Crashing into yourself in the air?! November 14, 2013Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback
In the recent dropping things from WW1 planes Beach ran across this bizarre little story. It appeared in a letter to the father of a British flying Corps officer and was later published in a newspaper. What the hell happened here?
I had often wondered what it would be like to see a machine coming straight for me and to know that a collision was inevitable. I had the experience this afternoon only the collision did not take place. I was on patrol with five other machines over the line and had just gone into a cloud bank. Just before going in I saw the ’bus on my right turning to cross in front of me. All of a sudden I saw a machine just the same as my own appear out of the cloud about fifty feet away, making straight for me. Instinctively I jammed my nose hard down and went as near a nose dive as possible: the other ’bus did the same. I turned: the other turned into me. I was in a cold perspiration all over by this time. So I thought. ‘Here goes; if I am going to crash, it might as well be complete’, So straight for it I went. We got closer and closer and biff! my machine and its mirage in the clouds met. It seemed like a hideous nightmare, and I can still see that machine doing its best to crash into me. I think I can say I have lived the full horrors of a collision in the air without it actually taking place. I finally got out of the clouds, and had not the faintest idea where I was, but about 15 seconds after ‘Archie’ reminded me that I was a little too low over the lines. Having got that off my chest, I think I will go to bed.
At the risk of stating the obvious there is something suspiciously mirror-like about this experience. The pilot sees a plane ‘just the same as my own’ at an incredibly short 50 feet [is this a misreading for 500 feet?]. He dives and the other plane does the same thing. Is it somehow possible that the moisture in a cloud can produce a projection of a plane as an optical illusion? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com It seems rather unlikely. Alternatively, of course, we might just have a young man at the end of his tether. Note the understandably tense: ‘Having got that off my chest…’
23 Nov 2013: Borky on this phenomena: Beach I’m not so sure about the icy mirror thing though this’s one o’ me own readily-reached-for-explanations for Asian newspaper accounts o’ Garuda cities hov’ring in the sky. Nor does Chris’s Brocken shadow thingy seem t’fit. For one there’s all them whirrin’ propellors churnin’ up the air then there’s the fact he mentions ‘Archie’ or anti aircraft fire which surely’d be less than conducive to the sort of still cool air required for anything icily reflective to form. But we’re also talkin’ ’bout a huge HUGE reflective area sufficiently huge in fact to incorporate twin nose dives twin turns twin crashes not t’mention all them clouds driftin’ all over the place. Our hero was also aware of cold perspiration suggesting a moderate ambient temp’rature [though with weather systems like sea/lakes y’can o’ course have icy horizontal regions stacked on top o’ warm horizontal regions]. Then there’s the fact he deliberately decided t’allow himself t’crash into somethin’ which afterall appeared identical to ‘is own sides’ planes. It reminds me in many ways o’ three stories a mate me brother an’ the old ITV kids show Magpie once told me. This friend for some reason found herself drawn to the window an’ lookin’ down saw her bloke removin’ his golf clubs fom the boot o’ his mate’s car which was weird ’cause he was an hour early an’ it was the wrong person givin’ the lift. When he didn’t come up she called him an’ o’ course he was still playin’ golf but with the guy she’d seen from the window. The Magpie thing was durin’ this episode I remember vividly where Mick Robertson [I always loved ‘im ’cause he pissed Jenny an’ Tommy off sayin’ my fireworks paintin’ should o’ won the Bon Fire Night Art Competition!] introduced this one feature [again t’the others’ chagrin] ’bout a man who’d been drivin’ along when he got the shock of his life when saw ‘imself in an identical car driving towards him from the opposite direction. M’brother’s story happened when he was flyin’ back after Buddhisting in Ireland. The plane’d only just taken off when ‘im an this Buddhisty girl’d he’d been travellin’ with got the shock o’ their lives as the stewardess now told ev’ryone to buckle up as the plane began to go down. Without saying a word convinced they plane was about to crash in the Irish Sea they looked at each other with ashen faces then held damp trembling hands an’ waited for what they hoped’d be a quick relatively painless death. Instead the plane touched down. They’d only just taken off an’ the plane was touchin’ down? Obviously somethin’d forced the plane back to Eire but no they were back in Britain. Me brother said they both agreed they were left with the peculiar abiding sense in some way they actu’ly HAD died but somehow Somethin’d decided the Dharma/the Work needed their lives t’continue. I’d love t’know what subsequently befell the pilot in your story. Thanks Borky!