IT was 283 years ago today that Dorset man James Cracker claimed to have seen a UFO - the first UFO ever recorded in Britain.

The term UFO didn't become common until the 1950s, but the first time a sighting of an unexplained object in the sky was recorded was December 8 1733.

Mr Cracker of Fleet, a village in West Dorset, saw a silvery disc fly overhead in broad daylight.

Here is his eyewitness account: “Something in the sky which appeared in the north but vanished from my sight, as it was intercepted by trees, from my vision. I was standing in a valley.

“The weather was warm, the sun shone brightly. On a sudden it re-appeared, darting in and out of my sight with an amazing coruscation.

“The colour of this phenomenon was like burnished, or new washed silver. It shot with speed like a star falling in the night.

“But it had a body much larger and a train longer than any shooting star I have seen

“Next day Mr Edgecombe informed me that he and another gentleman had seen this strange phenomenon at the same time as I had.

“It was about 15 miles from where I saw it, and steering a course from east to north”.