Blimp 'UFO' Was Being Developed By Utah Man(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY - A mysterious blimp-like object seen hovering over Salt Lake City on Wednesday was a small craft that was being developed by a resident – when it lost power and drifted over the valley, according to police.
By Doug Ware
By Doug Ware
The silver, zeppelin-type object was seen by dozens of witnesses at approximately 8:00 a.m. Witnesses reported that the object appeared to be approximately 100 feet long, but authorities say in actuality it was less than 30 feet in size.
The powerless blimp floated over Salt Lake City and eventually went down in the foothills east of downtown. Scott Duehlmeier, who works in the area where the blimp went down, ran over to see what it was. He picked it up and found it to be a balloon-type object.
Salt Lake City Police later contacted a man, Daniel Geery, of Salt Lake City, who claimed ownership of the object and admitted that it was a craft he was developing.
Geery told 2News that he was using a remote control to perform a test flight of his "hyper blimp" at dawn Wednesday when a power pack on the object failed, and drifted away.
"I put a different prop on it and wanted to see if it would have a bigger effect," he said. "And it did. but only flew for 5 or 10 minutes and then just... dead."
Geery knew that he would have trouble retrieving his hyper blimp -- mainly because there was little wind and he knew that meant the balloon would hover for hours.
Air traffic controllers at Salt Lake City International Airport did not pick up the object on radar and were unaware of what was generating the UFO buzz. Officials say it is possible that federal air traffic regulations were violated and charges are possible against the owner of the blimp.
Authorities are not sure whether any charges will or should be filed against Geery, but say he should be held responsible if the general population was ever endangered by his object.
“If something like this is going to put the public in jeopardy, then certainly we are going to pursue [charges],” said Sgt. Rich Brady of the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Geery said he has been working on the hyper blimp for more than a decade and has made more than 600 of them. Even though they can appear large in size, he says they are actually quite compact.
"This whole thing you can roll up and put in a suitcase," he said.
Some witnesses also reported seeing the same object over the Sugar House area on Tuesday night. However, Salt Lake City Police have not been able to corroborate those claims.