As the world grapples with the recent revelations of a whistleblower alleging U.S. government secrecy on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), India has its own share of ‘alien’ object sightings that have sparked curiosity and debate.
The whistleblower’s evidence presented to Congress claims that the U.S. government is holding alien spacecraft, a revelation that has sent shockwaves across the globe. Meanwhile, in various parts of India, locals and scientists alike have reported sightings of unidentified objects in the sky over the years, with some incidents causing quite a stir.
From the cigar-shaped object spotted in New Delhi in 1951 to the more recent sightings in Ludhiana, Punjab, and Vadodara, Gujarat in 2021, India’s history of UFO sightings is as diverse as it is intriguing. Here’s a short list of all the reportedly “extraterrestrial” sightings over Indian skies over the years.
The Ladakh Phenomenon (2012)
Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) reported over 100 sightings of UFOs in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir between August and October.
Observers described the objects as yellowish spheres that rose from the Chinese side, traversed the sky for several hours, and then disappeared. Despite investigations involving ground-based radar, spectrum analysers, and a reconnaissance drone, the objects remained unidentified.
Astronomers from the Indian Astronomical Observatory could not conclusively establish what the objects were but ruled out celestial bodies like meteors and planets.
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New Delhi Sighting (1951)
On March 15, 1951, George F. Floate, a chief aerial engineer, and his two assistants observed a bullet-shaped object appearing from a swirly white cloud near the Delhi Flying Club hangar in New Delhi, India.
The object, approximately 100 feet long, was seen by 17 to 20 people. It moved south, performed a loop, and then continued southwest until it disappeared. The object’s speed was estimated to be three times faster than a British Vampire jet’s cruising speed. The sighting lasted about seven minutes.
The Samudra Tapu Incident (2004)
A team of geologists, including a scientist from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Space Application Centre, reported sighting an unidentified object, potentially a UFO, at an altitude of 14,500 feet during an expedition to the Himalayas.
During their mission to study the Samudra Tapu glacier, they initially mistook the object they spotted for a balloon-like white object. They later speculated that the UFO could be a spy drone or a spy balloon.
Kolkata’s Morning Visitor (2007)
A resident of east Kolkata captured an unidentified flying object on camera in the early morning of a Monday on Oct. 29. This marked the first such incident recorded in the city, with the object seen rapidly changing its shape and size.
Scientists were unable to identify the object, although some speculated it could be a meteor. Observers saw the object alter its shape from a round object to a triangle, and then into a straight line. It emitted a bright light that formed a halo and radiated various colours. The sighting caused a frenzy among locals, with many gathering to catch a glimpse of the “UFO”
Chennai’s Orange Lights (2013)
Residents of Mogappiar, Chennai observed five specks of bright orange light moving from south to north around 8.55 pm on a Thursday night. The lights appeared in groups of five and vanished after a few seconds.
The spectacle was silent and the objects were flying at a higher altitude than an airplane. P. Iyamperumal, the executive director of the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre, suggested that the lights could be meteor showers, although the typical season for such showers is in November and December.
Lucknow’s Sunset Spectacle (2014)
A Lucknow resident, Amit Tripathi, captured images of a mysterious object flying in the sky while he was photographing the sunset.
The object, which began spinning and ascending before disappearing within 40 seconds, has sparked discussions about the possibility of it being a UFO. The sighting followed similar reports from residents in Guwahati, Shamli, and Tundla earlier in the same month.
The Ludhiana Incident (2021)
On Feb. 25, 2021, residents of Ludhiana, Punjab, reported seeing a shiny UFO in the sky. Someone captured the object on video, shared it on social media, and it emitted bright lights as it moved across the night sky.
While some speculated it could be a meteor, others suggested it might be an aircraft. However, no concrete evidence was provided to support these claims, leaving the nature of the object a mystery.
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