Tokyo (AFP) - It''s hardly the stuff of little green men, but a mysterious balloon-like obxt seen floating across the skies of northern Japan has captured national attention, even prompting questions to the government.


The unidentified flying obxt was first spotted on Wednesday morning when residents in northern Sendai city took to social media to post pictures and debate what they were seeing.


Authorities said they were baffled by the obxt, which close-up images taken by local residents and media suggest is composed of a balloon-like obxt attached to crossed sticks with propellers.


Local police reportedly flew a helicopter to confirm the presence of the obxt, but also drew a blank on its identity -- even after consulting other authorities and organisations.


Kyushu University''s aeronautics department publicly denied the device belonged to them, after public speculation.


"It''s possible it could conduct scientific observations or monitor something," he said.


The mystery received coverage nationwide, and even prompted a question to the top government spokesman at his daily briefing.


Yoshihide Suga said the government was aware of the mystery obxt, but batted away suggestions it might be the work of foreign governments or be capable of causing damage.

Yoshihide Suga说政府注意到这个神秘物体,但对它可能是外国政府所为,或可能造成破坏的说法不屑一顾。

The mystery may remain unresolved -- the obxt has now reportedly floated out to the Pacific, where authorities have lost track of it.+