In Delhi, India, close to half a dozen pilots have reported seeing unidentified flying objects near the city's largest airport every month.
In at least some of the incidents, air traffic controllers have halted flights as a safety measure, although a majority of the incidents involving "mystery objects" have not resulted in flight interruptions, Hindustan Times reported. While police say they have been unable to identify a number of the objects in the reports, this has been due in part to the reports being logged by pilots in nautical miles.
In the past two years alone, there have been hundreds of reports of the mystery objects logged by authorities.
Explanations for the "UFOs" ranges from drones, to balloons, and even bright lights flashed at events nearby, which include wedding celebrations. Aviation authorities have advised partygoers to refrain from using brightly lit fixtures and other light emitting sources when in near proximity to the Delhi airport.
Much like in the United States, the use of lasers, when directed at aircraft in flight, is a punishable offense.
This, under the local legislation section 144 CrPC, states that, “Any person, group of persons, organizers, owners, occupiers, employees contravening these orders shall be liable to be punished in accordance with provisions of section 188 of the IPC."
UFO sightings near airports have apparently been on the rise in other locales around the world, particularly since the advent of the modern drone era. Popular varieties available online can be obtained for just a few hundred dollars, available to hobbyists and other aviation enthusiasts. However, regulations in most countries prohibit operation of drones in close proximity to airports, due to the safety concerns involved.
Drones and balloons aren't the only strange objects reported by pilots near airports. In 2010, a truly bizarre incident occurred, which involved a "flying egg" that was observed by a pilots during a training flight near the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (ANE), outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The pilots noted that, “other aircraft were on the frequency but no other aircraft were in our area," despite the sudden appearance of a strange looking, egg-shaped object near them on their approach for runway number nine.
The pilots in question attempted to establish radio contact with the mystery craft, but to no avail, reporting that the pilot of the mystery object, "was heading slightly southeastward. They were pushing us off our final approach to Runway 9. As we corrected to the southeast to avoid this aircraft I told Tower we had an aircraft out our left window within probably 200 [feet]. He did not have him on a transponder and was able to visually see him with field glasses out the Tower window.”
The only other descriptions given in pilot’s report had been that, "This unidentified aircraft appeared to be a homebuilt (ultralight?) with an enclosed cabin that looked as if it seated two. It looked similar to a flying egg." Who knows what the aircraft in question was, or who its pilots had been, since there didn't appear to be radios or transponders on board (interestingly, there is a bit of history to these odd, "egg shaped" objects in UFO lore. For more on this subject, see my article from last year on pilot encounters with egg shaped UFOs).
Could there be some hobbyists at work in Delhi, India, as well? Regardless, it seems that with the use of conventional drones on the rise, similar reports of "mystery objects" by pilots will no doubt continue.