There's a rogue blimp roaming the skies, currently floating 16,000 feet above Pennsylvania. Maryland Patch reports that an aerostat basically went "To hell with this!" and broke its tether at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Maryland this morning. No one's quite sure what it wants yet.
The airship, manufactured by Raytheon, is part of APG's Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Netted Sensor System (JLENS), a powerful radar system used to pick up aerial threats. APG released this statement earlier this afternoon:
"Personnel are responding to a tether break at the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Netted Sensor System (JLENS) location on the Edgewood side of APG.
"The aerostat moored at Edgewood broke free at around 11:54 a.m.; approximately 6,700 feet of tether are attached. Emergency personnel are tracking the aerostat, which is still aloft and moving toward Pennsylvania.
However, the situation is getting more serious by the minute. The FAA is currently doing its best to respond, and the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base deployed two F-16s to track the blimp. (Yes. Atlantic City has F-16s.) In the meantime, citizens are advised to call 911 if they see the blimp overhead or somehow ascertain just what it has planned.
Update 3:20pm ET: The blimp is reportedly causing a great deal more damage than anticipated:
Untethered JLENS #blimp cable is dragging the ground in Bloomsburg and causing massive power outages, Columbia Co DPS Director says.— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) October 28, 2015
Update 4:10pm ET: Mr. Blimp's wild ride has come to its logical end:
BREAKING: State police: Military blimp that broke loose, drifted over Pennsylvania is on ground, secure.— The Associated Press (@AP) October 28, 2015