Video may explain ‘guy in a jetpack’ sightings, LA police say

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Police Tuesday shared a new video of an unidentified flying object after repeated reports of pilots seeing people flying with jetpacks near Los Angeles International Airport.

The possible jetpack sightings prompted a federal investigation.

Both the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration told NewsNation 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 another image released by the department, the object looks like an inflatable in the shape of 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 the LAX control tower saying they saw someone flying with a jetpack.

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack,” the American Airlines pilot told the control tower. 

After that, in October of last year, a China Airlines crew member approaching LAX reported another jetpack sighting.

And in December 2020, a video purporting to show a person flying with a jetpack 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 jetpack” about 15 miles east of LAX at an altitude of 5,000 feet.

David Mayman, chief executive of Chatsworth-based JetPack Aviation, previously told the L.A. Times that it was unlikely the sightings actually involved a person flying with a jetpack because of the high altitude reported.

 He suggested that the sightings may have been of an electric drone with a mannequin attached.

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