Edinburgh’s famous military Tattoo is often billed as out of this world - but a mysterious sighting has given that phrase a whole new meaning.
Tourists queuing for the spectacle spotted an unusual sight in the skies above the Castle – and it wasn’t a jet flypast or an exotic bird.
The oddly-shaped light in the sky was captured by Catherine Stuart and her mother Susan, who were in the queue for Saturday’s late-night Tattoo, just before 10.30pm.
Ms Stuart, who lives in London but is originally from South Africa, said she had no explanation for the strange apparition, which disappeared soon after they photographed it.
The 31-year-old said she thought the “weird” object was a bird at first.
She added: “It was very strange to see because when we looked at it again it didn’t look like a bird.
“It was hovering around and then it disappeared. It was a weird shape, like a square light. I have no idea what it was.”
But rather than off-the-wall theories about alien activity, there may be a perfectly logical explanation – which still involves space. It is likely that the sighting could actually be the International Space Station, which has been spotted by several people in the city over recent days.
There have also been reported sightings of the ATV-5 cargo space ship.
Nasa’s “spot the station” website, which gives detailed information about the optimum times to spot the ISS over the Capital’s skies, said that residents have a chance of getting a glimpse for up to five minutes at a time, until
It has been visible from particular co-ordinates in the city since Wednesday.
Meanwhile, taster sessions of the Tattoo are being run in Stirling today as part of a scheme to bring a taste of Edinburgh’s world-famous show to other Scottish cities.
There will be a short parade from Stirling’s Albert Halls, before 600 performers from this month’s sold-out spectacle assemble in Port Street.
The hour-long tasters of the 2014 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – featuring the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Orchestra, South Africa’s iNgobamakhosi Zulu Dancers and the Massed Pipes and Drums – were held in Glasgow last week, and will arrive in Dundee next week.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “A taste of the Tattoo with the stunning backdrop of historic Stirling will be a spectacular sight to behold and as a local, I very much look forward to experiencing the amazing talent on show as they perform to what is always a very enthusiastic crowd.
This is a unique and wonderful celebration of Homecoming, and we hope visitors and residents alike enjoy a taste of one of the biggest events in Scotland’s year – the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.”