As the three UFOs are still unidentified days after the U.S. Air Force shot them all down, a new theory as to the origins of one of them has surfaced. Thursday, a report from Aviation Week offered a new hypothesis as to the origins and ownership of one of the three planes. They are theorizing that the one is the “missing in action globe-trotting balloon belonging to an Illinois-based hobbyist club.”

The Specifics:
The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade’s (NIBB) silver-coated, party-style “pico balloon” was last reported, on February 10th, to be positioned at nearly 40,000 ft. altitude off the west coast of Alaska and within the central part of the Yukon Territory on February 11th.

Students learn how to use a pico balloon from Scientific Balloon Solutions
(Scientific Balloon Solutions)

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The Shootdown:
The location of the NIBB’s balloon puts it around the same general location as the object that was shot down the same day, February 11th by a Lockheed Martin F-22.

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The Balloon:
Small pico balloons, like the one owned and operated by NIBB, are priced anywhere from $12 to $180. They also are naturally buoyant above 43,000 ft. and they carry an 11-gram tracker, with HF and VHF/UHG antennas to update their locations.

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Is it really the UFO?
Aviation Week has noted that the description of the balloon matches those of the UFO shot down in the same general area. Though according to Fox NORAD and the FBI have spoken with the Hobby Club and expect to have the National Security Council to have more information on the object and the potential match to the NIBB club’s balloon.

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