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Remember that ash cloud? It didn't exist, says new evidence

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Now, when all of this was going on I was a bit baffled.

ALL flights in the UK were canceled as well as disruptions everywhere else because planes could not fly through the volcanic ash as it could damage the engines.  

But here in the UK the sky was as blue as blue could be from what I could see.  In fact as we had no planes leaving Chemical trails all over the sky it was the clearest sky I've seen in years!

Am I just being too suspicious? Actually, that was my first thought, "ok Liam, sometimes things happen, its not all part of a conspiracy".  But I kept wondering how could the ash from volcano so far away take up so much airspace and yet still pose a problem?  And more to the point why couldn't we see it?  Instead of getting a misty cloudy sky full of ash, here in the UK we had a few days of brilliant sunshine and bright blue skies.  

It makes no sense!

But then I found this article today in the Daily Mail on-line.

Remember that ash cloud? It didn't exist, says new evidence

Britain's airspace was closed under false pretences, with satellite images revealing there was no doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the entire country.

Skies fell quiet for six days, leaving as many as 500,000 Britons stranded overseas and costing airlines hundreds of millions of pounds.

Estimates put the number of Britons still stuck abroad at 35,000.

However, new evidence shows there was no all-encompassing cloud and, where dust was present, it was often so thin that it posed no risk.

Volcanic Ash Cloud

The satellite images demonstrate that the skies were largely clear, which will not surprise the millions who enjoyed the fine, hot weather during the flight ban.

Jim McKenna, the Civil Aviation Authority's head of airworthiness, strategy and policy, admitted: 'It's obvious that at the start of this crisis there was a lack of definitive data.

'It's also true that for some of the time, the density of ash above the UK was close to undetectable.'

The satellite images will be used by airlines in their battle to win tens of millions of pounds in compensation from governments for their losses.

The National Air Traffic Control Service decision to ban flights was based on Met Office computer models which painted a picture of a cloud of ash being blown south from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

These models should have been tested by the Met Office's main research plane, a BAE 146 jet, but it was in a hangar to be repainted and could not be sent up until last Tuesday - the last day of the ban.

Evidence has emerged that the maximum density of the ash was only about one 20th of the limit that scientists, the Government, and aircraft and engine manufacturers have now decided is safe.

British Airways chief Willie Walsh always insisted the total shutdown went too far.

'My personal belief is that we could have safely continued operating for a period,' he said.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Britain's ABTA, which represents British travel agents and tour operators, said about 100,000 stranded British travellers should have been returned home by Monday morning.

About 35,000 more will remain marooned until Friday, the group said.

'While most flights are back to normal, and most stranded British passengers will be back by the end of this weekend, there is still quite a high level of disruption in some destinations.

'In some areas of the world, there is a significant lack of air capacity to enable British people to be returned quickly,' Tanzer said.

Many Icelandic airports are closed and though authorities say Eyjafjallajokull is now producing much less ash, they confirmed no signs of the eruption ending.

This article can be read here.

Well, was it just a mistake?  Someone being over cautious? Or is there more to it?  Personally, I think there's more to it, but thats only based on a feeling.  I've absolutely no evidence to back up that statement.  But if I come across any relevant information about it, you know where I'll put it!