It would have been nice to have seen a photo. If it had numbers, it must have a terrestrial origin, unless those 'numbers' were in an unknown script. But if that had been the case, the article would surely have mentioned it.
It probably has quite a mundane origin, but what that is I couldn't hazard a guess.
In this month's FT, there's a story about balls being washed up in South Carolina. They're 3ft in diameter, metallic, generally smoothed but slightly dimpled, and have identification numbers stamped on them.
Anyone got any idea what they are? I'm tempted to say they're some kind of marine version of the weather balloon rather than anything ET.
'Unidentified Floating Object' Washes Up on S.C. Shore
June 14 — It looked like something from a sci-fi flick: a mysterious silver orb, three feet in diameter, floating in the surf off the South Carolina coast.
"They thought it was a giant beach ball, they were going to bring in," said Marie Segneri, whose family found the orb floating near their rented beach house at Isle of Palms. "They swam out and said it was a very heavy ball, it was metal, had numbers on it, and there was no way they were bringing it in."
The ball eventually washed up on the shore, causing alarmed residents to call the police.
Authorities marked off an area around the orb with crime-scene tape and tried to identify it. They turned to members of the Air Force bomb squad, the Coast Guard and state officials for help, but no one could identify the strange object.
There were numbers on the surface of the orb, but no other clues that helped determine its origin.
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were contacted, but even they had no answers.
A Flotation Device... Maybe
Because of its weight — several hundred pounds — there's speculation it might be a flotation device used by a dredge company. But that theory only adds to the mystery — the orb has no fasteners on it where a line or cable might have been attached.
"We're calling it a UFO — an unidentified floating object," Isle of Palms Fire Chief Ann Graham told The Associated Press.
According to The Associated Press, the orb cracked in half as it was being brought to the town's public works department.
But the inside was as revealing as the outside — only seawater spilled out.
"There was nothing green, nothing glowing," Graham told the news agency. "It will probably just go to the scrap yard."
Here's another spherical mystery object that's washed ashore on a Carolina beach. In this case the US Navy has taken the half-ton concrete-filled ball for inspection and identification. It's believed to be some sort of submarine training target.
Submarine training target washes up on North Carolina beach
Officials in a North Carolina town said the Navy was called in to eject an unusual beach visitor -- a 1,000-pound ball of concrete believed to be a submarine training target.
The Kill Devil Hills Police Department said in a Facebook post the large, barnacle-covered object that washed up on the beach Monday afternoon was "not an explosive device" and did not pose any danger to the public. ...
The Town of Kill Devil Hills said the U.S. Navy removed the device Tuesday with help from the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department and Public Services Department.
The town said the Navy believes the 1,000-pound concrete ball to be a submarine training target. The Navy is planning to clean the object and attempt to determine where it came from, the town said.