It's been two days since five Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) were noticed flying above Mumbai airport, but mystery continues to shroud the event with multiple agencies, including the police, probing the matter.
The objects were first sighted by a Jet Airways pilot shortly before he was to take off around 6 p.m.. He alerted the Air Traffic Control (ATC).
The ATC instructed the pilot to abort take off. He exited the main runway and later again came in the queue and finally took off after sometime when the objects seemed to have disappeared after a few minutes.
Despite speculation in various quarters of the objects being remote-controlled parachutes, radio controlled mini-gliders, Chinese lanterns, balloons, etc., official sources preferred to term them simply as 'unidentified objects' seen floating for a few minutes in the airport airspace.
They were espied moving at a height of around 150 feet and in a south-north direction countering strong winds blowing from the south-west at that time, pointing to a possibility that they (the objects) were being guided or controlled from terrestrial sources.
The sources declined to speculate on where the objects disappeared, or if they returned on land in the vicinity of the Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL).
As per available indications, the objects were not picked up by most radars in and around Mumbai, including those belonging to the defence forces.
No agency has lodged a formal complaint with the police so far mainly due to confusion over jurisdiction or territorial issues.
DCP Virendra Mishra, Airport Division said that they were coordinating with the agencies and investigating the matter. Rumours of PMO calling for an urgent meeting in this regard was denied by Mumbai ATC's General Manager Jayant Dasgupta.
A message of a high level meeting being conducted by the DGCA was also going the rounds but when contacted the authority denied it. DGCA officials said that they were awaiting the reports and couldn't comment on the possibility.
Rajeev Nair, Director, said, "There have been many rumours doing rounds but they werent the weather ballons as they neither are released in the evenings nor near the airport area."
Another message that was being circulated claimed that the five objets belonged to the Army and alleged that it was a miscordination between the agencies.
However, commenting on the issue, Vipul Saxena, aviation expert, said, "I have flown in this area many times from INS Kunjali, hence I can say with confidence that such activities cannot be by Navy or Army. This is a serious issue that only Intelligence Bureau and National Security Agency can handle. There are SOP in Army and Navy that cannot be voilated."
(With Agency Inputs)