Investigators are making all out efforts to identify and trace the origin of a mystery object and a glider that flew over the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Lohegaon on June 29 and 30 exploring all possibilities,including powered/non-powered aircraft,balloons and even an aero-model, but have met with little success so far.
The matter has been handed over to the Intelligence Bureau. Inquiries have been made at the NDA and the aviation club in Baramati,besides the Gliding Centre in Hadapsar. All three have denied a connection.
In a written reply to a questionnaire sent by The Indian Express,Lohegaon- based IAF 2 Wing said,Nothing substantial has been established in reference to spotting an unidentified glider-like object over Pune on 29 and 30 June. Inquiries have been made with NDA,Baramati and Hadapsar who have confirmed that it was not their aircraft. No information has been received from India Meteorological Department (IMD) that the object was one of their weather balloons,although it has been confirmed by the Go Air pilot that the object didnt look like a balloon.
While the NDA has powered Super Dimona aircraft used for training cadets,the Baramati- based organisation flies Cessna 152.
For a detailed investigation,Police have already been approached,who are yet to communicate their findings, the IAF said. On June 29,the pilot of a Go Air 367 aircraft spotted a flying object at about 5.17 pm which an IAF press release said looked like the canopy of a power glider. Again on June 30,a white glider a fixed-wing aircraft was spotted by ATC at 7.45 am south of Pune airfield.
A paraglider approached by the investigating agencies said: On June 29,the wind was blowing at 40- 50 km per hour. For paragliders to operate,the wind speed has to be less than 20- 25 km per hour. As such,the object cannot be a paraglider. Also,paragliding is carried out in hilly areas. It is practically impossible over the city. There are four- five paragliding clubs in the city and neither of them has indulged in such an act which is a violation of norms as well. The object was drifting with air flow and could be a balloon released by the Met Department.
Newsline accessed records of the IMD Surface Instruments laboratory. While the laboratory had released balloons on July 24 and May 2,a radiometer balloon was sent up on July 27. In June,we did not release any balloon, said an IMD official.