Did you look to see that giant white mass in the sky yesterday? And no, I’m not referring to the moon. A military surveillance blimp broke away from its tethering at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, an army installation in Maryland, and drifted all the way up to Pennsylvania.
As the blimp glided along the picturesque Pennsylvanian landscape, its dangling cords dragged along, taking out power lines across the state. Some “30,000 people in Pennsylvania lost power” (Miklaszewski and Kube) but most lines were restored last night. The blimp landed near Muncy, Pennsylvania in at least two pieces, “the tail section detach[ing] first [where it] was found about a quarter-mile from where the rest of the blimp landed” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak).
The blimp is known as “a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS” which is used to “detect hostile missiles and aircraft” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak). As to how the blimp escaped as it was attached to a tether made of “a durable synthetic fiber” that has “withstood storms of more than 115 mph,” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak) remains under investigation.