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Chinese ‘UFO’ found crashed in a forest turns out to be space trash

Published May 29th, 2018 12:41PM EDT
chinese ufo

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With that incredibly strange UFO report and jaw-dropping video from the US Navy still fresh in everyone’s minds, news out of China that a UFO was found crashed in a forest in the Fujian province might get your pulse to quicken a bit. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your point of view — the large chunk of twisted metal found sitting silently amongst the foliage has a much more mundane explanation.

First discovered by a pair of Chinese power plant workers traveling to their job, the object did indeed come from space, but it was made right here on Earth. The large metal cone was actually the nosecone fairing from a recent Chinese rocket launch, according to the country’s space agency.

The country sent its Long March 4C rocket skyward on May 20th to deliver a communication satellite into orbit. The launch, which was conducted at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the Sichuan province, went just fine, but apparently space agency officials lost track of where the rocket’s nosecone was going to land.

The spot where it crashed down is largely woodland, but it’s not terribly far from some populated villages. In fact, the officials investigating the UFO-turned-space-junk recruited some villagers to help carry and store the fairing for “safekeeping.” Authorities eventually transported the nosecone back to the launch center by people who are actually paid to handle that sort of thing.

The launch of the relay satellite was part of China’s newfound ambitions for exploring the Moon. The country plans to launch and land a probe and rover on the dark side of the Moon, which would be a first for humanity. The date of that launch is still up in the air, but the current timeline sees the country completing its goals by the end of 2018. Let’s hope no more space junk falls on any Chinese villages in the process.