Friday, March 23, 2007

UFO mystery has an earthly explanation

Notice anything about the childrens names??

THE mystery surrounding the UFO which terrified a Hertford family appears to
have been solved.

Maxine Abbess, 44, feared her family would be "wiped out" when a strange
dark cylindrical object plummeted towards her home in Pages Lane on the Sele
Farm estate last week.

The bizarre phenomenon baffled several witnesses in the county town, as the
Mercury reported.

But it looks like there was nothing to fear - apart from being hit by a very
large, wobbly, black balloon.

We were contacted by Jani Melender, a spokeswoman for Above Top Secret
Aliens and UFOs forum, the biggest UFO watch on the internet.

She said: "We took notice of your story and from the description of the UFO
we immediately came to a conclusion that this was nothing else than the
latest gadget fad - a large, black balloon named Solar Airship, which is on
sale in the UK right now.

"The balloon is filled with hot air, not helium as one might think, and that
makes it susceptible to rapid rises and drops in altitude.

"It's also very large, which would explain the fear of the family."

She added: "Above Top Secret is a cluster of experts and we've more or less
come to the conclusion that this was nothing else than a balloon."

When Maxine saw the shape, she was with husband, Paul, 41, the head chef of
Braughing's Axe and Compasses pub, their eldest son Sam, 18, and other sons,
Aston, 11, Ayrton, 10, and Jenson, 8 - pupils at Wheatcroft School in
Hertford who are named after fast cars and Formula 1 drivers.

But Maxine was not convinced.

She said: "If it had just floated in the air I would agree that it was a
balloon, but it plummeted at an incredible speed and stopped dead. Then it
slowly floated up again.

"I wish it was a balloon - but I don't think so."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Balloons on Mars, well almost.

Beth Dickey/J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington

Jonas Dino
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

March 20, 2007
RELEASE: 07-70

NASA Scientists and Teachers to Study Mars in the Mojave Desert

Moffett Field, Calif. - A passionate teacher can make any subject come alive
for students, and NASA is helping fuel that passion.

On March 25-30, 2007, NASA's Spaceward Bound project at the agency's Ames
Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will take a team of NASA scientists
and 40 teachers from throughout the country to study the unique geologic
formations of California's Mojave Desert and the supremely adapted microbes
that call it home. The Mojave's inhospitable, sun-scorched environment
presents scientists with opportunities to study environments similar to what
explorers will find on the moon and Mars. Leading the team is Chris McKay,
an Ames planetary scientist with extensive experience in field work in
extreme environments.

"We have been doing field expeditions to Mars-like environments for years,"
said McKay. "Now we're bringing along the teachers, so they can see and
participate in the exploration of these extreme environments. The teachers
become part of the research team."

Based out of the California State University Desert Research Station at
Zzyzx, Calif., 60 miles east of Barstow, Calif., teachers and scientists
will perform scientific fieldwork. The team will study the similarities of
the desert's geologic formations to those of the moon and Mars, how microbes
and chemical oxidants affect desert soil formation, and the desert's
hypolithic algae, cyanobacteria and stromatolites. Teams also will use a hot
air balloon to test new remote-sensing equipment to detect subterranean
formations such as lava tubes, caves and paleolakes.

As part of the training for the expedition, teachers participated in four
webcast training sessions that included presentations by the scientists
explaining the research they will conduct during the expedition, training
for field work in an extreme environment and discussions about how to bring
their experiences into their classrooms.

During the expedition, teachers and students around the world can follow the
action on the Spaceward Bound Web site via daily mission logs and image
captures. On March 28, the team will hold two one-hour webcasts. The first
webcast, in English, will begin at 9 a.m. PDT, followed by a Spanish webcast
at 10 a.m. PDT.

"Beginning with the training webcasts and continuing through the expedition,
'Spaceward Bound: Mojave,' enables teachers to immerse themselves in
authentic moon and Mars analog field research," said Liza Coe, co-principal
investigator for the Spaceward Bound project. "Teachers will very naturally
inject these experiences into their teaching, which is critical because
their students are the ones who will actually go to the moon and prepare for
the first human missions to Mars."

The Education Division at Ames developed the Spaceward Bound: Mojave
educational program in partnership with the Desert Research Institute, Las
Vegas, Nev., and San Jose State University, Calif., to train the next
generation of space explorers. Previous Spaceward Bound expeditions include
the exploration of the Mars-like soils in the Atacama desert in northern
Chile and two week-long, immersive, full-scale simulations of living and
working on the moon and Mars at the Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters,
Washington, funds the Spaceward Bound project, which continues the agency's
tradition of investing in the nation's education programs. The project is
tied directly to the agency's major education goal of engaging Americans in
NASA's mission. NASA is committed to building strategic partnerships and
linkages between formal and informal education providers of science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as STEM). Through
hands-on, interactive educational activities, NASA is engaging students,
educators, families, the general public, and all agency stakeholders to
increase Americans' science and technology literacy.

For more information about the NASA Spaceward Bound Project, visit:

It’s a bird! It’s a Plane! No! It’s a Solar-Powered Plane!

I know these solar glider references are a little off topic but it is
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones as the tech director, so thats fine!! Brian
any job for me there??

They seem to be getting there PR machine rolling now.


Going non-stop around the world in a hot-air balloon may seem like the
pinnacle of air travel, but circling the globe in a solar-powered plane
might be even better. The only person who will really know is Bertrand
Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist who could be the first person to make the trip
around the planet in both contraptions.

Yesterday the appropriately named Piccard, who made the first trip around
the world in a hot-air balloon with his co-pilot, was awarded funding from
Deutsche Bank to build the first solar aircraft. Bloomberg news
<> reports

The record-breaking flight is planned for May 2011 along the Tropic of
Cancer. Construction of a smaller prototype with a 61- meter wingspan will
begin next month. The first test flights are scheduled for next year. The
biggest challenge will be to develop an aircraft with batteries capable of
storing enough solar energy to fly through the night, said Piccard.

Deutsche Bank covered 15 percent of the total cost of the project, which is
called Solar Impulse <> . The donation reflects
the company's belief in supporting alternative energy technologies, said
Joseph Ackermann, the chief executive officer of Deutsch Bank AG.

Air travel currently requires fossil fuels and in the United States,
accounts for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S.
Department of Transportation's Center for Climate Change and Environmental
Forecasting <> . Some day, solar-powered planes
could help decrease our dependence on non-renewable resources and emissions.

Right now, the only thing standing in the way of everyone using
solar-powered planes is the technology. According to the Solar Impulse
website, the current wingspan of 80 feet will only allow one man to fly for
24 hours. But the team members seem hopeful:

But if we go back into history, when the great Wright brothers got their
first plane to fly a distance of 200 meters in 1903, could they have
imagined that 66 years later, two men would walk on the moon?

We'll certainly be looking to the sunny skies in 2011 for a plane that's
soaring to new heights. And that's not just a bunch of hot air.

God Bless the American Balloon Police

Actually these people have a point, mass toy balloon launches do leave lots
of rubbish downwind somewhere.

CONCORD – People will want to hold onto their balloons if the Senate agrees
with a House vote yesterday to ban balloon releases.

By a vote of 215 to 111, the House approved a bill that treats balloon
releases as a form of littering.

HB 62 originally barred the release of two dozen or more lighter-than-air

The version that passed yesterday could bring a $250 fine for even a single
balloon let loose. A second offense could bring a $500 fine. The bill
specifically exempts hot air balloons, weather balloons and others released
as part of scientific research.

The bill does not penalize accidental releases.

Those who favored the bill said the balloon materials, including the
attached strings and ribbons, pose a serious threat to wildlife. Whales,
turtles and seabirds that live along New Hampshire's coastline mistakenly
eat floating balloons thinking they are food, and then are unable to eat
real food.

"Do we now get balloon police?" Rep. Randolph Holden, R-Goffstown, asked.

Rep. Kevin Waterhouse, R-Windham, said police officers would be given
enforcement responsibility.

A move to give the job to Fish and Game officers was rejected, since the
department is under budget pressure already.

He said people need to be aware that balloon releases cause real harm to

"It doesn't just go to heaven and disappear. It comes back down again,"
Waterhouse said.

Waterhouse said he was inspired to sponsor the bill by a group of
homeschoolers studying ecology.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Joke... Software engineer

We all know you are a software engineer

<joke begins>
A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and
spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can
you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't
know where I am." The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon
hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41
degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."

"You must be a software engineer," said the balloonist.

"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is, technically
correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is
I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything,
you've delayed my trip."
</joke ends>

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Swiss Balloonist Piccard Gains German Support for Solar Flight

Well not quite ballooning, but someone we all know.. Pity Brian did'nt get a


By Jacob Greber

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Bertrand Piccard, who along with his co-pilot became
the first to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon, won financial
support from Germany's biggest bank to build a solar-powered aircraft that
can fly around the globe.

The aircraft, with a wing span of 80 meters (264 feet), will be able to take
off and fly using energy from the sun. Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive
Officer Joseph Ackermann said his bank will contribute 15 million Swiss
francs ($12 million) of the project's estimated 100 million-franc cost.

``Energy demand has become a massive challenge,'' Ackermann, who like
Piccard is from Switzerland, said today at a news conference in Zurich.
``Every effort to address that must be supported.''

The record-breaking flight is planned for May 2011 along the Tropic of
Cancer. Construction of a smaller prototype with a 61- meter wingspan will
begin next month. The first test flights are scheduled for next year. The
biggest challenge will be to develop an aircraft with batteries capable of
storing enough solar energy to fly through the night, said Piccard.

``We're going to show that all the beautiful exploration of the last century
will go on,'' the 49-year-old Piccard said.

Plans for the project, named Solar Impulse, were first announced at the end
of 2003. The wingspan of the aircraft will be about the same as an Airbus
A-380 but a fraction of the weight at two tons.

The pressurized cockpit will have room for one pilot who can fly the
solar-powered plane at up to 12,000 meters. The wings will be encased in a
``skin'' made of ultra-thin solar cells.

In 1999, Piccard and co-pilot Brian Jones became the first to fly around
Earth in a hot-air balloon. Starting in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland, they
flew west for 45,755 kilometers over 19 days and 21 hours before landing in

Solar Impulse has already attracted some 65 million francs in financing,
said Andre Borschberg, the project's chief executive. The other main
partners include Swatch Group AG's Omega brand and Brussels-based Solvay SA.

To contact the reporter of this story: Jacob Greber in Zurich at

Last Updated: March 19, 2007 11:27 EDT

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Joke

I think we have had this version before but I can't be asked to look

Democrats and Republicans…

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude
and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you
help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know
where I am." The sailor consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a
hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet
above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100
degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolled her eyes and yelled down, "You must be a Republican." "I
am,"replied the man. "How did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist,
"everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to
do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've been no help
to me."

The man smiled and responded, "Then you must be a Democrat." "I am,"
replied the balloonist. "How did you know?" "Well," said the man, "you don't
know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due
to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea
how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the
same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."

Aunty Monkey

Yes thats right, have I gone mad click through and find out... Its
Australian, and I think that's explanation enough ;-)

1997 World Hot Air Balloon Championship, Saga Japan
By Aunty Monkey(Aunty Monkey)
I'm on a roll of uploading videos to YouTube. Here is a short video I edited
from some of Kath's videos.
Aunty Monkey -


Balloon camera seeks out hotspots

Humm spying from above!!

A hot air balloon carrying a council planning officer with a heat camera has
ascended over Gloucester.

Meyrick Brentnall is using the torch-like device to check how well the
city's buildings are insulated.

The airborne exercise marks the launch this week of the council's climate
change strategy.

Its aims include improving the energy performance of new buildings,
promoting greater use of public transport and expanding recycling services.

Mr Brentnall took flight over the city with the heat camera on Friday

"We're looking down on houses, offices and factories and will take the
information back to the office," he said.

"It's a way of raising awareness on how important insulation is and
encouraging people to insulate their buildings."

Luxor Balloon Incident

Four French, three Americans and two Egyptians were injured on Friday when
their hot balloon crashed in Luxor, some 680 km south of the Egyptian
capital Cairo, MENA news agency reported.

High winds was to blame for the accident, local police said. Eight of the
injured left Luxor hospital after treatment, while one is still receiving
treatment, said MENA.

Luxor, located on the eastern bank of the Nile River, is famous for its many
ancient Egyptian historical sites, including the Valley of the Kings and the
temple of Karnak.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I was banned

Well blocked,

Probably rightly the Blogger Bots picked this blog up as a spam one so I have not been able to access it for ages. I can see there point as all I really do is cut and paste anything I find!


The Joke

Back from the ban, I had to have seen that joke in another format somewhere
in the last two weeks.

With a helicopter!!

After a couple hours flying back and forth across the Puget Sound area the
navigational instruments on the helicopter go out and the pilot makes a
couple passes back and forth trying to get his bearings but appears to be
totally lost. Then he spots a man on top of a building smoking and flies
over close enough to shout out the window:

"Excuse me! Could you tell me where I am?"

The man looks up and then shouts back "You're in a helicopter."

The pilot looks puzzled for a second then stops and shouts back to the
smoker "Okay! Thanks!"

Then proceeds to fly straight back to the airport.

Once on the ground the photographer stops the pilot to ask how he found his
way back.

"Well," the pilot replies, "I asked that man where I was and he said I was
in a helicopter. Which was technically correct, but completely irrelevant
information for me. That's when it occurred to me that I must be over
Microsoft, and once I knew that I knew which direction to go."

And thankgoodness with a balloon again.

A man flying in a hot air balloon suddenly realizes he's lost. He reduces
height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts
to get directions, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says: "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet
above this field."

"You must work in Technical Support," says the balloonist.

"I do" replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically
correct, but It's of no use to me. If you had given me some useful
information, I would no longer be lost."

The man below replies, "You must work in management."

"I do" replies the balloonist, "But how'd you know?"

"Well", says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going,
yet you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were
before we met, but now it's my fault."


More lights in the sky

Intrigue persists over lights in sky

For first time, military pilot tells of dropping flares; others say 'Phoenix
Lights' were UFOs

Scott Craven
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 25, 2007 12:00 AM

On a mild springlike evening the string of amber orbs appeared as if by
magic, a celestial sleight of hand that would in the coming weeks make
headlines and video highlights across the nation.

Although little more than an atmospheric curiosity at the time, the hovering
and evenly spaced balls of light would soon become known as the Phoenix
Lights, an event that 10 years later continues to spark debate over just
what was seen that night.

Those who accepted the explanation that it was military flares dismissed the
controversy with logical precision, while people who saw it as an
otherworldly encounter claim the truth has been shrouded in lies and
In the ensuing decade, the Phoenix Lights would change outlooks, minds and
even a few lives. What hasn't changed is this: The mystery that still hovers
above March 13, 1997.

The key witness

What she was seeing had barely registered when Lynne Kitei raced inside to
fetch her video camera. Lights, six of them, evenly spaced in a direct line.
They were - floating? - over Phoenix. Certainly not a plane. Or balloons.

She had seen something like this before, but could these be like the amber
orbs she saw in 1995 hovering in formation just 100 yards from the backyard
of her Paradise Valley home? And she had seen orbs like that just two months
ago. In each case she had snapped photos. This time she wanted video.

By the time she was back on her patio, only three lights continued to shine.
She pressed "Record," and those several seconds of tape would become one of
the seminal recordings of the Phoenix Lights to be shown on the news, TV
specials and, several years later, her own documentary.

In the decade since that night Kitei, a respected physician, has resigned
from her position at the Arizona Heart Institute to devote herself full time
to talk about, and further investigate, the Phoenix Lights.

"If you had told me this is what I'd be doing," she says, "I would never
have believed it, not in a million years."

For seven years she spent nearly all her spare time trying to answer the
question that plagued her: What were those orbs, and what did they want? She
finished with 750 pages of notes detailing her interviews with witnesses,
experts and UFO investigators. Her notes included extensive research of
similar sightings around the world.

Kitei remained anonymous for seven years, fearful of the ridicule that
accompanies those seen to be tilting at extraterrestrial windmills.

But her chase for the truth eventually overcame her fears of going public.
She condensed her notes into a 222-page book, The Phoenix Lights, where she
revealed her findings as well as her name.

What she has not found is a definitive answer, only educated speculation as
to the meaning of the lights.

"It's never been about me; it's about the data," Kitei says. "To present it
I had to come forward, to tell people what I know."

Kitei also has discovered something nearly as surprising as interplanetary
visitors - a wider acceptance of things that can't quite be explained. She
said she still receives e-mails from fans of her book and her documentary,
The Phoenix Lights . . . We Are Not Alone.

She takes no offense at those who call her efforts a waste of time.

"Some people deny it even exists, that it all feeds into a logical
explanation," she says. "That's OK if it gives them comfort. Everyone in
their own time."

The lights appear

It is generally agreed that at about 10 p.m. on March 13, 1997, under a
clear sky with no breeze, a string of lights appeared to the southwest. The
orbs seemed to form a flattened V shape, like a boomerang. They appeared to
be motionless, or traveling so slowly that movement was imperceptible.

They shimmered for five to 10 minutes and were seen by hundreds, and likely
thousands, of people.

In the days to come, air traffic controllers at Sky Harbor International
Airport would tell reporters and UFO investigators that they spotted nothing
on radar. Officials at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson would report
that no military maneuvers were taking place that night at the Barry M.
Goldwater Range to the west of Gila Bend (and would change their story two
months later, saying the person on duty that night failed to look at the
proper logbook).

Photos and video of the Phoenix Lights were popping up on local and national
TV news. The images made their way around the world.

Then things got crazy.

Stories trickled in of isolated sightings from northwestern Arizona about
three hours before the mass sighting in Phoenix. Some people said the lights
seemed to float before accelerating and disappearing into the night. From
those sightings, experts in the UFO community assembled a timeline that had
a mysterious craft drifting north to south across Arizona.

Video of the Phoenix Lights appeared on TV tabloid shows with breathless
commentators wondering if this was the proof UFO believers had been waiting
for. And when Gov. Fife Symington called a press conference, few expected to
see the extraterrestrial who emerged from backstage (a Symington aide in
alien drag).

At least one person wasn't laughing.

Frances Emma Barwood never saw the lights as she drove home March 13 north
along Highway 51. Her eyes were on the road, not the sky, though in a week's
time she'd be eye-deep in controversy.

As the Phoenix city councilwoman fielded calls from curious constituents,
she decided she needed to know more.

She called for an investigation.

What she got, Barwood says from her home in Dewey, was ridicule.

"Oh, the media had a heyday with me," says Barwood, who would never hold
another political office when her City Council stint was up.

Barwood did not assume the lights were UFOs as the media inferred, she says.
She only wanted a government agency to look into the odd occurrences of
March 13. She received calls from eyewitnesses in Prescott Valley, Phoenix
and points south.

A decade ago, Barwood would have leaned toward a logical explanation. Today,
she's open to the not-so-logical.

"I don't know what it was, but I'm a lot more open to that thing coming from
elsewhere," Barwood says. "What makes us think we're the only intelligent
being in the whole entire universe?"

The flares exposed

Those who believed in logical explanations would have to wait four months
for the proof they knew was out there when the military, spurred by a June
1997 story in USA Today that brought national attention to the Phoenix
Lights, decided to take a second look.

They were flares, said the Air National Guard, dropped during nighttime
exercises at the Barry M. Goldwater Range.

That simple explanation didn't fly with those who had four months of mystery
on their side.

They were flares, insists Lt. Col. Ed Jones, who piloted one of the four
A-10s in the squadron that launched the flares.

Jones, in his first interview with the media about the night 10 years ago,
can't believe a decision to eject a few leftover flares turned into a UFO
furor that continues to this day.

Jones now is assistant director of operations for the 104th Fighter Squadron
of the Maryland National Guard. His title has changed, but his story remains
the same.

He and the rest of his colleagues were cruising the night skies of
southwestern Arizona on the last night of Operation Snowbird, so named
because they were winter visitors. Pilots dropped flares to light the night
but had no idea they were about to ignite controversy as well.

On the way back to Tucson, not far from Gila Bend, Jones says, he reminded
pilots to eject their leftover flares. Since this was their last night on
maneuvers, it was more cost-effective to eject the flares than to offload
and store the munitions upon returning.

"One of our guys had about 10 or so left, so he started to puke them out,
one after another," Jones says. "So every few seconds or so, when the next
flare was ready to go, he hit the button and launched it."

Jones looked behind him and saw an evenly spaced string of lights over the
desert, floating ever so slowly to earth. Each was extremely bright, a
"couple million" candle power, Jones knew. They seemed to hover because heat
from the flare rose into the parachute, as if each were a tiny hot-air
balloon. The planes headed for the base.

Jones and the rest of the crew returned to Maryland. Several weeks later,
Jones says, "All this stuff just blew up."

News of the unexplainable Phoenix Lights reached Maryland, where the logical
explanation sat waiting to be discovered. It would not be until the end of
July when it was announced that the Maryland Air National Guard had launched
flares that night and were the lights everyone had seen.

"With flares that bright, they can be a lot closer than they seem," Jones
said. "Yes, they could have looked like they were right over Phoenix."

There are those who believe the flare story is a lie, the military's attempt
to cover up the truth. Others think flares were indeed dropped but only as a
diversion so officials could explain what people saw that night.

Jim Dilletoso belongs in the first camp. The Phoenix computer specialist who
has analyzed film and video of dozens of alleged UFO sightings says Lynne
Kitei's video, the best taken that night, is not of military flares.

Dilletoso compared the lights to the thousands of images on his database,
which he likens to testing fingerprints or blood samples. He tests for size,
brightness, movement characteristics and more.

"I have thousands of knowns," Dilletoso says. "I didn't get a match to
flares, airplane lights, Venus, swamp gas, flashlights, whatever. That means
it's unknown. Not a spacecraft necessarily, but unknown."

The questions remain

A decade has passed, and while the Phoenix Lights have dimmed, they refuse
to disappear.

Steve Kates is not surprised. Dr. Sky, as he is known on radio and on his
Web site, follows aviation and astronomy and often is called upon to explain
unusual occurrences above us. Kates is hardly surprised the mystery of the
Phoenix Lights endures today.

"Mystery is a great thing," Kates says. "We don't want to think we're alone.
I imagine even ancient people looked to the sky and wondered."

The night had a profound effect on Bobby Brewer, who was with a friend
driving southbound on Highway 51when the lights appeared.

Brewer would write UFOs: 7 Things You Should Know, which many may consider
unusual coming from a pastor.

The experience led Brewer to respect those who have reported sightings,
encounters or even abductions.

The lights were so compelling that night, he pulled off the highway to

"It was like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time," says the pastor
for young adults and singles at Citichurch in Scottsdale. "It took my breath

Brewer did his own research, yet to this day he is still unsure of what he
saw. Flares certainly seem plausible. A high-tech craft pushing the edge of
physics is in the realm of possibility. And he won't discount a visit from
another world.

For Brewer, the Phoenix Lights remain a tantalizing mystery. He can live
with that

Balloon crash safety changes call

A hot air ballooning company has been urged to review its procedures
following an accident in south Wales last May.

Fourteen passengers were injured and the balloon pilot broke his ankle when
it crash landed during violent storms.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued safety recommendations
to the company Ballooning Network Ltd.

Reports into a fatal crash in Snowdonia and a crash landing on an industrial
estate have also been published.

The AAIB report found the balloon had set off from the Monmouth area last
May when it got into difficulties during the stormy weather and tried to
land at a planned position unsuccessfully.

As the weather deteriorated, the balloon continued its flight until the
pilot reached Pontypool and there he made an emergency landing, said the