53 YEARS AGO: UFO FRENZY SPARKED BY LIGHTS IN THE SKY OVER ECCLES
19-year-old Thomas Kean, who lived on Clarendon Crescent in Eccles was returning home from a night in Manchester city centre, when he spotted a bright light in the sky.
He told the Eccles Journal: "I dismissed it as unusually bright flash of lightning, [but] I mentioned it to my family when I got in."
He believed it to be a strange shooting star with what appeared to be sparks coming from it.
Brushing it off, he retired to bed, but later that morning at around 3.45am Thomas's mother Elizabeth awoke with a start.
When she went into the bathroom, lo and behold she too saw a strange light in the sky.
She said: "Looking through the window I saw a bright white light, the stars were much higher in the sky and as I watched the light it appeared to become a red ball, not completely round, but more of an oval shape, and its brightness was going out and then coming back again.
"It almost disappeared and then came back and grew larger, I thought I was seeing things so I went and woke up my son Frank."
Frank was roused from his slumbers with the third Kean son Peter, and the family watched the bright flashing object until 4.15am when they traipsed back to bed.
The newspaper went on to say that while there were no confirmations from officials, reporters believed it might have been a new satellite which had been launched.
It is worth noting that shortly after midnight there was a storm over Eccles with torrential downpours which reportedly roused many people from their sleep.
So what do we make of the bright, glowing red ball, possibly oval- or cigar-shaped with sparks coming from it hovering over Eccles?
The report came at a time when the Cold War and space race between America and Russia was hotting up, paranoia abound, and stories of little green men in flying saucers spying on planet Earth.
Then again, I could be wrong, and the Kean family really did have a close encounter of their own - what do you think?
This Story by Tony Flynn originally appeared on Salford Online's old site on 29th August 2014