‘Space Balls’ Drop In Vietnam Ahead of Sequel

Mel Brooks is really going all out on the marketing for his Star Wars parody.

By Tony Sokol

There hasn’t been this much excitement in entertainment since Pink Floyd taught England that pigs could fly. Vietnam is abuzz after reports that three mysterious “space balls,” as trending news sources are calling them, crashed near a stream in a corn field in the Tuyen Quang province.

Movies taught us that to a lot of mysterious stories that out of corn fields. The Children of the Corn played hooky in a corn field. Charlton Heston’s character Taylor was captured by the apes in a cornfield in Planet of the Apes. Kevin Costner’s resurrected zombie goodfella dad emerged from a corn field wielding a baseball bat like he thought he was in that gang in The Warriors. So when shit happens in corn fields, the authorities take it serious.

Reports say Vietnam called in the military, who think the metal balls are some kind of space debris. Vietnamese army spokesman Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan told local news that he has no idea where they came from. He said the Vietnamese army hasn’t been conducting military activity in the region. The balls were grabbed by Vietnam's Air Defense Arms. Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense is probing them right now. Reports said one of the balls weighed about a half-pound, another weighed 13 pounds, and the third weighed in at just under 100 pounds.

According to the local reports, witnesses claimed they heard what sounded like thunder right before the balls dropped.

The Ministry of Defense pledged that the investigation would be transparent. This isn’t the first time mysterious balls have fallen from the sky. In November there were reports of mysterious spheres in Spain and Turkey.

Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper said findings suggest that the balls could have come from a Russian missile or spaceship. Nguyen Khoa Son, a professor from the Vietnamese Space Science and Technology Program, told VietnamNet that they could be debris from a failed satellite launch. Early findings say the balls don’t seem broken and that they fell from a height of about 62 miles.

According to NASA, there is a lot of garbage floating around in space. They estimate about 500,000 bits of space debris hover just above the Earth. NASA can account for about 20,000 pieces that came from satellites and space missions. They assume the rest is probably alien trash.

But the balls’ origins aren’t necessarily extraterrestrial. We beam a lot of trash into space. Radio waves, for example, are beamed into space and go on forever. While Earth may have sent Chuck Berry and Beethoven recordings to the aliens in the seventies via a space shuttle, our space neighbors will have been dealing with our radio noise pollution for quite a while before those spaceships arrive and the aliens have to sign on for six more records at the promised discount in an earth year.

Because of satellite transmissions of film and TV, aliens are quite familiar with what passes for entertainment on earth. In a recent informal poll, most aliens are said to prefer Mel Brooks’ 1987 science fiction comedy Spaceballs over any of the Star Wars movies. Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been littering cinemas, they want to see Brooks use the power of the schwartz to update the classic comedy and skewer Jaba Banks or whatever his name is.

When the aliens asked Brooks to take them to their leader, he gave them directions to Rick Moranis’s house, because the comic actor has no intention of putting on that gamy helmet. Brooks himself is ready. He already cynically floated Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money as a possible title. It’s written in Russian on the space balls he dropped over Southeast Asia.

Published January 13th, 2016


Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of GeekThe Chiseler, KpopStarz.com and wrote for Altvariety, Coed.com, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."