Update on the Canadian Forces’ Activities in Niagara

The mystery plane with markings suggesting it's Canadian military.

Two posts ago, in Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall, I showed you some pictures of what I believe to be a Canadian Forces aircraft expelling two parachutists. These photos were taken in April of 2009 and haven’t seen anything that I though was a military aircraft since… until this week.

Two days ago, or four days after posting the parachute pictures, another aircraft large enough to pry me out of the house to take a look buzzed my neighbourhood. Again, it’s an hour’s drive to the nearest international airport and the regional airport is too small to accommodate anything that John Travolta owns and flies so the sound of anything big or fast flying around brings out the vertical rubbernecker in me.

During the first pass that got me out the front door and into my front yard (the same place from which I took the parachuting pictures) the plane went right over HoaiPhai Manor, the stately digs of this blogging raccoon. By the time I entered the house, fitted my camera with Hubble Jr. (a Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8), and got back outside, the silver bird was gone. Usually anything flying around that is not single-engined or an airliner flying at 40,000 feet swoops around and makes a couple of passes, so I decided to hang around for a while.

The evil neighbours whose lawnmowers' drone drowned out any clues as to the mystery plane's location.

It’s a fairly quiet neighbourhood so you can usually hear aircraft a long way off. However, two of my neighbours had chosen this particular time to mow their lawns so I had to stand there on my driveway with a camera equipped with a large lens around my neck for around half an hour. During this time one of the female college students that rent the house next door to mine left the house and headed toward the bus stop. I was, naturally, scanning the sky over her roof with my camera when she left. I must have looked like a voyeur who was trying to get a couple of shots of her or her roommates through their window because she gave me the kind of sideways glance women give men they don’t want looking at them. After decades of receiving this look, I have earned the equivalent of a Black Belt in recognizing this expression of feminine disdain.

The markings say CF-LND, suggesting it belongs to Canadian Forces, but I could not make out a roundel. Isn't this the same plane that Humphrey Bogart put Ingrid Bergman on in the film "Casablanca"?

My patience and lack of desire to get roped into being assigned housework duties indoors paid off — the plane returned. This time it was really far away, much farther than the parachutists’ plane was, but I managed to snap off a couple of pix.

For you shutter geeks out there, all photos on this page were taken handheld with a Nikon D300 with a Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8. The photos of the plane are cropped — they are a quarter of the original frame.

The End

About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

10 responses to “Update on the Canadian Forces’ Activities in Niagara

  • Stepping My Way to Bliss

    Definitely something sinister is afoot. I think your neighbors are “plants” to try to distract you from getting the “evidence” you need to prove….to prove….yourself right. “A Man With a Camera” would be proud of your instincts and persistence. Keep us posted. : )

    • HoaiPhai

      I didn’t want to implicate my “neighbours” (who I didn’t recognise and who managed not to reveal their faces throughout the entire incident) in what smelled like a very ripe conspiracy but seeing as you’ve broached the subject, my insticts told me that they must be “men in black” in covert street clothes to throw me off the scent.

      • Stepping My Way to Bliss

        Exactly! Now get back out there and keep that camera pointed to the sky–and away from the college girls’ windows (you had better be careful or you might be pulled off this assignment for “retraining”–I hear it isn’t pleasant and not where you want to land).

      • HoaiPhai

        I hear the canarian re-education camp is somewhere in Nunavut and there’s nothing to snap photos up there of, unless you like frozen gravel!

  • Mike Lilly

    I’m thinking the mowing neighbors are part of a larger Canadian infiltration plot. When’s the last time you checked the expiration dates on the canned goods in your war bunker?

    • HoaiPhai

      I’m sure of it! CSIS probably has a bunch of agents peppered around the area with apps on their Black-ops-berries signalling them to power up the mowers and blowers (leaf or snow, whatever’s appropriate) to cover the sound of a secret fly-by.

      Funny you should mention the expiration date on canned goods… just this morning my wife opened a can of Chef Boyardee that was three months past its date and ate it. Remember the good old days when you’d reach into the back of the pantry and find a can of corned beef with a picture of Howdy Doody, who ran away to Rio with Shari Lewis decades before and hasn’t been seen since, and you ate it and nothing happened? I remember buying a can of Korean War surplus canned water in the ’70s, and my little brother drank it and survived. Canned food used to be forever. Why aren’t we further ahead in the perpetual provisions sciences?

  • Mike Lilly

    That’s a great question! A yearly ritual in my home is to empty out the cabinets and throw away the expired cans that got pushed to the back. I always feel like it’s a bit wasteful, but the wife is convinced that expiration dates equate to “botulism genesis” dates.

    • HoaiPhai

      I personally feel that expiration dates are litigation safety nets. Let’s say your tummy hurts and you haul Dinty Moore to court with The Green Giant as co-defendant (I’d love to see that one on Judge Judy!)…. The first things their lawyers are going to say are 1). “Where’s the can with an expiration date not yet expired?”, and 2). “Did you have that specific can tested for the bacterium in question?”, and 3). “Can you prove that you followed cooking directions to ‘Make sure the internal temperature of each chunk of meat in your Irish stew exceeds 163°F?’ “.

      My wife is Korean and their national dish is kim chee, which is spiced-up cabbage that was traditionally buried in the back yard in clay pots in the autumn so that the kim chee would “ferment” over time (fresh kim chee is not worth eating…raw cabbage!). As you use it up over the course of the winter, you go out to the yard and dig up another pot. She pays as much attention to expiration dates as I pay to speed limits. For years I thought the signs on the highway with “Maximum 80 KMH” were ads for an American heavy metal radio station!

  • The Hook

    Keep watching the skies!

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