Residents in one area of northern England were in shock last night after, what was initially thought to be a 'Close Encounter of the Third Kind' incident.
An electrical blackout together with strange lights, unnatural sounds, and papers and other household objects flying around the room, panicked local residents into thinking they were being invaded by 'little green men from outer space'.
It was, however, none other than madcap Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who was indulging himself in a hot-air balloon outing until he got into difficulties and lost altitude whilst floating above historical Greenspoke Castle in Cumbria at around 8pm.
Dick Sanchez, resident at the castle, said:
"All me lights went out. Then I heard this loud scraping and things started to fly around me room. I looked out of me window and saw the grinning mug of that Branson fella, the one who owns all the record shops."
The intrepid Virgin boss, who was "shaken but not hurt" called aides and was winched to safety by a helicopter and whisked away from the scene to one of his many homes.
Another local, 'Pete', a soldier only recently returned from the battlefields of Iraq, looked visibly shaken as he said:
"When I realised it was Branson, I raced home for me rifle."