Abandonment

Last week when I drove up to North Yorkshire to stay at one of my favourite hotels for a few days, I zipped passed an abandoned fighter plane next to the A1 in Nottinghamshire. 

It was only a fleeting glimpse and I didn’t stop – but the image stuck with me, prodding my mind in numerous directions.

My first reaction was that the wreck poking its gaping maw over the edge of the barbed wire to overlook the motorway was an English Electric Lightning, just like the one that graces the cover of Sci-Fi Lullabies.  Yes, I may have spent a bit too much time in my youth making models and reading Air International or Janes

Second reaction was of course – why is it there?  There must be a fascinating story behind this graffiti covered old warhorse…

I then started to think about other sites that I have come across that discuss the topic of abandoned objects and also how interesting photographs of such things can be (hence a couple of my own photos as illustration; sadly neither as good as this one) and the sharp-eyed among you might have noticed that the last link in the previous post to Michigan Central Station was to a rather intriguing site called Artificial Owl.

A blog that posts articles on the many abandoned man-made structures and objects that literally litter the globe.  Much like The Ruins of Detroit, many of the stories associated with these objects serve as a reminder of the changing fortunes of the places and people who once thrived from their daily use.   Sadly many of these stories are also a reminder of how short-sighted and exploitative people can be while in search of fame or fortune. 

A harrowing example, and also one that in the starkest of ways shows the impact of man on the environment is the story of the ever decreasing Aral Sea.  Happily, according to at least one report, The North Aral sea is starting to recover.

It’s not just on earth where we are abandoning stuff – amazingly we are making just as much mess in space even before we’ve arrived there properly! 

Luckily for all you budding space tourists there is already a waste-management organisation setup to address “orbital debris issues”.

Maybe more of us should try and make our mark on the solar system without scarring it forever?

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