Anecdotal stories

Forums General Discussion Emergency landing at sea Anecdotal stories

Dominic Ford

It’s noticeable how little ever seems to have been said about the incident, so everything is “anecdotal”.

The navy seems to have been understandably embarrassed by the incident — fighter jets aren’t supposed to get lost at sea.

The Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope was part of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, which was (until 1998) owned by the Royal Greenwich Observatory. For a long time, the Royal Greenwich Observatory was run by the Admiralty. I’m not sure whether that was still true in the 1980s — I think not — but the two organisations still had close ties.

So, the telescope may have effectively been navy property and I suspect the astronomers would have been disinclined to publicise their patron’s embarrassment.

A Telegraph article from 2007 (when the MoD archives were released) says the ship’s owners did indeed receive a £570k salvage payment from the Navy, which I’m guessing would have also included a confidentiality clause.