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UFO shuts down Russian airport:

Some skeptics are still making ironical comments about UFO. One of the most frequent comment is "If there were UFOs, how do you explain that pilots do not meet them in the air?". Well they do meet. Sometimes pilots wonder if they will not meet just a little too close...

Agence France Presse reports on UFO sighting:

Sources: broadcasted by Agence France Presse, then on French TV France 2 by teletext, then on many we sites of well known news agencies across the world. And since then, as usual, nothing more has been said.

See also: Report: Are UFOs an Air Safety Hazard? An introductory article.

Agence France Presse news item:

MOSCOW, January 27, 2001.

(Agence France Presse)

An airport in southern Siberia was shut down for an hour and a half on Friday when an unidentified flying object (UFO) was detected hovering above its runway, the Interfax news agency reported.

The crew of an Il-76 cargo aircraft of the company "Altai" refused to take off, claiming they saw a luminescent object hovering above the runway of the Siberia's Barnaul airport, local aviation company director Ivan Komarov was quoted as saying.

The crew of another cargo plane, refusing to use the runway for the same reason, landed their jet at another airport, Komarov said.

The UFO took off and vanished from the airport 90 minutes later, according to the report.

(© 2001 Agence France Presse)

Détails:

Ivan Komarov, general manager of the aerial transport company "Altai", explained on this special occasion that the frequent UFO flybys are a serious threat to the safety of aviation transport in this region.

The original news item has been first published on the "Russia Today" international news web site at http://www.russiatoday.com/news.php3?id=270624

Because such news pages tend to disappear very quickly, I have made a screenshot of the page:

Follow-up:

On the day of the observation, I wrote in this page that we would probably never learn anything more from the media, because this type of event, in identical circumstances (with relay of information by AFP) occur regularly and raise neither emotion nor interest in the world of the mass media and in the general public and absolutely do not cause any investigation, any report and any checking.

Here are the follow-ups as of February 1st, 2001:

So far, no photograph, no radar detection announced.

The luminous object did not hover above the track, as it was said, but really 10 kilometers away from the end track in the direction of the track.

It is now underlined that nothing prevented takeoff but it was found more careful to postpone it, the flight in question not being very important. This decision was made by the flight director and the commander. The crew spent the night to the hotel of the airport. Since there is a backup airfield, another airplane was diverted there.

The UFO thus did not "take off and disappeared" as reported by the AFP newsbrief.

What the director of the Altai company said right after the event is now questioned: UFOs are frequent and do cause problems. It seems now that the only problem it is that Russian aircrews often confuse the Moon with a UFO (or the Moon with Venus). If by miracle this observation is still discussed in the future, a new explanation may probably appear: Vodka.

Does one have to really believe that the pilots of two planes confused the Moon or Venus for a UFO? Can the moon "disappear" at the end of 90 minutes? What this a reason to not publish the accounts of the observation of these crews? What is learned from the airfield radar? What does the Russian Air Forces say?

On March 8, 2001, I found some more newsbriefs:

A communiqué from Czekoslovakia, translated by Ludmila Grelier, with help from Josée Chelkoff:

A UFO interrupted air traffic on the siberain airport of Barnaul:

Moscow, January 27 (CTK).

A UFO disrupted the air traffic on the Siberian aerodrome of Barnaul during approximately an hour because a strange object which irradiated a very intense light rose on the landing strip. It is the Interfax agency which gave this information today. According to the director of the local aviation company, Yvan Komarov, the UFO which remained suspended in the air on the airport had prevented the takeoff of an Ilyushin II-76 airfreighter.

For the same reason, another plane could not land on the airport and had to be deviated towards another airfield; at the end of one hour and half approximately, the object disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, stated Komarov. At the moment ther are no other information concerning this unusual appearance.

Interfax agency's text, identical to the france 2 TV newsbrief's text:

An airport of southernmost Siberia had to close its traffic during one hour and half, Friday, January 26, because of the presence of a UFO.

The crew of an Ilyushin 76 refused to take off because of a luminous object which positioned itself above the takeoff track of Barnaul airport.

The pilots of another airfreighter also refused, for the same reason, to land in Barnaul.

The UFO disappeared after one hour and a half.

The event seemingly occurred on January 21 and not the 26 as Interfax announced. Translation Russian-French by Sacha Lacave.

A UFO on the take-off track?

Strange events have allegedly occurred in Barnaul. On Sunday, January 21, the cargo airliner Il 76 of the TESIS company was ready for take-off but refused to take off.

This refusal to obey of the crew was explained by the fact that a bulky object was observed in the neighbourhoods of the track of the track. The plane returned on the parking area. Nobody dared criticize the commander of the crew. The pilots kept in mind the tragedy which occurred in 1996 on JF Kennedy airport during the explosion in flight of a Boeing 747. A few minutes before, radar recorded a UFO of cylindrical shape.

But America is far and the Barnaul UFO, obviously, had no intention to fly away fast.

As communicated later to the journalists, Ivan Komarov, general manager of the airline company "ALTAI," another airfreighter coming from Irtoutsk and which intended to make a stopover at Barnaul, having learned of this luminous visitor, was diverted to land on an alternate airfield. The main landing track was closed.

According to the remarks of Serguei Polansky, one of the witnesses of this event, the shape of the object recalled that of a flattened disc. It held suspended with a light slope compared to the horizon and oscillated from top to bottom constantly.

As Serguei confirmed, the luminous disc moved slightly during the time of the observation, positioned itself for a little time at the vertical of the cemetery located close to the Mikailovka village, then after a certain time, moved towards the small quiet city of Pavlovsk, before disappearing.

Petre Severianob, Barnaul.

With this more detailed information, coming from sources closer to the events, we understand that there was a UFO which was not a confusion with the Moon, unless the Moon was put "to oscillate from top to bottom" and to move slowly, changing course at least two times, or that the moon flattened, or that its luminosity became more important, [and that in addition radars start to detect the Moon... (*)]

(*) December 13 2003: This was an erroneous interpretation of the Troud article of my share: the mention of radar detection does not relate to the Barnaul case, but to the 1996 JFK case. Thanks to Eric Maillot to have informed me of my mistake.

Eric Maillot indicates to me that the formulation does not make it possible to know if the radar detection refers to one or the other case, but I think that it does clearly refe to JFK not Barnaul: the detected object is indicated as cylindrical, therefore of JFK, that of Barnaul being uniformly described as a round light.

(There is indeed a radar-UFO cas in Barnaul but unrelated. On April 8, 1990, the newspaper "Altaiskaya Pravda" of Barnaul had indicated that on March 1st, 1990, a UFO was detected by radar in Barnaul, having flown at a speed of 6 000 km/h.)

News from Barnaul: more than an hour of UFOs flyovers videotaped at Barnaul again beginning of March 2001, however when I compared frames from the video published later, they show Venus (see underneath).

Barnaul UFO three years later, 2003:

Here are the follow-ups after the above lines were written in 2001.

References:

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This page was last updated on December 13, 2003