Thousands of callers swamped a UFO hotline on New Year’s Eve after mistaking festive mini hot-air balloons for an alien invasion.
Werner Walter of Germany’s Central Research Network for Unusual Sky Phenomena said thousands of UFO watchers called his organisation after spotting red and gold lights hanging eerily in the night sky.
But the sightings turned out to be nothing but hot air.
The solution to the X-Files mystery was a new Chinese-style balloon, which has been sold this year at Christmas markets and garden centres all over Europe.
The paper balloons are lifted by a tiny burner and then hover in the sky until the paper burns up.