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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 16

'UFO' Was A NASA Experiment

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 09:59:25 -0400
Archived: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 09:59:25 -0400
Subject: 'UFO' Was A NASA Experiment

Source: The Gallup Independent -  New Mexico, USA


Weekend September 15-16, 2007

'UFO' Was A NASA Experiment

By Leslie Wood
Staff writer

GALLUP -- The reflective object seen floating in the sky Thursday
evening was not a UFO or even a weather device, but a
high-altitude science balloon.

The balloon was launched from Fort Sumner by NASA's Columbia
Scientific Balloon Facility and passed through the Gallup area
as the sun set on Thursday.

Some uncertainty surrounded the origin of the balloon, and many
residents suspected the device was part of a project conducted
by the Kirtland Air Force Base or the Sandia National Laboratory
in Albuquerque.

Some 20 concerned residents even contacted metropolitan dispatch
to report the device they suspected might be a UFO; however,
most reports indicated the object was a weather balloon.

But that's not the case, according to Bill Stepp, manager of
operations for the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

Stepp said the high-altitude science balloon was launched to
research the surface of the sun and how mechanisms on the sun
affect temperatures on the earth.

He said the sun research project is different from most of the
facility's projects that involve astrophysics, including gamma
and cosmic rays.

"It was very successful," Stepp said of Thursday's operation.

The device and its adjoined science project was airborne for
nearly 20 hours and landed 15 miles west of Holbrook, Ariz.

Stepp said weather balloons are about 5 to 6 feet in diameter,
while high-altitude science balloons are about 541 feet in
diameter and can carry a payload of about 4,000 pounds. For
comparison, a high-altitude science balloon's payload is as big
as a Volkswagen and weighs as much as a Ford Taurus.

About six flights per year pass within 100 miles of Gallup, he

The facility's headquarters is located in Palestine, Texas, and
is managed by the Physical Science Lab of New Mexico State
University. Employees launch large, unmanned, high-altitude
research balloons and track the scientific experiments located
beneath them.

The facility has campaigns throughout the world including
Antarctica and Sweden.


Thanks to Greg Boone for the lead, in which he keyed:

"It doesn't surprise me that this story would hit the news when
the Alberta conference has just finished up.

Whenever UFO events of note come about somehow some counter-UFO
stories rise to the top of the wire service story pile."

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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