People in the Barmer district of Rajasthan in northwestern India heard mysterious booms and found strange-looking pieces of metal after an Indian Air Force jet shot down an unidentified flying object over their city on the morning of January 26th (illustration above from local media). Indian officials dragged out the tired old “weather balloon” excuse with the added sinister overtone that it was not one of theirs but was probably from Pakistan. Weather balloon? Why shoot down a weather balloon?

Between 1030 and 1100 hours today, an unidentified balloon shaped object was picked up by IAF radar. An IAF fighter was launched which intercepted the object and brought it down. Further investigation is underway.

That was the statement from an Indian Air Force spokesperson after a Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft reportedly shot down a UFO in Barmer.

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Indian police inspecting (without protection!) pieces from UFO downed by IAF jet

Witnesses in the villages of Gugardi and Panavara and the 5 km area around them reported hearing five loud booms. As a jet flew by, triangular pieces of metal fell from the sky. They were handed in to the local police who quickly turned them over to the IAF, which reported that there were no injuries and no damage to property. That didn’t satisfy local resident Manohar Singh.

The explosion was loud and we saw some objects falling from the sky my house has developed cracks.

The incident occurred on Republic Day, a major national holiday celebrating the anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of India on January 26th, 1950. Some officials used this as an excuse for the quick downing of the UFO, especially since the alleged-but-not-identified weather balloon came from the general direction of Pakistan (that would be west). The IAF had no other comments.

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Republic Day parade

Why shoot down this UFO but not others? There have been numerous UFO sightings in India over the past year, including a flying saucer, a disc over a flooded area and one with an encounter with a humanoid. None were shot down.

It may have been a balloon. It may have been something else. It may have been a show of force on a national holiday. What should we fear more … trigger-happy governments or aliens?

Paul Seaburn

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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