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UFO makes bright flash in the sky with green tail: meteor or missile or....?

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 October 2016

As usual there is outlandish speculation about an alien visit, but there is genuine puzzlement and disagreement among experts over the mystery object.

'A comet fell from the sky, it was glowing bright green (and quite large)...'  Picture: Arigus-TV

The bright flash lit the evening sky on 25 October at around 7.30pm, seen by many people in the Republic of Buryatia and Irkutsk region, which surround the world's biggest lake. 

Here are some eyewitness descriptions:

'A comet fell from the sky, it was glowing bright green (and quite large)...'

'At 19.30 in the sky a comet or a meteor was flying. There was a powerful flash. Who else saw it?' 

'Today, at about 19.50, there was was a strange flash in the sky. Looked like a comet with a green tail.'

Meteorite


Meteorite

'And then we saw the object flying, leaving behind a trail. Pictures: Ramiro Sollis

People in Irkutsk region located the flash to around the northeastern shore of Lake Baikal, the deepest on the planet. Mikhail Ovdin, director of the Zapovednoye Podlemorye nature reserve witnesses the spectacle: 'In the area of Goryachinsk we saw a sharp light of bright green colour.

'And then we saw the object flying, leaving behind a trail. It flew within five seconds, and disappeared over Lake Baikal. I think it burned down in the atmosphere.' 

Yet experts disagree over the unidentified flying object.

The head of the Astronomical Observatory at Buryat State University in Ulan-Ude, Liliya Mironova, said defiantly: 'I myself did not witness the incident, but I saw the videos.

'I can say with certainty that it was not a meteorite, not a meteor or a comet. It is clear that we are talking about some sort of man-made object. Firstly, if it reached the ground, there would be a shock wave, and everybody would have felt it. But it did not reach the ground. This object is very slow.'

Meteorite


Meteorite


Meteorite

'This is ten times less than the Chelyabinsk meteorite (2013) and even less than the Vitim bolide (2002, and also in Irkutsk region).' Pictures: Arigus-TV, Lev Abashkin

Other experts countered that it was flying at high speed. 

'It is clear that it just flies, but it does not burn. Burning in the atmosphere is a very bright flash, you know, it's bit different.'

And yet...? A manmade object suggests an an intercontinental ballistic missile. The same day, a test launch was made from the Yasnenskoye missile unit in Orenburg region of an ICBM RS-18. The launch was successful, the missile landed at combat field Kura on the Kamchatka Peninsula. 

It is possible but not likely that it might has traversed this part of Siberia, and yet the timing of the launch at 16.58 Irkutsk time suggests it would not have been in this vicinity at this time, having long passed this location.

The Defence Ministry did not specify any other launches on the same day. 

Map

The same day, a test launch was made from the Yasnenskoye missile unit in Orenburg region of an ICBM RS-18. The launch was successful, the missile landed at combat field Kura on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Picture: The Siberian Times

And another astronomical expert disagrees with Liliya Mironova. Director of the Observatory of Irkutsk State University, Sergei Yazev, insisted: 'Without doubt, we are talking about a space bolide.'

A bolide is a meteor that explodes in the atmosphere. If so, possibly its debris fell into Lake Baikal.

'This is a typical picture (of a bolid),' he said of the images. 'It was burning in the atmosphere, the green glow was because of the high temperature... In addition, the missile launch and the appearance of the glowing in the sky do not coincide in time. As for any other man-made objects, I say no again, this is not possible.'

A falling satellite deorbiting and crashing to earth would have been known about in advance, he said. 'We can assume that the size of the meteor was about 50 centimetres,' he argued. 

Sergey Yazev

Director of the Observatory of Irkutsk State University, Sergei Yazev, insisted: 'Without doubt, we are talking about a space bolide.' Picture: Ivan Pakhomov

'This is ten times less than the Chelyabinsk meteorite (2013) and even less than the Vitim bolide (2002, and also in Irkutsk region). It may well be that it was not all burned out and some small stone debris could fall to the ground.

'However, finding it will be incredibly difficult. The chances are almost zero. Firstly, it is small, and secondly, the territory of Buryatia and the Irkutsk region is not densely populated. It may well be that a small stone could fall into the snow.'

Another local expert has a different theory. 

Meteorite


Meteorite


Meteorite

'It looks like a meteor, but most likely it is the result of a missile launch and falling of pieces of this missiles on the ground.' Pictures: Arigus-TV

Executive director of the Irkutsk planetarium Pavel Nikiforov said: 'This body leaves a characteristic trail and glow - it looks like a meteor, but most likely it is the result of a missile launch and falling of pieces of this missiles on the ground.'

He stressed: 'No monitoring website showed that a celestial body had fallen to the ground.' He thinks that only an expedition to the place of the alleged fall could answer the mystery. 

Meanwhile, social media was buzzing with comments such as: 'Maybe aliens?' and 'Soon there will be reports about mutants'.

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