Iran builds flying saucer -

Iran says that it has boldly gone where no Western power has gone before and built a flying saucer.

We investigated previous claims by Iran to build a flying saucer and it turned out that it had actually built an Open Saucer which was something a bit different.

In this case Iran has claimed to have built the Zohal, which means Saturn. Iran claims its flying saucer is an unmanned "spaceship"  and designed for 'aerial imaging'.

According to the Daily Mail, Iran is not saying how far or how high it can fly, how big it is and what makes it take off. In fact it is fairly typical of a flying saucer yarn in that there is a lot of unsubstantiated stuff spouted by totally incredible people who no one ever believes.

In this case it is the Iranian hardline Fars news agency which reported the yarn with a snap of a flying saucer which looked like one of those poorly faked shots that turn out to be pizza plates.

However, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is using his flying saucer to show his country's ability to push on with its science programme despite international sanctions.

The flying saucer might be a bit small. There is a claim in the article that it can fly indoors. So we are looking at a remote control toy, either that or Iranian pilots are very small. 

'Easy transportation and launch and flying, making less noise, are some of the advantages of the device,' enthuses ISNA, Iran's students' news agency.

'It is equipped with autopilot, image stabiliser and GPS and has a separate system for aerial recording with full HD quality!"

The fact that it is equipped with GPS probably means that it is not designed to go off planet. It would be a little embarrassing if your fleet of flying saucers could not find out where they are because the GPS satellites were below you.

We would have thought that it would know that. Last year it announced it had successfully fired a rocket that carried a mouse, a turtle and worms into space. We would have thought the worms would have warned them about the GPS problem.

The flying saucer was said to have been unveiled at an exhibition of 'strategic technologies' attended by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran loves to bang on about its 2,500 year civilisation and boast of its scientific prowess.  Although most of its history as a world power, and scientific advances, were made when it was religiously tolerant.

This is the second time that Iran has made a strange scientific claim. Four years ago Iran claimed to have invented a 'super-modern' radar-evading flying boat.

The Americans said that they have not seen it, but then the Iranians would say that was the whole point of the thing,