In Australia, the prize find in the treasure hunt for debris from the Skylab space station, a six-foot (two metres) long cylinder was cleared of radiation on Friday (13 July) and is now awaiting inspection by United States space scientists.
SV INT. Capt. Bill Anderson - pilot who saw skylab fall speaking in English
GV AERIAL - where Skylab fell (general area)
SV State Emergency Services building where some fragments of Skylab were found on roof
GV EXT. people watching as scientists extract possible segment of Skylab from ground
SV large piece of earth where Skylab piece believed to be with sign saying "please do not touch" (2 shots)
SV man with electric saw cutting through what is believed to be pieces of Skylab as press takes photos (3 shots)
SV INT. men analyse more suspected Skylab debris (3 shots)
ANDERSON: "Initially we thought it was a large aircraft like a 747 with all its lights on in fairly close proximity. But we were in controlled airspace, and there were no reports of other air traffic so it obviously had to be the Skylab vehicle, and at that point it became fairly obvious that it was a rectangular shape, blue in colour and as we watched it started to enter the earth's atmosphere and we saw the blue change to a reddish glow, to an orange glow and disintegration started shortly after that."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Australia, the prize find in the treasure hunt for debris from the Skylab space station, a six-foot (two metres) long cylinder was cleared of radiation on Friday (13 July) and is now awaiting inspection by United States space scientists. The steel drum -- believed to be part of the space station's docking system -- was found near the small town of Rawlinna, about 600 miles (960 km) east of Perth about 16 hours after Skylab broke into pieces above South western Australia on Wednesday (11 July). Eyewitness airline pilot Captain Bill Anderson describes how he saw the spacecraft disintegrate..
SYNOPSIS: Up to a thousand pieces of Skylab are said to have fallen on this remote desert area in south western Australia.
And soon after the treasure hunters moved in scientists were on hand, too. To check on radioactivity, atmosphere re-entry damage and put up 1979-style claim stakes.
But the treasure hunters are usually faster, and maybe their incentive is bigger. One London newspaper reported that an Australian had been offered a pound weight of gold for every ounce of Skylab debris. And as if that weren't enough, one of his six other offers came from a New York publishing company for over 20,000 dollars for his story. But by far the best find so far is a docking cylinder, found by three men who were searching for a missing railway worker.
But not every Australian is happy, a prominent Sydney churchman protested to the government and demanded that it ask other nations to stop thinking of Australia as a wasteland suitable only for crash-landing any old object.