A mysterious Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) was spotted in the skies of Khartoum on Monday night. The luminous body, seen clearly at around 3:15 am local time, was surrounded by a radiant green light, according eye witnesses.
The Sudanese military released a statement on Monday morning confirming the presence of a UFO and claiming that it is a ‘suspected’ satellite.
"Our base in Omdurman has received notifications from some nearby stations of the emergence a bright body flying at low altitude over the Wadi Sayidna military zone,” said the Sudanese military in a statement on Monday.
“A state of extreme readiness was undertaken to deal with the aerial target and intercept it as a photographic reconnaissance vehicle,” the statement said. The object however was not identified, the Sudanese military added.
I have witnessed it by my own eyes, and this picture has been taken by my friend pic.twitter.com/GwL4Fc5B1z— Abdelrahman Osman (@Abdelrahmanxyz) January 10, 2018
According to Dutch Scientist, Dr Marco Langbroek, the UFO was likely to be the US satellite Zuma, which was reported to have failed after launch on Sunday and fell into the Indian ocean.
The Falcon 9 spacecraft, owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, launched a classified US satellite codenamed Zuma and was reported to have malfunctioned after launch.
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that Zuma fell back to Earth and burned up in the planet’s atmosphere.
Langbroek on his Twitter account on Monday published the details of his theory along with a photograph taken by a Dutch pilot of the luminous body when his flight passed over Khartoum at the time of its appearance.
“This is the image taken by Dutch pilot Peter Horstink, from his aircraft over Khartoum near 3:15 UT, 2h 15m after launch. This is probably the Falcon 9 venting fuel,” Langoroek said.
Martinair pilot Captain Peter Horstink of flight MPH8371 from Amsterdam to Johannesburg, told Langbreok that he saw the strange body above the sky of Khartoum between 3:15 and 3:20 local time.
"He noticed the luminous body that was moving slowly to the south, surrounded by a radiant green light. He watched it for about three minutes,” Langbroek said.
Langbroek disputes the fact that the launch has failed and claims that it is more likely to have succeeded due to its appearance over Khartoum.
“About the rumors that Zuma or its Falcon 9 (launch vehicle) failed: I have a positive, photographically documented observation of the Falcon 9 upper stage venting fuel after re-entry burn, ahead of re-entry, over East Africa some 2h15m after launch. Pretty much where it ought to be,” the Dutch scientist tweeted.
Zuma was due to perform secret US military missions around the Earth's orbit, but the US Strategic Command, which monitors artificial objects in space, said it had not picked up a new object since the launch. Increasing uncertainty about the body seen in the skies of Sudan.