Published: 2:34 AM 5/3/2014
by ALINA POLIANSKAYA
NATIONAL newspapers were excited this week over claims that visitors from outer space had been spotted over Highbury Fields.
Even though the UFO images posted online were by an anonymous blogger – and none too conclusive – they were nevertheless plastered all over The Sun and Mirror, as well as internet sites such as the Huffington Post.
The Tribune, however, believes the mystery of the “flying saucer” has a down-to-earth explanation – it was probably a child’s balloon or possibly a remote-controlled helicopter hovering over Shoreditch.
After it was spotted by an unnamed photographer “floating” towards Highbury and Islington, a series of photos were posted to the Facebook page Mixtris UFO Images on Monday afternoon.
The images were claimed to be a collection of stills from a video the photographer vowed to put up on YouTube the following day, though no such footage had been uploaded at the time of going to press yesterday (Thursday).
Just a few weeks ago a similar-looking object hovering over Shoreditch was captured on camera by a Tribune reporter but it turned out to be a remote-controlled helicopter.
Other theories advanced include the suggestion that the Highbury UFO was a helium-balloon in the shape of a shark.
The picture of the Highbury UFO was captioned: “I captured this object a couple of streets away from where I live.
"The object appeared black in colour and was rotating as it moved along. I captured nearly five minutes of video before I lost sight of it floating in the direction of Highbury and Islington. I’m not sure what this object is. I thought it was a balloon, but there appears to be a light on it...
“I guesstimate the object to be half a mile away and possibly 500 - 1,000ft high.”
A spokesman for the Royal Astronomical Society said: “The pictures are best described as unconvincing. Looking at them I think they depict a child’s balloon, just possibly a remote-controlled helicopter or, less likely, a kite.
“A common difficulty is estimating the size and distance of objects but, even with the figures given, a balloon would easily reach that altitude.
"It looks the right shape to be consistent with that suggestion. Strictly speaking, these are images of an ‘unidentified flying object’ in that we can’t be completely sure what it is, but there’s no reason whatsoever to believe this has an extraterrestrial origin.”
What do you think it is? Flying saucer, helicopter or inflatable shark?