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Man finds rock by river (it's a piece of space station Mir)

A Massachusetts man discovers a strange-looking green rock on the banks of the Merrimack River. He later discovers there's a reason it looks a bit unusual.

Green and his green rock.
CBS Boston Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

Walks by the river can clear your head, open your eyes, and soothe your inner flow.

It's possible that you even espy unusual things along the banks -- peculiar voles, moles, or holes that conjure stories in your head.

Phil Green was wandering along the Merrimack River in Massachusetts when he discovered a piece of rock that didn't seem like it was from around his parts.

He told CBS Boston: "There she was just sitting there, sticking up like that, and I said heck what is this. It just didn't belong."

Yes, greenish rocks tend not to belong. Unless they're on the finger of someone you adore so much you might even marry them.

Green is a curious man, but not too curious. So he put his green rock in the Green garden and left it there for six years.

When a friend finally asked about it, Green thought he'd finally investigate.

It was his good fortune that his sister-in-law had a friend who worked at NASA.

Many of us wish we had a friend there too. There are several objects and beings I would happily have examined for their provenance.

In this case, the green rock did actually fall from the sky. NASA has determined it is a piece of the Russian space station Mir.

Mir first went up to the beyond in 1986. It was decommissioned and thrust back down to Earth in 2001.

Most of it landed in the South Pacific. This rogue piece -- and who knows how many more there might be -- decided that Massachusetts was a better resting place.

Not everyone can claim they have a piece of a space station, or indeed anything from up there.

A couple of years ago, a grandmother complained bitterly that NASA had forced her to return a piece of moon rock. She claimed Neil Armstrong had given it to her husband.

One can only hope that two large men with Russian accents don't appear at Green's door, asking very politely for their piece of space station back.