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Strange Contrails Appear Over Russian Town

Multiple eyewitnesses, including one who was quick with her camera, spotted strange squiggly contrails just before dawn one morning this week over Biysk in southern Russia. Many of the witnesses believed the contrails were from UFOs. Were they?

According to reports, Elisha Ponomaryov saw other people looking skyward and pointing at the contrails. She didn’t know what they were but had the presence of mind to take a photo. Unfortunately, she was too late to capture what caused the contrails. However, other witnesses claimed to have seen three or four yellow spheres flying haphazardly and leaving the trails behind them. One was Zemfira Bocharova, who gave this description:

I saw them at 6.25am and there were four, one of them was particularly bright and two others were flying parallel with that – and then the forth one was at a different angle and further away from the other three.

As usual, there was no comment from space or government officials or the military on the strange contrails. There was some speculation that they could have been from a rocket, possibly carrying a secret payload, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but that’s 1,500 miles from Biysk and there was no report of any launches on that day. Meteors and weather were also suggested, but there were no meteor reports and no weather incidents that could have caused the trails.

Contrails formed by planes in a holding pattern

Contrails formed by planes in a holding pattern

Circular contrails are not unusual, especially near airports where planes often fly in holding patterns. They can also be seen over military bases but the patterns are generally more regular, not the random scribbles seen over Biysk.

So what caused the strange Biysk contrails? The city is a center for solid-fuel rocket production. Were the yellow spheres UFOs checking out the competition?

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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