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UFO Hoaxers Hit with Fines and Community Service in NJ

By David Goguen | Last updated on

The Truth Is Out There: You Two are Morons

Two New Jersey men were assessed fines and ordered to community service this week for trying to prank Morris County and Hanover residents into believing that UFOs were in the area.

Chris Russo, 29, of Morris Plains, and Joe Rudy, 28, of Chester were sentenced for staging a not-so-elaborate hoax in which they tied road flares to helium balloons and set them aloft in a local field. The two ended up calling a local television station themselves to report the "sighting," which is a little like responding to your own online dating profile just so you can say someone did.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, in announcing the pair's sentence -- a $250 fine and 50 hours of community service each -- Morris County Municipal Judge Michael Carlucci told the duo "If you were a pair of 17-year-olds, I would tell you to grow up." The remainder of the judge's comments were drowned out by the sound of fart noises coming from the defense table, rumor has it.    

Russo and Rudy tried to crowbar some credibility into what was clearly a moment of unbridled idiocy, calling the hoax a "social experiment" that was intended to debunk the prevalence of pseudoscience related to UFOs. Right, and I tell third-grade-level "knock-knock" jokes in an effort to raise awareness of home invasion robberies.

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