The audio: Our place in the cosmos can be a bit disorienting, which might partially explain why a British man recently dialed his country's version of 911 to report an unidentified flying object above his house. Confused and nervous, he told the rather steely operator peppering him with questions that there was an "enormous light blazing" in the sky. "I don't know what the hell it is," the man says. "It's not an airplane, but it's hovering." Two minutes after he hung up, the man called back. "I made a mistake," he said. "You won't believe this… It's the moon." (Listen to the audio below.) The police released the tape to the public this week to serve as a reminder not to clog up emergency phone lines.
The reaction: What's especially striking is "the genuine panic from the man," says Aaron-Spencer Charles at Britain's Metro. It's clear why the operator initially treated this as "a serious matter." Well, what's not to take seriously about reporting "a Death Star hovering over" your house? says The Daily What. In any case, "I feel very sorry for the people who have to deal with these phone calls," says Casey Chan at Gizmodo, "but very happy" that amusing callers like this exist. Check out the audio:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Pope Francis' American problem
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- This week I learned your coin toss odds are better than you think, and more
- 10 things you need to know today: December 19, 2014
Subscribe to the Week