Balham was once jokingly referred to as the “gateway to the south” in Peter Sellers’ famous 1958 satirical sketch about an American travelogue.

But could it be the area is also a gateway to the universe judging by the claims of residents?

Rumours of UFO sightings in Mitcham, Streatham and Tooting have gained momentum after another resident claimed he saw strange lights hovering over the area last night.

Gary Richardson, 43, said he saw unusual, triangular-shaped lights moving slowly and silently in the sky from Mitcham towards Streatham before suddenly disappearing.

This latest sighting is identical to that of a Tooting resident, who claims he saw a UFO in the same area last month.

'I feel a bit embarrassed... I'm a non-believer, but I can't explain what it was'

- Furzedown resident Gary Richardson

Mr Richardson, who lives Moyser Road in the Furzedown area of Streatham and Tooting, said: “I feel a bit embarrassed about this, because I’m a non-believer. I don’t believe in aliens or UFOs, but I just can't explain what it was.

“I was out in the garden with my dogs at about 10.30pm on Monday [September 8].

"One of my dogs had been chasing a fox and it jumped up at the garden fence. As I looked up at the fox, I saw a sizeable object in the distance in the sky.

“It was moving really slowly and wasn’t making any sound. It was moving too slowly for it to be a plane. Planes pass through here all the time so we know what they look like. Believe me, this wasn’t a plane.

“There was a dim, orange or red-dish light on it - almost like a fire, except there was no smoke - and underneath that light you could see a triangular shape.

“I called to my wife and my son and daughter, so the four of us saw it.

“It was moving through the sky quite gracefully and seemed to change direction quite quickly and sharply. It disappeared behind the houses so I ran out to the front but it had gone.

“I would say the whole thing probably lasted between 30 seconds and a minute.”

Just last month, Tooting resident Mark McConnell contacted the newsroom claiming he had seen a UFO on August 14, hovering 200 ft above St George’s Hospital, Blackshaw Road, before moving off towards Streatham.

The 42-year-old television editor, a sci-fi enthusiast who has been watching the skies for 30 years, had captured the object on camera.

However, his grainy footage has since been removed from video-sharing website YouTube.

Mr McConnell described the object as triangular which had three lights with a dull glow, but it was too large and moving too slowly to be an aeroplane.

He said: “I have been looking in the sky for so long. I initially thought it was retina burn, but then I saw the lights were inside the silhouette of a triangle.

“My mind did a flip and I thought: ‘I’m seeing a UFO’.”

There have been several sightings of orange light hovering over Furzedown, Tooting and Battersea in recent months.

According to experts, UFOs are often attracted to historic sites like Tooting, which dates back to Saxon times.

Others have speculated that the strange ships are operated by foreign secret services.

• Do you know what the lights were? Is there a logical explanation behind the sightings? Leave your comments below