In a totally true, not-at-all dramatized video, a former soldier shows exactly how the now infamous JLENS blimp got away from soldiers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The incident kicked off a chase that lasted four hours, required two F-16s, and covered 160 miles.
The year was 2015. The month was October. People all over the country were preparing for Halloween, hot cider, pumpkin patches. Ghost stories abounded. And just as the air was turning crisp, on October 28, a tethered aerostat owned by the Army dedicded enough was enough and escaped.
Okay, that’s not exactly what happened but it sure feels like the start of a ghost story.
The Army wanted to test the capability of its Tethered Aerostat Program. Up until 2015, the TAP included surveillance and cruise missile-detection capabilities. But that all changed when one blimp decided to go on a joy ride. All that changed when one of the aerostats boke free. It cruised along for three hours, gracing the skies of Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The blimp’s trip across PA dragged 6,700 feet of tether, causing several large power outages. At one point on its joyride, the blimp reaches a height of 15,000 feet, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) spokesman Navy Capt. Scott Miller said. The tail finally broke off about a quarter mile from its final resting place.
Now, plenty are wondering just how the blimp broke free and who’s to blame. Hint: everyone is blaming privates.