For several minutes after 10:10 p.m., Friday April 15, Houstonians report UFO sightings in the Rice University area. Will Rice College freshmen David Beekman, James DePitts, Dewayne Huckaby, Harold Magnus, Mike McParland, Beau Jon Sackett, John Treichler and Bob Vanzant and Baker College freshmen Conrad Boeck and Pat Baum confess they have released the floating object that alarmed neighbors and caused a traffic jam on Rt. 59. Naming their invention Marshgas I, the pranksters attach 2 hydrogen-filled balloons to a 50 square-foot base covered with tin foil, and hang 6 flares below it before they launch the contraption from the stadium parking lot.
The Thresher quotes a fellow student's statement to an enquiring reporter, "I know it's a flying saucer; I can feel the heat. I hope they land and get out."