It was like a scene from the movie Close Encounters, according to at least one eye-witness.

Orange lights dancing in the night sky moved in formation, coming and going in waves.

Dorset police confirmed they had received 'a few' calls and suggested it could possibly be a meteor shower. They are discounting the possibility of a military cause because, they say, the services inform them if they are conducting exercises at night in the area.

Taxi firm boss Nicky Smith, 38, of Capstone Road said this morning: "It was an incredibly strange experience. I've never seen anything like it before.

"I was just turning my car around in the road when I saw a group of about 20 people from a nearby dance studio standing in the street looking up to the heavens. They seemed to be transfixed.

"I wondered what on earth they were looking at. There were about six of these bright orange lights to the right of the moon. It was an amazing sight and I was completely bemused."

Nicky, who videoed the lights, said the episode went on for about 40 minutes as the lights moved around, formed into a line and disappeared one by one, then appeared to return in two more waves.

She added: "I called my husband Mark out to take as look and although he's very sceptical about UFOs and stuff like that, even he admitted he couldn't explain what it was."

Another emailer, Michelle wrote: "We saw five or six lights in the south-south-east, initially in a wide triangle and then in wide crescent formation - then they went into a straight line.

"The movement was barely discernible and they appeared to be heading upwards. This was at about 10.20pm and at around 10.25pm a huge orange/red light rose rose up from the south horizon. It seemed to stop, moved upwards very, very slowly until it disappeared."

Bournemouth resident Graham Warren confirmed he also saw six lights.

If you saw the lights or videoed them please call newsdesk on 01202 411297 or email