Locals in north of Yakutia reported that their day suddenly turned to night around noon on Friday, and for almost three hours they needed torches to see where they were going. People from remote Eveno-Bytantaisky, Zhigansky and Verkhoyansky districts turned to newspapers, begging local media to explain what the hell happened, baffling by this sudden darkness – even though they should have 24-hour light at this time of year.
‘The sun went out around 11am, and didn’t come back until about 2pm. I couldn’t see a thing without switching lights on. We took torches to walk outside, but actually no-one wanted to be on the street because the feeling was as if something heavy in the air was pressing on your chest‘, said one resident.
The darkness had a ‘yellow’ tinge, or was associated with dust clouds, say various versions.
After the sun returned, locals found thick layer of dust covering everything outside. The other version says it is ash from wildfires that have been raging over a territory of 12,500km2 since beginning of July. Yet neither Eveno-Bytantaisky, nor Zhigansky district were close to the wildfire areas, and air was completely still on the morning it happened.
‘Water in open street barrels turned into a dirty mess. Water in lakes went black because of dust‘, said an eye-witness. However, an official in Nizhne-Bytantaisky contradicted residents who had reported a thick layer of dust after the cloud and darkness vanished.
Sun wasn’t visible in two neighbouring districts in the extreme north of Yakutia, but no other area of the republic reported the cataclysm.
‘We wondered if this was an eclipse, but it can’t be something witnessed only by two districts. Normally before any eclipse air temperature drops by 3, 4 degrees centigrade, and true, that morning was cooler than usual. But our area is always quite cold, so we didn’t pay special attention‘, said Maria from a village in Zhigansky district.
But the mystery gets murkier over the cloud that turned day into night in these remote areas of Russia. Yes, there are still no official explanations for darkness over swathes of Yakutia – larger than Italy.
Here some theories exchanged on Social Media:
- Ash from wildfires
- Eclipse – except there wasn’t one
- This can only be explained by a UFO
- Light flash registered by US satellites, followed by an increase of radioactive level and unusual activity of the military
- We are never going to be told the TRUTH
An official explains:
‘The air went dark, and got darker and darker, but this time unlike anything else we have seen before the darkness had a rich yellow undertone. It was very unusual. We doubt the solar eclipse version. Usually weather stations and media inform everyone about eclipses in advance. And no eclipse can last this long.‘
‘When the Sun vanished, people started calling us in the administration. Many got scared, specially elderly people. People who live here for many years said they had never witnessed anything like this. The darkness was pitch black. It didn’t come at once, but grew gradually. The Sun was gone from 11.30 until 14.00 on Friday 20 July. There was no dust. There was no sharp decrease in air temperature either as it happened. But on that night the air dropped down to -4°C. We don’t know what to think. We have no experts, and rumours keep growing.‘
The Sun didn’t ‘leave’ all Arctic Yakutia districts. The major of Verkhoyansk said that ‘the sun didn’t disappear, but something strange happened on that day. It was as if the day has gone overcast, as if the sun was covered with a cloud, or not a cloud… but there was no rain.‘
This is another strange and unexplained mystery… Like the lake disappearance on Novaya Zemlya, in northern Russia this month.