Balloon-like ‘UFO’ in Japanese sky sets Twitter afire

Balloon-like ‘UFO’ in Japanese sky sets Twitter afire

A balloon-like white object in the sky is pictured in Sendai, Japan on Wednesday. (Kyodo/via Reuters photo)
A balloon-like white object in the sky is pictured in Sendai, Japan on Wednesday. (Kyodo/via Reuters photo)

TOKYO: The appearance of a mysterious white object in the sky over northern Japan on Wednesday set social media ablaze, with speculation ranging from UFOs to coronavirus and North Korean propaganda.

Television footage taken in the northeastern city of Sendai showed a balloon-like object above a cross, on which propellers seemed to be turning. Officials in the Sendai Weather Bureau said it had appeared near dawn and hung in the sky for hours, largely unmoving, until obscured by clouds.

By afternoon it was the third-most trending topic on Japanese Twitter, with theories including UFOs and North Korean balloons used to drop leaflets. One user said it could be spreading novel coronavirus, adding, "This gives me a very bad feeling, as if Godzilla might suddenly appear."

"PopcornParty010" created a tongue-in-cheek mockup of a London Times front page with the banner headline "Sendai Annihilated: A Nightmare come True."

Police could not be immediately reached for comment and a Sendai government official said inquiries were still proceeding, with both the size of the object and its origin, as well as its function, undetermined. No move had been made to retrieve it as of late afternoon.

"We have absolutely no idea what it is," said a weather bureau spokesman, declining to give his name. "It may be some kind of weather monitoring equipment, but it definitely isn't ours.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (16)

China neighbours worry Australia sub deal will destabilise region

France isn’t the only country upset about a new security pact between the US, UK and Australia: Some Southeast Asian nations are also worried the partnership could provoke China and spur a regional arms race.

17:30

Shots for kids

The first 2,000 students receive an initial dose of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine as part of a campaign to inoculate youngsters in Greater Bangkok ahead of the reopening of schools.

17:20

SCG Packaging plans B11.8 bn Vietnam expansion

SCG Packaging Plc (SCGP) on Monday announced an 11.8 billion baht expansion in its packaging paper business in Vietnam, anticipating growth in demand.

17:18