Funeral Lantern Tribute Sets Off UFO Scare

August 27, 2009
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image The Hepden family of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, unwittingly set off a major scare in the UK when their innovative funeral farewell to 74-year-old Fred Hepden sparked a UFO alert. The initial furore started when residents located in and around the general area of the late Mr. Hepden’s home reported seeing large glowing lights across the sky. However, the family later revealed the mystery in a letter to the local Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper when they said the unidentified “lights” were in fact Chinese lanterns released as a tribute to the deceased.

“We released them on the night of his funeral because we thought it could be a way for all his grandchildren to say goodbye. We had no idea it would cause a UFO alert!” explained Mr. Hepden’s son Mark.

“My dad had 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Many of them were too young to go to the funeral so they wrote little messages or drew pictures and put them in the lanterns to reach their grandad in heaven,” he added.

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The family released the lanterns on the night of the funeral, May 05, little knowing the consternation their tribute would cause.

“It was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said one reader quoted by the Citizen.

Mark Hepden said the family still intended to release the remainder of the lanterns and said his father would have enjoyed the funnier side.

“Hopefully, by warning Citizen readers in advance, we won’t cause any more UFO alerts!” he said.

“The good thing is, my dad would have really seen the funny side of this. We’re sure he’s chuckling away up there about this story.”

Source: The Tech Herald

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