Strange White Circles in the Sky above Havana Were Not Extraterrestrial

The phenomenon left a group of Luyanó residents stunned and groping for answers. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodriguez, Havana, 19 January 2024 — Some unusual formations in the sky early Friday morning led to a mixture of surprise, excitement and fear among Havana residents. At first glance, they looked like an airplane’s contrails but what made them suspicious was their shape. The string-like cloud, high in the troposphere, looped around three times before trailing off in a straight line towards the horizon.

“What a strange pattern. And it’s so big.” The phenomenon left a group of Luyanó residents stunned and groping for answers. “E.T. is here!” one of them said jokingly. “Aliens or Americans. It can’t be anything else,” answered another. “Girl, what do you mean aliens or Americans? It’s some Russian or Chinese plane that they’re testing here,” a third replied. A fourth feared the apocalypse was at hand while a fifth responded, “Take me now.”

The trail was clearly visible from all points in Havana, including from 14ymedio’s editorial office in Nuevo Vedado. Residents here looked for a more rational explanation. “It must be a natural phenomenon caused by humidity or some temperature differential in the upper atmosphere,” said a young man from Tulipán Street. “I think it’s an optical illusion,” said the friend accompanying him.

A pilot provided a straight answer: “It’s from a plane circling around because it can’t land, no question.” José Martí International Airport was closed at that time of day due to meteorological conditions. An employee, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that it was caused by a Wingo passenger jet en route from Bogotá that ultimately had to be diverted to Cancún. “When visibility is low due to fog, this airport does not have the ground equipment to coordinate landings, so planes have to circle around and sometimes have to go elsewhere,” he explained.

Without addressing the airport’s technical problems, or the dense fog blanketing the area, local officials took note of the commotion caused by the contrail. They reported in a Facebook post that, shortly after 8:00 A.M., takeoffs and landings were operating normally.

By definition, condensation trails are formed when water vapor from an airplane’s turbines is subjected to cold, high-altitude temperatures. It then freezes and forms ice crystals. Despite repeated explanations by scientists and other specialists, there is a widespread conspiracy theory that claims they are “chemtrails” — chemical trails designed to “fumigate” humanity — or part of some malevolent plan to change the planet’s climate.

Flights scheduled immediately after the Colombian carrier’s attempted landing were also diverted to different airports on the island. Those who were hoping for an invasion that would put an end to their troubles will have to keep waiting.


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