A months-long investigation into apparent sightings of “jet men” flying near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has found that inflatable balloons are to blame.
The sightings of men with jet packs around LAX were first made in August 2020 by an American Airlines flight, and again by a China Airlines flight in October 2020.
A third sighting of what was described as a “jet man” flying at approximately 5,000 feet was reported to authorities in July 2021, with an investigation by the FBI and US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) struggling to find what was behind the strange sightings.
On Monday, the FAA and FBI told NBC4 News that images and footage captured by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in November 2020 appeared to find that balloons were at fault.
The images showed what appeared to be balloons of Jack Skellington, a character from the 1993 Tim Burton movie, “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” It was unclear why the images were released only recently.
“One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons,” the FAA and FBI reportedly said of the November 2020 sighting, which was in the days after Halloween.
The Jack Skellington balloons are available to purchase online, and are seven feet high. Images shared with NBC4 News appeared to be similar to that of the character.
Investigators have reportedly ruled out different scenarios for the sightings, which were deemed not to be drones or people flying around LAX with jet packs.
“The FAA has worked closely with the FBI to investigate every reported jetpack sighting,” the FAA said in a statement following the report of the balloon. “So far, none of these sightings have been verified”.
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