A video of a strange figure walking on a highway at night took both media and social media by storm. The 30-second clip has been shared with the claim that an ‘alien’ or a ‘ghost’ was spotted in India. Several people have claimed that the video was taken in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. A few have also tagged NASA, writing that a UFO was spotted.
The video was amplified by mainstream media channels. Aaj Tak reiterated social media claims and added that the possibility that ‘special effects’ were used to create the video cannot be ruled out. The channel also stated that the local administration has asked people to not fall for rumours. Most outlets have referred to the figure as ‘प्राणी’ or ‘creature’ in English. These reports also stated that the odd figure was spotted on the bridge near Chadwa dam. News18 Hindi, MensXP, ETV Bharat, Patrika, Asianet Newsable, Dainik Jagran, Zee News Hindi, Yahoo News, Republic Bharat, TV9 Marathi, India.com, Gujarati Mid-Day, and Amar Ujala were among the outlets that reported on the video. Most reports claimed that it was shot in Hazaribagh. Hindi serials director Ekta Kapoor shared the video on her Instagram handle which was later published by some outlets.
India Today posted the video on its Instagram handle.
Alt News spoke with local journalist Saurav Anurag from Hazaribagh. “This video is from Seraikela, not Hazaribagh. The person who recorded the video gave a live interview to a local news outlet where he disclosed the location and time of recording. The original video is about 1:30 minutes long and the viral clip runs for 30 seconds,” he said. While the place has been identified as a bridge near Chadwa Dam in Hazaribagh, Anurag said that he visited the bridge and the one in the video is completely different. “The bridge near Chadwa Dam is all black (asphalt) and not cemented (concrete) as seen in the video. The incident took place in Seraikela located in Kharsawan district,” he added.
Local channel Jan Doot News interviewed the two youth who recorded the viral video. One of them was identified as Deepak. They said that while returning from Chakradharpur to Seraikela via Kharsawan road, they spotted a strange woman walking naked. They thought she was a witch and shouted “Chudail hai, ladki hai, record kar, record kar!” (Witch, Witch! It’s a girl. Record it!).” They posted a 30-second Whatsapp status which was amplified on social media.
Alt News reached out to Deepak to gather more details. “We were returning to Seraikela from Chakradharpur after attending a funeral of a friend’s mother. We got scared when we first saw the woman and stopped at a shop near the highway. When a few others reached the spot, we asked if they too saw the woman. She was not a witch. She was a woman and this was also confirmed by other passers-by.” Deepak told us that the incident took place on the night of April 27. He shared with us a screenshot of the properties of the video. The metadata confirms it was indeed shot on April 27 at 7:40 pm on National Highway 75, Ichinda, Jharkhand.
We cross-checked the location on Google Maps. The video was recorded when Deepak was travelling from Chakradharpur to Seraikela. Google Maps confirm that NH 75 (red arrow) stretches from Chakradharpur (yellow arrow) town to Seraikela (pink arrow) and Ichinda (blue arrow), a small village is situated between the two towns.
Deepak sent the original video which is 1:28 minutes long.
He also sent us a video of himself debunking online rumours.
Alt News contacted both Chakradharpur and Seraikela police stations about the viral clip. Seraikela sub-inspector Mohammad Noushad told us that the matter is being investigated. This report will be updated when the police respond. It is unclear why the woman was walking unclothed on a highway at night.