Residents of the city of Birobidzhan in eastern Russia were thrown into panic last weekend when mysterious light beams appeared suddenly in the sky over the city. The multicolored light beams, which sparked fears of an alien invasion among spooked residents, caused a brief traffic chaos as people rushed into their cars and tried to escape from the city.
Panic spread in the city and environs as residents uploaded to social media photos of the multicolored light beams that appeared over the city. Video footage of the shocking and unexpected spectacle uploaded to YouTube on January 5, 2016, by YouTube user Enigma Digest, shows the light beams or poles appearing over the city of Birobidzhan.
While some residents feared that an alien invasion of the city was in progress, others tried to avoid the beams, fearing they were projected down from alien starships to abduct residents by beaming them up Star Trek-style.
A resident, Dimitry Arkady, an amateur astronomer, who witnessed the panic that gripped the city, explained the scene.
“There was real fear in the air, at least several dozen people went scrambling to their cars to get away.”
However, this is not the first time that strange light beams or light poles from the sky have been reported over a Russian city. Similar beams were reportedly observed in the night skies over the city of Saratov in January, 2015.
According to the Daily Mail, Arkady said, “My own theory is that it was the Northern Lights in all their glory. But they were strong and unusual enough to be thought by many to be the result of an alien visitation.”
Spettacolari pilastri di luce osservati nella città russa di Birobidzhan https://t.co/MzBoizQvPd— UfoMistery (@UfoMistery) January 8, 2016
Russian scientists have attempted to offer explanations for the mysterious phenomenon. According to scientists, the “light beams” are a rare atmospheric phenomenon, an optical effect that occurs when ice crystals suspended in the air reflect light rays.
But some viewers suggested that the lights shown in the video could have been caused by laser pointers.
“Laser reflected via the foggy atmosphere. Nothing to see here; slow news day.”
“My first thought was that a set of laser lights had been set up and still the only one that makes sense.”
A newspaper reportedly likened the incident to an alien visitation scene in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 science fiction movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Mysterious light above Russian city of Birobidzhan spark fears of alien arrivals - Daily Mail https://t.co/IuQzUjzQ5r— RLS RUSSIAN NEWS (@RLSRUSSIANNEWS) January 5, 2016
“Same thing happened in china the other day — aliens? It is a little strange that these light shows happen over America’s rivals in the same week.”
“Just like the awesome movie ‘This is the End,’ with James Franco.”
“Beam Me Up Scotty……..there is no intelligent life on this planet.”
Others likened it to the Sunday, October 30, 1938 Orson Welles broadcast.
“It was like the Orson Welles broadcast, you know, the War of the Worlds back in America when they read out the book on the radio and the people thought it was the real thing,” a resident reportedly said.
Orson Welles, an American actor, writer, producer, and director, whose career involved film, theater and radio, performed on the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network in 1938 an adaptation of the 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells, as a Halloween episode of the American radio drama anthology series, The Mercury Theater on the Air.
The performance, the first part of which included simulated news bulletins, suggested to many unwary listeners that an invasion of New Jersey by Martian aliens was in progress. This led to widespread panic, especially among listeners who had missed the introduction where it was made clear that the broadcast was only a drama.
[Image via Travis Walton/Wikimedia/Public Domain]