Wednesday, January 15, 2014

UFO Hunters Using Laser Pointers Could Face Jail Time

UFO hunters are using laser pointers - may be causing a safety hazard and could face severe consequences.

Acacia Hills ufologist Alan Ferguson wrote on his website that shining laser beams at spacecraft makes them "power up". "They often respond by powering up as they show us starseeds they are looking over us," he wrote.

Mr Ferguson wrote that he had observed this phenomenon one day last week at 5am. He said the space craft increased in size five times, then shrank to a little dot.

"It was such an uplifting event, I felt so good after it," he wrote.

But A380 pilot and former pilots' association president Barry Jackson was not impressed.

Captain Jackson said it was unlikely to be a problem when aircraft are at cruise altitude, as they are probably not being manually flown and the laser won't penetrate the cockpit, but it's extremely dangerous for aircraft flying low or coming into land.

"Most aircraft are landed manually," he said.

"The pilot is doing all the work and they need night vision."

If the laser penetrates the cockpit, it can blind them, he said.

"It could have a catastrophic effect ... an accident could occur."

The maximum penalty for those caught shining lasers at aircraft in the Territory is four years in prison.

Laser pointers were shone at aircraft landing in Darwin on Saturday night by persons unknown.

NT Police media spokeswoman Sarah Keane-Stack said nobody had yet been arrested or charged for that incident.

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