A UFO sighting disrupted flight schedule at India’s Imphal Airport. Pic credit: via WION/YouTube
The Indian military scrambled fighter jets to intercept a UFO sighted over the Imphal Airport (Bir Tikendrajit International Airport) on Sunday afternoon.
According to the NDTV, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said security officials called the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at about 2:30 p.m. to report a UFO over the ATC tower.
The latest sighting at an airport comes after Paranormal Papers reported that an alleged shiny metallic orb over Florida’s Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) sparked an online debate.
IOF Rafale jets investigated
Two Rafale Indian Air Force (IOF) jets fitted with sensitive sensors reportedly took off from a base to investigate the UFO sighting around 2:30 p.m.
The first jet took off immediately after the report came in. It searched the air space around the airport but returned to base after finding nothing.
Soon after, a second jet took off but also returned without any evidence of a UFO in the area, NDTV reported.
The sighting disrupted flight schedules at the airport.
Airline pilot reported sighting the UFO
Multiple witnesses, including ATC, airline, and security workers, sighted the alleged UFO from the ATC tower and the ground.
The Indian Express reported that an airline pilot about to take off around 2:20 p.m. alerted the airport authorities.
“I had no idea what was going on. I was informed that the flight could not take off because there was some kind of object hovering in the sky, an unmanned aerial vehicle of some sort,” a flight passenger said, according to the Indian Express.
White UFO over Imphal Airport
Witnesses described the UFO as a white-colored object.
It flew over the terminal building and stopped to hover over the ATC tower. It remained stationary over the airport terminal for some minutes before flying southwest of the airport runway.
The UFO hovered within sight of the runway for a considerable time before vanishing around 4:05 p.m.
However, IOF jets, which took off from the Hashimara air base in West Bengal, did not detect any unusual activity over the airport. But videos that emerged on social media supported witness reports that a UFO flew over the airport.
The airport and military authorities later said they were investigating. However, the identity of the object remains a mystery.
Flights resumed soon after
The airport authorities closed the controlled airspace for commercial fights for about three hours. Flights resumed just before 6 p.m. after the Eastern Command of the IOF announced they found no threats in the area.
But the military added that they had activated air defense assets in response to the reports.
The location of Imphal in eastern India near the borders with China and Burma led to speculation that the UFO may have been an adversarial craft.