Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 18:24:15 -0400
(REUTERS) Earlier this year, the dazed crew of a Japanese trawler
was plucked out of the Sea of Japan clinging to the wreckage of their
Their rescue, however, was followed by immediate imprisonment
once authorities questioned the sailors on their ship's loss. To a man
they claimed that a cow, falling out of a clear blue sky, had struck
the trawler amidships, shattering its hull and sinking the vessel
They remained in prison for several weeks, until the Russian Air
Force reluctantly informed Japanese authorities that the crew of one of
its cargo planes had apparently stolen a cow wandering at the edge of
a Siberian airfield, forced the cow into the plane's hold and hastily
taken off for home.
Unprepared for live cargo, the Russian crew was ill-equipped to manage
a frightened cow rampaging within the hold. To save the aircraft
and themselves, they shoved the animal out of the cargo hold as they
crossed the Sea of Japan at an altitude of 30,000 feet.