‘UFO’ found in Congo turns out to be Project Loon balloon

The truth may be out there, but it isn’t in a jungle in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What was mistaken for a UFO after it wound up in a dense jungle in the African nation turned out to be an internet balloon from Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Reuters reports.

Footage of the balloon was shared to Twitter, showing a silver-colored object with what appears to be solar panels. A number of people are seen in the video inspecting the balloon in the Bas-Uele province.

“I’m not able to say exactly what kind of device I observed,” Bas-Uele Governor Valentin Senga told Reuters in an interview. “What intrigues us is that neither the intelligence services nor the local aviation authorities claim to have any information on the overflight of Congolese air space by this aircraft.”

Senga also told the news outlet that two people were detained by police who were intent to search for the device.

“I can confirm that Loon executed a controlled landing of one of our stratospheric balloons in this region,” a Loon spokesperson told Fox News via email. “This landing was done in a safe and secure manner after coordinating with local air traffic control officials. This landing was specifically approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Per Loon’s landing procedures, a parachute deployed and the balloon was brought to the ground at a relatively low speed in an isolated area.”

The spokesperson continued: “At no time did it pose a risk to the local population. A Loon recovery team is already on site to collect the balloon and components.”

Loon “is a network of stratospheric balloons designed to bring Internet connectivity to rural and remote communities worldwide,” according to its website.

It’s not the first time a Loon balloon has been mistaken for an extraterrestrial craft. In 2012, a balloon went rogue and residents of Pike County, Ky., identified the object as a UFO. However, it wasn’t until a year later that Google took credit for the incident.

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