Mysterious Object Crashes Through Roof Of New Zealand Home

(AP) A small metal object crashed through the roof of a house and slammed into the floor in northern New Zealand, and officials said Thursday its origin was a mystery.

A police officer initially speculated that it fell from a small plane passing over the small town of Whakatu on the country's North Island on Wednesday, but aviation officials later said it may have been shot from spinning farm machinery.

No one was injured, and authorities did not identify the resident whose home was struck.

"It looks like it's probably a brake lining or brake shoe from a small plane," Snr. Sgt. Ross Smith said after checking the house.

Aviation authorities later tracked down a pilot whose aircraft they thought might be responsible and found nothing missing from the plane when checked at a nearby airport, Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Bill Sommer said.

A "very experienced" aeronautical engineer studied the object and decided it was not part of an airplane, Sommer told The Associated Press. He also said it didn't seem like space junk.

The object was about 4.4 inches long, 1.8 inches wide, weighed about 2.2 pounds and carried no standard airplane part number, he said. It looked like cast iron and had a shiny, curved surface on top, he said.

"We don't know what it's from," Sommer said. "So it's a bit mysterious."

"Far be it for us to speculate ... but it may have come off some agricultural equipment that was spinning at pretty high speed and a piece shot off it," Sommer said.

The small Whakatu settlement is surrounded by farmland.

Constable Ben Howat said police were investigating the object and where it came from.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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