Preston camera mystery solved by North Stonington man

Darren Wood of North Stonington says this is him standing by a pool in one of the photos from a camera found Wednesday in Preston. The camera, which had been attached to a kite, may have fallen from a branch in one of the trees being trimmed in the yard of a Quinebaug Drive home.
Darren Wood of North Stonington says this is him standing by a pool in one of the photos from a camera found Wednesday in Preston. The camera, which had been attached to a kite, may have fallen from a branch in one of the trees being trimmed in the yard of a Quinebaug Drive home. Courtesy Gale Ennis

It took less than 24 hours to solve the mystery of the camera that fell from the sky.

On Wednesday, the Ennis family of Preston discovered a camera in their yard attached to a homemade device they suspect fell from a tree in their yard on Quinebaug Drive.

The camera contained mostly aerial shots taken in January 2012, giving rise to speculation about how they were taken and where they were from.

Enter Darren Wood, a 43-year-old North Stonington resident who for the past five years has been honing his kite aerial photography, or KAP, skills.

He saw the article in The Day on Thursday and immediately knew those were his photos.

In January 2012, he was visiting his uncle on Bundy Hill Road in Lisbon, flying a 7-foot Delta kite with the camera in question attached.

"I sent a kite up with a camera and it was very windy that day," Wood said. "The line broke and attached to a 100-foot tree … with the kite still flying. I knew it wasn't coming out."

Wood said he left the kite where it was and went inside, only to come out a half hour later to discover the kite was gone. He's chalked it up as a loss until he saw the article about the curious Preston family trying to find the owner of the camera.

Wood called Chelsea Ennis on Thursday to let her know it was his camera.

"I said, this is going to sound kind of strange but I think the mystery has been solved," Wood said.

Wood said he takes aerial photos as a hobby and has gotten much better at rigging the camera and configuring the camera to take photos at certain intervals and at certain angles.

He has posted some of those photos online, including several slide shows on You Tube with shots of the Mystic shoreline and Misquamicut in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

"Most are not great but there are a few spectacular shots … something you can't do from a plane," he said.

g.smith@theday.com

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