A UFO spotted hovering over Gravesend was among a flurry of strange sightings to be released by the Ministry of Defence.

The witness reported seeing a "ball of light with a few lights inside which was too static for a helicopter" to Kent Police.

It was said to be hovering over Deering Way for about 30 minutes at 7.50pm on February 19, 2009.

The MoD responded in a letter by saying there were no other reports of UFO sightings in Gravesend that night.

Part of the letter read: "We believe that rational explanations, such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena, could be found for them if resources were diverted for this purpose, but it is not the function of the MoD to provide this kind of aerial identification service."

Meanwhile a Gravesend resident claimed to have seen a UFO flying across the sky. It was reported to Kent Police at 11am on November 25, 2008.

The MoD replied in a letter, saying there were no other UFO sightings that day and added: "We are satisfied that there is no corroborating evidence to suggest that the United Kingdom’s airspace was breached by an unauthorised aircraft. Sorry I could not be any help."

It has been revealed the MoD closed its UFO desk, and its accompanying UFO ‘hotline’, in 2009 because it served "no defence purpose" and was taking staff away from "more valuable defence-related activities".

In a briefing for then defence minister Bob Ainsworth in November 2009, Carl Mantell, of the RAF's Air Command, said that in more than 50 years "no UFO sighting reported to (MoD) has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK".