UFO identified

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First the British UFO Research Association told you the Pitlochry “UFO” report was caused by a “moon dog” (14 November), but later it told you that it was “a spotlight on a tree felling machine” (your online report, same day).

In fact, the evidence, despite the Forestry Commission’s claims, does not support either of these ideas. What it does support is the hypothesis that the object was the planet Venus, at the time rising in the south-east (Venus is the commonest cause of UFO reports). The “flying saucer” shape was caused by inappropriate zooming and is an artefact of the 
camera’s optics. The incident exemplifies widespread ignorance of basic astronomy.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan