Mysterious ‘Space Balls’ Investigated


The metal balls fell from the sky, scaring local residents.

Vietnam’s military is investigating the appearance of three mysterious metal balls — believed to be debris from space — which landed in the country’s remote north, a senior army official said Friday.

Two metal balls were discovered in northwestern Yen Bai province on January 2, army spokesman Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan told AFP.

Later a larger ball weighing some 45 kilograms (100 pounds) landed in a maize field in neighbouring Tuyen Quang province, he said.

“We are still identifying where they came from,” he said, adding the army had determined they did not contain explosives or hazardous material.

The metal balls fell from the sky, he said, scaring local residents.

“Before and after these objects were discovered, the Vietnamese army was not conducting any military activity in the region,” Tuan said.

 Witnesses told state-run media that they heard what sounded like thunder before the balls plunged to the earth.

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Pistol Power: China Is a Leading Proliferator of Small Arms

Image credit: flickr/controlarms

Image credit: flickr/controlarms

A new report identifies China has one of the leading proliferators of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the world today, and one that consistently flaunts international norms regarding the transparency of its SALW sales.

The report, which was published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), states that, “China has long been one of the world’s most significant exporters of small arms and light weapons (SALW). It is also among the least transparent.”

It goes to note that “At least 46 states imported military SALW from China during 2006–10,” with African countries accounting for the largest share of recipients of these weapons, followed by countries in Asia, the Middle East and, increasingly Latin America. Read the rest of this entry »