From the Newark Star-Ledger –
Municipal Judge Michael Carlucci fined Chris Russo, 29, of Morris Plains, and Joe Rudy, 28, of Chester, $250 each and sentenced the two to 50 hours of community service for creating a disturbance.
Between Jan. 5 and Feb. 19, Russo and Rudy released helium balloons with traffic flares tied to them on five separate occasions in what they called a “social experiment” to debunk the pseudoscience of UFOs.
They set the balloons aloft from a field in Hanover Township, later calling a local television station to report the red lights.
On April 1, they published an article and series of videos on the website eSkeptic explaining how and why they created the hoax.