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DARPA Project Sparks 'UFO Flap'

By Tim Binnall

Residents in two separate Midwestern states were left scratching their heads this week after spotting puzzling spheres hovering in the sky. The weirdness began on Tuesday evening when people living in the Dayton, Ohio area reportedly saw strange white orbs floating high up in the air. As is the case in today's world, photos and videos of the anomalies flooded social media along with the usual speculation that the oddities were alien in nature.

Two days later, the weird spheres appeared over Missouri, sparking something of a UFO frenzy when the National Weather Service department for the area tweeted an image of the anomalies and declared "we honestly have no explanation for the floating objects over Kansas City." When one person suggested that they were weather balloons, the NWS expressed skepticism for that explanation since such devices tend to move and "these are stationary."

Another possibility put forward by bewildered observers in both Ohio and Missouri is that the spheres were internet balloons, specifically from Google's Project Loon. For a brief period of time, it seemed that the mystery was solved, until the company indicated that they were not behind the proverbial UFO flap, leaving observers once again guessing about the nature of the oddities. After further speculation, the source of the anomalies was seemingly determined when a local TV station reached out to the Department of Defense.

A spokesperson for the DoD said that DARPA has launched a trio of balloons from Maryland this week as part of their 'Adaptable Lighter Than Air Program.' A statement from the department went on to explain that the project aims to "demonstrate capability for wind-borne navigation of a lighter-than-air vehicle over extended ranges." Although the DoD didn't outright connect the DARPA project with the sightings in Ohio and Missouri, they indicated that 'UFOs' were probably those balloons based on where they were seen in relation to the initial launch site.

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