Why Is A Gigantic War-Blimp About To Fly Above the Skies Of Suburban Baltimore?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

One of the most disturbing and relentless trends over the past several years has been the redirection of war technology and equipment from the battlefield abroad toward domestic use in the USA. This has resulted in a militarization of police across the nation and has encouraged small towns to use Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to purchase ridiculous items such as tanks.

Sadly, it appears this trend is only accelerating. With billions of dollars already spent, and failed wars abroad, the military-industrial complex needs to continue to generate cash flow. May as well just use it against the American people.


We find out from the Washington Post that:

They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war.


The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October. From a vantage of 10,000 feet, they will cast a vast radar net from Raleigh, N.C., to Boston and out to Lake Erie, with the goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft so they could be intercepted before reaching the capital.

Interesting, I didn’t realize we were at war. When was the last time cruise missiles were shot into the United States?

Aerostats deployed by the military at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan typically carried powerful surveillance cameras as well, to track the movements of suspected insurgents and even U.S. soldiers.


Defense contractor Raytheon last year touted an exercise in which it outfitted the aerostats planned for deployment in suburban Baltimore with one of the company’s most powerful high-altitude surveillance systems, capable of spotting individual people and vehicles from a distance of many miles.


The Army said it has “no current plans” to mount such cameras or infrared sensors on the aerostats or to share information with federal, state or local law enforcement, but it declined to rule out either possibility. The radar system that is planned for the aerostats will be capable of monitoring the movement of trains, boats and cars, the Army said.

“No Current plans.” What a bunch of assholes. You know they can’t wait to attach an ARGUS surveillance system to these puppies.

“That’s the kind of massive persistent surveillance we’ve always been concerned about with drones,” said Jay Stanley, a privacy expert for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s part of this trend we’ve seen since 9/11, which is the turning inward of all of these surveillance technologies.”


The Army played down such concerns in written responses to questions posed by The Washington Post, saying its goal is to test the ability of the aerostats to bolster the region’s missile-defense capability, especially against low-flying cruise missiles that can be hard for ground-based systems to detect in time to intercept them.


The Army determined it did not need to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment, required for some government programs, because it was not going to collect any personally identifiable information, officials said in their written responses to The Post.

Did the FISA court rubber stamp this assessment?

Technologies developed for battlefields — weapons, vehicles, communications systems — long have flowed homeward as overseas conflicts have ended. The battles that followed the Sept. 11 attacks have produced major advances in surveillance equipment whose manufacturers increasingly are looking to expand their use within the United States.


Aerostats — basically big balloons on strings — grew popular in Iraq and Afghanistan and also are used by Israel to monitor the Gaza Strip and by the United States to eye movement along southern border areas. Even a rifle shot through an aerostat will not bring it down, because the pressure of the helium inside nearly matches the pressure of the air outside, preventing rapid deflation.

So equipment used to control people in war zones are coming to America and there’s nothing to be concerned about?

The Defense Department spent nearly $7 billion on 15 different lighter-than-air systems between 2007 and 2012, with several suffering from technical problems, delays and unexpectedly high costs, the Government Accountability Office found in an October 2012 report.


“They are bringing this to the East Coast, close to Washington, to get the Pentagon guys and Congress to say, ‘Whoa, we could really use this,’?” said Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute, a military think tank with ties to the defense industry. “This is re-purposing. You’ve already spent the money.”

Have fun Baltimore.

Full article here.

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Dr. Engali's picture

Detecting cruise missles? For cripes sake now I've heard everything.

pods's picture

Can we paint the Eye of Sauron on the sides of it?

Can't wait to drive past that with the kids.

Dad, what is that?

"It's the government, spying on you. For your own good."


Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

what.... those cans in your avatar or the blimp?

Sudden Debt's picture



Ranger_Will's picture

Coming to Los Angeles in 2019!


"A new life awaits you in the off world colonies, the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure."

Jack Burton's picture

"Blade Runner" Best science fiction film ever! "I only do eyes, just eyes."

"I want more life, fucker!" Best movie line in history!

Ranger_Will's picture

The originial line was actually 'father' not 'fucker.'  When the Final Cut version came out a couple years back it blew my mind. 

Apparently, 'fucker' had been dubbed in later.  Not sure which version I like better to be honest, both have pros and cons.

Four chan's picture

those of you who saw blade runner on vhs can thank me because i made it for you.

Jack Burton's picture

When my daughter was 15 years old I sat down with her one Saturday night and played the Final Version for her. I explained a lot of the plot and things to look for during the movie. I explained to her that when that conversation took place, that the line "I want more life, fucker", was really the line that man would use if he ever confronted god and could ask why we were mortal. We would likley ask why we are not given more life.

For years others have copied everything about Blade Runner and tried to make similar movies or use similar settings for a sci fi movie. Nothing can touch Blade Runner for originality and thought provoking film making. The scene where he shoots the stripper as she runs through glass display windows in an attempt to escape was probably one of the best done scenes in modern movie making, the music, the visuals and the plot behind here killing all came together for an epic scene. There were others too, like th ending when Roy finally shuts down. Amazing stuff, one only wishes more quality like that would come back to hollywood movies.

Taffy Lewis's picture

When Roy Batty meets Chu he says to him: "if only you could have seen what I have seen with your eyes"; in the final scene, he says to Deckard "if only you could have seen what I have seen with my eyes"... He realizes at the end that he is just as human as anybody else.


theprofromdover's picture

Aaaahh, "Revel in your time, Roy"


Good advice that a lot of us might soon be considering.

duo's picture

There's been one of these near Marfa, TX for years, watching the border.  It's shown as a restricted area on aeronautical charts.

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

thank god we sold our house in South Baltimore over the summer.

Looney's picture

We are exceptional!  ;-)



Jayda1850's picture

And this is just a few weeks after we had the navy blimp overhead supposedly checking radiation levels. way too many blimps over bmore.

Meat Hammer's picture

I can't believe nobody has said it:  Baltimoar!

Spanky's picture

Perhaps they're worried about other countries' drones targetting terrorists in the DC - Hamptons corridor...

HelluvaEngineer's picture

That's some amazing 1930's technology right there.  What's one of those cost - about 2 billion each?  How much to dock it overnight at the Empire State building?

nuclearsquid's picture

467 million, if you believe the article.  Our government builds a fucking blimp for half a billion... we are so screwed.

Jack Burton's picture

Imagine, In World War One the Germans built blimps 4 times bigger and could aford dozens of them to bomb England. Fast forward a century, and America takes a 1/2 billion to build a pussy ass blimp! Fuck, America is a doomed dieing state!

NotApplicable's picture

Not my government!

Protip: not yours either.

KnightTakesKing's picture

At $467 million it better be a steampunk blimp.

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

There once was a great man, John Reilly, a friend of mine; sadly he passed away a year and a half ago. He ran a blog and a message board called The Long View which was devoted to metahistorical topics. In his more jocular moods he would often remark that airships were a Fortean technology, the actual appearance of which indicates that history has gone off the Main Sequence.

It seems like he had a point.

atomicwasted's picture

Ah, just like the alternate Manhatan of "Fringe" where they had rockets but never figured out heavier than air flight.

Winston of Oceania's picture

Those pesky Canadacoms with their cruisemissles...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I've seen the silos ... up there by Elsinore Brewery ...

stant's picture

heisenberg omen, but it needs a iron cross

Stoploss's picture

Shoot the motherfuckers down..

HoofHearted's picture

I didn't have a good reason to own a semi-automatic 50 BMG before now. But now I think there may be a good reason. Sure, one shot might not do much, but if I'm willing to spend $100 on 20 rounds with all the expensive optics, then just maybe....

Honey, I'm going to need a bigger gun safe.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Your BMG got a range > 10,000'?  Remember that it's 10k feet if you're directly below, more if not.  True Distance = cos(elevation)*Height

You're gonna need a bigger gun.

If we think outside the pillbox, it's always possible to get close enough to the Umbilical chord (near to its base station) with that BMG...

Basic Fighting/War Principles:  Analyze opponent, and ID all weak spots.  Exploit, plan and act accordingly.

BeansMcGreens's picture

Home built drones could get right up to it. Any angry enigineers without borders out there. They could make them look like the rebel fleet in the first Starwars.

ZeroPoint's picture

Or maybe just a well placed, well focused, parabolic mirror array........

XitSam's picture

I assume they reel it out and back sometime. Like a WWI observation balloon.  Small drone with acid payload could make an annoying hole to repair.

Overfed's picture

A hobbyist's RC airplane could be used to defeat that. The police state is ever encroaching, and totally retarded.

SilverRhino's picture

Even from directly below 50BMG wont make that distance.   


Wahooo's picture

BFTs - big fuckin' targets.

midtowng's picture

It' s a lot cheaper to destroy American by crushing its economy. Or buying its politicians.

AGuy's picture

"Its a Bird, No, a Plane, No a Blip, No its Governor Christie Flying into Baltimore!"


limit_less's picture

Fitting in sound weapon to defeat invading infantry. Then you have heard everything.

LetThemEatRand's picture

And the American public yawned at the ever encroaching police state.

OC Sure's picture

Their bread and circuses will keep them gazing at totem poles.