from RAF Lakenheath after an object was spotted on radar travelling at 4,000mph over Suffolk in 1956.

In March 2007, two F-15s from RAF Lakenheath searched for an unidentified object that had appeared on radar. One of the pilots said it was between the size of a grapefruit and a soccer ball drifting between 17,000 and 18,000 ft above ground.

It is thought to have been part of a weather balloon that had fallen off.

INFORMATION: The UFO reports are available to download for a month free from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos