There has been a lot of news and speculation around a UFO sighting over Xiaoshan airport on July 7th in Hangzhou, China. The sighting prompted officials to close the airport for an hour and divert traffic, according to a Xinhua News story released July 8th. They also reported that an airport spokesman said more details would be revealed after an investigation.
The next day several more stories hit the internet, Xinhua News reported that it was suggested that the UFO was a private plane, although an industry insider had called that speculation “too unprofessional”, and the head of air traffic control for the Zheijiang branch of the Civil Aviation Administration in China said that this explanation was “just a guess”. They also posted two pictures, one had no explanation, while the second was allegedly taken by a Hangzhou resident the night of the airport closing.
Chinese news site ifeng also posted the second picture with more details on the event. According to ifeng at about 8:30 pm the crew and passengers of a flight preparing to land saw a strange light. The light was not picked up on radar, but to be safe the airport was closed and flights were diverted. Over 2000 passengers faced delays over the incident.
Witnesses had reported the light was not visible for long and disappeared quickly.
The picture was explained as being taken in Hangzhou two hours after the original sighting by Mr. Ma who noticed a light in the sky, ran into his house to get his camera, and snapped this picture. He said the object had yellow and red lights, and disappeared not long after he took his pictures.
To confuse matters a video appeared on the internet with more alleged UFO pictures and several other pictures that looked similar to the one released by ifeng. Although the video did not specifically say that all of the pictures were from the Chinese event, many website seemed to have assumed so; even Coast to Coast AM posted one of these pictures.
Open Minds Forum (not affiliated with, but friends of OpenMinds.tv) poster elevenaugust – the same researcher who discovered the origins of the Hillary Clinton book we referred to in another story – shed some light on the origins of the other pictures in the video. A few were produced due to helicopters or planes filmed with a long exposure time, making them look like luminous bars. These images were very similar to the ifeng image, causing some to speculate that perhaps that image was produced the same way. Other pictures were of alleged UFOs, but were posted on internet sites years before the Chinese airport event. You can read more about the Open Minds Forum analysis here (removed by source).
In the next few days more stories appeared with varying information. The Global Times reported that the UFO could not be seen by the naked eye. At the end of their story, they also reported another UFO sighting in China that the secretary general of the Xinjiang Astronomy Society had said was part of an intercontinental missile launched by the US.
The China Daily reported that they had been told by a source that investigators had resolved the mystery, but that information was not released yet due to the object being connected to the military. Although this news came out the day after the airport shutdown, nearly a week later, there has still been no official disclosure on the matter.
One of the more interesting angles was a story by Daily Finance, suggesting that perhaps the event helped Chinese airline shares because they had surged after the sighting.
While the story had been garnering the attention of Chinese and UFO related websites, it was finally picked up by US mainstream press by ABC News yesterday. They added to the mystery that a spokesman from the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) had confirmed to ABC News that the matter was still under investigation. They also reported that researchers from the Beijing UFO Research Society and the Shanghai UFO Investigative Research Center were traveling to Hangzhou to study the incident. In their video report they also included many of the pictures from the dubious YouTube video referred to earlier.
Official commentary has yet to come, but as the event gains popularity, the world awaits more information. Tidbits that seem to be fabricated, such as one report that people were running in terror from the object, continue to flood the internet, so officials should move fast because the event is quickly taking on a life of its own.
The LA Times posted a video with their story on the airport incident with the title, Caught on Tape: UFO in China. The video appears to be a missile, and doesn’t fit the description given by the witnesses at the airport. It looks as though the LA Times fell for another YouTuber who posted the video claiming it was from the Chinese airport sighting. I found the same video on YouTube posted by someone else, but this time the YouTuber said that this was actually a missile that was seen over the countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan. Sure enough, after a search I found the original posting of the video which was taken on June 30th in a town called Bishkek in Kryrgystan. A Russian site posted the video on July 1st, and this is a translation of a story on the sighting. You can read the original Russian story here.
It is surprising that major news sources such as ABC and the LA Times would make such large mistakes, misleading the public and using anonymous YouTube video postings.