Comments below this question on Space.SE link to the article Government report on 'space balls' released.

Most of the article is about Kosmos 482 but the end mentions another spacecraft fuel tank that also was recovered.

John Lindores found a space ball on his property on April 3. The ball is on permanent loan to the Ashburton Aviation Museum.

"We thought it was an April Fool's joke to start with. The police came and took it away. It caused quite a stir at the time. They treated it with great care because they were afraid it was radioactive. They took it to Ashburton jail and locked it up for the night."

The story of the fallen space object spending a night in the local jail reminds me of some old movie. I thought it might be the original 1971 The Andromeda Strain film, but it seems that in that case the spacecraft landed in the middle of the town and people "were cut down in mid-stride" (YouTube).

Still, I remember something about a recovered spacecraft first being taken to a jail(?), perhaps in the back of a pickup truck, in an old (1950 to 1980) film that ultimately causes a big problem (harm to people). However, I just can't place it.

  • 2
    In the Andromeda Strain they take it to the local doctor's surgery, if memory serves
    – Valorum
    Feb 28, 2019 at 15:35
  • 1
    @Valorum was the spacecraft shown to be taken to the local doctor's surgery by a pickup or farmer's truck from a field? I haven't seen the film since the 1970's. It made a huge impression on me but I'm still watching it from memory.
    – uhoh
    Feb 28, 2019 at 16:03
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    In this trailer for the movie, you can see the probe sitting in the doctor's office at 0:17 seconds in. youtube.com/watch?v=gFc08ijPtkc Feb 28, 2019 at 18:37
  • 1
    @OrganicMarble there's i.stack.imgur.com/s3JE5.jpg (found here) and i.stack.imgur.com/04x9M.jpg (found here) and i.stack.imgur.com/7PY70.jpg (from here). However I can't remember if the moving of the spacecraft from where it landed into the office, then opening it was shown explicitly in the film or not.
    – uhoh
    Aug 4, 2019 at 5:23
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    @OrganicMarble I'm now certain that that is what I was thinking of. Feel free to post it as an answer and I can accept it.
    – uhoh
    Jun 26, 2020 at 1:31


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