An unidentified flying object (UFO) forced Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou, China to cease operations on July 7. A flight crew preparing for descent first detected the object around 8:40 p.m. and notified the air traffic control department. Aviation authorities responded within minutes, grounding outbound flights and diverting inbound ones to airports in Ningbo and Wuxi.
Eighteen flights were affected. Though normal operations resumed an hour later, the incident captured the attention of the Chinese media and sparked a firestorm of speculation on the UFO's identity.
"It is a hidden U.S. bomber flying toward China," one Internet user wrote on Monday. Another wrote on Sunday night, "In my opinion, the UFO is neither a U.S. missile nor a Russian satellite. Suggestions that it is extraterrestrial are even more preposterous. Everyone, use your head. This is clearly a man-made phenomenon. Would the U.S. or Russia risk provoking China's anger by firing a missile or satellite rocket in Chinese skies, without warning? I believe the Chinese military is responsible for the UFO. It is a new missile or aircraft being tested out."