This truly bizarre mystery in the skies surrounding Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) may finally be on a flight path to some concrete answers. Starting in August 2020, airline flight crews reported seeing a person with a jetpack thousands of feet above the ground on three separate occasions in the airspace around LAX. The Los Angeles Police Department released new video footage and images early this week that might offer an explanation.
One of the photos released this week might be the key to the mystery. November last year, a LAPD helicopter took a photo of an unidentified object over Hollywood Hills. The object seems to be a balloon of Jack Skellington, a character from the 1993 film “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. The Federal Bureau of Investigation might be heading towards the same conclusion. “One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons”, read a statement released by the FBI. The bureau alongside the Federal Aviation Administration hypothesised that the balloon might have broken free of a display.
If the unidentified objects are balloons, then they don’t pose much of a risk to a commercial airliner. Seth Young, an aviation professor at Ohio State University, told the New York Times that “If they get ingested into an engine they would do far less damage than a goose would.” However, it’s not certain that these objects are balloons. According to ABC7 in Los Angeles, some of the investigators on the case believe the object might be a drone made to look like a balloon.
I was honestly hoping to actually see someone fly that high over Los Angeles with a jetpack, considering the trip would have approached the world record for highest-ever jetpack flight. Though, I’m glad that no one is likely risking their life to fly alongside a Boeing 747.