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Radar Mysteries Over Maine, Florida, and the Midwest Leave Experts Baffled

A radar mystery that began in the skies over parts of the United States late last year has some experts questioning whether the government is involved in secret tests, while others think odd weather might be to blame.

In early December, the National Weather Service reported on what they termed an “anomaly” over parts of the midwestern United States. Here at MU Brett Tingley reported on the incident, which was observed on radar over parts of Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. “Whatever was on radar appeared to be as dense as a thunderstorm,” Brett wrote, “but with the night clear and temperatures low, that theory was ruled improbable.” It was determined that the likely cause of the radar traces had been chaff, a substance composed mostly of aluminum that is released from aircraft during military operations and exercises to “confuse enemy radar.” However, as Brett noted at the time, meteorologist Greg Meffert with the NWS stated that he had “never seen [chaff] quite this hot.”

A few days later, Joseph Trevithick over at The Warzone wrote about a second radar incident, reporting that similar anomalous traces had appeared over parts of Maine and Florida just two days later. The National Weather Service confirmed on their Twitter account that the new radar anomalies also resembled chaff, although Trevithick noted that the December radar blips seemed to last longer than chaff typically does.

“We have already reached out to the National Guard Bureau,” Trevithick wrote, “but at the time of writing, we have not received any additional information about this new incident over Maine. We’re reaching out to additional commands regarding the plume in Florida, as well.”

Since that time, little else was reported about the incidents. That is, until today, when Jon Webb with the Evansville Courier & Press wrote about the peculiar December incidents. While they do appear to be related to military operations involving chaff, a few questions do remain.