BL Lac objects are an enigmatic class of active galactic nuclei. They are characterized by high luminosity, a flat radio spectrum that steepens at higher energies, relatively high optical and radio polarization, rapid variability and an optical continuum with weak or absent emission lines (see Urry and Padovani, 1995 for a recent review).
These properties have been interpreted in terms of a relativistic jet closely aligned to the line of sight (Blandford and Rees, 1978, Ghisellini et al., 1993). This model, known as the beaming model, implies that there must be a so called “parent population” of radio sources intrinsically identical to BL Lac objects, but with the jets oriented at large angles to the line of sight. Browne (1983) was the first to propose the low luminosity FR I radio galaxies as the most likely candidates for the “parent population” of the core dominated BL Lac objects. An outcome of the beaming model is that all the properties not depending on orientation should be shared by the BL Lac objects and the FR I radio galaxies.