Copyright 2001

[ November 6th 2001 ]

An inventor trying to develop a machine which can clear landmines has won the support of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie. He was then taken to meet Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie and her husband Billy Bob Thornton and left with the couple promising to donate a six-figure sum to develop his project.

Mr Dixon was also told the couple would be flying him back to America later this month for a star-studded party to attract more support. He said: "Angelina was so sweet and so was her husband. They agreed to make a donation to the project but they also want to be really involved in developing it."

Mr Dixon has been trying to develop a landmine clearing machine for the past three years. He had developed a prototype of a machine that takes mines out of the ground at a much greater speed than current clearing methods.

In the past 12 months, he had come close to getting his project off the ground, only to see contracts he had to do work in the Middle East cancelled at the last minute because of the American bombing of Afghanistan.

Fearing that his project was nearing failure, he describes the call from Angelina as a massive boost. The 26-year-old actress's interest in his project has come after she was appointed a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commission for Refugees.

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