Ireland's defence forces maintained a dossier on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) for 37 years, according to details released Thursday under the country's freedom of information laws.

The documents dating back to 1947 that were released to the Irish Times newspaper log a range of strange sightings.

Descriptions of UFOs that were reported range from being like fried eggs to a household iron with fins at the back, according to the newspaper.

An early entry in the file from a shopkeeper and farmer in County Kerry in the southwest of the country in 1947 says he told police he saw a circular object moving "faster than a motor car" through the sky.

"It was flat and was like a big wheel or large plate... the rim was white and it was hollow in the centre."

A spokesman for the defence ministry told the newspaper that since 1984 the UFO dossier was no longer maintained.

The dossier is similar to one compiled by Britain's defence ministry on reports of UFO sightings. Declassified last May, it found that none of the recorded incidents in the last 30 years was actually a flying saucer.

In March this year, France opened its files on UFOS, revealing 1,600 alleged sightings over five decades.