Many South Africans will recall the hilarious 1980’s hit comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy, written and directed by Jamie Uys. The opening scenes show how a Coke bottle is casually thrown from a light passenger aircraft flying over the Kalahari desert. The bottle lands in the middle of a primitive village.
One of the leading actors in the movie, Xi, was played by N!xau, an indigenous San, born in the Kalahari Desert sometime around 1944 – (Biography here).
The "gift from the gods" proved to be a mixed blessing when the tribesmen tussled over it and eventually used it as a weapon. To keep the peace in the village, Xi was assigned to take the bottle to "the end of the earth" and throw it back to the gods… and that is when the actual story begins.
Today, when strange objects drop out of the sky some people get really exited and use the occasion as evidence of alien existence. The fact of the matter is that “earthly” space junk falls out of the sky all the time.
Quite a bit of space junk has rained from the sky this year. In September, for example, NASA's defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) — a 6.5-ton craft that monitored climate from 1991 until 2005, plunged into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Just a month later, Germany's 2.7-ton Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) fell to Earth over the Indian Ocean. Nobody on the ground was injured by either satellite crash.
An even bigger spacecraft will plummet to Earth soon. Russia's failed Phobos-Grunt Mars probe got stuck in Earth orbit shortly after its Nov. 8 launch, and it's been circling lower and lower ever since. Most experts predict the 14.5-ton spacecraft will come crashing down by mid-January 2012 – (Source)... As Jamie Uys said: “The Gods must be bloody crazy!”
The following photograph portrays an odd-looking metal ball that dropped out of the sky recently, in late November 2011. It slammed into the remote grassland of northern Namibia, in the region known as “Omusati”.
The 14-inch-wide (35-centimeter) metallic sphere hit the ground about 480 miles (750 kilometers) north of Windhoek, the African country's capital. It left a crater 13 inches (33 cm) deep and 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) across, the Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported Thursday.
The metal "space ball" weighs 13 pounds (6 kilograms). It has a rough surface and appears to consist of two halves that were welded together, according to AFP.
The mystery sphere was discovered in mid-November, but local authorities held off on announcing the find until they could perform a few tests. They determined it poses no danger to the public.
"It is not an explosive device, but rather hollow, but we had to investigate all this first," police deputy inspector general Vilho Hifindaka told AFP.
However, Hifindaka and his colleagues still don't know what the object is or where exactly it came from. They've contacted NASA and the European Space Agency for help, AFP reported.
Locals apparently heard several small explosions a few days before the ball was found. Similar spheres have also been found in Australia and Central America over the last two decades, local authorities said.
Paul Ludik from the NFCI was quick to dismiss any notion that it was foreign to the planet, saying the metal alloy was known to man and used in spacecraft.
No space agency has yet claimed the item, which remains in Namibian police custody.
Sources: timeslive.co.za and www.space.com