back to article UFO damages Lincolnshire wind turbine

Lincolnshire ufologists are combing the area around the Conisholme wind farm for evidence to back their theory that one of the turbines was on Sunday seriously damaged by a "mystery aircraft", as the BBC euphemistically puts it. The turbine - one of 20 operated at the site by Ecotricity - lost one 66ft (20m) blade and suffered …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    UFO?

    More likely a comet.

    Paris because she's almost certainly been anal-probed.

  2. Stephen Jones

    What really happened

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=58RWi3m4Law

  3. Mike
    Stop

    it must have been 170ft long...

    Or it could have been the size of a pigeon but stationary...

    How do some people end up with logic like this...

    Stop, because the turbine stopped.

  4. MattW

    Occams razor

    Let me see....

    UFO's or mechanical failure? Ooh tricky.....

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Tim

    Hurry along...

    I'm eagerly awaiting amanfrommars' views on this.

    Meanwhile, does anyone know what a overheating wind turbine brake looks like? Any chance it would appear as a "round, white light with a slight red edge to it that seemed to be over the wind turbines" ?

    Oh, chicken sarnies for lunch today, with mozzarella & tomato pie. Very Islington.

    Tim#3

  7. boltar Silver badge

    It doesn't take much these days...

    ... for the tin foil hat brigade to escape from their padded faraday cages it seems.

    Yes , maybe it was hit by a UFO - a craft that can traverse light years of space in an instant, travel at hypersonic speeds in our atmosphere, accelerate at 1000s of G , and yet for some reason couldn't spot a 200 foot wind turbine in its path.

    Or perhaps it got hit by a fat xmas turkey that somehow managed to escape from bernard Matthews in the nick of time.

    Or just maybe the blade just fell off due to a component failing in the freezing weather. Something which the builders are hardly likely to want to admit. Much better to encourage the dribbling crazies and hope the media moves on to something else before the real cause is found.

  8. Colin MacLean
    Alien

    Nothing gets in the way of a good story...

    Read in the Grauniad that one of their reporters was at a fireworks display in the general vicinity of the turbines on the evening that the strange lights were seen.

    Doesn't quite make as good a story as tentacled space beings lighting up the bland Lincolnshire skyline...

  9. Pete Silver badge

    low flying sheep?

    so far as the statement

    > To hit two of the blades, any object must have been about 170ft long

    goes, I suspect this assumes the "object" was flying towards the front of the turbine. However if it was flying in from the side, along the plane of the blades' rotation then something smaller but slow moving could've caught two of them, as they turned.

  10. James
    Coat

    Made me laugh

    “A large white circle in the sky with a red edge”, so like an unbalanced spinning turbine cessing up with a lot of friction would make?

    And another thing you UFO nuts – Just think, seriously think for once. Postulate over how much tech it would takes to cross the stars, with the vast vast distances involved, the massive energy required to go even close to light speed, then enormous obstacles in space from cosmic rays, wandering black holes, stray stars, planets asteroids and things we do not even know about, but having managed to develop crafts that can do and navigate all these dangers safely and reached earth that then upon arriving in Lincolnshire (for a picnic possible) you crash into a wind turbine!

    It’s like Appa Sherpa upon returning from Everest dying by falling of a curb.

    Get A Grip or at least discover internet porn.

    Mines the one with a logic book in it...

  11. breakfast
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant news!

    I'm not actually saying that this is good news, but it made the Today Program fantastic this morning as they had a feature on this mysterious damage to a wind turbine ("caused by something about the size of a cow") followed directly by a feature about a ghost. Charles Fort would have loved it.

    Some enterprising listener proposed that it could have been ice from an aircraft that caused the damage.

  12. P.Nutt
    Black Helicopters

    What a load of crap!!!!

    I love the line "Until we have some idea, some plausible explanation that it was not a UFO, I don't think we should rule it out.". In other words "We messed up the install big time and something broke on it, Thank god nobody was near it to see it otherwise we would have to check all the turbines which would cost us a bloody fortune, Least we can now just blame it on little green men instead"

    As for the nutters who noticed a UFO, no doubt they are on the same IQ level of the idiots on this area who rang the police reporing a strange object in the sky......It was a bloody street light.

  13. Andy H

    My Guess is...

    That there was some kind of material failure due to the extreme cold and one blades that fell off hitting the second damaged blade on the way down.

    Either that or the Git Wizard was practising for an eco friendly twat-dangle which would explain the lights seen.

  14. Waderider
    Stop

    One word........

    Well, okay a phrase, ice loading. Nothing to see here move along...........

    (...the cynical might say that the last thing wind farm owners want people thinking is that 'natural' causes can cause mechanically violent occurrences to wind turbines).

  15. Joe
    Alien

    I for one welcome....

    Our new carbon-conscious overlords

  16. Martin
    Alien

    Oops !

    Bloody (alien) women drivers !

  17. David
    Alien

    Were was Amanfrommars?

    Does he have an alibi? This has his fingerprints all over it?

    (Alien for obvious reason)

  18. James Pels
    Stop

    Sorry to be boring but...

    ... does nobody remember the KISS principle?

    !is it really inconceivable that one of the blades let go (metal fatigue, dodgy joint, etc.) and the next one clobbered it on the way round?

  19. DutchOven
    IT Angle

    170 feet long?

    ....or both blades were damaged independently of each other.

    What I want to know is what kind of force is required to bend the blades?

  20. M7S
    Black Helicopters

    Simple explanation

    One blade came loose, perhaps in the manner of the Dutch unit, and despite probably being flung by centripetal effect outwards, didn't clear the path of the next blade in time.

    This will no doubt be seen by fans of the Carpenters as the official line to cover up the self destruction initiated by the occupants of interplanetary craft.

  21. Ian Ferguson
    Flame

    AAAARGH

    "Until we have some idea, some plausible explanation that it was not a UFO, I don't think we should rule it out."

    Yes, of course it's an Unidentified Flying Object - because it was flying, an object, and unidentified!

    An object is an UFO *until* it is identified. He's got it the wrong way round - it IS a UFO, but once they have an idea, it will no longer be.

    /pedant

  22. Jeremy
    Alien

    Hmmm... First cold snap since installation...

    ...and it fails? Must be the aliens and now't to do with a freeze-thaw on a fractured bolt that slipped through QC. Or ice building up on the blade. Or...

    And as for what hit the second blade, my money's on... the first one!

    Oh well, why let an embarrassing structural failure that you assured the planning committee could never happen get in the way of a nice UFO story, huh?

    Alien because I'm sure it won't be used enough in these comments

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    They know. . .

    Apparently the friendly visitors are welcome. Its the hostile ones we have to careful of.

    I'll get my tin foil hat ready . . .

  24. Gulfie
    Alien

    I for one welcome...

    Our new turbine hating overlords (although I quite like them - the turbines that is, not the overlords)

  25. Stuart

    Waderider

    "the cynical might say that the last thing wind farm owners want people thinking is that 'natural' causes can cause mechanically violent occurrences to wind turbines"

    Ahem ... if you check Ecotricity's website you will see that the remote possibility of flying ice from a turbine next to the Manchester City stadium hitting the crowd was the reason for not building.

    Meanwhile the Danish incident occurred during maintenance. The cock-up was apparent which is why the area was cleared in anticipation. No UFOs were damaged during filming of the subsequent and anticipated event.

    Always be cynical of cynics ;-)

  26. Perpetual Cyclist

    Boring

    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/dtg/weather/daily-text.cgi?2009-01-03

    At the time the weather was dead calm and very cold. If water had got into the joint then it might have sheared the mounting bolts like a burst pipe. First blade hit the second on the way to the ground.

    As posted above, occams razor.

  27. jon
    Thumb Up

    easy...

    the first blade fell off and caught the second one. Next unsolvable problem please...

  28. Mike Shepherd
    Flame

    My inflammatory sexist contribution

    boltar said "Yes , maybe it was hit by a UFO - a craft that can traverse light years of space in an instant, travel at hypersonic speeds in our atmosphere, accelerate at 1000s of G , and yet for some reason couldn't spot a 200 foot wind turbine in its path"

    Alien was putting on her makeup, maybe ?

  29. Roger Lancefield
    Alien

    @ James

    "It’s like Appa Sherpa upon returning from Everest dying by falling of a curb."

    It's also like surviving a trip over Niagra Falls in a wooden barrel, only to later slip on a piece of orange peel and die.

    http://www.niagarafallslive.com/daredevils_of_niagara_falls.htm

    Anyway, my money's on the meteorite theory.

  30. Dennis
    Pirate

    Re: It doesn't take much these days...

    "Yes , maybe it was hit by a UFO - a craft that can traverse light years of space in an instant, travel at hypersonic speeds in our atmosphere, accelerate at 1000s of G , and yet for some reason couldn't spot a 200 foot wind turbine in its path."

    Why the UFO itself? Why not an extraterrestrial garbage truck dumping its refuse?

    Or just simply a sophisticated craft with a dumb pilot?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089622/

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Sand Storms

    I bet the rogue sand storms in Scotland had something to do with this...

  32. Anna Log
    Coat

    @boltar

    Maybe the alien spacecraft SatNav hadn't been updated with the positions of the wind turbines?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @James

    So you're saying that after climbing Everest it's physically impossible to fall off a kerb?

    Or just because you've come a long way in something high-tech you can't crash (Not to mention that if they had some sort of space-bending tech they'd have moved relatively little distance in a short time, utterly negating your argument)?

    Your logic book must be an old edition...

  34. Chris
    Boffin

    RE AAARGH

    I'm with Ian Ferguson on this one. Too many people equate "UFO" with "flying saucer/alien spacecraft" when it is far from it.

    A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object. Since they don't know what it was (i.e. it was Unidentified) and it clearly had to be Flying to damage a turbine blade up in the air, and it must have been some sort of corporeal Object to do any damage at all, it was definitely, 100%, a UFO. No question. Now, let's set about identifying it. At which point it would become an IFO.

  35. Elmer Phud

    Bloody teenagers again

    Our celestial neighbours have been visiting, but it's the teenagers again. Not satisfied with doing crop circles just to wind up a few humans they've now taken to seeing if they can get in between the turbine blades without being hit.

    Not that it does any damage to their vehicles but they didn't hang around to leave a 'sorry' note. Bloody typical.

  36. Dave Row
    Black Helicopters

    Obviously

    Hit by a prototype flying car - come on, they have to be out there somewhere!

  37. Paul Donnelly

    HA!

    I think this was caused by a toddler's potty spilling onto the floor in a quiet suburb of Melbourne Australia.

    Well its as likely as most of the suggestions here, isnt it! Bit of chaos, all good!

  38. Nebulo
    Happy

    Well ...

    I'm damn glad it's not me who'll be filling in the insurance claim.

  39. Scott Broukell
    Stop

    Amanfrommars (Shame on you all)

    for taking his name in vien and goading him to post in such a way.

    Amanfrommars must be summond through deep thought, contemplation and from within the most transcendant meditation possible.

  40. jon
    Black Helicopters

    another cover up

    and another dodgy mysteries type secret facts revealed thingy book is probably being typed as we speak. All we need now to really put the icing on the blades are the gathering UFO hunters (sorry , investigators) to get really paranoid and start accusing each other of being MIBs.

    On the plus side it did happen in a remote area, and the headline "UFO hits Wind turbine" will be forgotten in a week. Had a turbine blade ended up skewering somebodies house I wonder what gem of a headline the tabloids would come up with.

    The IT angle.. well one thing is for sure.. If a UFO did hit, then all the data logging for the turbine will have been altered, corrupted, mysteriously erased or lost in the post by now.

  41. Pierre Silver badge

    Stop being twats, it might well have been an UFO

    UFO it was, at least until it's identified... ;-)

    "about 170ft long" to hit two of the blades? Or the size of a duck, but two of them?

    Unless, of course, it's just a mechanical failure. Which is most probable, given the obvious attempts by the company to pass it off as an ET attack. "Our turbines are so incredibly sturdy, they must have been attacked by the Death Star, only way to damage them, honest". Wacky J. and friends should watch and learn. Coming soon: ET attacker steals Gov database on a CD, leaves it in pub.

  42. Nordrick Framelhammer

    @Scott Broukell

    So just how big must the joint that is smoked to summon Amanfrommars be?

    It is a shame that news organisations constantly pander to the idiotic delusions of the tin foil hat brigade.

    Anyway. It wasn't caused by UFO's. It was the combined Vl'hurg and G'Gugvuntt battle fleets screaming across the vast, majestic, sunswept plains of Lincolnshire in search of Arthur Dent.

  43. Adrian Esdaile
    Pirate

    Witches.

    It has to be.

    or Pirate Ninjas.

  44. Trix Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    Cavemen...

    Assuming that our anal-probing overlords have similar driving habits to human beings, it was a male little green man who was at the controls - male drivers are 70% more likely to be in a serious crash (even correcting for distance driven).*

    /Paris, because the idiots making the sexist "jokes" could only ever hope to score with the, er, less-discriminating females.

    *Of course, this may be considered to be a "minor" crash, since there don't appear to be any injuries or fatalities, so in that instance, there is a greater likelihood it was a little green lady instead.

  45. Ros
    Alien

    It's the hacks

    The local rag, the Louth Leader, is obsessed with dreaming up UFO stories. It's not so long ago that they reported on the release of some Chinese lanterns as unexplained UFOs. I kid you not.

    They run these stories for the publicity, and gullible hacks from other news networks pick up on it and add fuel to the fire. There's nothing to see here, except an embarrassing regional newspaper (part of the ailing Johnston Press network) making a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

  46. Clint Sharp
    Paris Hilton

    I blame Tesco

    It's to be expected this early after Christmas, the supermarkets have only just ramped up supplies of tin foil after the traditional turkey foil shortages so the crazies are extra susceptible to the mind control rays at this time of year.

    Paris, damn, someone else beat me to the anal probing joke...

  47. Sillyfellow

    better pictures please

    i have noted the distinct lack of any photo of the blade that came off, and none of the other photos i've seen so far show any good detail of the damage.

    many of these theories can be cleared up with close examination.

    wee from plane? -can prove if true

    meteorite? -impact site. examination of trace substances on damaged blades.

    ice expansion/hairline fractures/ broken bolts or welding etc? -close examination of blade would reveal.

  48. Astarte

    Wrong type of wind . . .

    . . . or maybe he Ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is back again.

  49. Gianni Straniero
    Black Helicopters

    Guardian claims responsibilty

    Emily Bell, the Guardian's director of digital content, had a fireworks party that night, "a mere two miles from the Ecotricity plant". So bang goes the UFO explanation, at least for the strange lights in the sky.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/09/wind-turbine-ufo

    But the Guardian goes on to finger a "cow sized piece of ice" falling from a passing aeroplane for the damage to the turbine. Ye gods! Not another falling cow story!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/07/flying_cow_shocker/

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    170 feet long?

    If it was traveling parallel to the rotational axis of the turbine it might have been 170 feet long. However it could have been a foot long and hit both blades one after the other. Or even more likely the first blade came off and hit the second.

    We don't yet have any evidence that any other body was involved, things do break occasionally. As far as the UFO geeks are concerned, almost anything is evidence of a UFO. As far as the operators and manufacturers are concerned they need some external object to have caused the damage, if it turns out to be a catastrophic failure with no external interference then serious questions will be asked of the safety of that farm, all farms with that kit, all farms operated by that company and indeed all wind farms. Wonder what the health and safety man will say.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're old enough...

    ...you will recall the Emley Moor TV mast falling down one winter. At the time the official explantion was that the weight of ice.

    Yes there was a lot of ice on it, it was an icy cold stormy winter night, but that wasn't what brought the mast down. Not long after the Emley incident the identical mast at Belmont was fitted with fifty tons of chains dangling down the middle of the mast, effectively this damped down any harmonic vibrations caused by the wind. That's right, the collapse was deemed to have been caused by catastrophic harmonic vibrations set up by the wind (Tacoma Narrows bridge anybody?). Of course the powers that be never shouted about this because it was convenient to blame the weather rather than a design flaw.

    Blaming the weather wouldn't really wash in the case of a wind farm. After all the turbine should surely have been designed to cope with bad weather. Blaming the wind for the failure of a wind turbine would probably cause outrage in the pages of the Daily Fail. However once you've eliminated manufacturing flaws, design flaws, operational errors and the weather there's not a lot left appart from UFOs and criminal damage. Claiming the latter would lead to a police investigation which wouldn't necessarilly generate the sort of publicity that they want. Of course they wouldn't be so silly as to blame a UFO, but if somebody else conveniently mentions the possibility and they refused to rule it out what harm could that do?

  52. g00p
    Stop

    lincolnshire???

    come on. my fellas from cleethorpes, and seriously, if that was true about the ufos - if they looked down at earth wondering where next to go on holiday im pretty sure lincolnshire would be in the lower half of their list...

    mind u...i think clee and grimsby are at the bottom end of the "places in lincolnshire you'd go if it were the last place on earth" list :P

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    No need to be alarmed...

    Happens all the time

    http://www.responsiblewind.org/docs/wind_turbine_accidents_in_pictures.pdf

  54. Sam Tana
    Alien

    The real answer is...

    ...scrap metal thieves .... from the Planet Zob.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defense Shield

    At last -- a UFO defensive shield that works. Build more wind turbines!!!!!!!!!!

  56. 4irw4y
    Unhappy

    4irw4y

    a) locals' party> firewurx> boom-bang;

    b) test flight, ok, lights and flashes - why isn't it natural due to a rapid tech progress;

    c) UFO

    d) Russians

    aa) a cannon grandma of about 200 y.o., "ok, let's shoot the sky"> laws of ballistcs;

    b) no comments, quite possible;

    c) plz ld data> what was the distance between windmill and object when it was caught at sight, was it straightly forwarding towards the field.

    d) They had a couple of the like accidents before and now Russian UFO engineers build in alcotesters. It's impossible to crash into a windmill being sober. + sure for anyone it needs no skills to skip into UK airspace over the whole Europe, what are the taxes paid for?

    b) is more trustworthy, isn't it?

    Sad because it seems to be boring without Russians.

    73

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sadly unlikely to be so

    I would suggest that the vane was probably due to the very cold weather and icing up. Many years ago there were problems with what was thought to be metal fatigue of aicraft props but evaluation found it was poor metals combined with cold. I would therefore respectfully suggest that this is evaluated to see if this was the cause, if one blade broke then the next could suffer.

    Lorries in Alaska have cold metal problems all the time.

  58. That's IT

    Found Any?

    Yes, def blinding the drone's guiding camera by the fwx. Are any bollocks found available at auction?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @ boltar

    I was with ya' 'til you started in on the mechanical failure foolishness. Up 'til then you making sense. Sounds like the crazy are out now.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simple fizzicks

    The Turbine was "Freewheeling" in the breeze - well NO generator to soak up the energy, no brake to keep it stopped, and in a STRONG wind - it simply oversped and disintergrated.

    I am surprised that no one caught onto this simply by comparing how one of these normally spin, and how dreadfully fast this one was spinning - remembering it's nto a desk top fan, these blades are the length of city blocks.

    Rather ungay if you ask me.

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