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UFO disrupts air traffic in east China

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Flights diverted, delayed as UFO detected hovering.  SHANGHAI – An unidentified flying object (UFO) disrupted air traffic over Zhejiang’s provincial capital Hangzhou late on Wednesday, the municipal government said on Thursday. Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at around 9 pm, and some flights were rerouted to airports in the cities of Ningbo and Wuxi , said an airport spokesman, who declined to be named. The airport had resumed operations, and more details will be released after an investigation, he said. A source with knowledge of the matter, however, told China Daily on Thursday that authorities had learned what the UFO was after an investigation. But it was not the proper time to publicly disclose the information because there was a military connection, he said, adding that an official explanation is expected to be given on Friday. Inbound flights were diverted to the nearby airports in Zhejiang province’s Ningbo and Jiangsu province’s Wuxi. Outbound flights were delayed for three to four hours. A staff member at the airport’s information desk said the airport had “no idea” how many flights were affected by the closure. At around 11 pm on Wednesday, a netizen wrote three entries announcing the airport’s closure in his microblog at Sina.com, but they were all soon deleted. He posted an apology at midnight, saying the news had not been confirmed and asking those who had republished his earlier entries to delete them. Experts cool on private plane theory in UFO probe. Aviation experts are expected to complete late Friday their investigation into an unidentified flying object that disrupted air traffic over east China for an hour on Wednesday. An investigation team, comprising police and aviation officials, are still trying to identify the UFO that was located over Zhejiang Province.”No conclusion has yet been drawn,” said Wang Jian, head of air traffic control with Zhejiang branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told Xinhua Friday. Media have reported speculation that the UFO might have been a private aircraft, based on the increasing number of privately-owned aircraft in the province. But an industry insider who declined to be named Friday ruled out the speculation as “too unprofessional” without giving further explanation.

Wang Jian said the private plane was “just a guess.” Xiaoshan Airport in the provincial capital of Hangzhou was closed after a UFO was detected at around 9 p.m. Wednesday, and some flights were rerouted to airports in Ningbo and Wuxi cities. Object disrupted eighteen flights at Hangzhou airport. The unidentified flying object that disrupted air traffic in Hangzhou for an hour on Wednesday remains, well, unidentified. “No conclusion has yet been drawn,” Wang Jian, head of air traffic control with the Zhejiang branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying. Some media have speculated the UFO might be a private aircraft, based on the increasing number of privately-owned aircraft in Zhejiang province. But Wang said the possibility it was a private plane was “just a guess.” A source with knowledge of the matter, however, told China Daily earlier that the object had a military connection. A staff member at Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou said a twinkling object was first spotted over the city’s sky around 8:30 pm on Wednesday. However, the object did not show up on the airport’s radar. Xiaoshan Airport was then closed at 8:45 pm over security concerns, and only resumed operation at 9:41 pm. A dozen inbound flights were diverted to nearby airports and six outbound flights were delayed for three to four hours. According to an estimate by Shanghai-based Evening News, more than 2,000 passengers were affected. It was the first time an airport in China has been shut down on such short notice due to a UFO, said a staff member with the CAAC of East China, who declined to be named. “We should first find out how the owner got the approval to fly the object,” said the staff member, adding “even a fire balloon needs to get the authority’s permission before lifting off.” The twinkling object could have been a light below the horizon reflecting on an airplane flying very high, given good visibility in the sky, said Zhu Dayi, who works at the Shanghai Observatory, adding such phenomena usually happen around an hour after sunset. “If the speed of the twinkling object is extremely high, it could be a military aircraft,” he said, “But no conclusion can be drawn now, as the information is limited.” According to airport staff, it is still not clear which authorities should be held responsible for dereliction of duty – if there were any. The CAAC of East China and the airport divide their areas of responsibilities according to the craft’s altitude. As to who should pay for losses to the airline companies whose flights were diverted, an industry insider said those costs should be borne by the owner of the unidentified object. news from: chinadaily.com

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