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UFO near Imphal airport was visible till sometime before sunset on Nov 19, then disappeared: Govt

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NEW DELHI, Dec 14: The civil aviation ministry on Thursday told the Lok Sabha that an unidentified flying object was seen near the Imphal airport on November 19, and the object remained visible till sometime before sunset and thereafter disappeared.

Landing and take-off of planes were suspended at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport for nearly three hours on November 19, 2023, and two flights were diverted to Kolkata while three departing flights were delayed on the ground.

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“On 19.11.2023, at time 1430 IST, Imphal ATC received a telephonic message from the CISF control room that an unidentified flying object was seen near the Imphal airfield just above the ATC Tower overhead.

“The object appeared to be of white colour, and it moved southwards above ATC Tower and remained stationary there for some time. It remained visible till 1605 IST and thereafter disappeared. (Sunset time at Imphal on that day was 1626 IST),” Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh said in a written reply.

To a query by Congress member Manish Tewari, the minister said that any unidentified airborne object in the vicinity of the airport poses a danger to the operation of aeroplanes because of unpredictable movements of the object.

“Therefore, the object sighted over Imphal airport posed the same danger to the movement of aeroplanes,” Singh said.

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Tewari also wanted to know whether the government has a strategy/policy to protect commercial airliners in the event of a UFO sighting and whether the government has a view on extra-terrestrial life or living beings in outer space.

There was no specific response to these queries.

“Airports Authority of India controls and manages the Indian airspace extending beyond the territorial limits of the country, as accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure the safety and efficiency of flights. It is also responsible for Communication, Navigation and Surveillance of Indian airspace,” the minister said in the written reply. (PTI)

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