From: Frank Warren <frank-warren.nul> Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 06:47:05 -0800 Fwd Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 14:51:30 -0500 Subject: Fighter Pilot Revealed As Lord Of The Ring Source: The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/03/03/nring03.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/03/03/ixhome.html 03/03/2004 Fighter pilot revealed as lord of the ring By David Sapsted The mystery was solved last night over the cause of a two-mile, near perfect 'O' shape that appeared 30,000ft above East Anglia. After a day when many people believed they had seen a UFO and when a local newspaper speculated that the ring was a halo created by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals, the explanation turned out to be rather more prosaic. The cause was an American air force F15 fighter jet. And it was on a training flight - not, as many people in the region had believed, involved in a stunt to publicise the 11 Oscars won by the latest Lord of the Rings film. Many thousands of people witnessed the formation of the ring - or rings, according to some accounts - late on Monday afternoon. Mike Easton, 50, a chartered surveyor, photographed the phenomenon as it formed due west of his home at Blofield, Norfolk. "It was a nice sunset so I stuck my head out of the window and saw this amazing circle. It was pretty impressive," said Mr Easton. Initially it was thought that a Tornado jet from RAF Marham, north Norfolk, or a Jaguar from RAF Coltishall, near Norwich, could have been responsible. But both bases said their aircraft were not involved. Then, late yesterday, a USAF spokesman at Lakenheath, Suffolk, said one of its F15s was responsible while carrying out "a routine manoeuvre". Lt Ed Ekpoudom said: "The pilot said he was just doing a manoeuvre at 33,000ft at around sunset when the conditions were conducive for a vapour trail to form. He is surprised to hear how it appeared from the ground."
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