Metal Chunk Crashes Through N.J. Roof

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

BAYONNE, N.J. – A hunk of metal that crashed through the roof of a home has NASA, Federal Aviation Administration and New Jersey Transit officials scratching their heads.

The man who lives in the house was watching television Tuesday when he heard a crash and saw a cloud of dust. In the next room, he found a hunk of gray metal, 3 1/2 inches by 5 inches, with two hexagonal holes in it.

Experts say it’s manmade, but nobody can say where it might have come from.

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New Jersey Transit has railroad tracks about 100 feet from the house, but spokesman Dan Stessel said the object isn’t something that would have flown off a train.

FAA officials said it wasn’t a part that would have fallen from a plane headed into or out of nearby Newark Liberty International Airport.

“It doesn’t look very `space-y,'” said Henry Kline, a spokesman for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s obviously made for something … But we wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

U.S. Air Force Major Costas Leonidou at the Pentagon said he couldn’t identify the fallen object, either. “It could be Air Force, Navy, Marines, commercial. It could be anything,” he said.

Authorities in Bayonne, as well as the home’s residents, just want to get it identified.

“It belongs to somebody,” Police Director Mark Smith said.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)