What to Know
- Pictures show what appears to be a human-shaped inflatable toy floating thousands of feet above the Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills areas.
- They were captured in early November 2020, about two weeks after the second of the three sightings reported by jetliner pilots.
- A law enforcement official speculated that it was part of a Halloween decoration which broke loose and floated away.
Video and photos captured by a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter crew may provide one possible explanation for three recent reports of ‘jet pack’ sightings near LAX.
The NBC4 I-Team obtained pictures of what appears to be a human-shaped inflatable toy floating thousands of feet above the Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills areas, captured in early November 2020, about two weeks after the second of the three sightings reported by jetliner pilots.
The FAA and FBI told NBC4 Monday that the LAPD images seem to align with one possible explanation for the sightings.
“One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons,” the FAA and FBI said in statements on the ongoing jet pack investigation.
The human-sized floating toy recorded by the LAPD flight crew may be a life-sized inflatable “Jack Skellington,” a character from the 1993 Tim Burton movie, “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” These large decorations are widely available for sale online.
Given the close proximity between the sighting and Halloween, one law enforcement official speculated to NBC4 that it was part of a Halloween decoration which broke loose and floated aloft.
The official, and others familiar with the jet pack case who were not authorized to speak publicly, told the I-Team that agents and investigators had all but ruled out other scenarios: that a person in a homemade flying machine was darting into the LAX approach patch, that a drone carrying an object that looked like a jetpack was flying thousands of feet up, or that the sightings had all been fabricated.
The FAA and FBI are investigating a sighting of possibly a man in a jetpack in the air near LAX. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Monday, Sept. 1, 2020.
“The FAA has worked closely with the FBI to investigate every reported jetpack sighting,” the FAA said.
“So far, none of these sightings have been verified,” both agencies said.
The first alleged jet pack report was made around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2020 by an American Airlines flight crew on final approach to LAX.
The second report was on Oct. 14, 2020, when the pilot of a China Airlines flight said there was an object sighted at around 6,000 feet over Culver City or Century City, and responded yes when an air traffic controller asked if the object resembled a jet pack.
The third sighting was reported on July 28, 2021 at approximately 6:10 p.m., when the pilot of a Kalitta Air Cargo 747 on approach to LAX over the Santa Fe Springs and Whittier areas told air traffic controllers he could see the ‘jet man’ off his right wing at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet.