Sunday, 9 November 2014


I’ve seen a UFO!  Weh-hey!  What are the chances of that?

Let me add some of the detail to the horde of UFO-lore.  I was lying on a beach at the very southern tip of Gran Canaria off the coast of Africa staring at the sky.  Staring at those things that float around in the aqueous humour of your eye, to be honest, letting my focus drift between them and the deep azure of the heavens when I saw it.

There wasn’t a lot to ‘it’.   A dot at the edge of space.  Bright on the side catching the sun; the opposite dark with shadow.  It didn’t pulse, shimmer, shiver or make any movement apart from arcing across from the point I saw it until I lost it over towards the northern horizon.  Arrow straight, it must have taken ten, twelve, fifteen seconds to traverse those ninety or so degrees.  Way faster than a plane and without any contrail, I concluded that I’d seen a satellite.

It also fitted with those satellite trails you sometimes see overlaid on world maps, arcing sinusoidally over the Earth north to south, each pass seeming to move on a few hundred miles whereas its really the Earth that turns beneath.

But then a gull flew over at great height, but not so great that I couldn’t pick out detail, grey and white, the sun catching one side of it, gliding on the Jetstream.  It too arced at velocity in a perfect line - the same line too - until out of sight in exactly the same direction.  But if what I’d seen had been a gull then it had been practically stratospheric.

So, satellite or seagull?  And you thought that I was going to talk about flying discs and little green men…

And this is my point: it’s unidentified; its identity is yet to be established.  And if a UFO is an ‘unidentified flying object’ then what I saw was, QED, a UFO.  In fact, anything that flies that we’re not sure about is, pedantically, a UFO.  UFOs are therefore quite prosaic, everyday entities.

What we really mean, of course, is ‘unidentifiable flying object’ which is much rarer.  I’d suggest rare to the point of non-existent.  Satellite or seagull?  Yes, one or the other…