Did little green men from a red planet ever visit us? A lot of us believe they did and a lot of us don't. A lot of us believe they still do, but we aren't looking hard enough.
Apparently, ATC at Delhi's international airport are among them. On Friday, the Air Traffic Controller at Delhi airport reportedly sighted an Unidentified Flying Object and alerted the Indian Air Force.
Recently, an Air Vistara pilot too had reported seeing a laser beam out of nowhere as he was about to land.
The excitement comes just in time for another fascinating event - the scheduled date for an Unidentified Flying Object - more accurately Space Junk - to hit the Indian Ocean on November 13. Most likely an abandoned piece of space debris, the object - which has been given the name WTF1190F, was initially believed to be carrying alien life before more prosaic explanations came to be accepted.
But this isn't India's first brush with the concept of alien life. We've had at least 5 previous instances of UFO sightings that generated serious buzz:
For seven minutes, the chief aerial officer at the Delhi Flying Club and some other members claimed they saw a metallic cigar-shaped object - about a hundred feet long, hovering in the sky. It looped around a couple of times, and disappeared at great speed.
About 800 villagers in Manbhum, which is essentially present-day Purulia district in West Bengal, claimed they saw an object like a flying saucer.
It reportedly stood still for some time about 500 ft above the ground, then the two sides of the object inflated and it soared up into the skies. Sounds like a picture-perfect UFO dream, except for the 800 people 'witnesses'.
2007 - Eastern Kolkata had its UFO moment this year when a blurry bright object blazed through the skies. It was even captured on camera. A Times of India report described it as below:
"The object, as shown on a TV channel, seemed to alter its shape from a round object to a triangle and then turned into a straight line. It emitted a bright light that formed a circle - almost a halo - and also radiated a range of colours."
The Indian Army reported sightings, this time along the Line of Actual Control with China, somewhere in Demchok, Ladakh area. A report was duly sent to Army headquarters.
Such sightings have often been reported in this region, some even attributed it to Chinese drones though the Chinese naturally denied it. Another pop theory that's done the rounds is the presence of a secret UFO base somewhere along this-high altitude region - a fact that's covered by mutual agreement by both India and China!
This one has a slightly more grounded basis. The Chhattisgarh state department of archaeology and culture reportedly discovered ancient cave paintings, almost 10,000 years old, in Bastar. The paintings supposedly depicted alien like figures and UFOs - sketches of little men with antenna, a flying object with three legs et al.
BONUS! The film that predicted it all
We've made sci-fi films way before Jadoo was crowned cool by multiplexes. Wahan Ke Log, a 1967 Bollywood film was among the earliest productions to showcase the alien invasion trope to mainstream audiences in India.
A laser ray capable of mass destruction, a diamond hoarder and a bunch of Martians who want all the diamonds they can get (because it's a source of pure carbon, which they need), plus Johnny Walker playing the role of a detective. All accompanied by a trippy dance number called, naturally, Wahan Ke Log. What's not to like?!