News & Politics

Video: The Runaway Army Blimp’s Final Moments

Photograph courtesy Lebanon Daily News.

Following yesterday’s wild blimp chase that commenced when a surveillance aircraft at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland broke free of its mooring and drifted into Pennsylvania, the Army says its companion blimp will be grounded pending an investigation.

The $175 million Raytheon-manufactured craft—part of the military’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS, for short—crashed down near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, more than four hours after it flew away. Instead of carrying out its mission of testing an expensive, potentially wasteful missile-defense system, the blimp dragged 6,700 feet of cable with it and left a trail of destruction that cut electricity to tens of thousands of unsuspecting Pennsylvanians.

But as it landed, someone on the ground in Bloomsburg was able to record its descent. Watch as the wayward dirigible emerges from the gray, coal-region mist and falls to earth behind an unsuspecting farmhouse.

[h/t Gawker]

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.