to the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, where it crashed in Moreland Township.
While there were no reported injuries, the giant blimp dragged a large anchoring cable in its path, cutting down powerlines and other utilities. Emergency lines were inundated with phone calls, and first responders scrambled to keep up. More than 10,000 residents lost power, and one college even canceled its classes as a result.
At one point, the government dispatched two military jets to shoot down the blimp if it threatened to collide with any commercial airliners – but fortunately, it didn’t.
What Do the Blimp’s Critics Say?
Objectors criticize the program as unnecessary, wondering why the surveillance blimp is on domestic soil at all. The blimp’s original purpose was to aid in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blimp opponents cite the extensive infrastructural damage it caused as another reason to end the program, which they feel costs taxpayers too much money; they felt the same way before the crash. Privacy advocates also question the far-reaching capabilities of the blimp to monitor individual movements, though military spokespersons have vowed that the blimp is primarily used as a deterrent against missiles and aircraft, and would only track vehicles at the most – never individuals.
The blimp that crashed in Pennsylvania is one of two guarding the East Coast, and the second blimp remains in operation.
How Would You Feel About a Surveillance Blimp?
If the military chose to set up a surveillance blimp in Milwaukee in the name of national security, how would you feel? Would you agree that it’s a good idea, or would you be opposed because you can never really know what they’re tracking?