THE mystery surrounding some of the strange lights hovering above Swindon has been solved.

The glowing orbs seen hovering above Stratton on February 22 were in fact 40 Chinese lanterns released in memory of tragic Gary Lane who died after being in collision with a car in Ermin Street in October last year.

Gary would have been 24 on Monday last week and with that in mind 40 of his friends and family gathered at his home to release the lanterns to mark the occasion.

Mum Anita Lane said: “We bought the lanterns on the internet and decided to release them for his birthday.

“When I opened the Adver to see that people thought they were UFOs, I thought I better let everyone know the truth.”

After the lantern release, Gary’s mum, dad Ernest and sisters Sarah, Joanne, Christine and Tracey joined friends in The Dockle Farmhouse where they toasted his memory.

“We wanted to do something special for Gary because his birthday would have been a big event normally,” said Anita, 56.

“His loss doesn’t get any easier to bear but it’s occasions like this that we can show everyone that we’re missing him and remember him.”

Gary was killed on October 2 last year when he was hit by a pizza delivery vehicle just minutes from his home.

A plaque now sits nestled in the verge where he lost his life, a reminder to all that he is remembered.

“It’s hard knowing your son died so close to home,” said Anita. “We all have to drive past the spot for one reason or another.

“But the fact that I still see Gary’s friends all the time and they still come over and listen to his music, it keeps him here.”

Gary had a troubled adolescence as a heroin addict but in the last four and a half years of his life had turned his life around to become a respected and much loved member of the community.

“I am thankful for one thing,” said Anita. “And that’s having the chance to have the real Gary back with us for those four wonderful years before he was taken.

“So many people have told me that they are better human beings for having known my son and that fills me with great pride.”