MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. – Two New Jersey men who staged a UFO hoax will have more earthly pursuits, such as picking up trash from the side of the road.
A judge fined Chris Russo of Morris Plains and Joe Rudy of Chester Township $250 each and ordered them to perform 50 hours of community service for creating a disturbance.
Authorities say the pair triggered a flurry of 911 calls when they lit road flares tied to helium balloons and released them in Morris County in January and February.
The men said they did it to debunk so-called UFO experts. They posted details of their exploits on a Web site on April Fools' Day.
The prosecutor charged them with disorderly conduct, saying the balloons could have interfered with air traffic and posed a potential fire hazard.