A remote beach in Western Australia known for its crabs and wildflowers has become the site of a secret police-guarded steelhead.
Police in Western Australia asked the public on Monday not to be certain about the origin of the cylindrical object as it is being investigated. But in the news and on social media, people speculated that it could be from military or commercial aircraft, or even an airplane.
A resident reported the object to police on Sunday after it was found near Green Head, a coastal town of less than 300 people about 155 kilometers north of Perth known for its fish and sea lions.
Police said in a statement Monday night that the substance was safe and did not pose a risk to the public, according to an analysis by fire and emergency officials and forensic and forensic scientists.
However, the police asked people not to go. The unidentified object will be moved only after it is officially identified, police said.
Before the police arrived to patrol the cylinder on Monday, locals had gathered around the mysterious object on Sunday night, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Garth Griffiths, who lives near the beach, told the ABC that 20 to 30 people were at the site of the object at any given time.
Mr Griffiths said: “It was a very happy evening. “It was a good, quiet night. The children were digging sandpits around it.”
He said that a local family found the object floating in the water and pulled it out of the sea using their rescue vehicle.
The police he said in a statement on Monday that officers were guarding the object to preserve potential evidence and to make it easier for experts to examine the cylinder as federal and state agencies investigate.
There were suggestions online that the item was attached to MH370, the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared in 2014 after flying south over the Indian Ocean. However, police said that “at an early stage” in their investigation, it does not appear that the debris came from a commercial airliner.
The Australian Space Agency said in a sentence on Twitter on Monday that the object “may be from a foreign vehicle.” The agency said it is liaising with space agencies in other countries to get more information.
“As the origin of the object is unknown, the community should refrain from touching or attempting to move the object,” the agency said.
Last year, a sheep farmer discovered a small black piece of space on his 5,000-acre property in a remote corner of southeastern Australia. Earlier this year, researchers investigated a large metal ball found on a beach in Hamamatsu, Japan. It became a buoy.