Officials were stumped after pilots reported seeing a jetpack in the air near LAX. Now, video shows it may have just been a human-shaped balloon.

Image of a human-shaped inflatable object floating over Los Angeles.
Photo taken by a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter crew near Century City, California, in November 2020. Los Angeles Police Department
  • Multiple pilots have reported seeing a jetpack flying near LAX since August of last year.

  • Newly released video captured by LAPD shows a human-shaped balloon zooming through the air.

  • The FAA and FBI are still investigating, but said one theory is that pilots were seeing balloons.

Since August 2020, pilots have reported seeing what appeared to be a person with a jetpack flying at high altitudes near Los Angeles International Airport, prompting a federal investigation.

Now, newly released video from the Los Angeles Police Department offers another explanation: It could be a human-shaped balloon zooming through the air.

The video, which was obtained by Insider and first published by KTLA, shows what appears to be an inflatable object resembling Jack Skellington, the main character of the animated movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas," moving at a high speed.

The video was captured by an LAPD helicopter crew near Century City in November 2020. An image released alongside the video also shows the Jack Skellington-like figure suspended in the air.

-Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) November 2, 2021


"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 told KTLA.

"One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons," the FAA and FBI said in separate statements to the outlet, adding that they are still investigating the reports.

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There have been at least three reported sightings of "jetpack man," as he had been dubbed on Twitter, starting in August 2020, when two pilots told air traffic control they had spotted a man with a jetpack.

"Tower, American 1997 - we just passed a guy in a jetpack," an American Airlines pilot coming in from Philadelphia said, according to The New York Times. He told the control tower the alleged jetpack was around 300 yards from the plane. Moments later, a Jet Blue pilot also reported seeing a jetpack.

The initial sightings prompted both the FAA and FBI to launch investigations, which are still ongoing.

Potential "jetpack man" sightings were reported again in October 2020 and July 2021.

Read the original article on Insider