New Green Jack New Green Jack

61 responses to “The truth is out there”

    • Matt

      I love the way the Sun is certain it was a UFO, no specualtion, and the blade being missing aswell! hahaha, dont worry about looking at the ground below the turbine. Another great comic strip.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      oh, it appears the flying octopus left the blade. Not so intelligent after all…

    • peta ward

      I love a spooky story, I thought that the gentleman who gave an interview on the Today Programme Radio 4 this morning was excellent, with a fine sense of humour and honesty.

      I recall hearing on that same programme, the suggestion that it may have been a lump of ice from a passing airplane. Seems reasonable, assuming that there are routes passing that way… plenty of air bases in Linconshire that is for sure. Maybe they were testing a plasma weapon, very popular at the moment.

      I have no knowledge in this area, but my suggestion is that the blade that ripped off, smashed into the others before hitting (or bouncing off) the ground, the blade failed because of a manufacturing glitch… nothing more exciting than that.

      What did we hear, the spaghetti monster, mysterious lights… how about some local UFO enthusiasts chucked a very big ice snow ball at it to create a great ‘mystery hoax’. No mess no muss…

      What I am interested to know is, if it is a rare manufacturing fault, are you going to confess, or just go with the UFO flow..? LoL.

      Anyway great interview on R4, nicely done, and please keep up the good work. We have a medium array of full sized wind turbines on the mountain outside my house (Durango, Basque Country)… we love them.

    • James

      Matt, i agree, the sun are fantastic.
      Jeffery – I dont know if it was an ‘octopus’ UFO ‘experts’ wouldn’t say so…

      how do you become a ‘UFO – Expert?!’

      I just cannot belive how much hype has been caused by somthing that could be as simple as a broken bolt? Fantastic, a good laugh, and much fun for us all….

      Thanks Mars!


    • Jeffrey Lam

      Without the references to the lights and the tentacles, yes this would be a lot more boring reference to a turbine that mysteriously broke. Trying to make sense of some the news reports: Sky says people saw lights in the “early hours of the morning” but without saying what time this was, only “hours later” the turbine was broken.
      Could the lights have been sparks flying off as the loose blade hit other parts of the turbine, including the other blade?
      The thing about fireworks, is that they look like fireworks. Why would someone report them as unidentified?

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Obvious fix given the ‘flying cow’ theory so elegantly illustrated at the Ecotricity site is immediate issuing of concrete boots to all wannabe bovine aviators in the UK, with all imported cattle being subjected to the same. A anti-cow campaign should be whipped up by the tabloid to force the government to DoSomethingNow(TM).

      And, while we’re at it, porcine aviators too.


      On a slightly more serious note, is there a central trusted body in the UK or EU or elsewhere that collates and studies these events, eg like the AAIB for air crashes? If not, maybe there should be. I believe that one has been created to cover marine wind power.



    • Rich

      Have you heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
      Google it!

    • Robert

      My explaination is lenghthly but will keep to the point. Since as chunk of ice in our atmoshere is not going to have any light associated with it and a chunk that large would have left some sort of ground evidence like a crator or sort. Let’s take the UFO concept…first I don’t disprove the existance of extraterestrial beings if this is what is assumed by the term UFO. I would suggest the technology of ones ability to dart about in the sky would certainly have a comensarate navigation system on board. I’m pretty sure we can rule out the unlikely UFO collision with only a single turbine in the middle of other surrounding turbines. I never say an idea is bad unless I can give just cause and a solution.
      The eye witness accounts and the evidence the turbine itself warrents analylisis of the surrounding groud composition for iron ore deposits or the material make up of the turbines themselves for concentration of iron. Due consideration needs to be given to the amount of static build up as well. Either or both in combination of mix of ions and charged particles would be enough to creat a little know phenonomen commonly known as “Ball Lightening”. If anyone can support anything contrary to this, I take correction open mindedly.

    • stephane

      morning all, firstly would be rude not to comment on the strange collision thing…so ill hazard a guess at it too; perhaps it was simply an unresistable target to test a new toy by the local mod! but on a serious note, the mentioned story led me to discover your wonderful world, it would be fantastic to collaborate on future projects..i invite you to witness our latest efforts typing (l’hamakina) in youtube!! and for future collaborations check

    • michele

      that’s viral marketing! Now the whole world will know what the hell is Ecotricity.. but when you go green it’s alright!

    • James

      Jeffrey Lam – finally, someone with a level-head and rational thinking.

      I think when the examiners come back from looking at the blade, and turbine, we can then find out exactly what happened.
      In my mind there is no other option than a blade, dropping of, and clanking the other blade.

      We look foward to the results and dales post


    • Leo

      It was Santa going home after his post-Christmas booze up. No presents next Christmas – he’ll be getting a 3 year ban for flying his sleigh under the affluence of inkahol.

    • peta ward

      Radio 4 Today programme reported this morning that the MOD were testing an unmanned stealth aircraft that night!

      I still think the turbine simply broke, but I thought I would pass that ‘info’ on.

    • James

      Peta- where?

      I still think it simply broke too

    • peta ward

      @ James…

      They said in the area, Today programme is available on listen again… don’t have the energy to go through three hours to find that one nugget!! Be assured they definately mentioned it.

    • Robert

      In further support of my solution to address whether or not the one blade broke off and collided with the other blade/blades can be seen in the photos. Notice the revolutions per minute of the turbines in the videos. You can calculate the rate of blade impact to a point of a blade separation and clearly there is no probable collision of impact by the separation blade. Furthermore the absence of the separated blade is also due to the disintegration of it by the extremely high heat produced by the “Ball Lightening” which would be able to affect the other blades. Notice the one blade that was severely damaged. If it was struck by another solid object (such as the missing blade) it would have sustained sharper angle bends or even severed, but instead it is more contorted on the leading edge which would be due to the high heat temperature plasma and because of the inertia in the blade it would bend in the direction shown in the photos. The attach point of the disintegrated blade will also show a clean cut. Still “Ball Lightening” or “Plasma Ball” should be the prevailing answer to this costly incident. Someone should pay me for this insight, I need a job.

    • Matt

      @ Peta & James

      The aircraft is called Taranis, its tested up and down the east coast specifically in the area of our unfortunate turbine. Try this webstite for info if you’re interested:

    • Matt

      @ Robert

      Sorry to rain on your parade but the absence of the separted blade is due to it being on the back of a lorry bound for Germany to be repaired…

    • Bob

      Are these blades high-impact composition made in two halves epoxied together, hollow inside ?
      What would it take to separate the seam if so?

    • Robert

      @ Matt

      Really now…was the missing blade shipped or the mangled blade the one shipped? Which one or was it both? If both then how much of the severed blade was left of the 65 foot long blade to be shipped? The initial story that I read stated there was no trace of the missing blade. Touché!

    • Mark

      Yes, Matt, I too look forward to hearing the answer to Robert’s last question. According the articles that I read, one blade was seemingly alright, one still attached but severely mangled, and another completely fallen away and missing?

    • peta ward

      @ Robert

      You must have been reading the ‘Wishful Thinking News’. It is pretty clear that the ‘missing blade’ is the one that you can’t see attached to the tower, as it was on the ground. It is not hard to workout from Matt’s post, and all the other news feeds on the subject that the ‘missing blade’ has been sent for analyis and possibly repair. One would imagine that the other mangled blade is going to need fixing or replacing as well.

      I would not put it past the MOD to try sending their UAV stealth thingy to autonomously navigate through an operational wind farm… weighing in at 8 tonnes, and designed to withstand some battle damage, I doubt a fiberglass wind trubine blade would take it out of the sky, or even leave any traces, maybe a bit of ‘black’ paint… lol.

      That said, I still bet that the thing just failed… 1 in 5000 chnace of it happening, and normally happens near the beginning or the end of life of a wind turbine. This one was only a year old.

      PS. Fabulous quip on another board “Sun Readers want to know what Israel has against Paul Gascoigne”

    • peta ward

      @ Mark

      You must be reading the same nonsense as Robert LoL

    • Jeffrey Lam

      @ Robert and Mark
      the Sun says the missing blade is nowhere to be seen, but read the other articles (and Matt’s very first post at the top) and you will find that the “missing” blade was actually on the ground!

    • Chris

      Well, don’t they usually say ‘any publicity is good publicity’! 🙂

      Use it whilst you got it Dale!

    • Matt

      Plus after re-listening to Dale’s radio 4 interview he says it is lying on the ground…

    • seppo hanski

      Hah hah haa!

    • Matt

      In all serious though if a interstellar civilisation decided to trek all the way to Lincolnshire (why?!)avoiding asteroids, black holes, stars, cosmic rays, with the ability to create the unfathomable amount of energy required to travel the speed of light do people really think they’d have trouble with a 200ft turbine…

      That would be like Appa Sherpa upon returning from Everest dying by falling of a curb.

    • Eric

      The Republican Governor of Arizona, Fife Symington, gave an interview on C-N-N last November where he stated, and I quote, “some form of Alien spacecraft” flew over Phoenix in March 1997. Those are his words, not mine. The Governor of Arizona said this. People can joke about the topic all they want, but serious minds will demand further information on the events. Furthermore, the senior Senator from Arizona, and Symington’s friend, John McCain, should step forward and explain to the American people what he knows about this March, 1997 event. Witnesses describe the object as 3/4 of a mile wide, so obviously whatever flew over Phoenix was huge, and undoubtedly affected the National Security of the United States in some fashion. Was Sen. McCain briefed on this “Alien” flyover (according to Gov. Symington)? This is a serious question.

    • peta ward

      Yup! and the republican President of the United States of America said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and went on to kill 600,000 people, based on non-existant intelligence… I guess those confounded aliens hid those WMDs and took them to Arizona.

    • Synsei

      The Universe is a very big place, and as an intelligent race we’d be pretty conceited if we thought we were the only ones inhabiting it.

      However, I think it highly unlikely a wayward alien trade mission has crashed its company saucer into a wind turbine whilst seeking out Ecotricitys’ expertise in renewable energy systems. hehe

      Mind you, the story has kept the organisation in the limelight which makes for excellent publicity… 🙂

    • Robert

      @ nommo, jeffery lamb, peta ward, matt and other doubters

      To determine a cause or solution, one can determine that whatever is improbable can prove that which is probable (in other words, use the process of elimination and fact based determination to draw a conclusion). Bear in mind that not all of the facts are at my disposal and I only see very little of, and am at the mercy of the varying reports.
      As in my previous comments it is clear that a UFO would not be that clumsy. To have a blade just snap off to cause the type of damage to the bent blade is also debunk as is mentioned in my previous comments. As for the previously mentioned, a UAV or any other craft would have been wiped out upon contact with a blade as they are not very heavy. The chunk of ice thing not possible due to the fact that if it were large enough to cause damage to the turbine blade, the plane to which it would have been attached to would have reported serious problems of its’ own, i.e.… crash or failure. Furthermore, as for any of these except maybe the UFO, plasma balls with lightening tentacles would not be associated with them.
      The damaged blades on the turbine were ultimately due to some type of external and/or internal source of degradation such as in this case: temperature, moisture, blade design, corrosion etc. Eye witness accounts for the presence of ball lightening or plasma balls. Lightening is common in wind turbine fields, and when present can generate up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That alone is enough to damage a blade or even disintegrate it or a part of the blade. To compound the conditions, let’s consider the composition of the blades to include the problem of moisture or water intrusion. Combine that with the 50,000 degrees F and now steam will be generated causing expansion inside the blades. Notice the one blade that was split open and contorted. Not only is there obvious damage to the blades but I would suggest that further heat damage to the shaft, bearing, or the generator itself is worth investigation. I can go on all day, but ultimately if you consider the obvious then the details of the findings when compiled will only further support what I have been saying all along. Lightening is common to wind generator farms and so it is apparent to me that this one is just as vulnerable as well to “Ball Lightening or Plasma Balls”. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Let’s just wait and see what Paul says.

    • simon mallett

      Blade breaks off wind turbine, while being propelled away – centripetal force and all that – base of 1st blade hits next blade as it spins round and bends it. 1st blade lands on ground. Simple and neat explanation, but tabloid press pick up “Turbine Blades fly off”, “Are you going to be hit by a rogue blade”, “Blade Crime hits new heights”. All potentially anti turbine!

      But, put a bit of UFO spin on it, everybody (the tabloids in particular) focuses on the paranormal and misses the fact that a rather large unrestrained spinning object in some way broke off and caused significant damage to another spinning object!
      Am I going to walk under a spinning turbine ever again? NO!

      Whoever came up with the UFO story needs a bonus!

    • James

      Simon, finally a level head!
      Im sure it is only you and me that have this idea!

      I couldnt find a shoe this mroning….I think aiens have had it *Calls the Sun newspaper*

      (Can’t wiat for us to be proved wrong, eh simon? ;o) )

    • paul

      @Robert – just to clarify though – I am not the blogger – just the blog manager, I was stepping in to create a place for comments until Dale has time to finish his blog post 🙂

      @Simon – just to be absolutely clear on how this came about – the UFO story was not the work of Ecotricity’s ‘well oiled PR machine’ 😉

      We were all as surprised by the local’s reports appearing in the papers as everyone else! A generally bad news week meant that the papers lept on it as a light hearted ‘and finally…’ story – they not only ran with it, but practically fell over themselves in a mad dash to get the scoop!

      The Sun didn’t even phone us! First we knew of the front page thing was at 7.30am on the day of the print run when the Press Association phoned Maddy (said PR machine) and she nearly choked on her muesli.

    • James

      My Apologies for the terrible typing errors, i was looking out the window at the time hoping to see some sort of Alien life form….to my dissapointment.

      Back to reality, when is Dale going to release his say on this topic, Paul?

    • paul

      Not sure James – I only manage the blog not the blogger 😉

      I guess he is waiting to hear from the experts…

    • peta ward

      @ Robert… the UAVs they have been testing weigh in at 8 tons, given your skills in these matters may be you can work out how much tonnage that would be when flying at speed. They are jets designed for intercontinental autonimous battle, they are damn flying tanks, not recon. Check the link that was posted earlier ( … but as you say, highly unlikely, but not inpossible. Also not impossible for the MOD to nip up there and pick up any bits that got chipped off… that could explain the ‘lights’ it was the MOD clearing away the evedence… “ho ho, the local yokels will think it’s aliens (as usual), roflmao”.

      Dale in his Radio 4 interview said that the only thing that had been categoricaly ruled out was a lightening strike, none of the evedence of a lighting strike was there.. you know all those high temperatures. charred and melted stuff, lightening can and does melt concrete. That’s what Dale said, please correct me if I am wrong someone, maybe I was dreaming.

      For what it is worth the windfarm I see out of my window at the top of a mountain has been convered in snow for the last weeks, and it has been perishing cold… still standing and working =8~) We have regular electrical storms, sometimes they go on for 10 hours, none has been hit as yet.

      Must have been a flying saucer… great inadvertent publicity, if I were in the UK I’d switch to ecotricity with out hesitation. In the interests of green energy, UFO gets my vote.

    • Matt

      To be fair it could be a great marketing tool “little green men” and all that…

    • Mark

      Thanks for pointing out that the blade was, in fact, recovered.

    • Robert

      @ peta ward

      In reference to the UAV the rate of velocity and weight are important factors, however without divulging any particulars, the UAV has a large fuselage to wing ratio, meaning that any impact would have meant a crash.
      In reference to high heat lightening leaving tell tale signs of melting and charring you would be most likely correct, however plasma lightening is a different phenomena and would leave little to no trace.

      @simmon mallett

      I already explained the improbability of blade on blade collision being due to, blade rotation direction is wrong to support that theory.

      Like I said before, stick with me the “Ball lightening/Plasma Ball solution, it’s most probable.

    • Andy

      I have taken an interest into this story and
      I am very open minded to all the ideas about what has caused the damage.
      I have enthusiasm for UFO’s but for some reason i do not get the feeling that the damage was caused by a UFO.

      I am sure that an object of great size traveling at a fair speed colliding into the turbine would have caused the turbine to slant slightly as these turbine shafts are made of hollow steel.

      Here is what i think happened the turbine blade has came loose and dropped off colliding with the crumpled blade.
      I think these blades are made of either fibre glass or aluminum so the can be badly damaged with any large objects.

    • EverythingsGoneGreen

      Any idea what these aliens were doing near the turbine… getting a jump start for their flying saucer maybe?

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      I wanna see those jump leads… 3 phase 12kV?



    • peta ward

      if you can’t dazzle them with science… baffle them with…

      @ robert
      Sorry mate, I simply don’t buy it… the lights were the MOD clearing up the mess, still fits your counter argument to the “UAV may have hit the turbine” theory. Don’t suggest having inside information (“without divulging anything” as you said), because if you do have the required inside information, then your ball lightening theory is part of the cover up. (Last time I got involved in an incident with the MOD in Lincolnshire concerning an “Unidentified Flying Vulcan Bomber”, I had the MOD “men in black” on the doorstep of my house in London in the late evening, and I let them in. An eye opening interview was conducted, followed by their complete disappearance and denial that they had ever been to visit.)

      If ball lightening does not cause the damage that normal lightening does, nor leave any traces umm… how does that fit with your lengthy discussion about high temperatures, lightening and ball lightening and of course the actual damage done to the turbine.

      It seems to me that the old ball lightening theory is the one most often trotted out in these circumstances, that or marsh gas, or of course the local military. Given all the hallmarks, it must have been a UFO. Well I am not a witness, so I guess a trip to Spain is off the cards for the MIBs.


    • Jeffrey Lam

      @ Robert

      no need to call me a doubter! All I’ve said so far (apart from comments made in jest about flying octupii) is that the missing blade was on the ground (you said you would take correction open-mindedly) and speculated that maybe one blade was hit by another. I’ll believe whatever the forensic evidence implies, if it provides a clear explanation.

      Secondly, I think you’ve corrupted the process of elimination: you eliminate scenarios that are impossible (not improbable) leaving only the possible scenarios. If there is only one possible scenario left, then however improbable it is, it’s true.

    • Matt

      The blade dropping off and pranging the other sounds the best to me. The blade rotation issue is a good point but it may be reasonable to assume it wasn’t a windy night and perhaps the blades were not turning? (im just speculating).

      I doubt the UAV scenario because as Robert said it would likely result in a crash. While it would have been covered up by the MoD i think there would be evidence, specifically on the groud of where the aircraft was downed that would be difficult to cover up (ie damage to the ground etc).

    • peta ward

      Tongue in cheek:

      That’s if the UAV crashed… an 8 ton armor plated, Kevlar coated, intercontinental, autonomous warfare, killing machine, sent on low level flight, to negotiate a random obstacle course of moving fibre-glass windmill blades… sounds like a jolly good test of the technology… who says they had to collect the whole machine, maybe just a small piece, hence the unexplained lights and no crater =8~) Also, how disappointing that their test failed (well it hit something), but it still got home. These stealth planes can maneuver in an incredible fashion, due to their irregular shape, computer controlled surface deformation. With out a pilot to worry about G-forces, the mind boggles at how it could nip through any obstacle course.

      okay, okay… it was a flying saucer… no no, it was an ice build up in the layers of fibre glass, and the thing just popped… ah damn it, how about ball lightening.

      It broke… but what about the strange lights, if it were not ball lightening (and maybe it was, but just not the cause of the damage, a co-incidence perhaps… there is no doubt that ball lightening exists – I might add that I am looking at a full sized wind farm out my window right this moment, I have never seen any strange lights ever… only the blinking to warn aircraft)… if it wasn’t extraterrestrials, then it had to be people.

      What were they doing there, sabotage maybe, the Countryside Unclutterd Now Tendancy?

      PS. It broke, just like they do sometimes… but the lights man, what about the lights?

    • nommo

      Hehe – yes… or perhaps they were objecting because their stealth craft might accidentally bump into one if they ‘lost track’ of its position? 😉

      I have wondered about the bat thing – (not in this context though) – it shouldn’t be too difficult to repel them with bat-repellent (like shark repellent but mounted on turbines rather than on the utility-belt)


      I like bats… and wind turbines… & I hope, in all seriousness, that a solution is found for them to co-exist. Do you think they would learn to avoid them in time?

    • Bob

      The nearby cluster fireworks, the huge spinning blades, newcomer sees it as a hostile display and gets trigger-happy. Discuss

    • Eric

      If human beings can send their unmanned surveillance UAVs throughout the solar system (ever hear of Viking?), then aliens can certainly send their unmanned UAVs throughout the galaxy. These alien ‘ufo’s don’t need to be manned by little green men. It is more likely aliens are sending out unmanned craft to explore the universe.

      Furthermore, one explanation for the ‘tentacles of light’ coming off the ‘huge’ UFO (according to witnesses) may be a plasma field introduced by the craft’s propulsion mechanism.

    • Eric

      Regarding the MoD’s resistance to wind farms because they block radar, if the MoD know that unmanned alien craft are sitting dormant in the oceans, and they rise up when they are programmed to explore something, then the MoD would certainly object to any situation where their radars were being blocked from what is coming out of the ocean.

    • Seb

      I think it’s obvious what’s happened here.

      Dale’s gone out in the middle of the night and beaten up one of his turbines, then climbed a few trees nearby with a torch tied to a fishing pole to freak out the locals with “lights in the sky”.

      Instant free publicity for Ecotricity.

      You’re a sly dog, Dale, but I see through your ruse. 🙂

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Seb might be right: you can’t buy that sort of coverage! B^>

      Paul, just ask Dale and check that he looks you in the eye when you ask about the torch. B^>