Friday 6 May 2011

Catching Up With The Baunton UFO

The distinguishing feature of Unidentified Flying Objects is that they are – for better or worse – unidentified. An identified object tends to be one that can be easily categorized as something else: in other words in becoming identified it is transformed into a specific object, entity of phenomenon. A chair is, therefore, not an identified object – it’s a chair. The picture reproduced above was taken by roving shutterbug Kitty Keen, a regular photographic contributor to this blog, around 3.30 in the afternoon of April 20, 2011. She was walking in a field somewhere between Baunton and Cirencester in the Cotswolds and had actually stopped to capture a distant view of Cirencester Parish Church, whose square tower is a local landmark, which can be seen in the middle of the horizon on this picture. Quite what the spinning, vibrating object in the sky to its left might be is anybody’s guess. Miss Keen didn’t even notice it until we examined the picture together later that day. According to Mark ‘Mirage Men’ Pilkington, the object corresponds to a vintage type included in the 1952 NORAD UFO spotting chart: either a ‘winged cigar shape’ or ‘winged cylinder-shaped’, which narrows it down a bit. Those already familiar with Mark’s excellent book will appreciate that, as always, there is more to this than meets the eye. In the meantime Miss Keen would like to point out that she does not work for any government agency.

Note: this entry is being labelled as part of my occasional series of posts on architecture as objects and in the sky and church towers always tend to do strange things to the landscape.

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