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F-16s Scramble To Track Runaway Unmanned Surveillance Blimp

UPDATE: According to a reporter for WNEP-TV a local ABC affiliate in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that the blimp is down in Montour county near Muncy, Pennsylvania.

A local WNEP-16 reporter tweeted a photo of part of the blimp in a tree.

*****

A runaway surveillance blimp has broken free from its tether, according to a NORAD spokesperson, as two F-16s are monitoring it’s path over Pennsylvania.

The “blimp” is a permanent flotation device used for radar surveillance, described as a ”Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor” – an “aerostat.” It broke free of the cables earlier today.

“They’ll continue to flight follow the aerostat moving along as the situation progresses,” NORAD spokesperson Michael Kucharek told MSNBC’s Brian Williams.

He offered no details about how the agency planned to regain control of the device.

“Obviously there is a range of capabilities that we would have in terms of a non-kinetic nature, and obviously that’s the preferred method,”Kucharek said cryptically. “I’d think that monitoring is the key here.”

CNN reported that the arial vehicle is dragging cables across the United States, causing power outages.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

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