'Alien Invasion' Sighting Turns Out To Be Bull
A ball of light that fell from the sky over Los Angeles on Wednesday evening caused quite a stir on social media.
Hours later, the LAPD set the record straight — it wasn't a meteor, but something very "Hollywood."
"What is this flying item on fire above downtown Los Angeles?" tweeted Dennis Hegstad, whose video of the mysterious light was viewed nearly two million times.
Several other people took video of the stream of fire that streaked across downtown L.A., assuming it was a meteor. A slew of residents chimed in that they too saw the shooting star.
"Did anyone else see a meteor fly over downtown LA and the six helicopters surrounding it currently?! Y'all peepin that?!" someone tweeted. The LAPD finally jumped into the conversation and explained the real story behind the "meteor."
"PSA: A meteor did not crash into Downtown Los Angeles, and no, it's not an alien invasion...just a film shoot. This is Tinseltown after all," the LAPD wrote.
The "film shoot" the LAPD referred to was being run by Red Bull, and the "meteor" was really three people. In honour of the Supermoon and spring equinox, Red Bull orchestrated an aerial flight above the city. Three members of the "Red Bull Air Force" wearing wingsuits jumped out of a helicopter at about 1,219m above the city. They zoomed through the sky at more than 190km/h and created the illusion of a meteor.
"To add a touch of Hollywood glitz, the suits were fitted with LED lights and sparking pyrotechnics that lit up the night sky as the sunset and the supermoon rose," Red Bull explained on its website.
The daredevils finally pulled their parachutes at about 330m, revealing they were not meteors, but humans, as some witness videos show.
A confirmed meteor shower already fell across the Northern Hemisphere earlier this year, and more are expected. The Quadrantids, which have been known to produce some 50 to 100 meters in a dark sky, were visible in January. Shooting stars should be visible again next month as the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to occur between April 16 to 25, EarthSky reports.