Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane… its – a balloon?
Los Angeles may be the city of angels, but according to the FBI, a spate of recent sightings of “men flying in jet packs” in the skies above L.A. were probably party balloons or drone pranks.
Local police have just shared a new video of a flying object after repeated reports of pilots seeing jet packs near Los Angeles International Airport spurred a federal investigation.
Both the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration told local T.V. affiliate KTLA they believe it’s possible that the pilots actually saw balloons floating in the air.
“The FAA has worked closely with the FBI to investigate every reported jetpack sighting. So far, none of these sightings have been verified,” an FAA spokesperson said.
“One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller and the FAA said in different statements.
November 2020 video obtained by KTLA from the Los Angeles Police Department shows a flying object that appears to resemble a balloon or inflatable toy in the shape of a person, gliding in the air at a high rate of speed.
In a closer-up image released by the department, the object looks like an inflatable Jack Skellington, the main character from the movie “A Nightmare Before Christmas.”
The first sightings were reported on Aug. 30, 2020, when an American Airlines pilot and a Southwest Airlines pilot radioed, saying they saw someone in a jet pack.
“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,” the American Airlines pilot told the control tower.
After that, in October last year, a China Airlines crew member approaching LAX reported another jet pack sighting.
Then in December 2020, a video purporting to show a person flying with a jet pack was captured near Palos Verdes.
The latest sighting was reported in July 2021, when a pilot radioed to report an object “that might have resembled a jet pack” about 15 miles east of LAX at an altitude of 5,000 feet.
Chief Executive of Chatsworth-based JetPack Aviation, David Mayman, previously told the L.A. Times that it was unlikely the sightings actually involved a person flying with a jet pack because of the high altitude reported.
He suggested that it may have been an electric drone with a mannequin attached.