Published: 10:57 AM 3/11/2004
The Press-Telegram-Long Beach, CA:
By Tracy Manzer, Staff writer
LONG BEACH — Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane!
What the heck is it?
That's the question ABC-7 News has posed to Long Beach police and local military experts after getting a copy of a tape that shows an unidentified object flitting through our skies last year.
The tape was made Dec. 25, 2004, by Long Beach Police Department helicopter pilots who caught sight of the glowing blob while on patrol around 11:30 p.m., said Sgt. David Cannan.
Because the officers could not identify the object, they took video that was forwarded to a local military base for closer scrutiny.
"We just asked them to take a look at it, in case it was a possible security issue," Cannan said.
It was not, however, classified as an invasion by little green men, silver ones or any other kind of imaginable space beast, the sergeant assured.
Julia Pfeiffer, a producer at Channel 7, said their news piece will take a look at the possible explanations for the item and the story will air either today or Friday.
"We are approaching it fairly seriously," she said, "but we're not doing this to scare people."
While neither military or local experts could tell the Press- Telegram what precisely the object was, theories include a possible prank or experimental military aircraft.
This was especially common in the 1960s, after an article describing their construction appeared in a science magazine. And, according to one of several web sites, that explain how to build the balloons, "they do a good job of scaring the bejeebers out of many people."
Cannan said the pilot's best guess was that it was a bag or balloon with a flare attached to it, which would explain the trailing sulfur-like light.
In the tape, the brightly lit object looks as though it's traveling fast, but it could just be the effect of the helicopter orbiting the item at its speedy pace with the background flashing by, he said.