Strange "yellow balls of light" have been reported over Buckhurst Hill.

Jenny Cooper-Rendu, of Chiltern Way, Woodford Green was returning from a meeting at Chigwell School at 8.20pm on Saturday, October 5, with her son William, 13, when she noticed the lights as she drove along Palmerston Road.

She said: "I was concentrating on the road so I didn't notice anything strange but my son asked me what the lights were and we pulled over to have a look."

She described "rows of large yellow lights suspended in the air, completely silent". She added: "They then all moved off very quickly in different directions, it lasted for about four minutes, and lots of people were getting out of their cars to take a look."

Mrs Cooper-Rendu said she is normally very cynical about UFO-type sightings but admitted the experience had left her shaken.

"I would describe myself as a sceptic but I really can't explain what it was I saw, I found it quite frightening. They definitely weren't fireworks, they were suspended in the air, if they were helicopters then they were completely silent, I'm not mad, I just want someone to explain to me what they were."

Previous UFO' sightings reported to the Guardian over the years have been put down to lit Thai lanterns which can be released into the night sky with lights which flicker for a while. On one occasion such lanterns released at a wedding reception sparked worried calls to Stansted Airport.