Usually jaded New Yorkers froze in their tracks Wednesday and gazed skyward at the still mysterious objects that hovered above the iconic Manhattan skyline for several hours.
"We are not able to make an identification of what the objects were," Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said today. "We know they weren't aircraft or helicopters. We wouldn't be able to say if they were balloons or something else."
Described as bright white lights or glittery silver balloon-like objects, the floating balls seemed to separate and converge on Manhattan's West Side high above the trendy Chelsea neighborhood.
The New York Police Department said it received dozens of calls about the unidentified flying objects, but would not speculate on their identity.
"Maybe [it's] Superman, maybe Wonder Woman," one bystander told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV, who confessed he would rather it was Wonder Woman.
"I think it's a balloon," said another man, adding, "but then again balloons don't stand still."
Objects May Have Been Balloons
But balloons, if clustered, would travel together slowly along the same wind currents, occasionally separating from each other, just as the objects over Manhattan, said Benjamin Radford, author of "Scientific Paranormal investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries"
Radford said the object looked similar to many previous sightings of balloons.
"These are actually identical to clips I've seen of silver Mylar balloons that we investigated in Buffalo, N.Y., several years back," Radford said.
"We had the same thing, reflective objects in the sky. Through study, we could tell they were balloons. This is actually just the latest in a series of sightings like this," he added.
"One thing that tips us off that this is not a UFO, is that in the video the objects are able to move independently of each other, not like lights in a fixed position on an aircraft."