IMPHAL: Flight operations at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport were abruptly halted on Sunday when an unidentified flying object (UFO) was spotted hovering above the airport,
The sighting caused a temporary suspension of services and sparking a wave of speculation among authorities and witnesses.
The incident unfolded around 2.20 pm when the pilot of an Indigo flight reported sighting the UFO, prompting immediate suspension of all flight operations.
The mysterious object, described as white in colour, remained visible in the skies until 4 pm, confounding onlookers.
Airport director Chipemmi Keishing issued a statement confirming the disruption, stating, “Due to the sighting of an unidentified flying object within Imphal controlled airspace, two flights have been diverted, and three departing flights have been delayed. Flight operations commenced after receipt of clearance from the competent authority.”
Imphal West Superintendent of Police, Ksh Shivakanta Singh, told the press, “We have no idea what the object was and how big it was. It hovered in the sky for hours and then disappeared.”
The Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Imphal International Airport received an alert from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) control room regarding the UFO sighting just above the ATC tower at 2.30 pm.
The mysterious object reportedly flew over the terminal building, moved southwards above the ATC tower, and remained stationary for some time before shifting southwest of the runway, where it lingered until 4.05 pm before vanishing.
Several flights, including two IndiGo flights, were diverted, and three departing flights experienced delays exceeding three hours due to the immediate closure of the controlled airspace.
Officials have yet to provide any conclusive explanation for the UFO sighting, leaving both aviation authorities and local law enforcement baffled.
Investigations into the nature of the unidentified flying object are underway, as witnesses grapple with the mysterious event that brought a momentary standstill to air travel operations in Imphal.