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Last Updated: Friday January 09 2009 13:56 GMT

UFO mystery of damaged turbine

A damaged wind turbine in Lincolnshire

Experts are trying to get to the bottom of a mystery after claims that a wind turbine was damaged by aliens.

One blade was knocked off the turbine and another was left bent out of shape on Sunday.

At around the same time worried residents were calling UFO fans about bright lights in the sky nearby.

A spokesperson for the turbine's owners said the blades are hard to break and a smash with UFOs - unidentified flying objects - hadn't been ruled out.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: "We don't have an explanation at the moment as to what the cause was.

The broken turbine
"We have been crawling all over it and have sent bits off for analysis to see if we can work out what caused it."

But there may be a more down-to-earth solution for the broken blades of the turbine in Lincolnshire in the east Midlands of England.

Icy answer

A scientist says rainwater could have got into cracks in the blades, and then with all the cold weather around recently, may have turned to ice.

When water freezes into ice it expands, which could have made the cracks bigger. That may have led to the blades snapping and falling off.

And experts at the Ministry of Defence, which investigates weird sightings in the sky, aren't convinced little green men are behind the smashed turbine.