The Growing UFO "Balloon" Cult
by Scott Browne
It takes alot of time and work to shoot hours of video or photos and then to meticulously examine it for anomalous objects or things out of the ordinary. Many of us at ITF have doing this for years and have taught ourselves to recognize a variety of common things such as birds or insects in night-vision or lens flares and reflections. We are very schooled in how cameras can distort what you are seeing and filming to the point that a person with no knowledge of it would jump to the conclusion they are viewing something bizarre and strange. The majority of members that are doing this are continuously viewing hours of footage of mundane items for comparison and flight behavior purposes.
Unfortunately in the last few years many of us in the UFO community have noticed a new trend that is beginning to attract large numbers of people who use video cameras to film balloons and plastic bags that have been caught in the wind. Sadly, these people have slowly built up an entire mythology around these common every day items. For example, some of them claim that these balloons/bags are actually entities mimicking the look of balloons/bags or that they are morphing and changing shape, which of course a balloon does when it's partially deflated being battered in the wind. In some of the videos ribbons or string can easily be seen hanging from them and I have heard them call this a "Bio-electric Tether" or the tail of the entity.
They have also come up with different types of names for them as well such as "Variables" or "Ebani" ( Spanish acronym for Entidad Biological Anomalous No Identificada ) or "unidentified anomalous biological entity" or even "Object of Variable Topology". Some groups of these people hold public events in different parts of the country encouraging the attendees to bring their video cams to possibly capture one of these entities and these events are becoming quite popular.
It's quite disturbing to many of us to view one of these videos and it clearly shows a balloon or a cluster of balloons or a plastic bag caught on some high-altitude wind current, yet these people see something different and believe it deeply. Add to the mix shiny foil Mylar balloons that come in every imaginable shape in existence on a bright sunny day and you've got yourself a shape shifting biological entity UFO. It becomes magnified even more when its catching the sun and creating amazing colorful distortions on display for the untrained eye.
You can find whole YouTube channels filled with videos clearly displaying balloons, plastic bags and other debris floating through bright blue skies while the narrator describes this "creatures" attributes and abilities. Below is an example of one of these "Balloon Cult" channels....
"Sadly, these people have slowly built up an entire mythology around these common every day items."
A few times over the years I have tried to confront some of these balloon people, using common sense and hard facts, but this has not turned out well and the power of belief has reared it's sometimes ugly head. I have thrown facts at them such as " Balloons can sometimes drift for thousands of miles" or " A recent study of sea turtles found that of the 41 pieces of rubber eaten by turtles studied, 32 pieces (78%) were balloon fragments. Just in California alone it is estimated that between 45-50 million balloons are sold every year and it just so happens that one of the biggest groups that film and photograph balloons is located in Los Angeles.
Another interesting fact is that all of these balloon groups are located in or near large cities which makes sense, because many of the members of ITF who film, live in the country or rural areas and to my knowledge, none of us has filmed balloons or even seen them in the sky. Common sense applies - The more people in an area, the more balloons and events with balloons.
Balloons & plastic bags washing up on beaches around the world
Remember this is one small beach so imagine the amount of balloons floating around out there
Some of the balloons on the market today can look very strange when half deflated and somersaulting through the sky, especially at a distance. They come in all shapes and sizes including letters, characters and numbers. The "Balloon Cult claims that entities mimic balloons to disguise themselves and not be noticed, yet they are colorful, sparkling and bright. Why not mimic a bird or a cloud? I believe that would be much less noticeable...Below are some examples of some frames pulled from their videos side by side with the balloons we have identified.
"Just in California alone it is estimated that between 45-50 million balloons are sold every year and it just so happens that one of the biggest groups that film and photograph balloons is located in Los Angeles."
"It's quite disturbing to many of us to view one of these videos and it clearly shows a balloon or a cluster of balloons or a plastic bag caught on some high-altitude wind current, yet these people see something different and believe it deeply."
Another problem is that balloons are used at sporting events, political conventions, weddings, fairs, concerts, grand openings, sale events, car lot sales, conventions, trade shows, baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, fund raisers, company parties, open houses, celebrations and many other special events. At some events there are massive balloon releases that can include thousands of them released at one time. Bad for the environment, apparently good for the 'Balloon Cult".
"In 2012, volunteers picked up 93,913 balloons littering waterways and the ocean in Virginia. In 1990, International Coastal Cleanup volunteers picked up an astounding 30 pounds of balloons along Virginia’s Assateague Island on the Atlantic Ocean on just one day. Analysts found that the balloons—many imprinted with the names of businesses or events—came from 52 sources in six states." - Senior editor Catherine Fox
The graph clearly shows the dominance of balloons in the ocean
Adding to the confusion of this growing movement of balloon worshippers are things like Solar Balloons. A solar balloon is a balloon that gradually lifts when the air inside of it is heated by solar radiation, usually with the balloon being made from dark material to absorb the sunlight. These have also been caught on video and been touted as a "Mothership" or a cylinder UFO. Below are some examples of different types.
At ITF we are looking for answers to this elusive phenomena, so its very important to stay sharp, hone your skills and NEVER jump to conclusions. Its very unfortunate that this balloon thing has come about, especially with the deep pool of hoaxes and fake information we must wade through every day to get to the truth. The confusion about the phenomena is already vast, but it muddys the waters of Ufology more dramatically than ever before. The only advice I can offer is, if it looks, moves and behaves like a balloon...its probably a balloon.