Check back here daily for the latest oddball stories that just may give you a chuckle or leave you scratching your head.
Air Force officer who vanished in 1983 found using fake ID
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Air Force officer with top security clearance who disappeared in New Mexico 35 years ago has been found in California after using a false name for decades, authorities said.
William Howard Hughes Jr. was apprehended at his home after a fraud investigation, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations said in a statement.
He told authorities after his capture Wednesday that he was depressed about being in the Air Force and decided to leave, saying he created a fake identity and lived in California since he vanished in 1983.
Hughes was charged with desertion and is being held at Travis Air Force Base in California. He could face up to five years of confinement, forfeiture of all pay and dishonorable discharge from the Air Force.
He had been involved in classified planning and analysis of NATO's control, command and communications surveillance systems during the Cold War. He specialized in radar surveillance.
Hughes, a captain at Kirtland Air Force Base, was 33 and single when he vanished, according to news reports from the time of his disappearance. He was last seen withdrawing more than $28,000 in Albuquerque in summer 1983 after returning from a two-week vacation in Europe.
He had just completed a stint in the Netherlands, where he worked with NATO officers on the Airborne Warning and Control electronic surveillance aircraft. He was supposed to be back in Albuquerque by August 1983.
An Office of Special Investigations spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal that there's no indication Hughes was involved with the Soviet Union or that any classified information was leaked.
It's unclear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Several other fugitives are on the Air Force's wanted list, including others who have been on the run since the 1980s for various reasons that stem from drug charges to security issues.
Last year, investigators caught a fugitive in Florida who had been living under another identity since 1972.
Cops rescue pig near a Dunkin' Donuts, name him 'Pork Roll'
NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Police in New Jersey say they found a lost pet pig wandering near a local Dunkin' Donuts and nicknamed it "Pork Roll."
Neptune Township police said Wednesday they got a call over the recent holiday weekend concerning a pig wandering around the doughnuts and coffee chain store.
The department jokes an officer was able to "catch the well-fed hog and take him into custody for questioning and to provide him with a job application as our new mascot" before transferring him to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Officials say Pork Roll's owner picked him up from the agency.
Grocery store workers find rare orange lobster
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Workers at a Massachusetts supermarket have found a rare orange lobster.
Roche Bros. Supermarkets said in a Facebook post on May 29 workers at their Westborough store found the lobster in a shipment of crustaceans from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
It has since donated the lobster to the New England Aquarium in Boston.
The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine says the likelihood of a lobster being orange is about 1 in 30 million.
The New England Aquarium says the lobster is about 7 to 9 years old. It says the crustacean is lucky to be alive because its color was "flashing a neon sign" to predators.
The lobster will either stay in Boston or go to another aquarium in Japan.
Kim Jong Un impersonator questioned on arrival in Singapore
SINGAPORE — A Kim Jong Un lookalike was detained and questioned upon his arrival in Singapore on Friday, days before a summit between the North Korean leader and President Donald Trump.
The Hong Kong-based impersonator, who uses the name Howard X, is in the city-state for summit-related promotions by a mall and seafood restaurant.
He said the police officers who stopped him at Singapore's Changi Airport searched his bags and questioned him for about two hours before letting him go. He said he was told to stay away from Sentosa Island and the Shangri-La Hotel.
Kim and Trump are to meet Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island and Trump is expected to stay at the Shangri-La during his visit to Singapore.
The impersonator, whose real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun, said police asked if he had been involved in protests around the world, including those by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. He said he told them he had been at the scene of Hong Kong demonstrations as a musician playing the drums.
"However, I never rioted and don't plan to ever riot. I told him (police officer) that I ... would never do this in Singapore because it is against your rules to protest," Lee told The Associated Press.
In a statement, Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said Wun was interviewed for about 45 minutes.
"As part of the immigration clearance process, travelers to Singapore may be subject to additional interviews and/or screening. These procedures are conducted at all Singapore's checkpoints," the authority said.
Demonstrations in Singapore can only be held in a designated area, the 2.4-acre (0.9-hectare) Hong Lim Park, and require park approval. All other gatherings require a police permit.
Later Friday, Howard X and Dennis Alan, a Trump impersonator, held hands and walked around Merlion Park, a popular tourist destination. They posed with mock chili and black pepper crab dishes and took photographs with curious passers-by.
"I'm here to stay. I don't think they will try and kick out the president. It wouldn't be good press for Singapore," Lee said.
"Nobody started talking about a meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump until we suggested it at the Olympics," Alan added, referring to their appearance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
"It all started with us. If there's a peace prize that anybody should get, we should get it," he quipped.
Indonesian Janette Warokka thought the impersonators were the real deal.
"It's so shocking for me. I don't know why those two famous guys come here," she said.
Raul Rio, a teacher from Texas, managed to take a selfie with the pair. "They certainly look like the real ones. It was fun to see them," he said.
This story has been corrected to show demonstrations in park require park approval and other gatherings require a police permit.
Maine town works to save statue of famous harbor seal Andre
ROCKPORT, Maine — A Maine town is raising money to save the statue of a beloved harbor seal that brought the community together.
The Bangor Daily News reports Rockport's 1978 statue of Andre the Seal is undergoing $14,000 in repairs. Two local organizations have raised most of the money, but $2,000 is still needed.
Residents recall fond memories of the orphaned seal pup, which was rescued in 1961 by local tree surgeon Harry Goodridge. Goodridge cared for the seal until it was old enough to be released into the ocean.
Andre went on to spend his winters in southern New England and his summers in Rockport for the next 25 years. The friendly seal was the subject of the 1994 film "Andre" and the book "A Seal Called Andre."
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com
Man beats huge odds: 2 My Million lottery wins in 18 months
PARIS — A man who regularly plays the lottery with the same numbers at the same place in eastern France has beaten huge odds, winning the My Million lottery twice in 18 months.
Le Parisien newspaper says mathematicians it queried calculated the double win at 1 chance in 16 trillion.
Radio France Bleu on Thursday quoted state lottery La Francaise des Jeux as saying the winner, who wants to remain anonymous, won 1 million euros ($1.18 million) on May 18 after winning 1 million euros in November 2016.
An employee at the cafe La Havane in Evian-les-Bains told the radio that the winner "hasn't changed at all."
My Million is part of EuroMillions.
Lady luck was also in Australia last month. A Sydney man won twice in a week national, according to NSW Lotteries.
Serpent shocker: Snake slithers out while woman drives
WARRENTON, Va. — A Virginia woman was rattled when a snake slithered out of her car vent and disappeared into the depths of her SUV.
It was actually just a harmless garter snake, but Lora Goff was startled when the 2 1/2-foot long serpent entangled itself in her phone cord. She pulled over and called animal control Monday. A Fauquier County Sheriff's Office spokesman says a responding officer with his own snake phobia tried to catch it, but it slipped out of sight.
Goff returned to work and put sticky rodent traps under her seat, but they remained empty during her 10-minute commute home. The next morning, her husband discovered the snake alive and stuck to a trap.
Goff says he disposed of it in some fashion, she prefers not to know.
Some like it not: Marilyn Monroe statue has church venting
HARTFORD, Conn. — Marilyn Monroe's rear is getting some leers in Connecticut.
A 26-foot statue of the actress has been placed in a Stamford park across the street from a church, which is getting a full view of her behind. It depicts the famous scene from 1955's "The Seven Year Itch" where Monroe holds down her white dress as air blows up from a subway grate.
The back of the statue showing her underwear is clearly visible from the front of the First Congregational Church of Stamford. Some passersby this week said it was disrespectful to the church.
Most church members have yet to see the statue because it was put up Monday as part of a citywide art display. But it is sure to spark conversation when they return for Sunday worship, said church member Maureen Matthews.
"I think some people will be offended," said Matthews, who is not bothered by the statue. "It is silly. There are bigger issues to worry about. But I'll be interested to see how people talk about it on Sunday."
"Forever Marilyn" is one of 36 statues by artist Seward Johnson that are on loan and on display in the downtown area through the summer. They're part of the city's annual "Art in Public Spaces" program. All the statues except Marilyn are life-size and depict people doing everyday activities.
City resident Lorri Tamburro told The Advocate newspaper that she found it disturbing to see children climbing on the statue's leg and looking up the skirt.
"I just find the position to be offensive," she said. "It was, in my eyes, very disrespectful. I looked at it and I think because of what I saw with all these little kids looking up, the height is ruining it. It's ruining beautiful Marilyn."
The response to Marilyn and the other statues has been overwhelmingly positive, said Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which is hosting the exhibit along with sponsors including real estate finance firm UC Funds.
Goldstein noted there are many nude statues outdoors in Europe — and near churches — that are accepted by the public.
"It is art and we don't believe it is offensive," she said. "We absolutely mean no disrespect to the church."
The Rev. Dr. Todd Grant Yonkman, pastor of the First Congregational Church, has a sense of humor about the statue, but said it was an odd artistic choice.
"The issue is, Why that statue," he said in an email to The Associated Press. "Marilyn Monroe was an artist deserving our respect. Why appropriate her image in this way. Is this the best we can do?"
He said he heard Monroe's husband at the time of "The Seven Year Itch," baseball star Joe DiMaggio, was uncomfortable with her shooting the subway vent scene.
"Maybe the city would let us give her some pants?" Yonkman said.
South Dakota sheriff loses re-election, fires winning deputy
TYNDALL, S.D. — A South Dakota sheriff waited a whole minute after polls closed to fire a deputy who undid his re-election bid this week.
Bon Homme County Sheriff Lenny Gramkow fired deputy sheriff Mark Maggs after Maggs defeated him by a vote of 878-331 in Tuesday's Republican primary election. Maggs posted his time-stamped termination notice signed by Gramkow on Facebook after polls closed.
"As of this moment you are no longer an employee of Bon Homme County," Gramkow wrote. He didn't give a reason for the firing. South Dakota is an employment-at-will state where employees can be fired without cause, with exceptions. The state's sheriffs also have the authority to hire and fire personnel.
Gramkow declined to comment about the firing.
No other candidates filed for the race, meaning that Maggs will assume office in January. But for now, the father of four is out of work. He planned to meet with the county commission on Thursday.
Some residents started an online petition to have Maggs reinstated as deputy sheriff, but he said that it's unnecessary.
"I trust our county commissioners heard your voices (Tuesday) night through the election results, and I also trust that they will stand with my family and I (in) the way you all have and ensure that my family will not be left hanging without an income or insurance," Maggs said.
SUV navigates rush hour in reverse
CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio — Officials are speculating a motorist who navigated a highway while driving in reverse during morning rush hour may have had transmission problems.
The Ohio Transportation Department on Tuesday released a video showing an SUV going through traffic for little more than a mile backward up a ramp to U.S. 33 in Canal Winchester. The vehicle turned onto another road, crossed an overpass, went through a traffic light and turned into a parking lot.
The SUV did not hit any vehicles.
The town is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Columbus.