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Rogue Google balloon caused UFO scare

Posted on Sunday, 1 June, 2014 | Comment icon 11 comments

The test launch didn't go quite according to plan. Image Credit: YouTube / Project Loon
A prototype balloon malfunctioned during a test flight and generated a wave of UFO sighting reports.
Launched over California in 2012 as part of Project Loon, Google's effort to bring high-speed Internet to rural locations, the 'Falcon 11' balloon was a brand new prototype resembling a 120ft cylinder made from a thin transparent plastic.

At the Smithsonian's "The Future is Here" festival in Washington in May, Google's Rich DeVaul talked about the incident and explained that the balloon had only been sent up for a test flight when it inexplicably malfunctioned and ended up "going rogue".

What resulted was a spate of UFO reports as the mysterious looking object floated across the state. The police were called on numerous occasions and government officials remained perplexed about what was happening. Over the course of 11 days the balloon traveled from California all the way to Canada, with UFO sightings going through the roof everywhere it went.

"If you want to start a secret stratospheric program, and one project goes rogue, you can outsource your tracking to the UFO guys," said DeVaul.

Source: Fox News | Comments (11)

Tags: Google, Balloon, UFO

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Silent Trinity on 1 June, 2014, 16:51
Hmm my apologies for being an old cynic, but doesn't it make sense for their balloon to go 'Rogue'? Surely they will generate a lot more publicity for the stunt if it is linked to waves of mass UFO hysteria? Or maybe I am just creating my own conspiracy theory lol
Comment icon #3 Posted by alfonso on 2 June, 2014, 7:03
maybe it really was a ufo .. and this is the only answer they could come up with to ease peoples minds .. a rogue balloon
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 2 June, 2014, 8:53
This malfunctioning balloon does not give me much faith in the Google self driving car...
Comment icon #5 Posted by sam_comm on 2 June, 2014, 21:21
It should be noted that UFO means an Unidentified Flying Object and not necesserely flying saucer or spacecraft. So yes, Google's protype ballon would be a UFO, if unidentified.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sweetpumper on 2 June, 2014, 21:22
There it is! Thanks for clearing that up.
Comment icon #7 Posted by alfonso on 2 June, 2014, 22:04
thanks!.. a would never of guessed in a million years...
Comment icon #8 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 3 June, 2014, 12:15
The balloon was part of Project Loon. It was doomed to become looney in the first place. Google called it.
Comment icon #9 Posted by sinewave on 3 June, 2014, 15:16
You would be surprised how may people just don't get that distinction. While we are on the subject, referring to your post #4, how do you define UFO?
Comment icon #10 Posted by Avanter on 1 October, 2014, 8:05
I saw an object like this fliying from west to east on summer 2013, along south spain coast. I don,t know if it was a UFO or a Google device, but it gave me an idea about how to make cheap hight quality earth photos : A bog transparent ballon. A gyroscope device to keep upmthe solar array, and down the camera and transmission wifi equipment, let say an smartphone. Then it will travel across the world making pictures for few money. Satallite photos are very expensives. It is not registered. You can biuld it without restrictions.
Comment icon #11 Posted by lost_shaman on 1 October, 2014, 11:06
How would you define a UFO? Last week there was a high altitude NASA balloon in the sky here. I knew what it was but told a co-worker there was a "UFO" in the sky. She looked at it after i explained why it wasnt a Star and then she said... "Well if it flies away then ill believe its a UFO." She was correct. She instinctively understood that just because she didnt know what it was didnt make it a UFO. Most people don't know what they are seeing. But a UFO must defy prosaic explanation by definition.

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