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Russian meteor misidentified by most

March 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

MOSCOW, March 1 (UPI) -- Most of the inhabitants of the Russian city under an exploding meteor failed to identify it for what it was, a poll indicated.

While nearly half the residents in Chelyabinsk, hit by fragments from a falling meteorite Feb. 15, saw the object streak across the early morning sky, most thought it was either a falling aircraft, a military attack or a UFO, a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation, based in Moscow, found.

Forty-seven percent of the population of Chelyabinsk, a city in the Urals with a population of around 1 million, reported they saw the meteorite.

But only 10 percent correctly guessed what they were observing, the poll found.

Forty percent believed it was a falling plane, 8 percent thought it was a rocket launch gone wrong, 6 percent believed it was an explosion of some kind and 5 percent believed the city was under attack by rocket fire, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

Four percent thought it was a UFO.

The poll was carried out by telephone among 500 respondents Feb. 23-24. The margin of error was 4.5 percentage points, the polling foundation said.

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