Unidentified object in Japan leaves people asking if it's a UFO…or a coronavirus contraption

Harkening back to simpler times, when concern over something as silly as a mysterious white balloon grabbed a city's attention, people in an area of northeast Japan were "bewildered" and "excited" yesterday by an unexpected sighting in the sky. Some speculated it could be a UFO, while others wondered if it was spreading Covid-19. Phones started ringing in the Meteorological Agency in Sendai at 7am, asking what the heck the white orb with a strange metal object hanging from it was.

According to The Japan Times:

The Meteorological Agency's Sendai office received a number of inquiries Wednesday morning over a white balloon-like object floating in the sky over the city, leaving agency officials bewildered and some Twitter users excited.

"It is not something flown by the meteorological agency, and we don't have a clue what it is," an agency official said. "We checked with the Sendai Municipal Government and the Self-Defense Forces, but they don't know either."

…A cross-shaped object is hanging underneath the sphere, and it hardly moves. An agency official said it looks like some kind of an observational instrument.

And from Reuters:

By afternoon it was the third-most trending topic on Japanese Twitter, with theories including UFOs and North Korean balloons used to drop leaflets. One user said it could be spreading novel coronavirus, adding, "This gives me a very bad feeling, as if Godzilla might suddenly appear."

"As of this writing, the object, which presumably is long gone, has still not been identified," said Digital Trends late last night. And unidentified is the way it should end with a story that is meant to grip our imaginations — and take us away from what's really going on in the news these days.