- It was seen by thousands of Bolivians as it crossed the
skies over Cochabamba, Oruro and La Paz. And they'll be seeing two more.
The "Unidentified Flying Object" that caused a commotion during
the week is nothing more than a weather balloon, specifically the MIR-3.
Confirmation was provided through the research of astronomer German Morales
Chavez, a specialist with the Sigma Octante Astronomical Center of the
Universidad Catolica Boliviana (UCB).
- Luis Eduardo Pacheco de Caseros, a Buenos Aires based
researcher, played a significant role in being able to determine the identity
and origin of the object.
- MIR-3 (whose initials stand for Montgolfiere Infra Rouge,
not to be mistaken with the fallen Russian space station), is a balloon
aimed at researching concentrations of ozone and compounds of nitrogen,
carbon, iodine and oxygen at stratospheric altituded for the inter-tropical
regions. Its equipment package was developed in the UK, Italy and France.
This project is one among many being developed by a number of countries,
many of them belonging to the European Community and the U.S. as well.
- The balloons were launched by the Center for Space Studies
(France) and the Ballooon Launching Group of the State University of Sao
Paulo (Brazil)--the organizations conducting the research. The launch took
place at Bauru, 340 kilometers away from Sao Paulo. MIR-3, the source of
alarm for so many Bolivians, was launched on February 21 and has circumnavigated
the Earth for over 50 days. Its circumnavigation takes approximately 17
- Translation (C) 2001 Institute of Hispanic Ufology Special
Thanks to Luis Eduardo Pacheco and Gloria Coluchi
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