The Indian Air Force (IAF) dispatched two Rafale fighter jets in response to reports of an ‘unidentified flying object’ (UFO) sighted near Imphal airport on Sunday.
Upon receiving information about a possible UFO sighting near Imphal airport in Manipur, the IAF launched one Rafale from Hashimara. However, despite the search, the first aircraft did not observe any such object in the area, according to credible sources.
Subsequently, a second aircraft was deployed to conduct a thorough check in the vicinity, but it also failed to detect any such object or unusual activity in the air. Following this, both jets returned to base without confirming the presence of the reported UFO, as per the sources.
The Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force confirmed the activation of its Air Defence response mechanism in response to the visual inputs received from Imphal airport. However, the unidentified object was not spotted afterward, the command mentioned in a post.
Reportedly, the UFO was observed moving westward of the airfield until approximately 4 pm, as stated by a CISF official.
As a precautionary measure, flight operations at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal were suspended for several hours due to the reported sighting of the unidentified flying object. Flights, including an IndiGo aircraft from Kolkata, were instructed initially to hold overhead but were diverted to Guwahati after a delay of 25 minutes.
Subsequent clearance allowed the delayed flights to depart Imphal airport approximately three hours later. The Indian Air Force Eastern Command in Shillong was duly informed about the incident.