Mystery shrouds objects seen floating above Mumbai airport

Mystery shrouds objects seen floating above Mumbai airport

Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Mystery continues to shroud four-five small objects that were spotted flying above Mumbai airport on Saturday, with multiple agencies, including the police, probing the matter, official sources said on Monday.

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.

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Birds fall from sky again, this time in Louisiana

The second unexplained mass bird death within a week has been discovered in the southern United States, this time in the state of Louisiana, officials said Tuesday.

The latest incident affected some 500 birds which were discovered dead in Pointe Coupee Parish, said Olivia Watkins of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Watkins said an investigation was underway into the cause of the deaths, which occurred just a few days after thousands of birds were discovered dead in neighboring Arkansas.

“We sent samples to a lab in Missouri and are waiting to get some results,” she said.

Nancy Ledbetter at the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission said officials in that state were awaiting test results to find the cause of death of as many as 5,000 blackbirds in the small town of Beebe as well as deaths of 80,000 to 100,000 fish found floating in the Arkansas River about 160 kilometers (100 miles) away.

“We still don’t believe the (fish and bird deaths) are related,” she said.

As to the incident in Louisiana, she said “We don’t expect that to be related either.”

Arkansas officials said preliminary testing showed no signs of disease in the dead birds and that they died of “acute physical trauma.”

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