Meteorite Hoax In Latvia: Experts Say It Could Have Been A Stunt
A meteorite that fell near a tiny town of Mazsalaca in Latvia has caused quite a bit of stir in the country. A crater measuring 10-20 meters wide was located at a remote field by locals on Sunday night. Eyewitnesses said they saw a foreign object hit the ground and burst into flames. Initially, there were speculations that the foreign object was a meteorite, but experts say it is unusual for a meteorite that could have left such a big crater to go unnoticed. Now, there are allegations that the whole incident was staged and is just a hoax.
Some sources report that one of Latvian phone companies Tele2 admitted to staging the meteor strike. As to the reasons why, the company said the hoax was intended "to inspire Latvia" in an attempt to relieve the economic gloom that has consumed the country ever since the global financial crisis ensued. There are reports the phone company promised to cover the expenses of the emergency services that rushed to the site of the meteorite strike.
This is reminiscent of the now infamous balloon boy story. In case you missed it (and it would be hard to imagine anyone who could have), 'balloon boy' Falcon Heene disappeared on October 15, leading his family to believe that he was carried away in a homemade balloon. It turned out later that Falcon was safe at home hiding in the attic. There are now allegations that the incident might have been staged by the boy's father.
What is striking is how fast the hoax was discovered, unlike in the Heene's family case. But, with the amount of media coverage dedicated to the balloon boy story, no doubt its 'glory' has reached even the most remote of places in Latvia. So, is Latvian meteorite strike just a copycat hoax intended to attract publicity?
What do you think?