Residents near Bender Road scratched their heads Tuesday when they saw a strange black blob floating in the sky above Ellensburg at about 4:30 p.m.

Debbie Hulbert said the object hung about 1,000 feet in the sky, south of Bender Road between Alder and Walnut streets, and was moving toward Bowers Field.

She said it expanded and contracted like some kind of jagged, geometric puffer fish.

Hulbert and her husband were outside with neighbors staring into the sky, trying to figure out what they were looking at, and her husband snapped a few photos.

“We’re all intensely curious. It was the strangest thing I’ve seen in a long time,” she said.

Calls to Central Washington University’s physics, chemistry, geography, aviation and science education departments — anyone who might know about lighter-than-air gasses, things that float or the weather — yielded no information.

It’s finals week on campus, and department representatives said it was unlikely any classes were doing hands-on, outdoor projects.

Physics Department Chair Andy Piacsek said it could have come from outside the Kittitas Valley.

Andy McIrvin, chief instructor at Midstate Aviation at Bowers Field, said he hadn’t heard anyone mention seeing something strange while flying that day.

A Daily Record study of the photo concluded balloons, trash bags somehow filled with helium or trash bags full of balloons were likely culprits.

Daily Record Facebook page commenters posited it could have been balloons, a UFO, a delivery drone, space junk, the inflatable airbag landing system used by the Mars rovers, something related to Bigfoot, the Kryptonian crystals Superman used to build his Fortress of Solitude, or a novel drug trafficking technique.

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