A UFO has apparently torn a 60ft blade off a wind turbine after residents noticed "strange lights" in the sky.

Some residents believe the damage to the 290ft-turbine at Conisholme in Lincolnshire could have been caused by a UFO.

A motorist at the scene also described seeing a UFO fly towards the structure.

A spokeswoman for the wind turbine company, Ecotricity, said: "We're conducting a thorough investigation into what happened. This kind of thing has never happened to us before."

The missing blade was found on the ground beneath the turbine, but the spokeswoman could not speculate on the cause of the damage.

She added: "An engineer has been on the site since it happened, early on Sunday morning, and is carrying out a sort of forensic investigation."

Turkey farmer Robert Palmer, 66, said he saw a bright white light with an orange edge as he drove close to the turbine on Sunday morning.

He said: "I would be very interested to find out what it was. If we are being looked at by other people, by other planets, it would be interesting to find out why they have chosen this part of the country.

"It's a rich agricultural part of the country and we have got a concentration of turbines here which may have fascinated them. You just don't know, do you?

"I am not counting it out that it was a UFO. There are things out there that you cannot explain.

"I would have thought that if it was a UFO, it would have been more sophisticated than to drive in to the turbine. It's fascinating."

He added: "I saw a white light. It seemed to be above or in the direction of the wind turbine.

"My wife said it was like the North Star but then it should have been behind us and the light was too low. I don't know what it was. Whether it was a large plane, but it didn't seem to be moving.

"I have also heard that there was something structurally wrong (with the turbine). If it was frozen and there was a defect, the blade could have shattered."