Imphal airport was shut down for four hours after a high-altitude unidentified flying object was spotted over the area, leading to a state of high alert.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) responded to reports of an unidentified flying object (UFO) near Imphal airport by dispatching two Rafale fighter jets. After receiving information about the possible UFO sighting, the IAF launched one Rafale from Hashimara, but the first aircraft did not observe any such object in the area during the search.
Following this, a second aircraft was deployed for a thorough check in the vicinity, but it also failed to detect any unusual object or activity in the air. Consequently, both jets returned to base without confirming the presence of the reported UFO, according to credible sources.
The Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force confirmed the activation of its Air Defence response mechanism in reaction to visual inputs from Imphal airport. However, despite the activation, the unidentified object was not spotted, as mentioned in a post by the command.
Allegedly, the UFO was seen moving westward of the airfield until around 4 pm, according to a CISF official. As a precautionary measure, flight operations at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal were temporarily suspended due to the reported sighting. Flights, including one from IndiGo originating in Kolkata, were initially instructed to hold overhead and were later diverted to Guwahati after a 25-minute delay.
Subsequent clearance allowed the delayed flights to depart Imphal airport approximately three hours later. The incident was duly reported to the Indian Air Force Eastern Command in Shillong.