REMOTE Russian towns were plunged into total darkness for several hours last week — sparking rumours of a secret Kremlin weapons test, UFOs or even the devil’s work.

Mystery surrounds the sudden appearance of the massive black cloud that turned day into night across an area bigger than the British Isles.

Eerie clouds sweep over parts of Russia as an area bigger than the British Isles is mysteriously plunged into darkness

And there are claims the terrifying phenomenon could have been the caused by the dust from a meteorite strike or the test of an apocalyptic weapon.

Other explanations for mystified locals are a UFO, an unreported eclipse, the “work of the devil”, or smoke from unidentified wildfires.

Moscow’s defence and meteorological officials have failed to comment on the cloud — which hit three vast mainly Arctic districts in Yakutia region.

There were no reports of meteorites, eclipses or weapons tests – let alone sightings of alien spacecrafts.

Birds take to the sky as the mysterious cloud sweeps in
Skies turned from day to night, sparking rumours of a massive weapons test
Entire regions were plunged into total darkness for several hours last Friday
A remote part of Russia is seen in complete darkness in the middle of the day
Drivers had to put their headlamps on to make their way through the mystery cloud

A local resident in from Eveno-Bytantaisky said: “Messages are going around about about a light flash registered by the US satellites, followed by increase of radioactive level and unusual activity of the military.

“We are never going to be told is this was true or false.”

Some claimed it could be a “new type of weapon” being tested by the Russian military.

Another source said: “This can only be explained by a UFO.”

There were fears of a mystery wildfire sweeping the area but none were reported
Locals reported having difficulty breathing is a the mystery cloud engulfed the region

Residents reported darkness beginning around 11.30am and lasting almost three hours on Friday.

Gloom descended on Eveno-Bytantaisky, Zhigansky and Verkhoyansky but none of these districts have been hit by wildfires that are raging in other Siberian localities.

The areas are so far north that at this time of year they have virtually 24-hour light — but as one local said: “Day suddenly turned into a dark night”.

Another said: “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.”

Accounts spoke of a thick layer of dust after the darkness but this has been denied by some officials, who also expressed doubts that pollution from wildfires was the cause.

The sun struggled to be seen through the thick cloud cover
Villagers feared the work of the devil had caused the mystery darkness

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A local official in Nizhne-Bytantaisky settlement said: “At first it looked like it was a strong thunderstorm coming.

“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.”

Konstantin Starostin, head of the settlement, said: “When the sun vanished, people started calling us.

“Many got scared, especially elderly people.

“The sun was gone from 11.30 until 14.00 on Friday 20 July.”

Head of Verkhoyansk town Yevgeny Potapov was quoted by The Siberian Times saying:  “Something strange happened on that day.”

Almost all Arctic districts reported a significant temperature fall around the time of the daytime darkness.

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