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article imageStrange metal ball drops from space in Namibia

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 23, 2011 in World
Windhoek - Namibian police have been scratching their heads in puzzlement over a metallic ball that fell from space and landed in a remote grassland area in the northern parts of the country, 480 miles from the Namibian capital Windhoek.
CNN reports the metal sphere, with two bumps on its poles, landed on a farmland near Onamatunga in the Omunati region between November 15 and November 20.
According to Namibian police forensic director Paul Ludik, the ball weighs about 13lbs, has diameter of 14 inches and "looks like two haves welded together."
Daily Mail reports the impact of the ball left a crater 12 inches deep and 13 ft wide, but it rebounded on impact and landed some 60 feet away. Locals say they heard several explosions a few days before the ball was discovered by a farmer. Police forensic experts say the noise locals heard might have been the sonic boom of the object when it broke the sound barrier on entering the Earth's atmosphere, and the noise when it impacted on the ground.
As may be expected, UFO enthusiasts have already seized on the incident to their advantage. Daily Mail reports some have proclaimed the ball further evidence of extraterrestrial life. The Namibian police say, however, that the object is made of a "metal alloy known to man," and that they have notified NASA and the European Space Agency.
Police say that the ball was discovered about one month ago but was not made public until now. Forensic experts think it is very likely either from a spacecraft or from a "normal" aircraft . Deputy inspector general of police Vilho Hifindaka, said it is not an explosive device and that it is "rather hollow."
AFP reports that similar ball-shaped objects have fallen to the ground in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the last two decades. Some media reports have quoted experts saying the ball is likely a "composite overwrapped pressure vessel" used by NASA to store gases under pressure in space. According to AFP, " the strength needed to maintain pressure within the balls means they are manufactured from tough material including Kevlar, and therefore likely to remain intact when they re-enter the earth's atmosphere."
Daily Mail suggests it may be part of a space satellite that broke up in space and crashed to the Earth. Earlier in the year, an Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell from orbit into the Earth's atmosphere at 1,800 mph, but NASA could not confirm where it landed. A few weeks later, a German Roentgen satellite crashed to Earth from space, splitting up into several l large chunks.
CNN wondered that with metal objects dropping from skies so frequently south of the Equator, wouldn't it be advisable for people in the southern hemisphere to wear metal crash helmets always?
More about Namibia, strange metal object, Space
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