- Are these sticky, spider web-like materials that are
falling on to the Karoo areas from the air and forming a blanket like appearance
across the vegetation, telephone poles and barbed wire, something falling
out of space? Is this waste material falling from space? Or is this something
which has its origins in the aeroplanes that fly so frequently over the
- Karoo farmers in the district of De Aar are really puzzled
about this. Some of them believe that the Karoo is becoming the dumping
ground for space debris. Some of the cattle in the area have apparently
also become ill after they ate some of the cotton-like fibres which are
evident on some of the feeding vegetation. These cotton-like fibres look
as if they come from the air because of the way they float down to the
ground and pollute the veldt and vegetation.
- "The Karoo has never looked like this before,"
say some of the farmers that have farmed in the area for a number of years.
- Mr. Koos du Toit from the farm Henopskraal has this past
week shown to the Rapport newspaper where the fine fibres of the sticky,
cotton-like substance have become stuck to the bushes and fences on his
farm. Recent rain has washed away some of these fibres but he says he is
confident that the debris will again start falling to the ground from the
air, as has been the case for the past month.
- The farmers and even one of the town inhabitants who
has found fibres in his garden believe its origins are from the aeroplanes
which cross the area between Cape Town and Johannesburg on a daily basis.
It was mentioned that it could even be the chemicals which are used to
dissolve the human excrement and toilet paper in the aeroplanes. Or it
is even speculated as being some space debris with its origins from the
satellites circling the earth.
- Du Toit says that these strange objects have fallen on
to his farm for the second time recently. Some of these fibres are up to
two metres long and he found some hanging over the telephone poles on his
farm. When it is rubbed between the fingers the texture of the substance
becomes fragmented and even disappears. It appears to have no smell whatsoever.
- "Two of my best cows have fallen ill this past month,
ever since the debris started falling on to my farm. These cows showed
the symptoms of the illness by large bumps appearing on their hides, they
became extremely listless and even became blind."
- These sticky, spider web-like fibres seem to be a threat
to Mr. Du Toit's Lucern lambs as his Lucerns seem to be exposed to this
fallout and the chances of their becoming poisoned with this can lead to
further illnesses amongst his animals and lead to monetary loss.
- Mr. Petrus van Rooyen (48) is a farm worker for Mr.Du
Toit who first noticed these strange sticky fibres and he maintains that
he saw bundles of these fibres falling out of an aeroplane crossing above
the area. After these fibres fell out of the aeroplane they spread over
a wide area and landed in the veldt. Now Mr. Van Rooyen maintains that
even the children have been in contact with these fibres and that these
fibres make their hair sticky.
- Some of these wiry fibres have also apparently fallen
on the adjacent farm next to that of Mr. Du Toit.
- Mr. Willie Pool also found some of these fibres in the
town in his garden.
- A certain Mr. Coenie Muller was in his car when some
of the debris landed on his car during transit.
- It is reported that a lot of these fibres have been washed
away by the recent rain in the Karoo area.
- Rapport found a piece of this fibre on Thursday last
week and sent it to Professor Derek Litthauer who is the Head of the Department
of Microbiology at the FreeState University for his information and analysis.
He humoured the situation by suggesting this may be a piece of Manna falling
out of the heavens.
- "It looks as if these wires are synthetic but we
will have to investigate and analyse before we can comment any further."
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