Unidentified Falling Object seen over Loch Ness

bolide, Loch NessScottish police are scratching their heads over a mysterious occurrence at Loch Ness this weekend, The Scotsman newspaper reports.

On Saturday night several eyewitnesses saw an object falling into or near the loch. Some describe it as a white light, others as a blue light. People said it was a balloon, or an ultralight, or a parachute. Some people said it didn’t fall at all, merely passed over the tree line.

In other words, nobody has the faintest idea what they saw.

So many people called emergency services, however, that it’s certain something strange was going on in the skies, and the police, the coastguard, a lifeboat crew, and the Royal Air Force went in search of it. Several hours of looking in the water and along the shore turned up nothing.

So what was it? Possibly a meteor. Meteors often cause UFO flaps. Large ones called “fireballs” or “bolides” can light up the sky and even change color as their various minerals get ionized from the heat of entering our atmosphere. Since they streak across the night sky so quickly, it’s hard to judge distance or location. This photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, shows a bolide. It’s not a photo of whatever was over Loch Ness.

Sadly, there were no reported sightings of Nessie this weekend. Some people say the poor Loch Ness Monster may be extinct.

Photo of the Day (1.11.11)

There are few things in aviation that are more impressive than modern aerobatics. Take a minute to consider what’s happening in this picture: nine difference pilots controlling machines that can reach speeds of 800mph, all within just a few feet of eachother.

If you’ve heard of or seen the Blue Angels, then you may be familiar with their English counterparts; the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows. Widely regarded as one of the best aerobatics teams in the world, the nine-man team has performed over 4,000 displays across 53 countries since their inception in 1965. Today’s Photo of the Day by Emerald2810 is an astounding shot of the Red Arrows in their trademark diamond formation, high above Epsom, Surrey in England.

If you have a favorite shot from an air show or travel festival, we’d love to see it. Share it with us at Gadling’s Flickr Group and it could wind up right here as our next Photo of the Day.

Celebrating the Battle of Britain

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, an epic struggle for the skies between the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe.

The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is celebrating this key victory of World War Two with a host of activities. A photographic exhibition runs to the end of the year and shows what life was like at the RAF Duxford base. There’s a series of flight demonstrations and air shows this year as well. The first is a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on May 15, followed the next day by the Spring Air Show. A large Battle of Britain Air Show will be held September 4th and 5th. September 11th sees a special activity day at the museum called Duxford, Spitfires and the Battle of Britain.

The Duxford branch of the Imperial War Museum has an immense collection of historic aircraft. Gadling blogger Kent Wien gives a very personal take on the exhibits, with lots of great photographs here.