Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm all up in the air over the blimp

Right up the road from us, up US Rte 40 or I-95 (depending on whether you want trucks going 40 mph, or 95 mph, six inches behind your back bumper) lies the little town of Aberdeen, MD.

It's known to sports fans as the home town of the Ripken family of baseball legends (Cal Sr, Cal Jr and Billy) and Ripken Stadium, where Cal Jr's minor league team, the Ironbirds, plays, as well as teen league baseball with kids from all over the world, in summer.

It's also known as the home of Aberdeen Proving Ground, a huge Army installation and the home of two one blimps 10,000 feet in the air, keeping an eye out for incoming enemy missiles and trucks speeding on I-95.  

Just kidding about the trucks. No one cares about that.

But the good people at the US Army and the Raytheon Corporation are spending 2.8 BILLION tax dollars on the project, which gives defense officials a good look at cruise missiles and I don't know what-all else on the way to Baltimore and DC.  And my neighborhood, for that matter.  They even claim that the blimps can find attacking missiles from as far as 340 miles away, although they cannot look down and see that they are about to break away and fly a couple hundred miles themselves.

For almost a year, we have looked up at the sky and seen these giant inflatables hanging around.  Technically, they are aerostats, or tether aircraft, since they are tied to the ground by really thick, strong cables that cannot possibly break or come loose and let the blimps go a'sailin'

This is my favorite news story since Kim Davis
And, just to make you feel better about those dirty enemies sneaking in a missile on us, these blimps are part of the completely impregnable, inscrutable, unbeatable Joint Land-Attack Cruise Missile Elevated Netted Sensor System, or WHOOOOPS.

You know what I'm getting at.  "Our" blimps were the lead story on all the news last night, even bumping another local product full of gas, Ben Carson, off to the side for a minute, because one of them broke free from its moorings, and took a cruise of its own, as blimps will do.

Two F-16 fighter jets, normally assigned to protect Trump Casino in Atlantic City, scrambled and got airborne and tracked the big white device, which came to earth near Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They found it by hearing from people on the ground below, hollering that their electricity was knocked out by the dragged tether from below the blimp.  So that meant that Pennsylvanians could not follow the story on cable news all afternoon, but the story could not have taken place anyhow, because the Army said it never could have.

Today is not going to be a good day for a lot of people in the defense industry.  The phones are going to be ringing and ringing. "They" said this could never happen.  "They" were wrong, again.

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