#TerrorInTheSkies Butterfly Blamed for Disturbance

Flora And Fauna Shoots

Bizarre behavior that lead to a man being escorted by fighter jets from an American Airlines flight has been explained…kind of. The flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu was disrupted all due to a man hallucinating a butterfly.

Anil Uskanli testified in a Hawaiian federal court that he hallucinated that he was hunting a butterfly aboard the May 19 flight.

"The butterfly went crazy...flew into the toilet," the 25-year-old Turkey native said. "I followed it. I tried to kill it by punching it."

Uskanli began to concern the flight crew when he approached the front of the plane with a blanket wrapped around his head while carrying a laptop. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady said crew members feared the device may have contained explosives.

The flight's captain initiated bomb-threat procedures and Uskanli returned to his seat accompanied by an off-duty officer.

A pair of Hawaii National Guard fighter jets escorted the plane to its destination in Honolulu and Uskanli was arrested and taken into federal custody upon landing.

Los Angeles International Airport officials said Uskanli already displayed concerning behavior prior to boarding the flight. He purchased his ticket at the airline counter in the middle of the night without any luggage and was arrested prior to the flight after opening a door to a restricted airfield.

Airport police suspected he had been drinking alcohol but he wasn't intoxicated enough to warrant a public drunkenness charge. Instead, he received a citation and was released.

While Uskanli faces potential deportation, along with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, his immigration attorney Gary Singh said he plans to return to Turkey on his own.

"He just wants to go home. He's sick and wants to go home to get help," Singh said via the AP.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Morgan Early argued Uskanli suffers from "major mental illness" and prosecutors aren't expected to seek out additional jail time.

Read the full story at ABC News

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