A New 'Jet Pack Man' Theory Emerges

Cops spotted human-shaped inflatable weeks after 2nd reported sighting
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2021 1:29 PM CDT

Authorities investigating sightings of apparent jet packs over Los Angeles County, Calif., say pilots may have actually witnessed a flying human-shaped inflatable. "One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons," the FBI and FAA say in statements to KNBC after the outlet obtained police photo and video showing an inflatable toy—possibly in the image of Jack Skellington, the main character in Tim Burton's 1993 film A Nightmare Before Christmas—floating thousands of feet above Beverly Hills. The footage was taken from a Los Angeles Police helicopter during a routine patrol flight in early November 2020, about two weeks after a reported sighting of a jet pack on Oct. 14.

In that instance, the pilot of a China Airlines flight reported spotting an object some 6,000 feet over Culver City or Century City. Two months prior, an American Airlines flight crew reported seeing "a guy in a jet pack" while approaching Los Angeles International Airport. Other possible sightings came near Torrance's airport in December and near LAX this past July. While the Jack Skellington balloon may have only gotten loose from a Halloween display, it boosts the theory that pilots saw similar inflatables, per KNBC. Investigating agents say they haven't found any photographic evidence of the reported objects, nor any outside witness reports. Operators of jet packs maintain they are unlikely to reach thousands of feet in height due to fuel limitations, reports the Washington Post. (More strange stuff stories.)

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