Nasa bal­loon mis­taken for UFO

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Con­fused Aus­tralians took to so­cial me­dia, and one even called po­lice, af­ter spot­ting the Wanaka re­leased NASA bal­loon in the sky above Vic­to­ria and think­ing it was a UFO.

Vic­to­rian Storm Chasers up­dated their Face­book page on Satur­day with a post say­ing ‘‘We have had a few images com­ing into the page about the mys­te­ri­ous slow high fly­ing light over parts of Vic­to­ria tonight.

‘‘We are able to con­firm that it is a NASA Su­per Pres­sure Bal­loon (SPB) which was launched last month in New Zealand.

‘‘The SPB is at an altitude of 33.5km and the plan is that it stays afloat for 100 days.’’

Many peo­ple had com­mented on the post say­ing they had thought it was a UFO – or uniden­ti­fied fly­ing ob­ject – and the post had laid an unan­swered ques­tion about what the mys­tery ob­ject was to rest.

Oth­ers said they thought it was the planet Venus, a jel­ly­fish in the sky or the Goodyear blimp.

The post was shared more than 700 times and re­ceived al­most 1000 com­ments. re­ported that one wit­ness was driv­ing along the Hume Free­way be­tween Be­nalla and Euroa when she saw the light in the sky.

‘‘We were driv­ing along and this guy was point­ing and wav­ing to us, and point­ing to the sky. I thought, ‘what’s he do­ing?’’’ she said.

‘‘I looked up and there was this weird thing in the sky, and there was a lot of other cars stopped to look at it too.

‘‘It looked like a white cir­cle with lines across it. ‘‘It just didn’t look right.’’ She said she re­ported it to the po­lice.

The $1.6 mil­lion helium bal­loon was launched from Wanaka Air­port on March 27.

It was ex­pected to cir­cle the world two or three times be­fore land­ing in South Amer­ica.

Fraser Hooper en­ter­tains the crowd at the week­end’s Fes­ti­val of Colour in Wanaka.

A Face­book post by the Vic­to­rian Storm Chasers ex­plains to Aus­tralians about the NASA re­leased bal­loon. Many had thought the su­per pres­sure bal­loon was a UFO.

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