ARE we alone in the universe? Two eagle-eyed youngsters are now certain there is life outside of our planet after spotting a series of strange lights in the night sky.

A brother and sister from Kirkby were gazing out across the Duddon Estuary on Tuesday night at around 10.30pm when something unusual caught their eyes.

Their parents aren't convinced and believe the lights could have been a helicopter, small plane or even a military exercise but what do you think?

Obviously there are many possible, non-extraterrestrial, explanations, such as a search and rescue helicopter or RAF training mission, and with Walney Airfield nearby it is no wonder that South Cumbria is the location for a number of 'sightings' over the years.

For those tempted to scoff, Cumbria punches above its weight when it comes to sightings of UFOs and potential alien visitors.

Here are some of Cumbria's close encounters:

It was an early summer afternoon when Carlisle fireman Jim Templeton took his family for an outing to Burgh Marsh in 1964.

Little did they know that their trip was to make global headlines after Jim took a photo of his five-year-old daughter, which appeared to show a spaceman in the background.

No-one in the group saw anyone else on the marsh that day.

The photo, which was reproduced in a book by Mr Templeton, led to investigations by the police and Ministry of Defence but an explanation has never been found.

Did a UFO crash on the fells back in the 1950s - giving the county its own Roswell Incident?

A claim has been investigated that a UFO crashed into an unspecified location, believed to be near Workington, in 1954.

The claim was made by an eyewitness and looked into by UFO experts.

It has been suggested this is similar to the world-famous Roswell Incident in Mexico in 1947, when it was alleged two UFOs crashed into each other. The wreckage was said to include alien bodies.

Information released in 2013 revealed details of cases left on a Ministry of Defence UFO hotline.

These included one from an unnamed man in Carlisle who reported he had been “living with an alien for some time”.

The report, compiled after the message was left in June 2008, says the man described how he had seen a UFO above his house.

“[He] said he definitely has an alien among him (sic) and that things move around the house,” according to the details logged on the form.

The Ministry of Defence closed the UFO hotline in 2009, saying they had no evidence of a potential threat from UFOs in the 50 years it had been operating.

The MoD said it did not investigate each sighting.

According to the official MoD UFO reports, other sightings in Cumbria included:

– A report on Christmas Day in 2008, when five bright lights were reported to be moving across the sky, north of Carlisle, heading west.

– At Beckfoot, near Silloth, a “definite UFO” was seen on December 17 2007.

It was described as elongated and amber in colour before changing to white when it speeded up and “became very bright”.