Reap The Wild Wind / Strange Magic

1970s. Sekolah Pusat Jerteh, Besut, Terengganu.

I was in class at the primary school when my classmates and I heard a thunderous roar in the skies above our school.

Ignoring the teacher in front, we rushed out and gazed skywards. What we saw amazed us. A couple of black triangular things were flying above us, very fast and climbing into the sky. Some time later they came back. As if they knew we were admiring them.

Later we came to know that the things were fighter jets.

And much later I got information that the jets were Mirage III Royal Australian Air Force jets based in Butterworth, Penang.

I had been looking all over the internet for pictures that resemble the silhouette of the jets I saw during my childhood school days.

Only last week I found them, in an unlike place – in a video clip of one of my favorite songs Reap The Wild Wind by Ultravox, a 1980s new wave group from the UK.

I captured several frames from the video, which features a couple of Mirage 2000 jets, which was based on and looked very similar to the Mirage III of my childhood days.

While writing this blog entry, in the context of objects flying high, I remembered a lyric from another of my favorite songs, Strange Magic by Electric Light Orchestra, ELO.

“You’re, sailing softly through the sun
In a broken stone age dawn
You fly, so high

I get a, strange magic
Oh what a, strange magic
Oh it’s a, strange magic
Got a, strange magic
Got a, strange magic”

To me, ELO was singing about an object flying high in a stone age dawn, perhaps referring to speculations that at the dawn of the human age we were visited by extra-terrestrial advanced civilizations.

On a personal note, the magic of the high and fast flying Mirage jets inspired me to make becoming a pilot one of my early ambitions. But as can be seen now, that did not materialize. I am no pilot, haha.

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