E.T. PHONE CUMBRIA

Perhaps Michael Knighton was right after all. You won’t find many Cumbrians who agree with that statement, but we’re not talking about football.

The former Carlisle United owner was responsible for plenty of mysterious behaviour during his decade at Brunton Park but the most famous example concerned flying saucers rather than flying footballs.

He’s not the only one. Hundreds of Cumbrians have reported seeing UFOs in the county’s skies.

And it’s exactly 60

Since then thousands of people claim to have seen alien craft in the skies. And many such sightings have been in Cumbria. Indeed, one of the most famous unexplained sightings in the world – or any other world – came near Burgh by Sands on May 23, 1964.

Carlisle fireman Jim Templeton took three photographs of his five-year-old daughter Elizabeth on a day trip to Burgh Marsh. When the photos came back, one of them showed what appears to be a space-suited figure in the background.

The so-called Cumberland Spaceman has been a source of international fascination ever since.

In 1996 Michael Knighton made headlines with his claim that he saw a spacecraft while driving along the M62 and heard a voice say: “Michael, don’t be afraid.”

While Knighton was predictably ridiculed, plenty of people were listening rather than laughing.

They included Chris Parr from Whitehaven. Chris has been a 1 2 3