Daily Archives: November 8, 2012

On India-China border, reports of UFOs, flying robots skyrocket


indiatoday.intoday.in | Nov 7, 2012

Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have reported Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. An ITBP unit based in Thakung, close to the Pangong Tso Lake, reported over 100 sightings of luminous objects between August 1 and October 15 this year. In reports sent to their Delhi headquarters in September, and to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), they described sighting “Unidentified Luminous Objects” at day and by night. The yellowish spheres appear to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. These were not unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), drones or even low earth-orbiting satellites, say Army officials who have studied the hazy photographs taken by ITBP.

Drone sightings are verified and logged separately. The Army has reported 99 sightings of Chinese drones between January and August this year: 62 sightings were reported in the western sector, the Ladakh region, and 37 in the eastern sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Three of these drones intruded into territory claimed by India along the 365-km-long border with China in Ladakh, manned by ITBP. Such mysterious lights have been sighted before in Ladakh, a barren, 86,000 sq km heavily militarised zone wedged between Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Chinese-occupied Aksai Chin. The persistent sightings by the ITBP this year, however, worried the Army’s Leh-based 14 Corps. The ITBP, did not respond to a detailed India Today questionnaire.

In September, the Army moved a mobile ground-based radar unit and a spectrum analyser-that picks up frequencies emitted from any object-to a mountaintop near the 160-km-long, ribbon-shaped Pangong Lake that lies between India and China. The radar could not detect the object that was being tracked visually, in dicating it was non-metallic. The spectrum analyser could not detect any signals being emitted from them. The Army also flew a reconnaissance drone in the direction of the floating object, but it proved a futile exercise. The drone reached its maximum altitude but lost sight of the floating object.

In late September this year, a team of astronomers from the Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, 150 km south of the lake, studied the airborne phenomena for three days. The team spotted the flying objects, Army officials say, but could not conclusively establish what they were. They did, however, say that the objects were “non celestial” and ruled out meteors and planets.

Scientists however say, the harsh geography and sparse demography of the great Himalayan range that separates Kashmir Valley from Ladakh, lends itself to unusual sightings. “The region is snowbound in winter, has few roads and is one of the most isolated places in India,” says Sunil Dhar, a geologist at the government Post Graduate College in Dharamshala, who has studied glaciers in the region for 15 years.

UFO

Yet, none of the experts from the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)-in charge of technical intelligence-and Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), has been able to identify the objects. This has caused embarrassment rather than fear in the establishment. “Something is clearly wrong, if our combined scientific resources can’t explain the phenomena,” says a senior Army official in Delhi. Intelligence officials say these objects could be a crude psychological operation by China, or sophisticated probes attempting to ascertain India’s defences in Ladakh.

“We can’t ignore these sightings. We need to probe what new technology might have been deployed there, says former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal (retired) P.V. Naik. In 2010, the IAF probed and dismissed Army sightings of such luminous objects as Chinese lanterns. UFO sightings have been endemic to Ladakh over the past decade. In late 2003, 14 Corps sent a detailed report on sightings of luminous objects to Army headquarters. Army troops on posts along Siachen had seen floating lights on the Chinese side. But reporting such phenomena risks inviting ridicule. When told about them at a northern command presentation in Leh, the then army chief, General N.C. Vij, had angrily dismissed the reports as hallucinations.

Scientists say the mysterious objects are not necessarily from outer space.  There is no evidence of UFOS being of extra-terrestrial origin, says reputed Pune-based astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar. The implication of them being alien objects is fancy, not fact, he says.

There is still no explanation, however, for what is believed to be the clearest UFO sighting yet, in the Lahaul-Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh less than 100 km south of Ladakh in 2004. A five-member group of geologists and glaciologists led by Dr Anil Kulkarni of the ISRO’s Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad were on a research trip through the barren Samudra Tapu Valley. They filmed a fourfoot tall robot-like figure, that walked along the valley, 50 m away from them. The humanoid object then rapidly became airborne and disappeared. The encounter lasted 40 minutes.

It was seen by 14 persons including the six scientists. Kulkarni then interviewed each expedition member separately to verify what the team had seen. Copies of his detailed report were circulated to the PMO, ISRO, the Army and several intelligence agencies. Kulkarni established his team hadn’t seen natural phenomenon. The matter, however, was buried soon after.

Sunil Dhar, who was part of the 2004 expedition, terms the sighting of the unidentified object an unforgettable experience. Locals, he says, have reported sighting mysterious objects for many years.  These are unsolved mysteries that need more intensive study, he says. Left unexplained, the Ladakh sightings risk slipping into the crack between fact and science fiction.

Related
. . .
Mystery robot-bringing UFOs sighted by Indian troops on Tibet border
Mysterious UFOs have returned to a remote region on the Tibetan border, according to sightings by Indian troops stationed in the area. The UFOs, which have been reported for years, are said to have included a strange “robot like” figure seen by Indian scientists in 2004 walking along a mountain valley – which then “rapidly became airborne” and flew away.

Tight security as Chinese Communist Party elite prepare to anoint new dictator


New leader: Vice President Xi Jinping is set to take over the leadership of the Communist Party and become the new President

The leader of China is elected every ten years by senior party members

    The announcement will be made at the end of a week-long party conference in Beijing

    It is all but confirmed that it will be current Vice President Xi Jinping

Daily Mail | Nov 7, 2012

By Peter Simpson

China’s Communists leaders will gather amid tight security in Beijing tomorrow to begin a week-long, tightly choreographed display of power and unity – at the end of which they will unveil the mysterious men tasked to lead the world’s second largest economy for the next ten years.

In stark contrast to the nail-biting US election, just who will govern the world’s most populous country has been decided in advance and behind closed doors by the authoritarian regime.

It is almost certain that vice-president Xi Jinping, 59, one of the select group of ‘princelings’ descended from former party grandees, will be appointed Party Secretary and replace current president Hu Jintao.

The other members chosen to serve on the all powerful Politburo Standing Committee remain unknown, though it has been indicated that no women will be among them.

They grip the reins of power facing a slew of challenges – including a slowing economy, rampant corruption, environmental degradation, growing public dissent and the ever restive Tibet and Muslim-populated Xinjiang.

Many observers believe sweeping political reform is vital to keep China stable and prevent an economic meltdown sending the world economy into another tailspin.

‘What they do economically is of vital significance to the world,’ said Jonathan Fenby, the head of China analyst firm Trusted Resources and the author of several books on China.

‘China’s rise has made it the global game changer with the second biggest economy, foreign reserves of more than £2.5 trillion and investments ranging from Thames Water and Heathrow airport to huge holdings in raw materials producers around the planet,’ he added.

But fears are growing the murky power play and jockeying among two cliques has seen hard-lined conservatives smack down liberal reformers.

The toxic run in to the once-in-a-decade power transition has been played out against China’s worst political scandals since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy massacre.

Disgraced senior party member Bo Xilai, whose wife Gu Kailai was convicted of murdering of British businessman Neil Heywood, has been expelled from the party and awaits trial on a raft of charges, including covering up the murder of the Briton.

Earlier this week it was claimed the Chinese government believed Heywood – who had close links with the Bos– was an MI6 informant.

Senior propaganda official: Communist party’s iron-fisted rule ‘suits China’s national reality’


Mr Cai was adamant that the 2,268 Communist party members chosen to come to Beijing for the Congress were able to represent the views of 1.3 billion Chinese Photo: Lintao Zhang/GETTY

The Communist party will begin its once-in-a-decade change of leaders today by insisting that its iron grip on power “suits China’s national reality” on the eve of its 18th national congress.
Communist party rule ‘suits China’s national reality’

Telegraph | Nov 7, 2012

By Malcolm Moore, Beijing

The leading position of the Communist party in China is a decision made by history and the people,” said Cai Mingzhao, one of the Party’s most senior propaganda officials.

Mr Cai had been asked, on the eve of the 18th Party Congress, whether the elite conclave that anoints China’s leaders might one day choose to give more power to the people.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, news of the American election and images of jubilant crowds had been broadcast on Chinese television.

But Mr Cai was quick to rule out any such scenario in China.

“China has scored world renowned achievements and it speaks fully to the leadership of the Communist party,” he said. “The political system suits China’s national reality. We have to unswervingly stick to the right path blazed by the Party.”

He spoke in the Great Hall of the People, after a dress rehearsal for the opening day of the Congress.

Outside, the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square presented a stark contrast to the celebrations on the other side of the world. It was cold, windswept and entirely empty.

Closed to the public for security reasons ahead of the Congress, it was being used as a car park for the sleek black cars of senior Party cadres.

On Thursday, Hu Jintao will open China’s most important political meeting with an address summing up his achievements as president.

A week of closed-door meetings will then take place followed by the unveiling of a new Politburo Standing Committee, China’s equivalent of the Cabinet. The Congress will close next Wednesday.

A survey published in the Global Times, a state-run newspaper, yesterday suggested that eight out of 10 Chinese want greater political reform and two-thirds feel the government should face more public scrutiny.

But Mr Cai was adamant that the 2,268 Communist party members chosen to come to Beijing for the Congress were able to represent the views of 1.3 billion Chinese. “They know their jobs and they know what the people want,” he said.

He added that the Party would embrace both “centralism and democracy” in the way it ran the country, which would grant citizens both “discipline and freedom”.

And while the Party would embrace more “intra-Party democracy”, giving each Communist party official the right “to elect and be elected”, he refused to disclose details of how the Congress would choose its new leaders. “It is a secret ballot,” he said.