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Muhnochwa-India 2002. UFO panic?

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posted on Feb, 6 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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Somehow these events have slipped by the UFO fans and websites...

During the summer of 2002, people in the Lucknow area of the province of Uttar Pradesh experienced a wave of panic that made national headlines. Strange lights in the night sky coincided with reports of people being attacked in their homes and on the streets by something that left burns and scratches. The resulting claims and explanations for the events make interesting reading...



Uttar Pradesh is in the north of India and the events occurred in a radius of 50 miles of Lucknow. Military, police and scientists offered explanations that included ball lightning, Pakistani terrorism, insects and mass hysteria. The popular press ran stories of UFO claims, deaths and people being injured in the panic.

The phenomena was dubbed 'Muhnochwa'...the 'Face-Scratcher/ Scorcher.'



To begin with, reports began to circulate of UFOs. Flashing blue and green lights were seen in the night skies. The reports were word-of-mouth and soon gained the attention of the local press. Initially, the reports only included unusual activity of these lights. Shortly after the accounts developed a closer, human element as people claimed to have been approached by solitary red, blue and/or green lights and to have then been injured. The claimed injuries ranged from scratches to electric burns to deep wounds.


SHANWA, India (AP) -- It comes in the night, a flying sphere emitting red and blue lights that attacks villagers in this poor region, extensively burning those victims it does not kill. At least that's what panic-stricken villagers say. At least seven people have died of unexplained injuries in the past week in Uttar Pradesh state. "A mysterious flying object attacked him in the night," Raghuraj Pal said of his neighbor, Ramji Pal, who died recently in Shanwa. "His stomach was ripped open. He died two days later." Many others have suffered scratches and surface wounds, which they say were inflicted while they slept. In the village of Darra, 53-year-old Kalawati said she was attacked last week and displayed blisters on her blackened forearms. "It was like a big soccer ball with sparkling lights," said Kalawati, who uses only one name. "It burned my skin."
Indian villagers blame UFO for attacks, but police blame insects



In one incident, deepening panic caused police to open fire on a crowd that had turned hostile. People felt unsafe and blamed authorities for not being seen to deal with the problem. Two people died from police gunfire. Others claimed to have been attacked by the Muhnochwa, but were found to have self-inflicted wounds.

At this point, events become fascinating. An 'A-Team' of experts were gathered and sent to the area to investigate. They interviewed people and did all the standard activities we'd expect them to do. They followed the same format as the investigators at Colares 1977and the Skinwalker Ranch . Then they did something that I find extraordinary. They designed a 'bait trap' based on the descriptions of this alleged flying, illuminated object...and it worked!


A base of a mixer grinder was fitted with lights of the colours that the victims had narrated before the team varying from orange, yellow, green to the most common red and blue combination. The apparatus was put at a height in total darkness. The idea behind the exercise was that the extra-terrestrial body may take note of something resembling it and might come near it. And it did. At 1:05 am a flash of light neared the apparatus.

"It was like the photocopier top plate with that sharp light while taking impressions," revealed a member of the team while drawing a parallel. The team, comprising forensic experts, serologists, medico-legal experts, electronic engineers and physicists equipped with night vision devices, zero light video cameras and telescopes apart from other gadgetry, was witness to the "light" which was seen thrice. It descended close to the handmade muhnochwa and then disappeared. The video clipping has a flash of light running across the screen but nothing more
.
Extra-terrestrials invade UP, says IB

Explanations were abundant. The local Police chief considered the muhnochwa to be a hybrid insect/robot sent by Pakistan to spy and seed unrest. Others believed that the injuries were caused by the seasonal activities of a grasshopper. Ball lightning theories were also suggested...


According to Prof Arora, a specialist in high-voltage electricity, "dry spells increase the soil resistance while decreasing it conductivity, and in the process attract lightning balls that emit different colour lights -- mostly blue, green, yellow or red." He told rediff.com, "I have sufficient reason to believe that the burn injuries on the faces of victims were caused by nothing other than these lighting balls, which range from the size of a tennis ball to a football." "The phenomena of lightning balls is older than the life on earth and there was constant evidence of these balls over the ages... while reports on it were received from different parts of USA and Europe, the highest frequency was reported from New Zealand."
IIT scientist solves mystery behind 'UFO'

Some of these descriptions remind me of Corales 1977 ( ATS Thread-Hostile UFO Encounters: Colares, 1977 )....UFOs and flying gadgets causing wounds to people from poor areas. The population of Corales were from a similar demographic...low literacy, poor education and widespread poverty. The events could be an example of widespread hysteria. What I find most interesting is the 'bait trap' and apparent video footage they recorded. It was a genius idea in the sense it hadn't been done before, as far as I know. That it allegedly drew a response that was recorded (three times) is fascinating.

As ever, I think this is worth an ATS discussion. I've no conclusion about it all.

Links to all sources and further reading...

Physics Forums: UfO Attacks-7 Dead-India

Indian villagers blame UFO for attacks, but police blame insects

Muhnochwa only a scare, says IIT team

Rense:India's 'Face-Scratching' UFO
Continues To Sow Terror


MUHNOCHWA STRIKES AGAIN IN INDIA


[edit on 6-2-2010 by Kandinsky]

[edit on 6-2-2010 by Kandinsky]




posted on Feb, 6 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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Nice work Kandinsky! You have put together a very nice thread indeed.

After dinner I will for sure read the rest of these links, I think I have heard about this story on here before actually but no one put this much together for it. I think the prevailing theory at the time was military experiments. Don't quote me on that though, it is a distant memory.

BTW check your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs under your first pic. They are redundant.

Great work though man, I really love it when a thread gets the effort it deserves and the Research that it needs!

And you sir have been researching this one for quite awhile it appears!

S+F and two thumbs up



posted on Feb, 6 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


G'day Kandinsky

Thank you for your very interesting & well constructed report.

As for what I think went on there.....

I have no idea.

I will read the material to which you have linked & watch your thread unfold with great interest.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Feb, 6 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 



BTW check your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs under your first pic. They are redundant.

Great work though man, I really love it when a thread gets the effort it deserves and the Research that it needs!

And you sir have been researching this one for quite awhile it appears!


Cheers. Corrected the repeated paragraphs. I've sat on this one for about 5 months. I emailed a couple of the journalists and bloggers and had either no-reply or dead accounts.

Karl12's...Missing UFO Evidence prompted the thread. There should be video and photos...



posted on Feb, 6 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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A great post from an unknown (to me) case!


As you said, it looks much like the Colares case, along with the population panic and all.

Maybe we could ask the help of our Indian members to see if they can get some more information.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 06:11 AM
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S&F!!!

Great post! never heard of this one before, will definitly be researchin more info on ths one



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


I really thought this was soundly debunked as...insects. not insectoid kind of aliens but mundane bugs



Now comes word that should really bug the True Believers. In a report in the journal Applied Optics, two U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists offer an earthly explanation not only for the Utah UFOS but possibly for many others as well. Reading Salisbury's book, Entomologist Philip S. Callahan and his associate, R.W. Mankin, were struck by the similarity between the movements of the UFOS and the actions of insect swarms. Their conclusion, after some painstaking research: the Utah objects were probably moths known as spruce budworms, illuminated by a common atmospheric phenomenon known as St. Elmo's fire.

Read more: www.time.com...
www.time.com...

those marks were allegedly insect bites...the mundane bugs kind. you know, "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite"

please, don't hurt me



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by reject
 



I really thought this was soundly debunked as...insects. not insectoid kind of aliens but mundane bugs


The article you link has 'debunked' the Indian UFO incidents so well they posted the article on Monday, Nov. 20, 1978, a full 24 years before the events and refers only to Utah, USA.




please, don't hurt me



Hurt you? I could actually kiss you! This story hasn't been featured on ATS before and has had little or no interest from Western UFO fans or media. I'm just glad that one more person has shown an interest....it's been a lost soul on these boards....thanks for reading. I should have named the thread "ETs terrorize India and get captured on film! OMG!!!"



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
[I should have named the thread "ETs terrorize India and get captured on film! OMG!!!"



S & F deserved for the sarcasm alone.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Great find. Never heard of it.

I just read the OP in the diagonal, so I'll give it a closer look later.


But great thread.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by reject
 



I really thought this was soundly debunked as...insects. not insectoid kind of aliens but mundane bugs


The article you link has 'debunked' the Indian UFO incidents so well they posted the article on Monday, Nov. 20, 1978, a full 24 years before the events and refers only to Utah, USA.




please, don't hurt me



Hurt you? I could actually kiss you! This story hasn't been featured on ATS before and has had little or no interest from Western UFO fans or media. I'm just glad that one more person has shown an interest....it's been a lost soul on these boards....thanks for reading. I should have named the thread "ETs terrorize India and get captured on film! OMG!!!"




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by reject
 
Thanks for your post...the link you posted still shows a date of 1978 and has NO reference to India. I've checked again and it still links to a Time article from Monday, Nov. 20, 1978.

The malformed image you then posted refers to the insect explanation mentioned in paragraph 2 of the OP. Here is a clearer extract and link...


Head of the zoology department, Prof KC Pandey, told mediapersons that the three-inch long insect was a rare species and was mostly found on banks of the river. It’s biological name is Schizodatylus Monstruosus.
The insect has six legs and mostly feeds on small insects. Zoology department experts denied that the insect could in any way harm human beings.

The legs have small nails which can only make a slight mark on the skin and not at all the kind of scratches being reported by people, who claim to be victims of muhnochwa, they stated.

Terming the muhnochwa scare as a rumour, Prof Pandey said the insect brought for identification did not emit any lights.
Lakhimpur muhnochwa is a rare grasshopper



It's an idea, I guess? The critter lives near sandy riverbanks... Schizodactylus monstrosus

I mentioned the areas that experienced the muhnochwa were poor and largely undereducated in the OP. Would a lack of education prevent them from seeing crickets? Let's say they haven't seen crickets before...would they mistake it for a flying object with flashing lights? If some of the scratches were caused by this critter (hundreds of miles from its known habitat), it doesn't explain the lights in the sky or the 'bait trap.'

In the OP there's an extract and link from an article that claims the lights to be ball lightning. They are emphatic. Meteorologists say ball lightning, bug experts (entomologists) say insects. Returning to the ball lightning explanation, there is no academic literature referring to multiple injuries or multiple sightings in one area over a short period of time. In this light, Professor Arora was being slightly disingenuous by suggesting his explanation was more than a possibility.(IIT scientist solves mystery behind 'UFO' )



The injuries claimed included scratches, burns, deep cuts and extreme cases where deeper wounds were reported. Some of the accounts attribute the death of two women and the disembowelling of a man. Doctors looking at the injuries (see OP and links) described scratches, cuts, self-inflicted cuts and burns. The burns appeared electrical in origin.


Out of a sample study of 100 injured victims, 10 were found to be victims of an insect bite or scratch. Another 10 suffered the injuries indirectly (like bruises while running after a scare in the night). The remaining had one or more of the following four common factors: Experiencing electric shock, seeing sharp light, feeling hard oval object.
Times of India article (forum copy)

This why the accounts remain interesting...explanations conflict with each other or don't explain all of the details. At the same time they can't be ruled out...hysteria, bugs, UFOs, ball lightning and who knows what else?

I'm not offering explanations or making claims...it's just good ATS subject matter...mystery, mild weirdness and open for opinions!



posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 01:24 PM
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just for good thought look at that cricket in that picture and think about the description of the facial features of grey's...strickinly similar dont you think..wonder if there insectoids?



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 05:38 PM
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In 2008, the Journal of Science Communication explored the mystery of these events in a way that's refreshing. The paper highlights the lack of education in the area and sees the mysterious incidents as an opportunity to engage the local populace with science.


Most of the people were very clear that this was no supernatural happening. The descriptions of objects also varied. In fact, many of them seemed to be sold to the idea that this was some remote- controlled device. Some whispered about the Middle- East (Asian) connection being common, and therefore of easy accessibility of electronic gadgets in the area. They said light spot moved in sky horizontally, became still at some point and then descended at would- be- victim’s house. The reported duration of flight (tens of seconds) rules out meteor. However, usually people overestimate the meteor's flight duration also. But the period of June and July was early for the meteor showers. However, it can be matched with the behaviour of a gas-balloon (even cranes from the nearby wetlands) with some light source (candlestick, bulb and cell?) tied or inside it.

The electric currents just below the surface due to improper earth- connection of electric poles during extremely dry soil conditions may sometimes lead to discharges in atmosphere termed ball lightning [16]. The observed colour (orangish, yellowish) is also said to have been reported in literature. Ball-Lightening is a real atmospheric electrical phenomenon but it's not capable of producing all the reported effects (e.g. scratches; feeling of heavy weight). Also, it's doubtful if the charge within the cloud is enough to cause the reported burns and shock.

Some claimed to have seen cats, one a dog, and in another case a 3 feet high ‘floating doll’- like object. The descriptions of the creature varied widely. It would be impossible to reconcile all these observations. Some visual observations may have been partly true, but the identification incorrect. Reported time of some moving lights matched the flight timings. In principle, a 'floating doll' could have been plasmoid. But, in this case, there were no rains and no lightening during that period. So there was no chance of lightning causing heating and subsequent evaporation of ground- silica, followed by reactions leading to a cloud of burning silicon compounds in air, as was suggested by Abrahamson and Dinnis [17].
A look at S&T Awareness - Enhancements in India

The author, Chandra Mohan Nautiyal, makes a good point. If people had access to education, whatever happened here would be easier to explain through the evidence of informed witnesses.
edit on 20-2-2011 by Kandinsky because: format



posted on May, 3 2017 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: metalholic
just for good thought look at that cricket in that picture and think about the description of the facial features of grey's...strickinly similar dont you think..wonder if there insectoids?
bh



posted on May, 3 2017 @ 02:53 PM
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originally posted by: mohitdwivedi

originally posted by: metalholic
just for good thought look at that cricket in that picture and think about the description of the facial features of grey's...strickinly similar dont you think..wonder if there insectoids?
bh



posted on May, 3 2017 @ 03:02 PM
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Sir,
I had the first hand experience of the phenomenon.
I am a science graduate, and a practioner of law, specialized in criminal side, and extensive experience as prosecutor.
I have witnessed the lights and the scare the created.
AT the same time where. The area was gripped in panic I had to travel 3,000km south. When I came back after 5days things were normal, not a single incident reported in comparison to 100s a day earlier.
It stopped all of sudden.
How come mass hysteria go ll of a sudden.
I was looking for a forum.
These intellectuals are bent to not listen to you.



posted on May, 3 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: mohitdwivedi

Hello! Have you got any links to news sources?

What do you think caused the panic?



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