Friday, July 8, 2011

"Bubble Cloud" Spotted Over Beijing

A huge unidentified, luminous disk, many times larger than the full moon, was observed in the skies of Beijing and Shanghai on the night of Aug. 20. Many flight pilots as well as individuals on the ground reported on it. One pilot called the sighting “extremely shocking.”

A China Southern Airline pilot published the following report on a Weibo microblog: “Aug. 20, 9 p.m., flight 6554, Shanghai area, discovered huge luminous object at height of 10,700 meters. It has a regular circular shape, with size changing from small to large. It’s a few hundred times bigger than the moon, and the visual diameter is greater than 50 nautical miles. It remained for 20 minutes, then dimmed and disappeared. It was extremely shocking, and crews from more than 10 flights have made reports to the Shanghai Airport Control Tower.”

The captain of another flight replied that he saw it too. As soon as he climbed above the clouds at about 9,000 meters altitude, he saw a huge, white disk in the clear night sky.

“It was round and big, and occupied one of my side windows and half of my front window. I thought I was delusional, but my First Officer was asking me if I saw it too,” the captain said.

While they were getting ready to report the phenomenon to the Shanghai Control Tower, other airline flight crews already started reporting it, he said.

According to an Aug. 22 report, the Civil Aviation Administration of Eastern China confirmed the incidence, saying air traffic control logs show that many flight pilots indeed reported it.

The news quickly spread on the Internet, with people saying they saw the same phenomenon in the skies above Beijing and Shanghai at about the same time.

An Aug. 24 report by Yangcheng Evening News quotes Beijing resident Cheng Xu witnessing a strange light disc on the night of Aug. 20. Cheng posted a photo on Weibo, which shows a huge disc above a tower-like object.

Pan Dayoyo, another netizen, confirmed the sighting on Weibo, saying: “Yes, that’s right. I also saw it on Aug. 20.”

“Psychology Soldier” said he saw a light disc that looked like an autumn full moon rising to the northeast of his home.

A Mr. Li of Shanghai’s Putuo District said he was relaxing on the balcony of his 34th floor [home] at around 9 p.m. on Aug. 20, when he suddenly spotted a luminous object larger than the moon hanging up there in a northeasterly direction. Li said the object seemed very far away.

Judging from posted photos, the luminous disc appears to be translucent, with stars visible behind it. Some people have referred to the mysterious display as a UFO, but exactly what may be causing the phenomenon is unclear to experts.

Zhu Jin, the curator of the Beijing Planetarium, told Chinese media, "It must have been caused by human beings, not nature or other things like that."

Another staff member at the planetarium said, “Personally I think it's a kind of meteor or a phenomenon in terrestrial space."

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