Over the last several months, a series of mysterious anomalies spotted on civilian radar systems have baffled observers and may suggest that the Air Force is testing something they don’t want the public to see. The anomalies began in December 2018 when a strangely dense cloud-like formation appeared on weather radar in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. A few days later, similar radar anomalies were observed in Maine and Florida, and last month the same phenomenon turned up in Australia.
While most observers are confident that these anomalies are some new type of chaff, a common anti-radar countermeasure deployed by military aircraft to fool radar, the frequency and distribution of these anomalies worldwide is somewhat puzzling. What is being hidden in plain sight?
The latest radar anomaly appeared on radar on March 5th, 2019 around 12:20 pm local time in partly cloudy skies with no precipitation anywhere on weather radar. The anomaly appeared as a large, mostly stationary plume in the skies just to the west of Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, about 100 miles north of Roswell, curiously enough. As Tyler Rogoway of The War Zone points out, Cannon Air Force Base is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) which operates a number of cutting-edge unmanned aerial vehicles like the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-11 Raven, Scan Eagle, and Wasp III. AFSOC conducts infiltration and exfiltration operations for US Special Forces as well as surveillance and reconnaissance missions and even psychological warfare.
While tests of new aircraft and aerospace technologies are nothing new to the desert, this plume and the others like it over the past few months display behavior not typically seen in known chaff systems. These plumes have persisted much longer than known chaff countermeasures and somehow remain mostly in place unlike traditional chaff which tend to be carried by the wind more easily.
These radar anomalies could just be the Air Force testing new countermeasures, although I’m left to wonder why these tests would be conducted above civilian areas as in the Australia and Indiana cases. Is the Air Force hiding something stranger than a new type of chaff inside these plumes? If I were to guess, I would say these are most likely tests of the long-rumored drone swarms Air Forces around the world have been testing – maybe even the telepathically-controlled swarms DARPA has recently successfully developed. That’s all my conjecture, though. So far, Cannon Air Force Base has yet to respond to requests for comment on the incident.