On Sept 11th, 2010 at around 8 pm, three flights to Baotou, Inner Mongolia from Shanghai and Beijing were forced to circle the airport to avoid crashing into what many believe was a UFO. Chinese air traffic controllers at the Hohhot Air Traffic Management Bureau spotted the unusual object on their radar hovering over the runway and quickly reported it to Airport officials.
Precautionary measures were taken and the airport was shut down for close to an hour "to guarantee safety" according to one spokesman. Two other flights were redirected away from Baotou to the nearby cities of Ordos and Taiyuan.
Multiple witnesses reported the bright light shining in the sky approximately 2.5 miles away from Baotou airport before it suddenly vanished and passenger jets were allowed to land.
ABC reported at the time that the alert was triggered by bright lights in the sky that moved erratically. The incident was the eighth reported UFO sighting in China since the end of June, 2010 though many of those were explained by more conventional means: on July 8 near the eastern city of Hangzhou, the airport was shut down because it was thought that a UFO had been sighted. A flight crew preparing for descent detected an object around 8:40 p.m. and radioed to air traffic control. Authorities responded within minutes and grounded outbound flights and diverted inbound ones to nearby airports in Ningbo and Wuxi. A total of 18 flights were delayed as airports waited for the incident to unfold.
According to ABC, Chinese media picked up the story and Hangzhou residents released photos, taken in the afternoon before the delays, of a hovering object bathed in golden light and exhibiting a comet-like tail. Less than an hour before the Xiaoshan airport shut down, residents said they also saw a flying object emitting red and white rays of light.
Hangzhou meteorological authorities stated that residents probably saw light reflecting off of an airplane. Beijing Planetarium curator Zhu Jing said the object looked just like a plane shining its strobe lamps. Airport officials later explained that the object sighted had been part of a military test at a nearby airbase.
Another sighting shortly after on June 30th, in the far-western province of Xinjiang, was thought to have been a missile test. Geoffrey Forden, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyst, said that he felt the images were not created with Photoshop but that "it seems to me that a DF-21 (missile) launch somewhere near Jiuquan and aimed at a point somewhere in the eastern Gobi desert is the most likely cause of this 'UFO'"
A number of other sightings around the same period in Sichuan province were linked to a local custom of flying illuminated kites at night. While the rash of UFO sightings were quickly dismissed as part of routine military exercises, the Chinese government actually refused to comment on the sightings.
What all of the reported sightings have in common is that many photographs were captured from different angles in different locations around the city. The photos depict the same elongated structure, none of which resemble a conventional military craft. The incidents quickly dropped from news headlines without adequate explanation. What do you think of the rash of Chinese Airport UFO Sightings in 2010? Are they UFO's or something more easily explained? Comment below.