Lighter Than Air

UFOs Over Kansas City Turned Out to Be Something Strange

Spoiler: it wasn't aliens.

6. 21. 19 by Victor Tangermann
Project X/Victor Tangermann
Image by Project X/Victor Tangermann

Bubble Burst

Were two mysterious white objects that were spotted in the sky over Kansas City, Missouri last night evidence of otherworldly intelligence?

Nope — instead they turned out to be evidence of a strange research project the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA), Gizmodo reports, which is working on balloons that can intelligently use wind currents to steer as they stay aloft almost indefinitely.

Balloon Project

The Adaptable Lighter Than Air balloon project is working to extend the range of wind-borne navigation systems. The balloons fly at more than 75,000 feet and can take advantage of wind movement, using a sensor that provides “real time time stratospheric wind measurements.”

Local Kansas City news reported of unusual floating objects on Thursday night, and the government expressed confusion as well.


“We honestly have no explanation for the floating objects over Kansas City,” tweeted The National Weather Service in Kansas City.

Boring Balloons

While DARPA hasn’t independently confirmed that it was their balloons, a source with knowledge of the program confirmed to Gizmodo they belonged to the agency.

And before you ask, the balloons weren’t part of Google’s Project Loon either.

“While Loon does routinely fly balloons over the [U.S.] from our launch site in Nevada, we do not currently have balloons in the area where the sightings have been reported,” Project Loon’s Scott Coriell told Gizmodo by email.


The news comes after the U.S. government is officially starting to take reports of “unidentified aerial phenomenon” more and more seriously. Just yesterday, three U.S. senators received a classified briefing on UFO sightings according to Politico.

READ MORE: Those UFOs Spotted Over Kansas City Last Night Were Darpa Test Balloons [Gizmodo]

More on UFOs: US Senators Receive Classified Info on UFO Sightings

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