Indian Army Mistook Jupiter, Venus For Chinese Spy Drones

The Indian Army apparently thought that they were being spied on by the Chinese, but it turned out they were looking at a more extraterrestrial observer:

New Delhi, July 23: Phew! Science has saved a Roman god and a goddess from possible Armageddon launched from the Earth by the mighty Indian Army, egged on by TV studio patriots always keeping a gimlet eye open for Chinese intruders.

The Indian Army mistook Jupiter and Venus as unidentified flying intruders making nocturnal sorties from China into the skies above eastern Ladakh for over six months until astronomers brought their fears to ground, it has been disclosed.

Requested by the army, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, deputed two astronomers to Ladakh earlier this year to resolve the mystery of the two objects that the army had been observing in the sensitive border zone since August 2012.

Sources told The Telegraph that army personnel had until February 2013 documented 329 sightings of the unidentified objects seen over Thakung near Pangong Tso, a high-altitude lake shared by India and Tibet.

The objects were perceived to have violated the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that India shares with China 155 times.

The astronomers were told that the first object, viewed from a location about 4,715 metres above sea level near Thakung, appeared in the horizon at about 6pm and remained visible until about 5am. The second object appeared at 4am and faded away at 11am.

The sightings emerged amid what defence analysts say are simmering concerns within the Indian Army about cross-border transgressions and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the Chinese to look into Indian territory.

“Our task was to determine whether these unidentified objects were celestial or terrestrial,” Tushar Prabhu, a senior astronomer and a member of the IIAP team, said.

The IIAP operates the world’s highest telescope at Hanle, Ladakh, about 150km south of the location where the sightings were reported.

Army lance naik Sheminderpal Singh — a regular observer at Point 4715 — told the astronomers that he had noticed a delay of four minutes in the appearance of one of the objects each consecutive day. Singh also told them that the object seemed to be the brightest light in the sky and always appeared to move with respect to the stars.

Well, I suppose that his superiors should appreciate his vigilance. Although one wonders why it took six months for anyone to figure out what was really going on.

Via Facebook and BBC News

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    Hilarious. Although now, you could probably fool the same guy by making a drone that moves with the stars.

  2. Dazedandconfused says:

    Indian practical joke, likely. They just love playing them, and a lot of those jokes strike us as a bit odd.