By Kim Reader
Someone appears to have been watching over this dad as he snapped the moment a giant eye appeared to form in the clouds.
Dad-of-three Stephen Bennett said he will never forget the ‘magical’ moment he saw the eye form in the skies above him and feels it is proof there is someone – or something – always watching over us.
The 51-year-old astronomy enthusiast spotted the eye cloud looming in the skies over the Hill of Uisneach in Loughnavalley, Co Westmesth, Ireland, last Saturday.
The Hill of Uisneach – known for being the symbolic centre of Ireland – is an ancient druidic ceremonial site and plays host to the annual fire festival of Bealtaine.
Software engineer Stephen said: “Every evening I take the dog out for a walk and I stop to have a look at the sky and see if there’s anything interesting going on for me to photograph.
“That’s when I spotted this cloud formation over the eastern horizon – it definitely caught my eye.
“I have been into astronomy and cloud watching for about 35 years and I’ve captured some interesting structures but this was just ‘wow’. I was stunned.
“The eye is so clear and it was there for a while. The clouds were moving so slowly that it looked like it was stationary.
“I got my phone out and took a photo of it straight away. It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss and a moment I will never forget. Seeing something like that is just amazing.”
Stephen’s lifelong passion for astronomy first saw him start to explore astrophotography and spending many a night gazing up at starry skies.
But it was while setting up for a night under the stars – and looking out over the same horizon where he spotted the eye – that the dad realised there were exciting images to be captured during the day as well.
Despite being no stranger to taking eye-catching shots, Stephen said this sighting was particularly special – and has even caused some controversy on social media.
Stephen said: “The photo was taken near the Hill of Uisneach which was the home of the druids so some people believe that has something to do with a spiritual energy in the area.
“I posted the photo in a few UFO groups and they deleted it saying ‘that’s all spiritual stuff’ which I was a bit shocked at. You’d think they’d be more open-minded.
“Whether you’re religious or spiritual or believe it’s aliens communicating, I think it is proof of something – something that has always been there watching over us but now we’ve got the technology to capture it.
“I think classifying it as religious or spiritual is too simple, it’s more all-encompassing. And the better technology gets the deeper insight we get into what’s up above us.
“For me it’s religious, it’s spiritual, it’s a UFO, it’s magic. It’s something that has always been with us and that’s what makes it so exciting. But at the end of the day it is just water vapour.”