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UFO was … cat • Wednesday April 2, 2003

Aftenposten (Norway), Mar. 26, 2003
Jonathan Tisdall, Aftenposten English Web Desk

Most observations of mysterious flying objects in the sky are eventually identified and explained, but the UFO and suspected meteorite over Lardal, Norway got the highly unusual solution of being attributed to a cat.

Observers heard an explosion and spotted a fireball in the night sky over Lardal on March 14. Now authorities have managed to puzzle out the evidence, and say a housecat caused the sighting, NRK Vestfold reports.

Sheriff Lars Helge Sogn believes a cat climbed up a high-tension power line and burst into flames after striking the high voltage cable with its tail.

The heat from the short circuit caused the wooden mast to burn, and it is most likely this that appeared to be a fireball on the horizon on the night of the mysterious sighting.

The local electricity company recorded no power outage due to the fire, which made it harder to unravel the mystery. But the discovery of a dead cat under the power mast made them double-check, and a four-second glitch in their records was found on the evening of the 14th.

Before the feline solution the local sheriff had contacted Oslo University astrophysicists, only to find that eyewitness reports of a fireball lasting up to half an hour could not be a landing meteorite.

Cats don’t burn so long either, but part of the wooden mast set alight by the unlucky tabby is now considered to be the explanation for the local mystery.

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