Wednesday, 23 February 2011
UFOs have landed!
(A platform with solar panels close to Skalochori)
While the old Greece still wrestles with its great crisis, investors are busy making the country ready for the future. Slim windmills are invading the landscape as more and more licenses are given for big green energy projects.
For example, one group wants to build the biggest solar park in the Balkans, just outside of the city of Kozani, in northern Greece. It will cost hundreds of millions of euro but will create lots of green energy and jobs.
However, I am glad they did not choose Lesvos for it because that many solar panels would definitively mark our landscape. However, Lesvos too is building its future. I had not been to the west of the island for months, but a few days ago I got a big surprise when it seemed I had arrived in the middle of a UFO-park. On both sides of the road from Skoutaros to Skalochori huge solar platforms which look as if they are based on the design for a UFO have been installed. Take a look at the one filmed near Eresos (on YouTube). Does it not look like flying sun panels?
Lesviots are not completely unfamiliar with UFOs. Last summer I spoke to a couple of Greeks who told me that their son was sure he was followed by one on his way to Eresos. But the really big UFO-year here was 1954, when in autumn hundreds of people saw them. The sightings were reported in newspaper stories at the time:
October 6. A telegram from a local police station on Lesvos island (Aegean sea), reports that at 3:15 pm, the mayor and residents of Vryssos community, saw a small star-like object which manoeuvered over the village for a quarter of an hour. Eventually, at 3:30 pm, it moved to the NW, then North and finally disappeared westwards. (Acropolis, October 7.)
October 8. Another telegram from the same source reports that at 6:00 pm a luminous object with a ‘tail’ was seen hovering over Anemotia village. The UFO was as big as the full moon and emitted beams of gold-white light. After three minutes it moved NE and disappeared. (Macedonia, October 9.)
October 9. Again at Lesvos island, Mr S. Horiatellis and his 12 year-old son were hunting near the village of Stymmi, when they witnessed a luminous cigar-shaped body, moving horizontally. The object then moved vertically and simultaneously parted in two. Both parts were also cigar-shaped and continued to moving with a constant distance between them. The newspaper reports that these two UFOs were also sighted by scientists in nearby Turkey. (Hellenicos Vorras - Hellenic North - October 10.)
October 15. Another telegram from the local police station of Ayassos, Lesvos, reports a ‘luminous phenomenon’, witnessed by hundreds of people. The UFO was round and hovered at 2-3,000 m (6-9,000 ft) for about half and hour. It disappeared, then reappear after ten minutes, divided into two separate objects that departed and vanished, moving into two different directions. (Acropolis, October 16, Macedonia, October 19.)
At that same time strange flying objects were seen in other parts of Greece, also in France and in South America. Nowadays you might still sometimes see unidentified objects in the sky, but most people no longer believe they are ‘UFOs’. So when traveling through the west part of Lesbvos, and you suddenly think you arrived at an UFO-airport, don’t panic. What you see there is the landscape of the future, needed for green energy. Maybe the whole of West Lesvos is going to be conquered by these UFO-looking solar panels and Don Quixote-style windmills: a modern energy park that will be a great contrast to the national park with its forest of ancient petrified trees.
With this much green energy you might think that the electric car will be introduced pretty soon. But for that to happen lots of our moonlike roads full of pot-holes and craters will have to be remade - especially at Eftalou and Petra - where, as long as the economic crisis lasts, they will no doubt remain a fairground attraction for car drivers!
(With thanks to Tony Barrell)
@ Smitaki 2011