A black cloud came to north-east Siberia on Tuesday at about 11:30. The sudden darkness lasted over two hours.
As the defense and meteorological officials failed to comment on the phenomenon, locals and media outlets started developing conspiracy theories.
The only thing head of Verkhoyansk town Yevgeny Potapov said was ‘Something strange happened on that day’.
Local media were the first to cover the situation; then The Sun and Daily Mail directed their attention to the interesting fact, while nationwide media focused on the problem only recently.
According to the British tabloids, the local residents came up with different versions of its origin, including dust from a meteorite strike, a secret Kremlin weapon test, a UFO and even the ‘work of the devil’.
The cloud of darkness hit three vast districts in Yakutia region. No meteorite strikes, solar eclipse or weapon tests were reported.
“Day suddenly turned into a dark night,” Daily Mail quotes a local resident.
Some also feared possible radioactive contamination and poisonous dust.
“We took torches and went out. But now nobody wants to be on the street, because we were short of breath then,” another inhabitant said.
The locals doubt that the authorities will ever tell them the truth.
pj/belsat.eu, photos by The Siberian Times