Monday, August 22, 2011

Loch Ness 'plane crash' alert still a mystery - 22nd Aug 2011

A MASSIVE search operation was triggered after reports of a mysterious object falling from the sky over Loch Ness. Coastguards, a lifeboat crew, police teams and an RAF search and rescue helicopter were scrambled after reports of people seeing what was variously described a light aircraft, a parachute and a balloon coming down over the famous loch.

However, no trace of any craft or crew was found after rescuers were alerted on Saturday night, prompting speculation it could have been a meteor shower or a Chinese lantern.

An area of three square miles towards the north end of the loch was combed following the reports from south of the village of Dores at about 8pm.

Police and a Coastguard search team were joined by a RNLI lifeboat and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.

The shoreline and woods surrounding the loch were also scoured.

The extensive search was unable to find anything linked to the sightings and teams were stood down at about 11:15pm on Saturday.

One eyewitness, Denise Rooney, described the object as a "white globe".

Writing on Facebook, she said: "I was having a BBQ on the hills near Dores/Loch Ness. I pointed out a white globe that I thought was a star initially, but it moved across the sky.

"It was very far away. Could have been anything and it was on a steady path.

"I just remembered thinking I could see it but not hear it, and it was an unusual flight path from that direction."

The lifeboat crew spoke to a group of people on the beach at Dores, on the eastern shore of the loch, who said they had seen a "balloon-like" object just above trees in the area.

Another reported sighting was of a parachute.

Loch Ness RNLI crew member Martin Douglas said: "A member of the public reported seeing a hang-glider or microlight descending into the loch.

"The RNLI lifeboat crew spoke to people on the shoreline who stated that they had seen a balloon-like object just above the tree line near Dores." Read More