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The Internet is buzzing over a reported sighting of a UFO over China's Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou on July 7, 2010.

According to ABC News, the unidentified object was taken serious by air traffic controllers, who immediately grounded planes ready for takeoff and rerouted incoming flights to other airports.

Contentious speculation about the nature of the object ranges from a secret Russian or American stealth plane, missile, satellite, or drone; to wilder claims of extraterrestrial visitors.

Chinese civilians also reported seeing an unusual aerial phenomenon just prior to the Xiaoshan Airport incident.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) confirmed to ABC News that the incident remains under investigation. One unidentified source reportedly leaked that Chinese authorities had determined that there was "a military connection" to the UFO incident.

Interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations has been fueled by popular science fiction and recent statements from scientists about the potential for alien life forms. The discovery of numerous planets beyond our solar system and rumors of government cover-ups of an alien presence have increased informed speculation about otherworldly visitors to Earth.

Stephen Hawking, the world's most recognizable physicist, recently warned about the dangers of making contact with an advanced alien civilization.

Bob Bigelow, an entrepreneur at the forefront of the privatization of space travel, told the New York Times, "I´ve been a researcher and student of UFO´s for many, many years...Anybody that does research, if people bother to do quality research, come away absolutely convinced. You don´t have to have personal encounters...People have been killed. People have been hurt. It´s more than observational kind of data."

Past investigative efforts of unusual phenomena by Bob Bigelow involved a former high-ranking CIA official and scientists who continue to consult to the US government on matters of exotic phenomena, like teleportation.

Off the record comments provided on background appear to confirm concerns by the US government over a 'phenomenology problem' possibly linked to the appearance of UFOs, or even official contact by the government with an extraterrestrial presence visiting the Earth.

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Category: Weird Desk