by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) Jan 8, 2016
Vietnam's military is investigating the appearance of three mysterious metal balls -- believed to be debris from space -- which landed in the country's remote north, a senior army official said Friday.
Two metal balls were discovered in northwestern Yen Bai province on January 2, army spokesman Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan told AFP.
Later a larger ball weighing some 45 kilograms (100 pounds) landed in a maize field in neighbouring Tuyen Quang province, he said.
"We are still identifying where they came from," he said, adding the army had determined they did not contain explosives or hazardous material.
The metal balls fell from the sky, he said, scaring local residents.
"Before and after these objects were discovered, the Vietnamese army was not conducting any military activity in the region," Tuan said.
Witnesses told state-run media that they heard what sounded like thunder before the balls plunged to the earth.
The Ministry of Defence has pledged to release the findings of the probe.
Thanh Nien newspaper said that the initial investigation suggested the objects could have been made in Russia and come from missiles or spaceships.
Nguyen Khoa Son, a professor from the Vietnamese Space Science and Technology Program, told the VietnamNet news site that the balls might be the result of a failed satellite launch.
He said the balls did not appear to be damaged and could have fallen from an altitude of less than 100 kilometres (62 miles).
In November, three mysterious objects also fell from the sky onto Spain's southeast.
According to NASA, more than 500,000 pieces of debris are currently orbiting Earth, and bits of space junk plummet to the planet every year.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|