Last Sunday, the owner of a Loch Ness tour company stepped outside to snap some photos of the “beautiful sky.” John Alasdair MacDonald (could there be a more Scottish name?) then captured a once-in-a-lifetime shot when a brilliant meteor flashed across the sky at the moment he pressed his shutter.
He posted it to his company’s Facebook page, and it has since gone viral. In an interview with The Independent, he said, “It was a complete fluke. An absolute fluke.”
Asked whether the experience had inspired him to pursue his photography skills on a more professional level, Mr Macdonald said: “I think that’s as good as I’m going to get!”
Trust a Scot to be so self-effacing. An American would have said something like, “Well, it was a happy accident, but I wouldn’t have gotten the shot if I hadn’t put myself in the right place for it. Luck is 90% preparation, after all.”
But that isn’t the best part. This meteor was part of a shower that fell over northwest Scotland that night, and the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency fielded six calls within a 20-minute period, all from concerned citizens reporting sightings of emergency flares.
In the US, meteor showers with brilliant streaks like this one mean the local emergency services get calls about UFOs, or attacking fighter planes, or some other nefarious cause. In Scotland, they worry that some poor soul is in trouble and fired off a flare to call for help.
They really are a different sort.
(Hat tip to McKenna.)