Officials uncover suspected Columbia debris in East Texas lake

Published: Aug. 1, 2011 at 6:39 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM CDT
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Released by the Nacogdoches Police Department:

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches authorities have located what is suspected of being material from the space Shuttle Columbia in the northern end of Lake Nacogdoches.

"The lower water level has exposed a larger than normal area on the northern side of the lake", said NPD Sgt. Greg Sowell. " A large round object became visible, and it is very possible that it is part of Columbia".

Authorities notified NASA last Friday, and they requested photos of the object. According to Sowell, photos were sent to them this morning. The round object is approximately four feet in diameter and is full of mud.

The object is in an isolated area, one that is not easily accessible.

"We want to remind everyone that the rules are the same as they were back in 2003. If this object is indeed a part of the shuttle, it is government property, and it is a criminal offense to tamper with it." Sowell said.

Nacogdoches authorities are awaiting instructions from NASA on recovery of the item.