UFO over Western Chinese City Affects Airport
A UFO spotted over the runway at Chongqing Municipality’s Jiangbei International Airport led to flights being disrupted yesterday.
Airport traffic was restricted for around an hour from about 12:30pm before the object left the area and the alert was lifted, according to Chongqing media reports.
Passengers on several flights were delayed when their aircraft were diverted to other airports after the mysterious object was spotted.
The Chongqing government has not officially offered an explanation of what the object was.
However, the airport authority told Chongqing media they suspected, based on eyewitnesses accounts, it could be a sky lantern or a large balloon. An investigation is under way.
A sky lantern is a traditionally used by Chinese when praying for good luck.
Sky lanterns, widely known as Kongming lanterns, was named after their supposed inventor, Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang, whose reverent term of address was Kongming.
The news that a UFO was sighted at the Jiangbei airport spread quickly across Chinese social networking websites yesterday, creating much excitement online.
The airport said two flights from Beijing that were about to land had to divert to two other airports in the region following the restricted traffic alert.
Two other flights en route to the airport were also forced to land elsewhere, said officials.
By 1:20pm, the alert was lifted and normal traffic resumed, the airport said.
The affected aircraft started returning to Chongqing later yesterday.
This is not the first time a UFO has been seen at Chongqing.
A year ago, news of UFOs in the municipality also stirred up wide public attention.
But local media later said people had mistaken a number of glittering kites for aliens.
The media said there was a regular group of kite enthusiasts who regularly gathered on a hilltop to fly their kites. People witnessing these from further away could take them for UFOs, reports said.