Further to our previous posts around the Conisholme alleged UFO sighting and crash site at the Ecotricity wind turbine farm we today look at the facts surrounding this bizarre incident. Given the amount of information currently circulating around the net regarding this now infamous potential UFO incident we thought it would be an ideal time to focus on the facts of the case and to reflect on what we now know.
Conisholme is located on the north east region of the UK sited just a few miles from the local coastline of the North sea. The turbine at the heart of this incident is one of 20 at the Conisholme site, which has been fully operational since April 2008.
January 04th 2009 at approximately 4am the wind turbine at Conisholme was struck by a mystery object. The story was first reported on January 6th in the local Lincolnshire paper, the Louth Leader.
Ecotricity, the Stroud, England-based power provider has recovered substantial wreckage from the site including the missing turbine blade (contrary to earlier reports of it being ‘missing’ from the site) and smaller fragments. Managing Director Dale Vince, who was interviewed over the mystery on BBC Radio 4, said the company is still investigating. “We have been crawling all over it and have sent bits off for analysis to see if we can work out what caused it,” Vince said on the company’s Web site. “To make one of these blades fall off, or to bend it, takes a lot.”
The turbine manufacturer, Germany’s Enercon, is examining some of the broken parts and Henri Joppien, a salesman for Enercon has commented that “It was not a flying object, ice or extreme wind gusts, and there is no general defect or manufacturer’s problem”.
January 9th around 4am wind speeds were around 2mph and temperatures -1 to 0 degrees.
1. County councilor for the area Robert Palmer said he had seen a “round, white light that seemed to be hovering”. Mr Palmer said: “I actually saw a white light – a round, white light that seemed to be hovering. “That is the only way I can explain it – it wasn’t a flare-like light – it was just round, white light with a slight red edge to it that seemed to be over the wind turbines.”
2. John Harrison, a local witness, described how he looked out of his landing window and saw a “massive ball of light with tentacles going right down to the ground” over the wind farm. He said: “It was huge. With the tentacles it looked just like an octopus.”
3. Witness named as ‘Shelia’ commented, ‘I’m a very light sleeper and I didn’t hear or see a thing on Sunday night,’ said the 67 year old householder, ‘I hope that one day we will see aliens, but I doubt it will happen in that field. I’ve lived here for 20 years and nothing interesting has ever happened here. Except them building the wind farm, of course.’
4. Dorothy Willows, who lives a mile and a half from the crash site, commented: “The lights were moving across the sky towards the wind farm. Then I saw a low flying object. It was skimming across the sky towards the turbines.”
5. John Harrison, a local resident described looking at the farm out of his window and seeing “a massive ball of light with tentacles going right down to the ground”.
1. Block of ice falling from a passing jet plane.
2. Ice build up on a neighboring turbine blade being dislodged and impacting the turbine.
It is clear from the facts accrued to date that something significant was required to cause such catastrophic failure of the turbine blade. Dr Peter Schubel, from the University of Nottingham, is an expert in the design and manufacture of wind turbine blade and has commented that if the turbine blade was still, it would take the equivalent of a 10-tonne load to do the kind of damage seen here, but if it was rotating, or hit by a moving object, the force could be a lot less.
He said of the possible cause: “It’s definitely not a bird. It could be ice thrown from a neighboring turbine that struck it. “Most turbines have an anti-icing system on the blades and maybe it failed to prevent the ice build-up.”
This is a possible explanation however in our view given the current wind speeds at the time of the incident it would be unlikely that ice would have had the momentum to propel itself sufficiently to hit a neighboring blade let alone cause the type of damage seen here. Having sufficient information to make an informed decision at this stage is not possible. It is likely however that following the analysis of the blade itself and smaller fragments we may be in a more favorable position to identify whether this incident has a reasonable coherent explanation or indeed something our UFO Alien cousins may have caused. We will be keeping an eye out for further information and will keep our readers posted.
17th March UPDATE – See Conisholme UFO Verdict Cause