HONOLULU (KHON2) — A mysterious flying object on Kauai sent military jets scrambling earlier this week. Witnesses say it’s still not clear exactly what they saw.

Photographer Abe Kowitz took picture of the object on Monday after he saw his neighbor gazing up with a puzzled look. The Princeville resident didn’t quite know what to make of it.

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“It’s this big bright star, but it’s still sort of light out that’s what it first seemed like,” said Kowitz. “But I’m like, it’s bigger. It’s not getting close to dusk. We shouldn’t be seeing stars this time of day. That’s when I got my camera.”

He’s used to pointing his camera toward the sky but this was unlike any he’s ever seen.

“Celestial events I love to photograph,” said Kowitz. “I love to photograph the moon. So it was easy to focus on that I was like, it was probably a planet. And then when I took a picture I said no, it’s not a planet.”

He says things got even stranger when people saw military jets flying and heard sonic booms over the area. Kauai is home to the Pacific Missile Range.

Major General Kenneth Hara, the State Adjutant General, sent out a tweet saying, “In accordance with homeland defense procedures, Pacific Air Forces launched tactical aircraft to intercept and identify the object, visually confirming an unmanned balloon without observable identification markings.”

“Not surprised that it was being monitored and I guess if the military figured out what it is they don’t want us to know. If they don’t actually know what it is that would be surprising,” said Kowitz.

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Hara’s tweet adds, “As part of our normal daily operations, we closely track all vessels and aircraft in the Indo-Pacific area… to protect the US homeland.”