Mysterious debris found in SWGA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mysterious debris found in SWGA

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February 11, 2003

Thomasville - South Georgia plantation workers found an unusual piece of melted plastic.

The plastic may be a missing puzzle piece to the Columbia Shuttle explosion. Thomas County Captain John Richards, says, "It's about eight inches wide, five to six inches long, that's all we know right now."

The Florida shaped liked piece was found at Longpine Plantation in Thomas County. Captain Richards explains, "Reported by a plantation on Southern part of county. They were expecting clients to come in to quail hunt. They were preparing for that and found it."

It was lying on the ground with no other debris. Captain Richards says, "The piece looked odd, out of place." Thomas County Sheriff investigators tagged it as evidence and reported it to NASA. He explains, "We were not on exact flight plan, but close enough. It could have caught wind and come here. Again, I don't know if it's a piece or not."

If the piece was in fact a part of Columbia Shuttle, investigators say it probably came from the inside. The plastic probably wouldn't have survived returning to the atmosphere if it was on the outside. Deputies will wait for a phone call from the Environmental Protection Agency to set up a date to pick up the evidence.

The Thomas County-Thomasville Dive Team may have another role in the Columbia Shuttle investigation. FEMA took note of their man power and equipment and could call them to help search for underwater debris in Texas.

posted by kathryn.simmons@walb.com