Taking the late Bob White’s account at face value, he and a friend found this strange lump of metal near a remote highway in isolated America after an apparent UFO sighting.

It was discovered at the location where they claimed to see a multi-coloured object fall out of a huge ball of light as it ascended upwards into the sky.

As a result of the strangeness of what became known as Bob White’s UFO artefact, coupled with the description of how he found it, the object has been branded “not just the smoking gun evidence” for aliens, but “the bullet”, by UFO believers ever since.

Mr White has sworn that in 1985 he was asleep while a companion drove him through remote areas between Grand Junction, Colorado and the Utah border.

It was two or 3am when his friend awake him a second time to say the light in the sky they saw before was getting bigger.

His account remained steadfast until his death in 2009.

He said: “The light was about the size of a full harvest moon.

“As we got closer, it grew larger.

“When we were a few hundred yards from it, I turned off the ignition and we coasted up close to it.

“It was huge, the size of a very big barn. I got out of the car for a better look.

“For some unknown reason, Jan turned on the headlights, and this light went up in the sky as fast as my eyes could follow it.

“Then I saw another small light, bright orange with a tinge of yellow, white, and blue falling from it.

” Mr White said he climbed an incline and headed for where he thought it would have landed.

He said: “I found a groove in the ground about 18 inches deep and nine inches wide.

“I followed the groove and there it lay.

“It was still glowing.”

Then I saw another small light, bright orange with a tinge of yellow, white, and blue falling from it.

For the next 11 years he claimed to hide the object away for fear of any declaration damaging a career in the entertainment business.

Then in 1996 he began telling his story and spent the next 13 years trying to get the metal object recognised as an historic discovery.

He toured UFO conferences, had the object sent for scientific analysis, and even set up the Museum of the Unexplained in Reeds Spring, Missouri, to house it and other curious objects.

After 13 laboratory tests it was confirmed the discovery was a solid centred aluminium alloy.

Across all the tests, 33 elements were all know to be found on Earth were identified, but no two labs gave the exact same results.

None concluded that it could only be of extra terrestrial origin, but it was said that some of its isotopic ratios matched those found in meteorites found on Earth