Brit UFO experts went into orbit on Thursday in search of a Thunderbird, which was recently photographed flying high above Bournemouth.
The picture was taken by a professional photographer named Mark Wild.
The mystery craft, bright orange-red like Thunderbird 3, was caught in a head-on shot on camera hovering above the resort on the Dorset coast.
The stunning snap emerged on the day when it was revealed that a dossier made public by the Ministry of Defence showed UFO sightings doubled last year.
Excited alien-spotters hailed the picture as one of the best they had ever seen.
It is an amazing picture, one of the best Ive seen in some time, the Sun quoted flying saucer expert Nick Pope, an ex-MoD worker, as saying.
Most pictures are taken at night and just show vague lights.
With this you can clearly make out a structure to the thing and it is a classic UFO shape, he added.
Mark, who was taking arty pictures of seafront buildings, did not even realise it was there until he got home and looked at his photos on his home computer.
Mark, 35, of Poole, said: When I pulled the pictures up I noticed something there. When I enlarged it I saw what I can only describe as a UFO.
I have shown it to quite a few friends and nobody has the faintest idea what it is.
Im pretty open-minded but to think I might have caught an actual UFO is amazing, he added.