The former president of Poland pontificating about an alien invasion, a bold new plan for NASA to send astronauts back to the moon, and a weird mystery surrounding Garfield phones were among the strange and unusual stories to pop up on our radar this past week.
Perhaps the most surprising piece of news from the last few days came when Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Space Council and announced that the United States now intends to send astronauts to the moon within five years "by any means necessary." The dramatic acceleration of NASA's lunar mission, he said, was meant to "reignite the spark of urgency" in the space agency and, hopefully, get America back to the moon before other space-faring nations put their own countrymen there in the not-too-distant future. While some pundits argued that the 'five-year plan' was unrealistic, Pence expressed an unwavering attitude and indicated that failure to achieve this goal is "not an option."
A longstanding mystery that had puzzled residents of a coastal region of France for more than three decades was finally solved this week, although the resolution was somewhat bittersweet. Since the 1980s, pieces of novelty Garfield phones have been washing ashore on beaches along the Iroise Sea. Despite appearing year after year by the hundreds, no one knew the source of the strange plastic parts until a farmer caught wind of the curious phenomenon and revealed that he knew their origin. The man subsequently took environmentalists to a cave where a shipping container filled with the phones had washed ashore in a storm 30-plus years ago. Unfortunately, its precarious position under rocks inside a hard-to-reach spot meant that it could not be removed and the Garfield phones will continue to flow onto the beaches for the foreseeable future.
One of the more eyebrow-raising stories from the past week emanated from Poland, where one of the country's former presidents, Lech Walesa, told an audience that not only does he believe in UFOs, but that he's concerned that invading aliens would wipe out humans. The strange remarks were particularly grim as the key figure in Cold War history mused that sinister ETs could send our civilization back to the proverbial Stone Age and we'd have to rebuild society from scratch. Equally odd was the Walesa mused that this has likely already happened many times in the past and that's why archaeologists occasionally find out-of-place objects that seem to defy mainstream historical thinking.
For more odd stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.