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Remember the 'guy in a jetpack' seen flying close to passenger jets? Probably just balloons, says FBI

Ah well, back to panicking over imaginary drones, then

Video Passenger jet pilots who reported what looked like a man in a jetpack flying over Los Angeles may have just been seeing runaway balloons.

That's according to the FBI this week.

If you can cast your mind back to August last year, you may recall the tale of American Airlines pilots claiming someone equipped with what was described as a "jetpack" flying awfully close to their aircraft on final approach to LA International Airport.

Similar sightings by pilots of a brave bloke seemingly strapped to a rocket hovering over southern California were reported that October and July this year.

Well, the FBI and America's aviation watchdog, the FAA, have gone over these reports, and it appears the truth of the matter may be a little mundane. In a statement to the media, the Feds said on Tuesday:

The FBI has worked closely with the FAA to investigate reported jetpack sightings in the Los Angeles area, none of which have been verified. One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons.

This conclusion was revealed by the g-men following the emergence of images taken by a police helicopter in November 2020, a couple of weeks after the second sighting of the mystery flyer.

These pictures, obtained and broadcast this week by NBC Los Angeles, show what may be an inflatable Jack Skellington, the character from Tim Burton's movie A Nightmare Before Christmas, floating a few thousand feet over Beverley Hills. You can see for yourself in the footage below:

Youtube Video

One assumes this drifting demon is a balloon that broke away from a Halloween display. The Feds said they have been unable to find any witnesses or evidence to back up any claims of someone roaming the skies in a jetpack.

We hope this provides you the closure you need on this yarn.

At least this wasn't quite the utter fiasco of the Great Gatwick Airport Drone Panic of December 2018, aka The Drone That Probably Never Existed, which shut down flights to and from the British transport hub for days. ®

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