A BRIGHT slow-moving object that appeared high in the northern sky, attracted the undivided attention of a number of residents late on Thursday afternoon and quickly gave rise to interesting speculations.
Some people easily remembered recent news about a near-earth asteroid that would pass by the earth this month and thought that what they were seeing might be the asteroid.
However, asteroid 2001 FO32 will only pass by on 21 March and – at a distance of two million kilometres, so it will not be visible to the naked eye.
Others remembered prophetess Justina Haihambo’s decades-old warning that “a massive asteroid will fall in Namibia” causing widespread destruction and death.
Others suspected that it was “a weather balloon” or “something to do with cartography.”
Deodencia Haufiku, a resident of Oshakati and follower of a local prophet was sure that the object poses no danger.
“That must be a harmless man-made object. Otherwise, the Man of God would have predicted it in advance,” the devotee said.
As people kept watching and speculating, the mysterious and bright object slowly moved westwards out of sight.
One would easily have paraphrased Acts 1:11 and asked: “Men and women of the northern regions, why do you stand here gazing up into o the sky?”
A similar unidentified flying object was observed in Walvis Bay last year. After much speculation, the glowing silver orb observed over the Atlantic Ocean in the late afternoon was eventually identified as a Loon Balloon.
Research on air traffic tracking websites quickly confirmed that Thursday’s object was indeed one of the Google communication balloons and that it was floating from east to west over northern Namibia at a height of about 60 000 feet or 20 kilometres.