Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police launch probe into UFO explosion

Police launch probe into UFO explosion

Police launch probe into UFO explosion

O

uch Neakk was tending to his water buffalo at 10am on May 27 when a large chunk of steel fell from the sky and landed just four meters away from him.

The 62-year-old farmer from Kampot province's Prek Kreng village said he heard repeated explosions and saw a trail of smoke below the cloud line before more pieces of metal debris began landing his rice field. 

"I had no idea what was going on," Neakk told the Post.

"I thought someone was throwing stones at me before I realized it was pieces of steel from an explosion."

Similar sightings were reported along the Cambodian and Vietnamese coasts, sparking a slew of explanations, from a plane crash to UFOs.

Islanders from Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam reported hearing explosions, seeing something burning in the sky and finding shards of metal debris - but quite what it was, no one knows.

Phu Quoc Island's district's military chief, Colonel Nguyen Van Qui, reported on May 28 that "an unidentified flying object exploded at about 10am on May 27 over the northern part of Phu Quoc Island," according to the state-run Vietnam News Agency.

Huynh Tan Hung, an official of the people's committee of the island's Ganh Dau commune, said local people had heard a series of noises, including a loud bang, just after 10am.

"We all saw something burning in the sky, north of Phu Quoc Island. The fire was in the sky near Cambodian territory. In our commune, we collected one piece of metal, measuring one meter by about 60 centimeters," he said.

In Kampot, deputy military commander Kung Mony told reporters that day that a small plane had crashed in the southern part of the province but later retracted his comments.

Airlines in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand said all of their planes were accounted for and Cambodian aviation officials have denied that any aircraft are missing.

But eyewitness accounts and the metal debris discovered in the Kampot vicinity indicate that something - most likely an unmanned spy drone, according to Kampot police - went down in the province.

Kampot police official Khieu Sopheak said that in addition to Neakk's find, three Kampot fishermen reported pulling chunks of steel out of the sea while fishing.

I thought someone was throwing stones at me before I realized it was pieces of steel from an explosion.

– Kampot farmer

"They were going to sell them to scavengers but we are checking them out because I suspect they are pieces of some kind of aircraft," Sopheak said.
The three pieces of debris weighed between half a kilogram and 10.2 kilograms.

Two officers from the headquarters of the National Police in Phnom Penh went to Kampot to investigate and they have taken the shards of steel to Phnom Penh for further investigation, Sopheak said, adding that local police are also interviewing all eyewitnesses for information.

Kampot province deputy police chief In Chiva said police suspected the shards of metal were "pieces of an unmanned spy drone."

He added that the provincial police had no equipment to carry out further tests on the debris and sent it to Phnom Penh on May 29 where it would be investigated properly. 

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