Michael Theodoulou – Daily Mail March 18, 2011
But an aircraft created by scientists in Iran is, they claim, the world’s first flying saucer.
Called the Zohal – or Saturn in English – it said the unmanned spaceship is designed for ‘aerial imaging’ but added it can be used for ‘various missions
The hardline Fars news agency illustrated its story with a photo of a flying saucer, akin to one appearing in a 1950s Hollywood B-movie, hovering over an unidentified wooded landscape.
The reports gave no indication of the spaceship’s size. But they indicated it was small by claiming, somewhat bizarrely, that it can also fly indoors.
‘Easy transportation and launch and flying, making less noise, are some of the advantages of the device,’ said ISNA, Iran’s students’ news agency.
‘The device belonging to the new generation of vertical flyers is designed for aerial photography.
‘It is equipped with autopilot, image stabiliser and GPS and has a separate system for aerial recording with full HD quality!’
Iran, which prides itself on its 2,500 year-old civilisation, is also keen to show that it is at the cutting edge of modern science.
Tehran’s ambitious space programme alarms the West because the same technology used to send missiles into space can be used to build intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Last year the country announced it had successfully fired a rocket that carried a mouse, a turtle and worms into space.
Tehran insists it will be able to send a man into space in nine years’ time.
For president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the advances demonstrate the country’s ability to push on with its science programme despite international sanctions over its nuclear programme.
The flying saucer was said to have been unveiled at an exhibition of ‘strategic technologies’ attended by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
At the same time Iran’s Space Agency launched a test spacecraft designed to sustain life in orbit.
The state IRNA news agency said the capsule was carried by a rocket called the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) 75 miles into orbit before returning to earth.
Iran’s often outlandish scientific claims usually prove difficult to confirm.
American naval forces in the Persian Gulf have yet to come across a ‘super-modern’ radar-evading flying boat Iran claimed to have tested four years ago.
Comment – March 21, 2011
There’s an interesting contrast in coverage here. Whereas claims of technical and scientific breakthroughs from Saddam’s Iraq were given widespread coverage with few if any questions about their authenticity, similar Iranian claims are reported with a hint derisory sarcasm.
So why are “Iran’s often outlandish scientific” claims being treated as something of a joke? When similar claims about Iraq – such as the claimed “Super Gun” or that it could deploy Weapons of Mass Destruction in 45 minutes – were given such widespread and credible coverage.
The fact that most of those reports proved totally unfounded is incidental. As intended they paved the way for the invasion of Iraq by presenting Saddam and his mythical arsenal as a threat to us all.
So why is the account from the “hardline Fars news agency” reported with vague derision? Could it be that the press has learned its lesson here?
We think not. The corporate media is simply taking another but equally disingenuous approach.
While Iran may not be at the cutting edge of weapons development it is nonetheless developing a credible military capability; certainly more than Iraq ever possessed.
Iran now designs and builds its own warships, jet fighters, short and medium range missiles, combat drones and long-range radar systems, plus its own tanks and armoured vehicles.
So Iran could indeed prove a formidable opponent and the powers that be know this, which is why the corporate media is now treating Iran’s claimed advances in science and military technology as something of a joke.
After all if you find something funny you are less likely to be intimidated by it. Hence the tones of mocking irony in the above report. Making it not so much a piece of objective journalism, more an example of subtle, very subtle, disinformation.