Sorry, UFO Watchers - Aliens Didn't Take Down the Wind Turbine

The mysterious destruction of a wind turbine in the U.K. has captivated imaginations, but extraterrestrials aren't to blame.

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A few weeks ago, a wind turbine in Lincolnshire, U.K. was mysteriously destroyed, with one blade lopped off and another twisted around. Some eyewitnesses attributed the damage to an "Octopus-shaped U.F.O." that passed through the wind farm, while others blamed ice buildup on the blades, an out-of-control fireworks display, or simply fatigue. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about the incident, which garnered a lot of comments from three types: First, the UFO believers, who were offended by my sarcasm (thanks for the crop circle links, guys); second, British citizens who were offended by my sarcasm (wasn't making fun of you personally, guys), and third, Simpsons fans who appreciate a good internet meme (as do I).

Proving once again the principle of Occam's razor - that the simplest explanation is also the likeliest, as Dan from California pointed out - the results of the investigation of that incident were recently revealed and it was indeed material fatigue that brought the turbine down. Aging bolts that attached the blade to the turbine were to blame. “To be honest I’m not surprised. But there was part of me that did hope it was a U.F.O. as it was a lovely story,” said Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity, the wind project operator. Case closed.


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environment

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