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The Adventures of ‘Jetpack Man’ Continue!

Yesterday ABC-7 in Los Angeles reported the sighting of what appeared to be a man in a jetpack suit flying near the International Airport. The observation was made a day prior by an approaching pilot who reported it to air traffic control. The video below contains the original audio between the pilot and the control tower, as well as subsequent communications with other incoming aircraft.

The fact some of the pilots jokingly refer to this unidentified object as ‘Ironman’ might be due to the fact that this is by no means the first time this has happened in the vicinity of LAX. Over at The Drive, Tyler Rogoway has covered a similar case that happened a year ago. There is even a video taken in December of last year which clearly shows something in the resemblance of a man which some sort of contraption strapped to his back.

On that occasion, ‘Jetpack Man was sighted at an altitude of 3,000 feet. With the new report made last Wednesday, the pilot estimated the UFO (because what else would you call it?) to be flying at around 5,000 feet. This seems to be well within the operational capabilities of modern jetpack flight systems –like the ones promoted in this commercial webpage– but notice how these machines have a terribly short ‘endurance’; meaning they will only stay airborne for ten minutes or less.

The sightings have been reported over the sea, so does that mean ‘Jetpack Man’ rely on a parachute to safely descend on to the water after climbing to such altitudes? And wouldn’t he or she necessitate a boat to be picked up? It would be interesting to check the record logs of nearby vessels during the time of the sightings.

Some have suggested than instead of a manned aircraft, these observations are the result of a drone that merely resembles a pilot wearing a jetpack. Perhaps a light-weight mannequin would allow for longer airtimes as well.

Because of modern advances in aeronautics and computer-aided flight, which have brought the promise of ‘Rocketeer’ like jetpacks closer to reality, the consensus is that this is someone pulling a stunt using state of the art (albeit man-made) technology. But as a gray-haired Fortean, I can’t help equating these modern sightings with the mysterious ‘flying humanoids’ which were reported in Mexico in the late early 2000s, mainly in Monterrey (northern Mexico) and the nation’s capital –and some of those sightings happened very near Mexico City’s International Airport, too.

From Monterrey, it almost seems as if the humanoids ‘jumped’ to California, where there is a large concentration of inhabitants of Mexican origin –is there a connection, I wonder?

Now, as a disclaimer, I am not saying these videos are necessarily real. Over the years a variety of theories were given in order to debunk them; the oldest ones for example, were explained away as balloons, simply because jetpack technology was still in its infancy. The points I’m trying to make are:

(A) Reports of flying humanoids are definitely not new; in fact, some of the oldest cases in the UFO literature involve entities with the ability to levitate, either with or without an apparent mechanical propulsion system –take for instance this interesting case from Bolivia I wrote about a few years ago, in which an indigenous woman fought a ‘flying dwarf’ who butchered her sheep.

(B) As modern technology progresses, what just a few years ago would have been perceived as ‘absurd’ or ‘impossible’ is perceived as almost mundane, and regular witnesses are less eager to jump into otherworldly explanations if they end up seeing something strange in the sky –a flying humanoid is just ‘some possible guy in a jetpack’ and UFOs buzzing around sensitive government installations in Colorado are referred to as ‘strange drones’. It is as if finding a reasonable label to the mysteries gives permission to the authorities to not pay proper attention to them.

Whatever the truth behind the Jetpack Man from Los Angeles, they or it should be now considered part of the annals of UFOlogy. Because if there’s something clear about these events, aside from their lack of an adequate explanation, is that they were meant to be seen.

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