Friday, 26 December 2014

Flapping UFO's

In SkyNews (January 2015)
On August 5, 2010, I was out with my telescope observing the night sky from my drive- way in southern Hamilton, Ontario, when I looked up toward the zenith and saw a triangular formation of three bright “orbs” of light moving incredibly fast toward the northern sky. By this time, I had already been observing the night sky for two years and quickly realized the lights were moving too fast and were larger in size and appearance than a satellite. They were also switching positions smoothly and swiftly. My next thought was a meteorite breakup, but there was no trail and no change in luminosity, and these objects persisted at a constant brightness for about 20 seconds before disappearing behind a tree. I could not come up with a plausible explanation.

About eight months later, while walking into The Hamilton Spectator building to attend a meeting of the Hamilton amateur astronomers, I briefly witnessed a similar event in the low eastern sky and still had no explanation. My answer finally came in June 2011. While outside on my driveway observing, I noticed five strange objects moving down the eastern sky. Luckily, I had binoculars with me this time. To my amazement—and embarrassment— I discovered that the strange “ufos” I had told numerous friends and fellow astronomers about were, in fact, Canada geese illuminated just enough by city lights from below to give the geese a strange, almost otherworldly glow, which made it very difficult to see any detail with the unaided eye. I could not hear them flying, and because they were moving about one another in formation, flapping their wings and flying at a fair speed, they gave an eerie appearance that had haunted me for almost a year.

Since then, I have seen Canada geese at night on numerous occasions. however, once I look through my binoculars, I laugh at myself and return to observing. if you witness what at first appears to be a strange triangular formation of alien craft, grab your binoculars, because I would wager that it’s some Canada geese happily on their way. and you can blame light pollution for the interruption.

Kevin Salwach
Hamilton, Ontario

(Het self al saans oor Bloemfontein hierdie wit voĆ«ls - soos bosluisvoĆ«ls gelyk - met my verkyker gesien.  Wonder of hulle die stadsligte vir navigasie gebruik? - Hannes Pieterse)