A Loscoe woman has sparked a flurry of UFO speculation from internet users across the country - after witnessing strange flashes in the sky.

Dawn Ratcliffe, 30, of Milward Road, posted on a popular UFO spotting website when she saw the strange phenomena out of her window at around 10pm on Saturday, January, 26.

She was hoping other users of might be able to offer an explanation as to what it was - and since then a host of people - from as far north as Lancashire - have come forward to confirm they too saw the spectacle - though its cause remains a mystery.

Dawn originally wrote: "I was sat on the floor in the living room talking to my boyfriend, facing the window, when outside I saw a massive white flash that lit up the whole sky. It only lasted a split second. It was like it had come from a ball of light, not like lightning. It definitely wasn't a firework and we went straight outside to see If there was anything out there or an aeroplane or something, but the sky was clear. It was such an intense bright white flash."

Site users immediately responded to Dawn's post.

An Amy Mulier wrote:"Me and my friend also saw this. We were in Ripley standing at the back door chatting. It was a big flash of light that lasted seconds. It certainly caught our attention as it lit the whole sky up! We listened out for thunder thinking it was really close lightning but there wasn't any."

Dawn then posted what she had seen on the national Facebook group UFO UK with similar success. Users from Barnsely, Wakefield, Burton on Trent and Lancashire all claimed to have seen the 'flash as Dawn described, but at slightly different times.

Explanations offered by other users have included alien visitors, solar flares, Government testing of large lasers - and just lighting.

But Dawn is keeping an open mind.

"I don't think it was lightning or some sort of power surge," she said. "It was a brilliant white light unlike anything I have ever seen before.

"I'm not saying it's definitely paranormal or alien - I'm perfectly willing to accept it might be something else."

Heather Dixon of the British UFO research Organisation, which looks to find rational explanations to UFO sightings, confirmed that it was investigating reports of strange flashes in the skies above Derby at the end of January.

The organisation has agreed to contact the News with its findings when they become available.