“A FLEET of UFOs in formation has been photographed — on Google. The nine silver spheres hover above a row of shops, including a Coral bookies, on the internet giant’s new Street View service. … Yesterday baffled ufologist Nick Pope said he was “very excited” by the image, which he labelled “truly fascinating”. He added: “It appears to show nine objects flying in near perfect formation. About the only thing I know that can do this is the Red Arrows — and it’s not them.” Mr Pope, who used to investigate sightings for the Ministry of Defence, said: “I’ve run through the list of possibilities that normally explain these things, but I can’t find an answer.”
Obvious source: The Sun, Google unearthly.
Well, Nick Pope should probably try harder. User “Lord feldon” at the Snopes message board seems to have found the answer:
“I’m going with the military formation idea. A line directly from Buckingham Palace down the Mall projected out to the East goes to the Northwest of the area in question, which is the way the picture was looking. I can’t find anything giving a date, but it looks like it could be June. In 2008, a formation of Tornado GR4 fighters in that shape was in the flypast. (3:19) There were no Red Arrows in the flypast last year, which would explain why no records of them being in the area could be found. (Assuming the "ufologist" even tried to research it.)
Edit: One bus in the area has an ad for Hancock starring Will Smith, premiering on July 2nd. It premiered in 2008, so I’m more certain this was taken on June 14th, 2008, during the flypast after Trooping the Colour.
Edit2: There’s also a bus advertising a Harrod’s sale from June to July 2008.”
And if you look again at the Google Street View above (that’s an embedded viewer, you can look around and zoom in), many people in the street are looking at the sky. They are probably watching the very nice display. From the earthly Royal Air Force. [via Google Discovery]
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UPDATE: As Lafayette has pointed in the comments below, he took a shot of the formation in Queen Victoria Street, London (click for the original):
Joe McGonagle also suggested another video of the Trooping of the Colour which shows the formation of nine aircraft. Click to watch (it’s halfway on):
I think the case could hardly be any more closed. [Thanks Lafayette, Joe!]
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