COPS investigating the alleged sightings of the "LAX jet pack man" believe pilots may have seen balloons – after an inflatable of a Nightmare Before Christmas character was spotted flying near the airport.
There have been several reports of a mysterious figure "flying" near the Los Angeles airport over the past year, leaving aviation experts baffled.
Police helicopter footage captured last November shows a balloon of the character Jack Skellington hovering above Century City – near to where LAX is located, ABC reports.
In the Tim Burton movie, Skellington wears a black pinstripe suit and bow tie that looks like a bat.
In a statement, the FBI said: “The FBI has worked closely with the FAA to investigate reported jetpack sightings in the Los Angeles area, none of which have been verified.
“One working theory is that the pilots might have seen balloons.”
In July, a Boeing 747 pilot claimed to have spotted a figure that looked similar to the Marvel star Iron Man flying in the air.
The Federal Aviation Administration told CBS at the time: “A Boeing 747 pilot reported seeing an object that might have resembled a jet pack 15 miles east of LAX at 5,000ft altitude.
“Out of an abundance of caution, air traffic controllers alerted other pilots in the vicinity."
Last October, a China Airlines crew reported seeing the mystery flier at 6,000 feet.
A voice on a recording that was obtained by ABC7 can be heard saying: "Flying object – was it a UAV or was it a jet pack?
The pilot reportedly said: "We just saw a flying object like a flight suit jet pack by us 6,000ft. Like a jet pack. Too shiny. Too fast," according to Fox11.
"Ultralight" jet packs are banned from traveling over any congested area of a city, town, settlement, or open-air assembly of persons by the FAA – meaning this violation could cost the perpetrator between $1,100-$27,500.
The FBI launched an investigation after an American Airlines pilot reportedly saw a man flying at 3,000ft when it was 10 miles away from landing at LAX.
The pilot said the flyer was "about 300 yards" from the plane as it prepared for landing, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Retired pilot Ross Aimer believes pilots made honest reports to air traffic control.
He told NBC that crews may have only got a glimpse of the objects as they were flying past at speed.
Aimer added: “There’s a very good possibility the previous ones were also balloons and pilots mistook them as jetpacks.
“This is a better explanation to me and to the aviation community.”
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