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Sask. farmers baffled after finding strange object in prairie field

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A family of fifth generation farmers from Ituna, Sask. are trying to find answers after discovering several strange objects lying on their land.

Barry and Cody Sawchuk said they came across the objects on April 28 while working out in one of their fields.

"From a far distance we thought it was garbage and then after that we got closer. We don't know what it is,” said Barry Sawchuk, of Sawchuk 89 Farms.

Barry and his four sons farm around 10,000 acres. He said they are used to finding debris in their fields, but this was a first for them.

After finding the largest piece, weighing 100 pounds, they brought it home and began searching for answers.

"It could be part of a satellite or something that re-entered cause it's all torched, you can see where it's torched. Stuff has been burnt off,” Barry explained. “It's carbon fibre composite, and there is aluminum honeycomb on it and in the back there is composite carbon again."

Chris Rutkowski, a science writer out of the University of Manitoba, told the story of a bizarre object making landfall in Saskatchewan back in the 1960’s.

"Wollesten Lake in 1968, a hunter found something kind of like that. It was a little more metallic but it turned out to have been a part of a satellite, possibly even Canada’s own Alouette satellite.”

"It could be part of a thermal blanket that is used to insulate the satellite as they are going up. Not necessarily the rocket itself but some of the insulation that protects it on going up,” Rutkowski added.

According to an ABC News report from 2022, officials with the Australian Space Agency investigated a three metre piece of debris that was discovered on a sheep farm.

It was believed to be part of a SpaceX rocket.

Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer, believes the debris found on Sawchuk’s farm also belongs to SpaceX.

His collaborator out of the University of Regina told CTV News he re-tracked a re-entry over Saskatchewan in February.

The debris is believed to be the trunk of a spacecraft that made its way back to Earth.

"The ground track goes right through Saskatchewan so exactly where debris will hit the ground is fairly unpredictable, because you don't know where pieces will fall off and the exact atmospheric turbulence and everything can have. The line goes right through Ituna,” Associate Professor of Astronomy Samantha Lawler explained.

Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell re-tracked the re-entry of a SpaceX rocket in February. Its course brought it directly above the Ituna area. (Courtesy: Jonathan McDowell)

CTV News did reach out to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which confirmed the pieces found on Sawchuk’s farm was not part of a plane, as there have been no recent aircraft occurrences in the area.

The Canadian Space Agency has said it is looking into the matter.

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