An artist will scale Coniston Old Man tomorrow morning (Saturday) to reveal the curious sight of an unidentified flying object, reports Andy Bloxham.

Bristol-based Julian Claxton will head up the river valley footpath to Little Arrow Moor to recreate what is held to be the first UFO photograph ever taken in Britain.

Using a fishing rod, a wooden frame and a silvery shape, he will attempt to recreate a picture taken on the fell in February 1954 by Torver teenager Stephen Darbishire.

The event is part of the FRED art project, run by Kirkby Stephen artists' group Fold, which has seen a tree dressed' in Kendal and 125 fence posts in Kirkby Lonsdale decorated with shoes.

Mr Claxton said: "What I'm trying to do is adapt various methods that have been suggested to me by people ranging from UFO experts to local people as to how Stephen Darbishire might have made these photographs in the first place."

Although Mr Claxton believed some people had seen paranormal sights, he claimed this photograph was probably faked and the effect was achieved by painting on to the glass of the lens.

Speaking to The Westmorland Gazette, well-known artist Mr Darbishire, now 63 and living in Whinfell, wished the artist luck but said the encounter with the flying saucer had definitely not been faked.

"We just went up the fell and took the photograph of it. I was with my cousin at the time. This thing, whatever it was, appeared, we took a photograph of it. I fell over the camera at one point. When we took it down, everybody laughed at us. I've no idea what it was."

He said the publication of the photograph, encouraged by his father, generated years of unwelcome attention. "For two years, every weekend was taken up with people coming and sitting on the lawn. Most of the people who came were sort of on some religious trip, that's the best way to put it. To a 14-year-old, it was a bit of a joke."

Mr Darbishire said the attention was so intense, he changed his story to say the photograph was faked: "I said it was a hoax to get people away but they said you've been got at'. They wanted to believe. I should have dropped it like a stone."

For believers and sceptics alike, if you see a mysterious silvery object floating over Coniston on Saturday, this time, at least, the truth is definitely out there, and it's with an artist called Julian.