Dougie Lockhart's article (TAC57, p2) reminded me of my experience in the Cairngorms on 20 October 1978. I was leading a group of eight youths from the Drumchapel youth centre on a very windy, sleety day. We had been to the top of Ben Macdui, and heading back towards Fiacaill a'Choire Chais we were skirting the rim of Coire an t-Sneachda. Our attention was suddenly drawn (despite the noise of the wind) by a loud whooshing noise ahead and to our left, and we saw a cylindrical projectile about the size and shape of a large tin of beans hurtling at high speed vertically upwards out of the mist about 30ft away and vanishing into the mist above.
I assumed it was some kind of distress signal, and when we got to the point near where we had seen it emerge we tried shouting for quite some time, but with no response. We descended to the car park and I phoned the details to Glenmore Lodge. I later gave a statement to the police.
The next day I phoned the lodge and was told they had sent someone to do a quick search of the area, with no success. There were no overdue parties, hence no need for them to take further action.
Everyone in my group saw and heard the "thing"; nevertheless, I have always felt slightly embarrassed about causing a needless callout. Dougie's article makes me wonder however if there is something "out there" still to be explained...
Ian Smith, Lochgair