An UFO blipped on the city radar in the wee hours of Thursday, a little after mysterious objects were photographed hovering in the London sky. The blip that lasted for 15 minutes on the Bay of Bengal left airport and IAF officials foxed. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered an investigation.UFO blipped on Calcutta airport’s primary radar early on Thursday and didn’t respond to repeated queries from air traffic control (ATC) as it moved southwest before disappearing without a trace.
The ATC team was in a tizzy after the aircraft, spotted 37 nautical miles east of the airport around 3.30am, appeared not to have any transponder to link with the secondary radar that measures altitude and speed. When there was no response from the pilot either, the officials sounded a red alert.
“We tracked the aircraft till 4am but couldn’t find out what type of plane it was and to whom it belonged. We didn’t even know whether it had the standard equipment for voice communication with the ATC. So we contacted the Indian Air Force’s liaison unit,” a senior airport official said.
The mystery deepened when the IAF said that the unidentified plane was “unlikely” to be a defence aircraft on a secret mission or drill.
“We are working on the information (provided by the ATC) and trying to find out what it was,” the chief public relations officer of defence (east), Group Capt. R.K. Das, told Metro on Friday. “It couldn’t have been an IAF aircraft at that hour.”
Under normal circumstances, the secondary radar tells the ATC at what altitude and speed an aircraft is flying. But the aircraft must be equipped with a transponder for the secondary radar to be able to do this.
An ATC official said all scheduled and non-scheduled (private) aircraft pilots flying through Calcutta or any other city’s airspace were required to inform the ATC about their flight plans before takeoff. Calcutta airport had no prior information about an aircraft passing through at that time on Thursday.
“If a foreign aircraft had ventured into Indian airspace, it is IAF’s role to scramble and counter it,” an AAI official said. The London sighting on Thursday has hyped interest in the Kolkata UFO. Given the 5.5-hour time zone difference between India and UK and the 11-hour flight time, science fiction buffs drew a link between London’s ‘flying saucers’ and the mystery blip at the airport.
Back 0n March 7, 2007, similar kind of incident happened but that time it was over Indian capital New Delhi.Air traffic control radars in Delhi picked up two unidentified flying objects over Delhi moving northwest to south between 0930 hours and 1000 hours (IST).
While the ATC was alarmed by the sightings, the Air Force did not scramble its jets to intercept the flying objects as per the security protocol even though the breach of air space happened at a time when air traffic was at its peak.Source