Mysterious object that washed up on beach identified by Reddit sleuths
2023/07/23

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An amateur sleuth claims to have "solved" the mystery of a large, unidentified object that washed ashore on a remote Western Australian beach.

The 6-foot metal cylinder was discovered on a beach at Green Head, a coastal town of fewer than 300 people, north of Perth, on Sunday.

The object appears to have cables or wires hanging from the top.

Initial theories linked the object to the missing Flight MH370 but were dismissed after Western Australia police confirmed the object did not originate from a commercial aircraft.

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But a sleuth on Reddit noted the object appears eerily similar to the third stage of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PLSV) rocket.

The view was backed up by Dr. Alice Gorman, an expert in the field of space archaeology at Flinders University.

Gorman told news.com.au that she believes the object is a fuel cylinder that came from the third stage of India's polar satellite launch vehicle rocket.

"When rockets are launched, the fuel tanks drop off and the fuel is expended and generally falls over the ocean, as this one did," she said.

"It looks like it has been on the sea floor for some time, becoming a habitat for marine animals like barnacles.

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A storm probably dislodged it, allowing it to be swept to shore."

Gorman said that while the object "isn't going to explode," the rocket fuels are toxic.

"In general it's better for people to avoid touching them," she said. "This one was solid fuel which is generally safe unless it's actually burning."

She hypothesized it was not a "recent launch."

"Statistically speaking, it's likely to be from earlier in the last decade, as 33 PLSVs were launched in the 2010s," she said.

"Space junk re-enters Earth's atmosphere every day, but generally is completely burnt up and no one sees it … While fuel tanks are the most common part to survive because they are made of very heat-resistant materials, you don't see something this big and intact every day.

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On Monday night, WA Police declared the object was safe but the public was still being asked to stay away.

"An analysis of the object by the Department of Fire and Emergency Service and Chemistry Centre of Western Australia today has determined the object is safe and there is no current risk to the community," WA Police said in a statement.

"This includes those who have come into contact with the object prior to it being reported to police on Sunday.

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"

Police have been guarding the object since it was found as state and federal authorities try to confirm what exactly it is.

Garth Griffiths, who lives near the beach where it was found, told ABC that 20 to 30 people were at the site of the object at any time.

"It was a great social evening," Griffiths said. "It was a lovely, still night. The kids were digging sand castles around it."

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He said a local couple had discovered the object floating in the water and pulled it out of the ocean using their four-wheel-drive vehicle.

The mystery find comes three weeks after another mysterious device was found floating offshore close to North Beach in Perth.

According to the West Australian newspaper, Australian Defence Force personnel detonated the device, which was later found to be a marker marine flare.

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