Saturday, October 23, 2010

Again, a "UFO" Closes an Asian Airport - Venus Once Again?

Probably most of you have seen the story about how on July 7 the airport in the Chinese city of Hangzhou was closed because a UFO was allegedly hovering over its runway (see ). I wrote about this in my Psychic Vibrations column in the just-released issue of Skeptical Inquirer (Nov/Dec, 2010). And I suggested that the "UFO" that concerned them may well have been Venus. The explanation of all this is in the column, I won't repeat it here.

I also noted in that column how in January of 2001, the Siberian airport of Barnaul was also closed for an hour and a half because of a "UFO." And how the French UFO investigator Eric Malliot discovered that the position of the reported UFO matched exactly the known position of Venus.

Well, now we have a third incident where a "UFO" has closed an airport, and once again, Venus is a prime suspect. The incident occurred on Sept. 11 in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, but wasn't reported until several weeks later. As reported in The Telegraph (U.K.), "An airport in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, was forced to shut to prevent passenger jets crashing into a UFO, according to reports. Starting around 8 PM, three flights to Baotou from Shanghai and Beijing were reportedly forced to circle the airport until the UFO disappeared. Two other flights were diverted away from Baotou and to the nearby cities of Ordos and Taiyuan. The airport was shut for around an hour "to guarantee safety" according to a spokesman." . Also see

 On Sept. 11, Venus was setting about 1 hour 20 mins after the sun, from the latitude of  Baotou, Inner Mongolia. Notice that the airport was closed for "around an hour" until the object disappeared. 

We cannot say with certainty that the "UFO" was Venus, because we do not have information about the object's apparent elevation and direction. But past experience creates the suspicion. At first it might seem impossible that educated and sane people would mistake the bright planet Venus, then near maximum brilliance, for a hovering UFO, but it has happened over and over again, all over the world. As the well-known pro-UFOlogist Jacque Vallee wrote in his book Challenge to Science back in 1966, "No single object has been misinterpreted as a 'flying saucer' more often than the planet Venus. The study of these mistakes proves quite instructive, for it shows beyond all possible dispute the limitations of sensory perception and the weakness of accounts relating shapes and motions of point sources or objects with small apparent diameters."


  1. I've subscribed. It's hard to find good sources of info on the UFO thing.
    It's amazing that a report in a newspaper about a UFO can be taken as fact that Alien-UFOs (AUFO) are actually closing down airports! Rather than the multiple alternate explanations and the many weak-points in the reports, the conclusion is simply jumped-to: it's a belief in belief thing.

    Looking forward to future posts.


  2. Geez, Uncle Bob — after reading the comment from "Atheist Wars", I don't think you ought to give out your street address anymore . . .

  3. Many times I have looked at the sky, seen a bright white object resembling a star, and wondered "Is that Venus?" only to see it is an airplane approaching with its landing lights on. It's not surprising at all to see the mix-up go the other way around. And it is always better safe than sorry; you don't want to have planes taking off if there might be another one heading straight for the runway!

  4. I'm fascinated by how this happens. I've seen Venus many times, but never under any circumstances that would suggest to me that it could be mistaken for anything mysterious. Obviously it does happen, though.

    Is it generally tied to how bright Venus appears at a given time, or are there any other circumstances that seem to make it more likely for people to make this mistake?

  5. How often has the moon been mistaken for a UFO. I do have a personal story along those lines.

  6. DO you really take so many people as that thick to think Venus, which would look like a bright star in the sky, would be mistaken for something hovering near a airport?...Probably was something else, but certainly not Venus...

  7. @Kevin:


    Saw Venus again for the first time in a long time in the eastern sky before sunrise just this past week. It does get your attention . . . got mine through the bathroom window. I'm sure Venus makes a convenient force fit explanation for many cases but a legitimate explanation? Put the over/under at 3% and I'll take the under. :O)


    Can you help me debunk this? Some friends are really riding me.


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