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(meteorobs) Number 10



TOP 10 REASONS TO NOT TAKE A RIDE IN THE SPACE SHUTTLE

(For meteorobs internal use only.)

 Technician holes up in Ohio cave to escape meteor

 Wednesday, August 18, 1999

 ASSOCIATED PRESS

 CALDWELL - When a Kennedy Space Center computer programmer thought
 the sky was falling, he headed for a cave in southeast Ohio.

 Sheriff's deputies responding to a report of an unfamiliar car found
Loyd
 Albright, along with camping equipment, dried food and 16 guns, said
Noble
 County Sheriff Landon Smith.

 "He very sincerely thought there was a meteor that was going to hit the

 Atlantic Ocean and cause a tidal wave 200 feet high," Smith said. "He
was
 trying to hide from this meteor. It was going to go up the coast, take
Florida
 for sure and there would be water all over Georgia. The peach trees
were
 going to be  covered up."

 Albright was found the evening of Aug. 10. He thought the meteor was
going
 to hit at 4 a.m. the next day and had been in the cave since at least
Aug. 8,
 Smith said yesterday.

 "I thought it was kind of amazing that he was enough of a believer and
had
 enough of a fear that he was willing to come north to get away from
it,"Smith
 said. Smith said finding Albright's car, which was filled with guns and

 ammunition, led deputies to search nearby woods. The guns were legal,
Smith
 said, but raised concerns that someone might be in danger.

 After heading down two steep embankments, deputies found Albright in a
cave
 20 feet deep.

 Albright had been sleeping on a cot, drinking water that dripped
through the
 cave ceiling and keeping food cold in a pool of water.

 He was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, then released after
posting
 bond following a night in the County Jail, Smith said. He was escorted
to the
 interstate and told to head home.

 "He was nothing but pleasant and easy to get along with," said Smith,
who
 added that Albright selected Ohio as a refuge because he had visited
the state
 once before.

 Albright, 47, who works on space shuttle data processing, said he was
thankful
 for Smith's help.

 Albright said the meteor strike, from fragments of Comet Lee, could
occur any
 time within nine years.

 NASA said the closest Comet Lee would come to Earth is 77 million miles
by the
 end of September.


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