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Moscow - Space experts are trying to solve the mystery of “a UFO fragment” which crashed close to a village in Siberia.

Locals insist the metallic object – which resembles a large rubbish bin – fell from the skies but initial checks by experts have concluded it is neither from a rocket nor a missile.

It is now under police guard as interest in the “visitor” intensifies.

One witness said a “smooth, silver U-shaped device with a round part fixed to it’” as found inside the object.

The Russian Federal Space Agency said on Wednesday: “The object found is not related to space technology. A final conclusion can be made after a detailed study of the object by experts.”

The object was found near the village of Otradnensky, some 2,000 miles and three time zones east of Moscow.

Russian media claimed “fragments of a UFO” had been found in a remote forest. It was claimed locals had heard strange sounds in the woodland in December.

But it was only on Sunday the find was reported to police, who then alerted the authorities in Moscow. Locals attached the object – which weighs around 31st 7lb and is around 6ft 6in high – to a trailer and took it across the snow to the village, where it was checked by police.

Initial theories that the object was part of a rocket or a satellite from a failed launch in Kazakhstan have been denied.

Yuri Bornyakov, of the rescue service department in the Kuibyshevski district, said: “We measured the radiation level near and inside the object. We found no radiation here.”

Another official said part of the fragment was made of ultra-strong titanium.

Finder Sergey Bobrov said in an official statement he would keep the UFO safe but villagers said ‘police came in the night and secretly removed it’.

Police spokesman Sergei Sulein said the object was now under guard by the force on orders from unspecified authorities.

He added: “You can see inside it, all is open, it’s empty, no danger here. We were asked to take and store it. We brought it here. And now we are going to wait until they come to take it if they need it.” - Daily Mail