Bolivian UFO Identified As
High Altitude Research Balloon
From Institute of Hispanic Ufology
Source: Los Tiempos de Bolivia

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 days.
Translation (C) 2001 Institute of Hispanic Ufology Special Thanks to Luis Eduardo Pacheco and Gloria Coluchi

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