China makes First Contact...sort of.

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

A rash of UFO sightings in Australia turns out to have a decidedly terrestrial origin: debris from a Chinese satellite.

Remember the furor China caused when it blew up one of its own satellites? Some world leaders raised concerns the missile launch was a show of force on the part of the nation, while a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed concern about the creation of debris in space.

Score one for Mr. Blair — or the spokesman. ABC News Online said a number of people reported sightings of a distinct circular glow in the early morning sky earlier this week.

Gavin Dinsdale of the Latrobe Valley Astronomical Society told ABC News Online the debris was from the satellite:

"Around 35,000 small bits of junk [float] around in that particular orbit [... and] now we've got lots of tiny little ones," he said.

For those wishing to resume their ceaseless search for alien life, we apologize for the false alarm.

For those concerned about satellite debris falling from the sky and landing on your toe, you may resume your ceaseless worry.