Fowl play By FRANCES O'SHEA February 10, 2005 CHICKENS are falling from the sky over a city suburb ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ and nobody knows why ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ or where they come from. Twice in the past six weeks plucked and probably frozen chooks have plummeted to Earth on to the roofs of two unsuspecting residents of Fletcher, in Newcastle. On both occasions tiles have been smashed, leading experts to assume the birds fell from a great height. Police have been called and the search is on for an answer to the strange phenomenon. One theory is that someone is using a giant slingshot to launch the birds into the air. After the first chicken fell with a thud on to the roof of Stephen Leung's house on January 2, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority thought it may of fallen from a plane. The force with which the the bird hit the roof convinced experts it would have plummeted from at least 500m. The obvious culprit was a low-flying light plane where it may have fallen from an external luggage locker. That theory now seems less likely after a second chook came crashing on to Warwick Slee's house sometime over the weekend. Mr Slee lives less than a kilometre from Mr Leung. The Slee family were away last week and returned home late on Sunday afternoon to be greeted by a foul smell. Mr Slee was trying to find the source of the stench when he noticed three smashed roof tiles. He climbed into the roof cavity and found the decaying remains of a chicken. "I'd heard about the other chook hitting a house a few weeks ago but didn't give it much thought," Mr Slee said. "I'd be really interested to know where they are coming from." Peter Gibson from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority described the incidents as "odd". Mr Gibson said the odds of the chickens falling from a plane twice in the same area were extremely remote. "There is a chance it could have happened once, but twice I'd say is impossible," he said. "I think some ground-based explanation is more logical." Professor John O'Connor, head of mathematics and physical sciences at the University of Newcastle, agreed it was more likely the chooks were being propelled from the ground. "I can't think of any normal phenomenon that would be responsible," he said. "It's been known to rain fish, frogs and even chickens but that is after they are sucked up by a cyclone or tornado. "I think some bright sparks have come up with a method of propelling these chooks. "They seem to be firing frozen chooks into the air to see how high they can go." Professor O'Connor said the culprits wouldn't need anything too sophisticated ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ a large slingshot could propel them hundreds of metres into the air.