WAS it a bird? Was it a plane? Or was it even a UFO? No, in all likelihood it was a tyre firm’s promotional airship.

The Worcester News has taken several calls in recent days from readers who saw a strange object moving slowly across the skies over Worcestershire last Friday evening.

“Just wondered whether anyone else has reported seeing an object in the sky on the evening of March 16?” asked Bev Williams.

“We were leaving our house at Leigh Sinton at approximately 7.15pm to go shopping and saw a large, upside down bowl shaped object in the sky.

“It was glowing orange with a number of flashing lights underneath and moving very slowly, almost hovering.

“Initially, we thought that it might have been a search and rescue helicopter or something, but it was completely silent. When we returned about an hour later, another similar object was hovering in the same place, but moved off quite quickly, again in the direction of Leigh.

“Hopefully, there is a perfectly normal explanation.

“If you know of one, we would like to know.

“Otherwise, we will have to put it down to yet another UFO in this local hotspot.”

About the same time, the same sight caught the attention of Worcester News journalist Mike Pryce, who lives a few miles across country at Suckley.

“I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first,” he admitted, “because there was no sound and it was carrying quite a lot of lights.

“It was getting dusk and obviously not the time of day for a hot air balloon.

“So I got the binoculars out and that rather gave the game away, because plastered down the side of the object was Goodyear, which I doubt is a trade name on Mars.

“I could just see the passenger box below it and make out the power unit.

“But the time of day did surprise me, because presumably it had to land somewhere in the dark.”

A call to the Goodyear headquarters in Birmingham confirmed the sighting.

The company refers to the craft as “the Goodyear Blimp”, because a blimp is non-rigid, floating airship without an internal supporting framework or keel.

“The Goodyear Blimp was flying in the skies over the West Midlands and Worcestershire last Friday,” said a company spokeswoman.

“It took off and landed at Halfpenny Green airport, near Kidderminster, so it probably came over you.”

So Tom Cruise can stand down. You and your Top Gun crew are not needed to intercept this time.