Mystery shiny objects floating over Manhattan spark UFO frenzy
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October 13, 2010 – A mysterious shiny object floating high over Manhattan’s West Side set off a flurry of reports and wild speculation Wednesday that a UFO was flying over the city.
Police and the FAA said they began getting flooded with calls starting at 1:30 p.m. from people reporting a silvery object hovering high over Chelsea.
Law enforcement sources said they believed the object was likely some sort of balloon, but as of late Wednesday they had not confirmed exactly what it is.
A Daily News reporter could see a tiny, silver dot floating approximately 5,000 feet above 23th St. and Eighth Ave., where dozens of people gathered late in the afternoon to catch a glimpse.
“It’s been hovering there for a while. I’m just kind of baffled,” said Joseph Torres, 49, of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, who spotted the object after leaving a movie. “How can it be ordinary? There is something going on.”
Despite clear skies, it was not easy to make out the tiny object shimmering overhead.
“You really have to look up to see it,” said one witness, who gave only his first name, Rico. “It’s a little crazy. I guess that’s why they call it an unidentified flying object because they don’t know what it is.”
Not long after the first sightings, messages began appearing on Twitter linking to a month-old press release announcing the publication of a book by a retired NORAD officer predicting that UFOs would buzz the earth’s major cities on Oct. 13.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it received several calls to its operations center but after reviewing radar data, the agency could not find anything out of the ordinary.
“We re-ran radar to see if there was anything there that we can’t account for but there is nothing in the area,” said spokesman Jim Peters. “There was some helicopter traffic over the river at that time and we checked with LaGuardia Tower. And they said they had nothing going low at that time.”
“Nothing that we can account for would prompt this kind of response,” he said.
Peters said if it was a weather balloon or any kind of organized balloon release, authorities should have been notified in advance. Police officials said they had received no notification.
Youtube description: October 13 Disclosure NYC people panic over UFOs
Update: One of our readers submitted this – thanks!:
Not a plane or a balloon, and I can’t believe that I saw it. I was out running an errand and on my way back to my building was watching the contrails of a jet (couldn’t see the jet – only the contrails – it was so high), when I noticed som…ething white bouncing around and then it came to a standstill for a bit. Then the light was reflecting off of it, so I thought maybe it was a mylar balloon. I actually stopped walking on Fifth Avenue to watch it (I was at 18th Street at that point). Then it was almost like it turned or shifted direction so that the light was no longer reflecting off it and became grey and headed north straight up Fifth. I would have watched longer, but I had a meeting and had to go into my building.
In Manhattan, you see overhead mylar balloons, helicopters, commercial aircraft, plastic bags (!), etc. – and this thing did not move or look like any of those.
Strangely enough, I had noticed a crowd of people at 23rd Street and Fifth Ave looking up, but I thought it was just a group of tourists gawking at the Flatiron Building.
I saw the white dots in the sky around 1pm and then walked by again and saw them still there around 4pm. I'm sorry, no balloon stays in the same spot for that length of time. Plus you could see these things were so far and high up in the sky, well beyond any flying airplane nearby. It was very very strange