The Indian Air Force on Sunday sent two Rafale fighter jets after receiving information about the sighting of an “unidentified flying object” (UFO) near the Imphal airport in Manipur on Sunday.
Launched from the Hasimara air base, the two Rafales could not spot anything. The first aircraft returned to the base and the second was deployed towards the area to check again, but it could not find anything.
The Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force said that it had activated its air defence response mechanism.
The Indian Air Force wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “IAF activated its Air Defence response mechanism based on visual inputs from Imphal airport. The small object was not seen thereafter.”
It further stated, “The UFO was visible with bare eyes moving westwards of the airfield till 4 pm.”
A drone was spotted by security personnel at the Imphal Airport on Sunday at 3 pm. Later, an alert was issued to agencies at the airport and operations were postponed till security clearance. Following the news that a UFO has been detected, flight operations at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal were halted for several hours. The diverted flights included an IndiGo flight from Kolkata, which was initially instructed ‘to hold overhead’. It was diverted to Guwahati after 25 minutes.
The delayed flights left Imphal airport after receiving clearance after three hours. The flight operations resumed at 5.30 pm.