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Sunday, 24 May 2009

image for Somali Pirates Hijack Hubble Telescope
Once brought back to Earth, the pirates will be jettisoned in a capsule near the Somali coast.

HOUSTON, TX - Houston's never had a problem quite like this one. Amateur astronomer Edwin Quasar, who searches the sky nightly a patch at a time hoping to be the discoverer of something new, got more than he bargained for this time. He was witness to the first extraterrestrial hijacking, another "giant leap for mankind."

"I had to step back from the telescope and rub my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things," recalls Quasar. He says the tiny object appearing in his eyepiece looked like "a skiff or small boat."

Astronomers at the Kitt Peak observatory in Arizona were able to verify this, identifying the offending skiff as one previously operating in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.

How the pirates are able to hijack enormous ships with such skiffs is unknown. How they were able to pilot one beyond the troposphere is even more of a mystery. That they were able to accomplish this feat at all, however, is a testament to the tenacity and resourcefulness of the pirates.

Though they have been docked with the Hubble Telescope for several hours, it is unclear at this time what their demands might be; communication has yet to be established. They are believed to have walkie-talkies, though these would be useless at such a great distance.

Kitt Peak astronomers observing the pirates say they appear to be locked out, frantically searching for a way in.

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