Belarusian witnesses confirm bear drop

July 6, 2012 at 4:12 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 6 (UPI) -- Witnesses in Belarus have confirmed a Swedish public relations firm's story about parachuting pro-democracy teddy bears into the country.

Public relations company Studio Total released new video footage Thursday of the 7 a.m. Wednesday flight over the town of Ivyanets and witnesses confirmed they had discovered teddy bears with "foreign" messages attached to them, The Local.se reported Friday.

The Belarusian government denied any airspace violations took place, but witnesses reported seeing a plane drop several dark-colored objects over the city and residents including municipal workers said they recovered parachute-clad teddy bears and many of the toys were turned in to local police.

Tomas Mazetti of Studio Total, who was one of the pilots involved in the stunt, said the original plan was to drop all of the bears on the capital, Minsk, but the small plane turned back after dropping a number a bears due to a message coming over the radio in Russian.

Mazetti said the rest of the bears were dropped onto various locations during the return trip, including Ivyanets.

Swedish Belarus expert Martin Uggla, who previously branded the stunt a likely hoax, said he has changed his mind in light of the released video and now believes the flight took place.

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