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Thu, Jul 19, 2007

Mystery Metal Falls Through House Roof

Didn't Look "Very Space-y"... Or Aircraft-y, Or Train-y

A man was sitting in his living room watching TV Tuesday in Bayonne, NJ minding his own business, when he heard what sounded like a crash and saw a cloud of dust. In another room, he found a piece of gray metal, 3 1/2 inches by 5 inches, with two hexagonal holes in it.

He had no idea what it could be. Consulted experts were also stumped.

New Jersey Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said the railroad has tracks about 100 feet from the house, but said the object wasn't something that would have come off a train, according to the Associated Press.

It didn't look "very space-y," said Henry Kline, a spokesman for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. "It's obviously made for something ... But we wouldn't know what to do with it."

Nor did the piece of metal seem to be from any type of aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

US Air Force Major Costas Leonidou at the Pentagon couldn't identify it either. "It could be Air Force, Navy, Marines, commercial. It could be anything," he said.

Then, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said a colleague solved the mystery Wednesday. The object was part of a commercial-grade woodchipper. Apparently, there had been a similar incident last year involving the same type of part... and the same type of confusion.

Peters says he has a theory about how this happened. The piece moves very fast inside the machine, and something broke somewhere to cause its launch into the air.

Peters said the part was going to be returned to the Bayonne Police Department.

"It belongs to somebody," Police Director Mark Smith said. There have been no reports as to the extent of the damage done to the roof.

Gee, this is one of the scariest woodchipper stories we've heard of... outside of that scene in "Fargo"...

FMI: www.faa.gov

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