Sep 10, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Runaway Marijuana Balloon Causes UFO Panic in California

"That doesn’t belong there, and it doesn’t make sense.”

That was the reaction of one Southern Californian last week when a strange UFO appeared seemingly out of nowhere, treating SoCal residents living within the San Gabriel Valley to an odd sight on the morning of August 28th. The object appeared to be an odd sort of metallic orb hovering in the sky, meandering silently along at a snail’s pace. As onlookers filmed the strange object with their smartphones, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter appeared and circled overhead observing the object.

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A police helicopter came by to see what the object might be up to.

Julian Lopez, who filmed the video below, echoed the wonder and confusion of other locals who were puzzled by the spherical UFO. “Well, my friends, there’s a UFO over the San Gabriel Valley,” Lopez says in the video, “A helicopter is circling it. It looks like a big eyeball.” As rumors swirled locally and online, witnesses began posting images to news outlets’ Twitter feeds. That’s when the true nature of this “UFO” came to light.

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From a distance, it could look pretty eerie.

One eyewitness, Jon Gollihugh, told the Pasadena Star News that despite the UFO buzz, some witnesses got a close enough look to identify the orb:

I noticed the UFO Monday around 10 a.m. from Monrovia. It was (hovering) over the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon. There was a large buzz about it on Facebook with residents of Sierra Madre. One person took a telephoto shot of it. It appeared to be an advertisement balloon for a THC (E-cigarette) that got away. I followed it across the foothills from above Sierra Madre towards Monrovia canyon around 11:30 a.m.

It turns out the object was merely a balloon advertising a local head shop called “Brass Knuckles” which sells marijuana concentrates and other vaping products. There’s a good pun in here somewhere, I just know it.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s...a balloon covered in marijuana ads?

Brass Knuckles might not have meant to cause a UFO scare, but I’m sure they’re loving all the press they’ve gotten since their balloon went rogue.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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