A mysterious bright flash turned night into day over a huge area of Russia on January 7, 2018.
The phenomenon was seen and felt over thousands of miles in Russia, especially in the regions Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan.
The flash accompanied by large explosions, whereby even the ground was shaking and moving according to witnesses was blamed on a UFO visitation or a meteor exploding in the atmosphere.
Russian officials and scientists immediately denied that there had been a Russian missile test or any reported space rock crashing to earth, but it is clear that something unprecedented has taken place in the sky.
‘It lit the night sky from side to side, making it look brighter than daylight,’ said one account.
Artyom Russkikh said: ‘We saw this while driving.
‘There was a vibration and the sound of explosion in the sky. Awesome.
Firaya Zaripova commented: ‘Probably it was the testing of some military weapon, if even the ground was shaking.’
Yet this was denied.
Ilnaz Shaykhraziev said: ‘I saw the flash, while in Menzelinsk.
‘There was also the sound of an explosion and then a vibration, I felt it.’
For Denis Rozenfeld, it was clear: ‘A meteor burned out, not reaching the lower layers of the atmosphere.
‘Before this it exploded and split into many small pieces. That is why there was such a sound, which came to us in a few seconds.
‘It’s a funny coincidence that such a rare phenomenon for our region has happened right on Christmas.’
Spookily, similar phenomenon were reported last year in Kazan, several years ago in Karelia, and in 2006 in Moscow.
Yuri Nefefyev, director of the Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory, sees the origin was atmospheric electricity, saying that this is still something not properly explained by science.
‘There are a huge number of effects linked to atmospheric electricity, many of which are not properly studied because of how rarely they occur,’ he said.
Yet scientists offered completely different versions of what happened.
Some claimed the bright light flash was refracting from low clouds, others that it was a dry thunderstorm. Astronomers from Kazan Federal University insisted there was a space link.
It reminds us the Tugunska event from June 30, 1908 when a huge explosion, which came out of nowhere, ripped through the air above a remote forest in Siberia, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River and flattened 2,000 square kilometers of forest.
It is said that in the Tugunska case, a UFO has destroyed itself by crashing into an object to save Russia with as a result that the object is thought to have disintegrated at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers rather than to have hit the surface of the earth.