/

Menu
Trivia

Runaway Military Airship Floats Aimlessly Over Pennsylvania for Hours

posted: 10/28/15
by: Danny Clemens
JLENS in the air
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE 4:05 P.M.: The craft has reportedly come down near Bloomsburg, PA:

Original Story:

A giant military airship has broken free from its tether and is currently meandering purposelessly through the skies over Pennsylvania, military officials say.

Just before noon local time, the 242-foot Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) broke free from its mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The 6,700-foot tethering cable is still attached the the runaway craft.

"People are warned to keep a safe distance from the airship and tether as contact with them may present significant danger," Aberdeen officials warn in a statement. "Anyone who sees the aerostat is advised to contact 911 immediately."

NORAD has dispatched two F-16 fighter jets from New Jersey to safeguard the aircraft, which was most recently spotted over central Pennsylvania.

Related: Is 555-foot Blimp the World's Largest Aircraft?

JLENS was first put into service earlier this year. Built at a cost of nearly $3 billion, it casts a "vast radar net" that covers much of the mid-Atlantic region.

The system, which actually consists of two identical blimps and ground-based equipment, is designed to protect the nation's capital and other high-profile local targets from airborne missiles. From 10,000 feet in the air, JLENS' radar technology can detect and monitor air traffic from Raleigh, North Carolina to Boston.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

HELLO
About the blog:
DSCOVRD: The best of the web, covering space, technology, wildlife and more!
More on
MOST POPULAR