'Mysterious Orb' Seen over Ohio was Balloon Launched by Raven Aerostar

This mysterious orb was later identified as one of three Thunderhead balloon systems launched by Raven Aerostar on June 18th.  (WXIX)

This mysterious orb was later identified as one of three Thunderhead balloon systems launched by Raven Aerostar on June 18th. (WXIX)

A mysterious orb seen over Butler County in Ohio last week has been identified as one of three ‘Thunderhead’ balloon systems released in Maryland by Raven Aerostar on June 18th.

According to their website, Raven Aerostar is "a world leader in the design and manufacture of highly technical lighter-than-air, stratospheric, and specialty sewn products."

The object was seen by numerous residents of Butler County, and caused a stir on social media.

Michael V. Ryan, vice mayor and city councilman for the city of Hamilton, Ohio, tweeted the day after the sightings to ask “Anyone know what this is?”

Early speculation was that it might be from either the National Weather Service (NWS) or Loon, an affiliate company of Google who uses balloons to bring high speed internet to isolated areas—or, naturally, something truly unexplained; like a UFO.

“This isn’t our weather balloon,” said the NWS.

And Scott Coriell with Loon responded similarly.

“I checked in with our flight team, and this wasn't one of our balloons,” he told the Journal-News. “We fly balloons worldwide, including over most parts of the US, but at the time of your sightings we didn't have any in the region.”

Balloon manufacturer World View Enterprises’ spokesman Andrew Antonio also confirmed that the object wasn't one of theirs.

Finally, someone replied to Vice Mayor Ryan’s tweet and said that the object was a balloon released by Raven Aerotech.

The Singular Fortean Society confirmed that a balloon launch had taken place that day, and that the flight path of those balloons placed them over Butler County at the time of the sightings.

Further sightings caused speculation in other states as the balloons crossed the country, but those mysteries were quickly solved using the latest information.

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