Aug 20, 2013 1:02 PM by Josh Breslow
Is it mystery solved or a cheap publicity stunt?
In October 2012, LEX 18 told viewers about an unidentified flying object spotted in the southeastern Kentucky sky. The company, Google has now taken responsibility for the strange object, but the Pike County amateur astronomer who photographed it says he doesn't buy their explanation.
The picture snapped by long-time amateur astronomer, Allen Epling shows a slim, seemingly cylinder object flying through the sky.
"When I looked through the binoculars, I saw something that I couldn't identify and I'd never seen anything like it before," Epling recalled.
The mystery captured the attention of national media outlets. Police in at least three states were contacted by people who claimed to have seen the UFO.
What folks in Pike County and the surrounding areas witnessed, according to Google, was a test of "Project Loon." The new program consists of balloons that fly high above Earth's surface, forming a communication network. The aim is to bring internet to a large portion of the world's population, who otherwise wouldn't be connected.
"The photos of balloons that Google launched don't match the video of what I saw," Epling told LEX 18 on Monday. "It'd be easy for one to say 'well, that's my object. I take credit for it.' And Google may be looking for some cheap publicity."
LEX 18 reached out to Google for comment. While the company said this was, in fact, their balloon photographed, they declined to go into further detail.