Huge 'UFO Fragment' Found in Siberia, But What Is It Really?

UFO in Russia
This large metal object was discovered in a Siberian forest. (Image credit: Russia Today)

A metal object the size of a Volkswagen Beetle has been discovered near a remote village in Siberia. Local residents presumed it recently fell to Earth from space, but officials from Russia's space agency examined the object and said it "is not related to space technology."

Locals discovered the roughly 200-kilogram (440 pounds) object, which is cylindrical and capped on one end by a silvery dome, March 18 in the forest near the village of Otradnesnky. They attached the "UFO fragment" (as media outlets have called it) to a trailer and dragged it through the snow to their village. They then alerted Moscow authorities, according to a report in Britain's The Telegraph, and the object was confiscated for inspection.

Following the initial examination, an official for Roscosmos, Russia's official space agency, reportedly said: "The object found is not related to space technology. A final conclusion can be made after a detailed study of the object by experts."

Part of the fragment is made of titanium, according to district officials. Additional tests showed it was not radioactive.

Nick Johnson, head of NASA's orbital debris office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, said there isn't sufficient information about the object for him to make an assessment, but it doesn't appear to be part of a spacecraft.

"The object almost certainly is not related to a spacecraft," Johnson told Life's Little Mysteries."It also does not look like part of a launch vehicle which has fallen from orbit.  However, we cannot be definitive in our judgment without better photos and other data. For example, the date the object fell is vitally important, but I did not see reference to it."

It is also unclear whether the object really did fall from space or got lost in the woods by some other route.

This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.

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Natalie Wolchover
Former Live Science staff writer

Natalie Wolchover was a staff writer for Live Science and a contributor to from 2010 to 2012. She is now a senior writer and editor at Quanta Magazine, where she specializes in the physical sciences. Her writing has appeared in publications including Popular Science and Nature and has been included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.  She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Tufts University and has studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley.