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The Floating Man Mystery That Briefly Haunted Southeast England

It was, in fact, an inflatable stormtrooper.

A few weeks ago, a floating man appeared in the sky during a storm in Rainham, in southeast England. Mark Taylor, a local, snapped some photos of the man and posted them to Facebook, sparking a mystery that would endure for days.

“Went out to my garden today to watch the thunderstorm and saw a man floating across the sky with nothing attached to him, did anyone else see it ???” Taylor wrote then.

Soon, the story was picked up by local media, which reported June 9 that the authorities had not been alerted to the matter.

Internet commenters, meanwhile, had their own theories, ranging from aliens to the possibility that Taylor had been using substances to the possibility that the whole thing was a weird hoax.

But then, on Friday, KentOnline said they’d cracked the mystery. A reader wrote to the media outlet saying that the floating man photos emerged around the same time an inflatable stormtrooper balloon she’d purchased for her son escaped.

“I am sorry to disappoint everyone but there is no alien,” the reader told KentOnline. Her son was in possession of the stormtrooper for only a few days. Here is what it looked like:

And while it was somewhat of a surprise to find out that the floating man was not a man at all, at least one commenter had predicted that might be the case, as Taylor’s daughter told KentOnline.

Commenting just nine hours after Taylor’s post, Malcolm Millward called it, and probably deserves some kind of prize.

“It was probably one of those storm trooper balloons lol,” Millward wrote.

Well done, Malcolm Millward.