People in northeast Japan were left baffled on Wednesday, June 17 after spotting a mysterious object floating in the sky.
Hanging in the air at an altitude of around 2,000 meters, the white object seemed at first sight to be a type of hot-air balloon, though hanging below it was a piece of machinery that appeared to contain several sets of propellers.
TV stations started broadcasting footage of the unidentified object and the sighting quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, with some wondering if they were witnessing a visitation from outer space.
While the reality may be a little less exciting than that, no one has so far been able to confirm the true nature of the object.
Weather officials in Sendai, about 180 miles north of Tokyo, told Reuters that the object was first spotted in the early morning and stayed pretty much still for much of the day. It was eventually lost in clouds that moved in later on.
“It may be some kind of weather monitoring equipment, but it definitely isn’t ours,” an unnamed weather official said.
A balloon-like object in the sky over northern Japan sparks debate on social media pic.twitter.com/MmDbHOaG2h
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 17, 2020
In a bid to solve the mystery, local police sent up a helicopter for a closer look. But despite the vantage point, the origin of the object, as well as its purpose, still couldn’t be established.
Officials at Sendai Airport added that they had no idea what it was either, confirming that it had not received a notification or request from anyone wishing to fly such a contraption in the local airspace, which is required by law.
As of this writing, the object, which presumably is long gone, has still not been identified.
- Portland bans private and public use of facial recognition tech
- Apple acquires weather app Dark Sky — and it’s leaving Android
- Global storms on Mars shoot towers of dust 50 miles into the sky
- NASA will work with Japanese space agency on lunar landing projects
- Fake snow might be used to keep spectators cool at Tokyo Olympics