Lantern makes a fly­ing visit

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

When lo­cal car en­thu­si­ast Jim Madg­wick went out­side on Sun­day morn­ing to check on his two clas­sic cars, he saw what he first thought was an empty rub­bish bag.

It turns out that the burnt re­mains of a fly­ing Chi­nese lantern had drifted down to land be­tween his 1971 Tri­umph GT6 and his 2004 Mini Cooper 5.

For­tu­nately the lantern, iden­ti­fied by deputy chief fire of­fi­cer Gary Olsen, caused no dam­age to the ve­hi­cles as the fire was most likely out when it landed.

A fly­ing lantern has a pa­per en­ve­lope with a small frame sus­pended un­der it that sup­ports a lighted can­dle.

This can­dle heats the air trapped in the en­ve­lope and makes the lantern rise.

Even­tu­ally the can­dle burns out and the lantern should float back to earth.

How­ever, oc­ca­sion­ally, as was the case on Sun­day, the en­ve­lope ig­nites and burns.

Clus­ters of th­ese lanterns have been seen and over the years have been mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as shoot­ing stars, air­crafts or even UFOs.

Burnt out: A fly­ing Chi­nese lantern came to land be­tween Jim Madg­wick’s two clas­sic cars.

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