On Wednesday, a short video of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) shot by the cockpit crew of PIA aircraft set off frantic theories on social media. The 41-second-long clip shows a strange-looking circular disc emitting bright white light hovering/flying near the PIA flight PK304.
The UFO was seen in the Punjab skies as the PIA craft was flying over the Multan-Sialkot region. The visual was captured by Captain Faisal Qureshi and his First Officer Captain Talha while piloting the Karachi-Lahore flight at an altitude of 35,000 feet. This video was then shared on social media and it instantly went viral.
According to the first captain, they were unsure whether the UFO was hovering or moving slowly due to the relative motion. He added that after the flight landed, he was made aware that the UFO was seen and filmed in different areas too.
The object according to the Captain was surrounded by a metal ring and emitted brilliant light from its centre. Even PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan has confirmed the UFO sighting on January 23. He said in a video message that “It was necessary to inform the public and the media about the phenomenon.”
As the sighting started to trend on social media, many netizens and sceptics alike came up with their own explanations. Some believed it to be a real sighting while others pointed at the object as being nothing more than a weather balloon.
According to Khalid Malik, the Pakistan Meteorological Department spokesman, they had two types of weather balloons, one capable of flying at an altitude of 6,000-7,000 ft while the other can fly at high altitudes up to 70,000 ft. These balloons carry a Radiosonde which is a battery-powered telemetry instrument. However, sources from the Met Department told a leading news daily that the department has lately stopped using Radiosondes. Even Jawad Memon who operates the private weather station Doppler Karachi.pk stated the same. He also added that the Radiosondes are made of rubber, which is contrary to the one shot in the video which shone brightly, hinting that it is either made of aluminium or some other metal or even glass.
The clip is now submitted to Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) which is a US-based non-profit organisation. It is composed of civilian volunteers who study the reported UFO sightings. UFO hunting enthusiast Scott C Waring in his blog post in UFO Sightings Daily said that the UFO is actually a foo fighter. It is an alleged orb-like flying object which used to follow fighter planes during World War II.