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Mystery plane photographed over the Philippines.

Image Credit: Michael Fugnit

On September 2nd 2021, Michael Fugnit, a photographer that was in Santa Magdalena, Philippines took a photo of a diamond-shaped plane that passed overhead at a very high-altitude on Thursday at around 6.15am. Mr. Fugnit captured the plane with a Fujifilmxt2 +50-200mm, and the plane seems to be a stealthy plane. Mr. Fugnit said that due to the image being taken during the early morning lightning and the plane was at a high-altitude, the image produced had a small resolution and grainy.

The area is frequented by either Chinese or American planes so it is not unusual that military planes pass over the Philippines, but what makes this case unusual is that the plane seem to be different from any commercial or military planes US and China are known to possess. Based on more analysis of the picture (which still needs to be authenticated), some experts are finding resemblance to the RQ-180 Sentinal high-altitude drone. Also known as HALE (high-altitude, long endurance), the drone was observed in October of last year in low-altitude over California. Having the drone here may be due to surveillance operations due to the close proximity to China, but it could also be transiting the area to go back to the United States. The timing is also perfect since there would be less people observing the plane.

The plane could also be a Chinese stealth plane undergoing flight testing rather an American. There are several Chinese stealth drone programs underway, including one which resembles the RQ-180. This stealth drone is known as the CH-7 Rainbow and it was first displayed to the World in 2018. China also has another stealth drone underway dubbed the Star Shadow, which also resembles the aircraft displayed in the photographer’s image.

On the same day, it has been reported that the Philippines scrambled a number of fighter jets to an unknown aerial contact which was not responding. It happened at around the same time the photo was taken.

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