Mysterious metal ball from space falls in Namibia
This large metal ball was found in Namibian grasslands in November.
December 22nd, 2011
09:53 PM ET

Mysterious metal ball from space falls in Namibia

A large metal ball that fell from space into the Namibian grasslands last month is not alien, officials say, but that's about all they know for certain about the object.

According to a report on The Namibian website, the 13-pound metal sphere with two bumps on its poles was found by a farmer near Onamatunga in the Omunsati region between November 15 and November 20. Explosions were heard in the area before the discovery, but no evidence of an explosion was seen around the area where the object was found.

Paul Ludik, director of the country's National Forensic Science Institute, told The Namibian the sphere, with a circumference of 3.6 feet, is made of a "sophisticated" metal alloy that is known to man, but he said it has no markings that would identify it. No international space agency has claimed ownership, he said.

“A number of tests have been performed on the object, and it appears to be hollow. We are still busy with a detailed examination of the object,” The Namibian quotes him as saying.

Ludik told The Namibian that the object poses no cause for alarm, and that such reports of metallic spheres falling from space are common in the Southern Hemisphere.

So should we expect a run on helmets at sporting goods stores south of the equator?

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Filed under: Namibia • Space
soundoff (970 Responses)
  1. Obvious Truth

    A metal unknown to Africans, could be aluminum or iron, all they know is stealing copper.

    December 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joao

      As far as I know, Africans know a wide array of metals, including the ones the manufacturers of our cellphones and computers extract from the land with dodgy licences and underpayed labor (steal, you say?). Oh, and most of the copper that returns to Africa is dumped there as technological trash by Europe, Far-East Asia and North America, much like what happens in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Feel free to hate, but just add some data and sense to your inteventions.

      December 25, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bonnie UK

      If Africans don't recognise a metal, it's because colonial powers drained their lands of it many generations ago. Racism sucks, however you dress it up.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • KatyaKatya

      Obvious. It is a part of this Russian unmanned spacecraft. One of those that fell apart at various times.

      December 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan stevens

      Obvious Truth?? Funny, you seem more of an Obvious A**hole to me...

      December 29, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      That would be in the United States. Oh wait, never mind. Stealing copper would require working. Sorry, I forgot.

      January 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daleri Rileda

    It certainly seems to have a maker.

    We should know that mechanisms that function always have a maker and the ordered mechanisms that function in life forms have a very great Maker.

    December 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby

      Too bad you have absolutely zero evidence for your mythical Great Maker.

      December 25, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JG

      All hail Lord Sheogorath!

      December 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • majorsdad

      I ve always wondered why those who ask for proof of existance.....never offer proof of sure your very lonely

      December 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley

      Because the burden's on you, pal.

      December 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biomarker


      Proof of nonexistence is a misnomer. Clearly you have a poor grasp of logic and the scientific method.
      The burden of proof lies on the person claiming that something DOES exist. Feel free to believe what you will, happy holidays.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      If we followed that logic, spurious as it is, then your great Maker would in turn need a greater Maker and so on unto infinity.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaganChampion

      You people are worshiping something because of those books; it's just hard to tell if it's dead or just evil.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaganChampion

      I re-read the post and I should point out that my last comment was directed towards majorsdad.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Wow... Idiots who proclaim their Atheism online and try to attack those who believe in a higher power are so pathetic... You try to call people stupid for believing in something while you try to act as if you have a greater understanding of the Universe. Basically you morons believe in a Giant Bang that just happened, due to some particles that magically always existed... and all that created everything... you have no evidence to support your theories yet you attack those who believe the Universe was created by an intelligent hand... something which in my mind makes a whole lot more sense considering how intricate and infinitely complex the world is let alone our entire Universe.... But yes, go on and chastise those of us that believe in a maker.... because your theory of Magical – always existing – particles accidentally creating themselves and the entire universe is a much more logical one... ridiculous morons.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Clinton, even your attempted refutation is self-contradictory like your beliefs in a god. How does something that always existed "create" itself?

      January 6, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Mick we go again. Yes, machines DO require a maker, because...well, THEY'RE MACHINES! They're assemblies made up of inanimate objects that require designing and manufacturing. Animals and people are NOT machines. They're made of organic chemicals that interact with each other...they're reproducing organisms subject to the forces of natural selection. I know, a bit complicated for a creationist. But just try to remember: ANIMALS ARE NOT WATCHES!

      January 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KayJBee

    Its Chuck Norris' testicles!!!!

    December 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey P

      now that is funny and entertaining.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |

      (Lets hope he bleed to death while it was being removed)

      December 28, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mmmmm

    a stocking stuffer for the naughty republicans!

    December 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sean Torkington

    The mystery object was manufactured by:

    December 25, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • doug

      by golly your right. i went to the webpage you posted and -bang, there it is

      December 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherjb

      Boy, it sure looks like you're right on. I notice they say they've never had a failure....well? Maybe this one failed!

      December 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I emails one of their product people from that ATK website. Asked if it was one of theirs and pasted a link to the article.

      December 29, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • PaganChampion

      I wonder if they'll update the website to say "With 1 Flight Failure, but the ball didn't break"?

      December 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TAK

      Clearly it's not a failure. It survived whatever destroyed the rest of the spacecraft, atmospheric re-entry, and ground impact. Whomever did make this tank, ATK or otherwise, should use it for marketing.

      December 31, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      I'm not seeing that exact model on their site, but yes, it sure looks like a diaphragm tank. Not the first time I've gotten more info from the replies than from the article itself.

      January 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SpaceWatcher

    Looks a lot like a piece of a nold Russian Vostok spacecraft.

    December 25, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. BobDole

    Its a counter weight for old Satellite . Probably a late 70s to mid 80s Satellite . What people dont realize is there is a bunch of dead Satellite up there. Many of them countries no longer track and really have just forgotten about.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Fighter of the Powa

      Please explain. I'm uneducated in the subject; I actually want to know more. A counter-weight? What do you mean, to defy... a change in momentum during takeoff? What's it do?

      January 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. C. Price

    The object may be a hydrazine bladder tank, which are used in Ariane 5 type rockets such as the Russian Soyuz-U which was passing over Namibia at the time in question.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fighter of the Powa

      Thanks for the rant. Please do more.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Reese Hoffa

    So that's where my missing shot-put landed.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey P

      Also funny and entertaining, bravo.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stephen & Jennifer

    So lets all start a new business selling metal crash helmets in case any more fall from space?

    December 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Robyn

    I can just see a Martian wearing a first baseman's mitt
    yelling across from his backyard fence,
    "Hey, could we get a little help here?"

    January 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    Could it possibly be the Sputnik?

    January 3, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. jj

    Wait, don't open it – it's a Martian Trojan horse! They've had their cold, greedy eyes on us for a while.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mick

    Clinton – if you want to sound intelligent when discussing the Big Bang, you might want to spend a little time learning what it's about. For a good overview, google "evidence for the big bang" and go to the first link – the Talkorigins site. If, on the other hand, you just want to make people facepalm, keep referring to "particles that always existed and created everything" – a concept that has absolutely nothing to do with Big Bang theory. Calling people idiots and morons is also not the best way to be taken seriously. As for things that "magically always existed" – doesn't that describe your God?

    January 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fighter of the Powa

      I agree with Mick. Clinton, I am in total agreement with your statement and your religion, however I cannot believe that you adhere to its philosophy; insulting people is exactly what those you're insulting are doing, so don't act like those kinds of folk.

      But now, in regards to this topic: Mick, and everyone on here, if we are really going to involve religion with this, I see God as explainable with science; that is to say, there is never anything unusual in the universe. In religion, it's because God made it all to begin with. This is our "why". In science, we observe creation and simply accept reality for what it is. (To anyone reading this, please do so thoroughly before commenting.) This is our "what". (In other words, sorry for the rant, big bang=Genesis 01:01.)


      This is a very interesting subject; it is perhaps some sick joke, a ploy used by delinquents in the area to scare some people. However, I find this hard to believe due in part to the fact that there is an unexplainable explosion (to the atheist argument here, this sound was unexplained but surely heard. We know it existed, even if we don't know why. Sound like somebody's God to you? Eh?). Also, it did not come from space, likely, as spacecraft would have likely picked it up. It isn't dust, guys, and though its actual measurements are never given here, I would think that somebody would have noticed if it passed by.

      Really though, this is pretty fun...

      January 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Will Reese

    What is wrong with you people?

    January 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
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