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UFO sparks search on shores of Loch Ness

Emergency services were called out to investigate reports of a 'round, balloon-like' object falling from the sky near the village of Dores.

Scene: Witnesses reported a falling object near the village of Dores.
© Dave Conner

A mysterious flying object above Loch Ness sparked a large-scale search by emergency services.

Police, coastguard officers, a lifeboat crew and an RAF search and rescue helicopter scoured the around Dores, on the southern shore of the loch, following reports of an object falling from the sky at about 8pm on Saturday.

Northern Constabulary said the object was described as being "round, balloon-like in shape and blue in colour".

The search was carried out amid fears that a parachutist or hang-glider could have crash-landed in the remote area, but after three hours no trace of an aircraft or parachute could be found and the search was stood down.

One local resident, Denise Rooney, told STV's Facebook page she had noticed an object in the sky while having a barbecue in the hills above Dores.

She said: "I pointed out a white globe that I thought was a star initially but it moved across the sky. It was very far away. Could have been anything and it was on a steady path.

"I just remembered thinking I could see it but not hear it and it was an unusual flight path from that direction.
"

Rescue workers said the alarm was raised in good faith and commended members of the public who called out the emergency services.

Loch Ness RNLI crew member Martin Douglas said: "A member of the public reported seeing a hang glider or microlight descending into the loch.

"The RNLI lifeboat crew spoke to people on the shoreline who stated that they had seen a balloon-like object just above the tree line near Dores."

His colleague Vivian Bailey added: "Speed of arrival on scene was essential and we were able to link our search efforts with those of the Coastguard and RAF, something we practice regularly.

"We believe the reports were based on sightings causing genuine concern and we commend the actions of the members of the public that contacted the emergency services."

A police spokeswoman said: "Northern Constabulary and HM Coastguard responded to a report of an object falling from the sky on the south side of Loch Ness approximately two to five kilometres south-west of the village of Dores.

"The object was described as being round, balloon-like in shape and blue in colour.

"An extensive search was carried out by police, coastguard, Loch Ness lifeboat and RAF search and rescue helicopter 137, with nothing untoward being found."

Anyone with information relevant to the sighting is asked to contact Northern Constabulary on 01463 715555.

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