A JLENS Domestic Surveillance Blimp that has been tethered at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland has broken free Wednesday and is being tracked by two fighter jets traveling over Pennsylvania at 16,000 feet, a NORAD spokesman said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This more-than-likely planned false flag mishap reminds us of the police state that America has become under Obama. Did you ever think that you would live long enough to see fully-armed surveillance blimps permanently stationed over our country? All this, Raytheon tells us, is for our “safety”, and hey, no worries, the United States government would never use it to spy on the population. You bet’cha! I wonder who is watching the watchers?
UPDATE: After a 3 hour ordeal, the 6,700 foot cable took down power lines and has been stopped in the Poconos more than 100 miles form Aberdeen, MD. Power outages were reported at Bloomsburg University, which canceled classes as a result.
One of the two military surveillance blimps that has been watching the East Coast from Maryland has broken free of its mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground and is now drifting over Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Two F-16 fighter jets from an Air National Guard base in Atlantic City, N.J., are monitoring the unmanned aircraft, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command is working with the Federal Aviation Administration “to ensure air traffic safety,” a spokesman said. The blimp is drifting at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
The 243-foot-long, helium-filled JLENS aerostat detached from its mooring at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground at about 11:54 a.m. Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Army installation said. It was trailing approximately 6,700 feet of cable.
“Anyone who sees the aerostat is advised to contact 911 immediately,” spokeswoman Heather Roelker said. “People are warned to keep a safe distance from the airship and tether as contact with them may present significant danger.”
NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said the command was working with other agencies “to address the safe recovery of the aerostat.”
The office of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said it is “closely monitoring the situation.”
“The Governor’s Office is in communication with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police, the National Guard, and the appropriate authorities with the federal government,” the office said in a statement. “We will work with the appropriate authorities to respond to any resource requests and assist in any way possible.”
The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS, has become a fixture of the Baltimore skyline since the first of the two blimps was launched over Middle River in December.
When aloft, the aircraft use sophisticated radar to see up to 340 miles in any direction, which covers an area from North Carolina to the Canadian border. It can be used to track ships at sea and cars on land.
Raytheon’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS) System:
In the days before America’s king was installed on the throne, watching a video like this would have made me feel safe and protected from foreign enemies. But after nearly 7 years of Obama, all this looks like to me is a giant eye in the sky to track my movements. How does it make you feel? Post comments below.
Authorities say the system is intended to watch for and direct fire on incoming cruise missiles and other threats. NORAD is running a three-year exercise to test its effectiveness in the National Capital Region.
The effort has proved controversial. After 17 years of research and $2.7 billion in funding, the system has been hobbled by defective software, poor reliability and vulnerability to bad weather.
Privacy advocates, meanwhile, have expressed concern about deploying such sophisticated surveillance technology over the United States.
The blimps are moored to the ground with thick, 10,000-foot cables that can transmit the data they collect back to earth. They’re designed to stay aloft in winds of up to 70 knots, and remain in the air even if their skin is pierced.
Raytheon, the contractor that makes the blimps, says the cable is unlikely to break.
“The chance of that happening is very small because the tether is made of Vectran and has withstood storms in excess of 100 knots,” the company said on its website. “However, in the unlikely event it does happen, there are a number of procedures and systems in place which are designed to bring the aerostat down in a safe manner.”
Bad weather has caused problems for JLENS in the past. In 2010 a blimp was completely destroyed when it collided with another blimp at a facility in North Carolina. source