Isro team in Leh to study 'mysterious flying objects'

A team of scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation will soon arrive in Leh to further corroborate that the mysterious luminous objects seen on the horizon over a lake in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir are actually "Chinese lanterns".

Official sources said today that after getting the preliminary report that the luminous objects flying over the horizon of Pangong lake, located 160 km from Leh township, could be Chinese lanterns, the security agencies wanted an assessment of experts from another organisation for confirmation.


Therefore, it was decided to request ISRO to send a team of scientists to examine the flying objects and give its report, the sources said.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had written to the Government in October this year about sighting of some orange-yellow luminous flying objects on the horizon over the Pangong Lake. Besides, Leh-based 14-Corps was also alerted by the ITBP which reported to its Udhampur-based Northern Command.

After the incident, scientists from various organisations in consultation with experts of the IAF, whose radars were also unable to pick up any signal due to the flying of the unidentified objects on the horizon of the lake, came to a conclusion that they were Chinese lanterns.

The proposal to shoot down one such flying object was turned down by the Government as the region had last heard a gun shot only on October 29, 1962, during hostilities with China and such a move risked increasing tension.

It was not clear as to when the scientists from Isro would be arriving to examine the flying objects, which are now visible again in the evening and in the night. The last set was visible in the wee hours of the morning.

Intelligence agencies have opined that this could be a psychological operation of the Chinese army and a possibility of launching "Chinese lanterns" during day break and in night was looked into by various astronomers, scientists and experts who have studied glaciers for years together, the sources said.

The history of lanterns being used in battle ground dates back to third century when Zhuge Liang used this technique to seek help from his friends in fighting the enemy.The lanterns or balloons were deployed for signalling and a spy blimp.

Zhuge Liang was a chancellor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history.

Experts from Ladakh-based Indian Astronomical Observatory and other scientists then studied the phenomenon of the luminous objects and found that they disappear in 12 to 18 minutes.


Updated Date: Dec 16, 2012 14:03 PM

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