Saturday Jan 30 2021
Web Desk

False alarm: PIA pilot mistook saucer-like cloud for a UFO

Web Desk

  • Punjab University space scientist explains what a lenticular cloud is after PIA pilot reports sighting of an unidentified flying object during a domestic flight
  • Videos of the 'UFO' cloud had gone viral on social media earlier this week
  • PIA pilot had said it is very rare to spot something so shiny during the day

Looks like a Pakistan International Airlines pilot claiming last week to have seen an unidentified flying object (UFO) was actually just looking at a lenticular cloud.

Lenticular clouds are stationary clouds that form mostly in the troposphere, typically in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction. They are often comparable in appearance to a lens or saucer.

Punjab University space scientist Javed Sami confirmed on Saturday that what a Pakistani pilot saw in the air a few days ago was not a flying saucer, but a cloud called lenticular cloud.

Read more: 'UFO' spotted by Pakistani pilot near Rahim Yar Khan, new video reveals

Sami said planes usually fly at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

Earlier this week, a PIA pilot captured a picture of a very shiny, saucer-shaped object in the sky near Rahim Yar Khan while operating domestic flight PK-304 from Karachi to Lahore. He said said it was a UFO.

Videos of the 'UFO' cloud went viral on social media.

Sami says the video that went viral was made while the PIA plane was at an altitude of a 1,000 feet. "The pilot observed a visual process in the air. The object visible to the pilot was a lenticular cloud. Commercial pilots often observed such clouds," he said. 

He said if you take a picture of an object at a speed of 500 to 900 kilometers per hour, its shape spreads.

Aliens in Pakistan?

The UFO was extremely bright despite the presence of sunlight, the PIA pilot had said, according to sources, adding that spotting such a bright object at daytime is very rare.

Read more: Ex-Israeli space security chief says aliens are real and Donald Trump knows

According to the pilot, the thing he spotted in the sky was not a planet but could be a "space station" or an "artificial planet" near the Earth.

Aside from the pilot, many residents of Rahim Yar Khan also spotted the shiny 'UFO' and made videos of it.

PIA responds to reports of UFO

A PIA spokesperson had said that the 'UFO' was spotted on January 23 by the pilot during a Lahore-bound flight from Karachi. It was seen at around 4pm near Rahim Yar Khan.

It cannot be said for certain whether it was a UFO or something else, the spokesperson said, adding that the captain of the flight had immediately reported the sighting back to the control room.