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NASA Balloon Labeled 'Not a Bomb' Lands in New Jersey, Alerts Bomb Squad Anyway

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A NASA research experiment bearing the most obvious message ever alerted some of the highest authorities in the land earlier this week after it fell from the sky.

On Tuesday, the styrofoam device attached to a red balloon landed in a solar panel field operated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection labeled with what seemed to be an obvious trap: a note that read "NASA Atmospheric Research Instrument NOT A BOMB! If found, please call [redacted]. If this lands near the President, we at NASA wish him a great round of golf." 

Reassuring overtures aside, the solar panel company employees still thought they'd encountered death from above and called the authorities. As it happens, President Trump was playing golf less than 30 miles away at his Bedminster golf club when the otherwise innocuous balloon plopped onto terra firma. 

According to NBC New York, every precaution was taken to ensure the device labeled "NOT A BOMB!" was not a bomb.

"Police dispatched officers and a bomb squad to the area, evacuated the site and set up a perimeter, a South Brunswick detective said. Secret Service also investigated the package, according to the detective," the report read. 

After dismantling the package, the bomb squad found nothing troublesome. According to a NASA spokesperson, the package "contained a weather balloon instrument that measures ozone," and was part of a bigger experiment involving six balloons in the area. 

Unfortunately, the advisory was taken gravely out of context, and the student who wrote the note was removed from the project after causing a bomb scare. 

So much for being helpful. 

h/t Gizmodo

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.