By Tim Binnall
Officials at the National Weather Service were flummoxed earlier this week when radar returns showed odd blobs passing over parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The strange formations were reportedly particularly puzzling because they resembled storms, yet the weather that evening was clear. Speculation surrounding the source of the mysterious radar returns ran the gamut from prosaic possibilities like birds to fantastic scenarios centered around, of course, aliens.
An area meteorologist seemingly cracked the case when he reported that the blobs were likely a substance known as chaff, which is used by the military to obscure an aircraft from radar. Since there are a pair of military bases in the general vicinity of where the confounding cloud had been spotted, that appeared to be the most reasonable answer. However, an attempt to put the mystery to rest only enhanced the enigma as, when contacted, neither base took responsibility for such a flight.
While one base outright said that they had nothing to do with any aircraft releasing chaff that evening, the other site offered a more tantalizing answer. Although they claimed to be unaware of such an operation emanating from their base, a spokesperson for Fort Campbell in Kentucky conceded that, if one did take place, it would be part of a "secret special forces exercise."
Alas, it would seem that the oddity was not so exotic as the West Virginia Air National Guard revealed that one of their aircraft had been source of the chaff that had everyone scratching their heads for the last two days.