- George Hofer returned to his Hutterite
colony in southeast Alberta with a strange tale of a funnel of fire in
a farmer's field.
- The funnel lit up the night for an hour, then faded into
- A month later, farmer Ken Masson found a three-metre-wide
circle in his field, with four indentations inside.
- Word spread quickly that an alien spacecraft had landed.
- This week, a University of Lethbridge geologist refuted
the UFO theory, but replaced it with an explanation nearly as interesting.
- Pano Karkanis said the crater in Masson's field near
Etzikom, 250 km southeast of Calgary, was caused by a meteorite.
- Karkanis analysed the soil in the crater and tested it
- He found no signs of radioactive material that might
suggest exposure to extraterrestrial technology (as if ET always uses radioactive
propulsion systems -ed), nor did he find anything else indicating a spacecraft
- He dismissed the indentations as marks made by rainfall
(oh, please -ed), saying the meteorite probably buried itself a metre deep
in Masson's field.
- But Karkanis' findings drew criticism.
- Masson himself didn't buy the rainwater explanation,
pointing out the area had been dry as a bone, with farmers such as himself
lamenting the absence of rainfall.
- Others have said a meteorite wouldn't produce the effect
Hofer saw, and that it would have left residue in the crater.
- Also, the crater's perfectly circular shape is not likely
the result of a meteorite impact, believers said.
- Masson wishes to leave the site undisturbed until the
mystery is unravelled.