If the sky to the northeast of Baltimore seems to be lacking a big white floaty thing, it’s not just you. The military blimp that flew over Aberdeen Proving Ground broke free earlier today and floated up to Pennsylvania. Ensuring it seemed like a movie plot, fighter jets were scrambled.
The blimp is actually an aerostat, meaning it’s tethered to the ground. But the aircraft broke free of its mooring just before noon, and glided up to 16,000 ft. If it weren’t a billion-dollar radar-filled surveillance craft that’s designed to track cruise missiles, there might be something kind of poetic.But this being real life in 2005, we had to settle for the brilliant parody Twitter account:
Losing a little air here. Is Tom Brady in town?
— Baltimore Blimp (@BmoreBlimp) October 28, 2015
In hopes of recovering what they lost and preventing Hindenberg-style catastrophe, the military quickly dispatched two F-16s to monitor it, and started coordinating air traffic control so planes wouldn’t hit it. Eventually, the blimp was spotted in Bloomsburg, Pa., where the 6,700 ft. dangling tether apparently knocked out power.
— CampusWeatherService (@PSUWeather) October 28, 2015
How it eventually comes back to Earth remains to be seen, but we’ll update if we hear. Until then, enjoy CNN anchors trying to make sense of this on live TV.
UPDATE Dramatic crash averted. She’s come back to Earth in Pennsylvania, the military agency in charge of the blimp is reporting.
JLENS is on the ground and located in the vicinity of Moreland
Township, Penn. The area is secured and a military recovery
team is enroute.
— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@NoradNorthcom) October 28, 2015
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