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Overblown drone: UK media mystified by Moscow protest UFO

Published time: December 13, 2011 12:12
Edited time: December 13, 2011 21:39

The Moscow 'UFO' - bottom left (photo from www.dailymail.co.uk), magnified - top right (RT photo / Vitaliy Matveev)

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A UFO spying on Muscovites protesting against parliamentary election fraud? Apparently so – at least that was the best explanation some British news outlets could give to the latest technical solutions in use among Russian bloggers.

­“An 'unidentified flying object'…spotted above Moscow during an anti-government protest.”

“Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters…witnessed the 'UFO' hover above them on Saturday.”

“Confused onlookers among the 25,000-strong crowd filmed the strange object on their phones.”

“Onlookers…climbed trees to grab a closer look at the mysterious craft.”

And so on, and so forth.

Well, being among those tens of thousands of “confused onlookers”, the only kind of debate I can recall in regards to the “object” was whether it was the police monitoring the security situation on the scene of mass protests through a drone camera or journalists taking aerial photos for their reports (or broadcasts).

Despite standing quite far from the place above which the drone was hovering, I could still clearly see what it was, and so could the others. Needless to say, nobody was really “distracted by the UFO,” as MailOnline assumes, provided more important distractions were unfolding on the ground, as well as in the air – with a much bigger “FO” in the form of a police helicopter hovering above Bolotnaya Square.

Ridus agency′s drone camera (photo from Ridus.ru – http://www.ridus.ru/news/14365/)
Ridus agency's drone camera (photo from Ridus.ru – http://www.ridus.ru/news/14365/)

As for the tree-climbers…well, trees are notoriously convenient for UFO-watching – they would bring you two to three meters closer to an object which is hundreds of meters above your head. And yet, something tells me they may well have been chosen by some to have a better look over the whole scene and avoid the cram amidst the other 40-70,000 people (25,000 according to official figures) who were more likely to be distracted by other mysteries, such as allegedly vanishing ballots and other magic associated with the latest parliamentary elections.

The drone camera, aka “the Moscow UFO”, was launched by the Ridus news agency – an independent community of “civilian journalists”, as they tend to call themselves, which is becoming increasingly popular among Russian bloggers, with anyone potentially being able to contribute to their news reports.

The aerial shots taken by the Ridus drone camera above Bolotnaya Square on December 10 instantly spread throughout the internet. Funnily enough, one of them was published by MailOnline in their UFO article with the following caption: “An aerial view of the rally in Bolotnaya Square during the protest in which the alleged UFO sighting was made.” The copyright mark on the photo cites Reuters.

I wonder how much aliens charge these days for the right to distribute their photos without a reference…

­Vitaliy Matveev, RT

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