A mystery that riled the Tri-State Monday night had been solved – or so we thought.
When large, storm-like blips flashed across radar in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky, the National Weather Service was stunned – because it wasn’t raining a drop.
All kinds of guesses flared up on social media: a flock of birds; aliens; residue the government uses to control the weather, etc.
But a tweet from Eyewitness News meteorologist Wayne Hart on Tuesday morning seemingly cleared the fog.
Citing an unnamed pilot, he said Evansville air traffic control claimed a military C-130 released a stream of chaff – radar-jamming material sometimes used during training exercises – a few miles northwest of Evansville.
A story from the Courier & Press pointed out that military bases sat near the areas where the blips appeared: Fort Campbell in Kentucky and Scott Air Force Base in Western Illinois.
But if this was a case of military chaff, and it did come from a C-130, that plane didn’t come from either of those bases.
“Whatever aircraft it was, it was not a Scott Air Force Base craft,” Master Sgt. Thomas Doscher said Tuesday morning.
A spokesman for Fort Campbell wasn’t as unequivocal, but said he didn’t know of any such operation. The only way the plane could have come from Fort Campbell, he said, is if it was involved in a secret special forces exercise.
Requests for comment from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Evansville airport weren’t returned as of Tuesday afternoon.
So questions remain: where did the plane come from? And why was someone supposedly releasing chaff into our atmosphere (aside from the obvious, which is that they were providing cover for a fleet of flying saucers)?
Maybe we’ll find out in the next couple of days. But some mystery still lingers.