Nov 04, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

LAX Mystery Jet Pack Man Possibly Identified and It’s a Shocker

On August 30th, 2020, pilots from two different airliners on approach to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) notified the control tower of what appeared to be a person flying a jetpack at 3,000 feet in restricted airspace. The quickly-dubbed ‘Jet Pack Man’ or ‘Jetpack Guy’ was not identified then, nor in October when he or she (not to be sexist) appeared again, nor in December 2020 or July 2021. A flying humanoid over LAX may not seem like much of an issue considering the other serious problems airlines are dealing with during flights across the rest of the country, but it’s a serious security violation nonetheless and needed to be dealt with … or at least positively identified. Fortunately, the FBI (not that THEY don’t have more serious problems to deal with too) is on the case and may have solved the mystery of the LAX Jet Pack Man. Prepare to have your minds blown … and no, it’s not Iron Man.

“There are few jet packs in the world, and experts have said they doubt that the sightings are really a man flying around the L.A. Basin. For one thing, the altitude reported by pilots would be difficult to maintain with the fuel capacity of a jet pack.”

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It's hard enough to stay in the air at this altitude.

Before the big reveal, The Los Angeles Times reports a key fact that most previous stories seem to have missed or ignored – jet packs are so rare these days that it’s difficult to own or fly one clandestinely, and they’re so limited in fuel and speed that experts in the field immediately suspected that what the pilots were reporting at the speed and altitude they estimated was definitely not a jet pack operator. What’s more, after a year of investigations, neither the FBI nor the FAA were able to find any other witnesses besides the pilots who saw the ‘Jet Pack Man’ either flying, landing or falling out of the sky. Then what was it?

"One working theory is that pilots might have seen balloons."

Balloons! Not as advanced as jet packs not as sexy as Iron Man, but plausible. If only there was a video of the ‘Jet Pack Man’ up close and taken by a reliable source.

“NBC Los Angeles obtained police video and photos that appear to show a human-shaped inflatable toy floating thousands of feet above Beverly Hills. The crew aboard an LAPD helicopter captured the images last year, about two weeks after the second reported sighting of a jet pack a few miles further south over the Culver City or Century City areas.”

It appears the LAPD has been holding onto that video for a year. It was finally released and the balloon was identified. Get the ‘big reveal’ confetti cannon ready.

“The inflatable appeared to be a life-sized 'Jack Skellington' - the main character in Tim Burton's 1993 movie "A Nightmare Before Christmas."”

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Jack Skellington balloon at altitude zero.

Jack Skellington! You read that right – and you can watch the video for yourself here. After viewing it, ask yourself … do you really believe experienced pilots from multiple airlines mistook a Jack Skellington balloon for a person in a jet pack?

What does Tim Burton think? What would Jack Skellington think?

"What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere! What's this? There's Jack Skellington in the air! What's this?"

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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