Agency Tests Security Blimp in Washington: Pentagon police said the Defense Department is testing a security blimp - fully equipped with surveillance cameras. The white blimp was spotted early Wednesday morning hovering at various times over the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. The 178-foot-long device, which is expected to remain in the skies until Thursday, is conducting a mission for the Defense Department.
Authorities say the airship is equipped with infrared cameras designed to provide real time images to military commanders on the ground. The equipment on the blimp already is being used to protect troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Army says the device will make at least one 24-hour flight in the District of Columbia area. It has been in the region since last week, and is also being used for test runs over the U.S. Marine Corps Base in nearby Quantico, Va., and the Chesapeake Bay.
TERROR BLIMPS are GO!
Tags: big brother, blimps, security
Just got back in after taking the dog around the block 10 min ago and saw the blimp float by and wondering who'd gotten permission to fly that thing by the White House. JWZ, my source for local news.
<lj user="rzr_grl"> has a fear of blimps (what's the latinate form of that?) so I try to stay on top of any blimp-related developments.
The word "blimp" is an American invention, so you're probably going to have to piece something together from airship (aeroratisphobia?)
Dirigiphobia? (From dirigible).
What happens when it gets really windy? What exactly are they going to see that is terror related? I'd guess they'd mostly just see crack dealers.
Judging by the experiences had during my most recent visit to DC, I think your assertion that DC crack dealers only come out when it's windy is flawed.
Well, with the narco-terror blimps absent in high winds, maybe my assertion will become true in the future.
oh the humanity
that is a horrible, horrible graphic manipulation.
i like the cut of your jib, sir.
crap special effects are a schick
it's the basis for Dr. Who, etc.
Cruise ship impales finback whale
Sure, some Americans like to think that their values are shared the world over, but uh, the weather? This baby had better have some funky electronic chameleon-like skin that lets it blend in with the rest of the sky.
I hope that the U.N. gets a baby blue version.
Best. Headline. Ever. :)
Channeling their german ideological forefathers, homeland security officers were said to have replied, "ja, sind zeppelins sehr gut!"
What I want to know is if it's sensors (cameras specifically) are public domain. That'd be awesome to take a tour of DC via the NSA's blimp.
I'm gonna go ahead and guess "no." Just because you paid for it doesn't mean you get to benefit from it.
The Moffet hangars will be abuzz with activity, dusting off the blimps of legend, defending our pacific coast against pirates and tyranny of seals.
Living in a police state won't be all bad if we get to have lots more blimps.
So how long before these blimps start broadcasting propaganda over loudspeakers and huge signs on the side? (I'm vaguely reminded of the game Syndicate for that, but I could be wrong).
That sounds like the Blade Runner blimps encouraging everyone to emigrate to the wonderful new offworld colonies.
a new life awaits you in the Middle East Colonies.
It was Syndicate.
Aren't they doing just that already? I can hear the calls "Fear the terrorists! Fear the arab world! Fear everything! You need <a fear monger devise president whose name we shall not utter hear...> to 'protect' you. They came from the skies! Be afraid, be very afraid." just by looking at the pictures...
And yet depsite these calls from the democrats they still claim to be the optomistic ones...
Eh. They're just jumping on the retro-future, give-us-our-skycars, Gernsback Continuum bandwagon. Where's the original Tomorrowland when you need it?
Apart from my first thought that the thing was a test to see if the Good Year Blimp could take out the Washington Monument, wouldn't predator drones be a bit less obvious, and harder to shoot down?
If someone's going to waste their time trying to shoot down the blimp (are there any wire-guided ground-to-air missiles?), that's less time they have to try to shoot something else.
My guess is that they exist for much the same reason that police helicopters exist. They have the advantage over copters in that they can carry more cargo/equipment, and can hover longer, but at the same time they're not nearly as mobile. So perhaps not as useful over someplace like LA where you've got a huge amount of space to cover, but much more useful in DC, where you have a few high-value targets that aren't likely to move.
Hah-ha! What can those filthy terrorists hope to do against such high-tech wizardry.
I for one am deeply concerned about our inflatable non-constitutional overlords.
Non-constitutional? How is a police (or whomever) blimp different from a police helicopter?
More hot air?
"Non-constitutional" as in not specifically addressed by the constitution, perhaps...
Didn't find much in the constitution about helicopters either ...
Since DC is now is a tizzy over having to name a baseball team, I think we (I'm a DC resident) should have a blimp naming contest as well, the obivious choice is the Der Hindenburg, but perhaps, we, like the Congress could whore the ballons out, Blimpie Subs is your marketing department listening?
you can get your own DNA Blimp and help yer girlie overcome her fear for only 10 mil.