This is the Latitude News Mishmash, our weekly round up of the weirdest, funniest stories the global press has to offer.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
Ria Novosti, Russia’s state news-agency, reports that Russian military officials have historically been a bit more open-minded about UFO sightings than their American counterparts.
By way of comparison, here are two examples: In 1967, in the midst of the Cold War, a retired Air Force captain claims nuclear missiles in Montana “were shut down [by a beam of light] as a UFO was seen overhead.”
“US airmen…were forced to sign oaths of secrecy, forget they ever saw anything, and were ridiculed by their peers and superior officers when they reported UFO sightings,” reports Ria Novosti.
Meanwhile, “in the Soviet Union, in 1982, [aliens] are suspected of initiating launch procedures for nuclear warheads, sending Soviet troops scrambling to undo the extraterrestrial move, witnesses told the former lawmakers.” After another alien encounter in 1990, the Soviet minister of defense and the top general for air defense both spoke publicly about the incident.
All this news comes from this week’s Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, a conference in Washington DC focusing on UFO sightings and the government’s decades-long policy of allegedly denying and suppressing information on extraterrestrial encounters. For true believers, it’s a must-attend event.
Kenyan soccer coach attacks the wrong ball(s)
Today’s lesson in sportsmanship comes from Kenya, where the assistant of a pro soccer team is on trial after squeezing a referee’s testicles until the unfortunate official collapsed to the ground in agony.
Daudi Kajembe, the assistant coach of Kenya’s Sparki Youth soccer team, was incensed that referee Martin Wekesa ejected one of his players during a lower league match. A police report on the incident accused Kajembe of assault, adding that he had left Wekesa “for dead” after the attack.
Wekesa survived Kajembe’s furious onslaught, but alleges that his virility did not. He’s now suing the coach for damages over the loss of his “conjugal rights,” according to a report from Nairobi’s Capital FM radio station.
The whole story brings to mind this famous picture of the English hardman Vinnie Jones getting up close and personal with an opponent.
Brawl at the top of the world
Alright, maybe just one more lesson in sportsmanship. It seems no matter what corner of the globe humanity reaches, we bring some baggage with us.
Two famous European climbers got into a fistfight with their Nepalese guides 24,500 feet up the side of Mount Everest, just under 3,000 feet from the summit. AFP spoke with an eyewitness by phone:
“The Sherpas told the team not to climb above them while they were fixing the ropes but they did it anyway. Then some ice fell and hit the Sherpas, which made them angry,” said the eyewitness.
Later in the day, a furious group of Nepalese stormed up towards the climbers’ tents and pelted them with stones until the men came outside, after which a loud argument ensued and punches were allegedly thrown.
“It was terrifying to watch — they nearly got killed,” the eyewitness said.
While one of the climbers initially said it was “highly unlikely” ice hit the guide, a police constable investigating the incident confirmed it was not only likely, but that it actually happened.