South Devon, UK - Ufo fever has again gripped the Bay with a string of witnesses recounting seeing a display of mystery lights over Paignton last weekend. But the source of the last puzzling night-time show witnessed earlier this month has insisted: "It wasn't us this time."

Ian Davies, manager of the Osborne Hotel in Torquay, revealed wish lanterns released by a wedding party at the hotel's Brasserie were probably responsible for the great illusion.

But the '100 or so' orange/red/green lights floating over parts of Paignton from the Dartmouth direction over the weekend were nothing to do with him or his staff.

"I've checked - and it wasn't us," said Ian, who said the wedding guests who launched about a dozen wish lanterns at the beginning of the month had not obtained permission from staff to do so.

Wish lanterns are 3ft high mini balloons carrying candles in a light metal frame.

The latest incident happened in the early hours of Sunday when a whole squadron of them appeared to have strayed into the view of watchful folk in Paignton.

Among them was taxi driver David Green who said he saw about 100 fire balls descend on the resort at about 1.45am.

They hung around for five minutes and then flickered out of sight.

"I was in Ailescombe Drive at the time with three passengers. One said she thought it was the end of the world. I thought it might be a meteor storm. I've never seen anything like it. It was quite extraordinary. The time of night just added fuel to our disbelief at what we were seeing," said David who is 50 and lives at Roselands.

Pensioner Terence Bowyer, 67, from Copley Close, Paignton, had a similar experience at nearly the same time.

He said: "It was about 1.10am and there was a series of lights, like a streak in the sky in formation and in excess of 100.

"I phoned the police because I had never seen anything like this before. It was unbelievable.

"They were coming from Brixham and going towards Torquay, but some of them seemed to fizzle out." Ken and Julie Adamson, of Highfield Crescent, Paignton, were returning home in a taxi after a night out with friends when they clapped their eyes on the phenomenon.

Their taxi turned off the Kings Ash Road towards home when the party saw 'something' in the sky, causing the taxi driver to screech to a halt in the middle of the road.

Ken said: "It must have been between 12.30am to 1am.

"We came around the corner and I said 'look at that' when I saw 40 lights traveling slowly through the sky, making no noise at all.

"We all got out to look at them and they weren't in unison. Some were going backwards and forwards."

Julie said: "There was a blue light ahead of them which seemed to come back and wait for the others to catch up."

Ken added: "Yes, we had been drinking, but the taxi driver hadn't and what he saw caused him to stop the taxi in the middle of the road."

The couple said the lights were bright orange, about the same size as small footballs, hovering at an altitude level with the clouds.

Andy Lockyear, again in Paignton, said: "At 1.05am me, my mother and my younger brother were outside enjoying a cigarette when we witnessed some strange objects coming from the Queen Elizabeth Drive area and hovering over us in the sky.

"There were between 20 and 30 of them and they were bright red, orange and green, slowly, making a path over us towards Torquay before disappearing in the sky."