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News Opinion Readers Respond

Mystery of the Baltimore blimp

For more than a week I've watched the white U.S. Navy blimp circling over Baltimore ("Baltimore blimp not affected by federal government shutdown," Oct. 3).

But instead of hanging out on social media on the subject, I've contacted the mayor's office, the city council president and even the police. Apparently, no city officials were told about this beforehand. To me, that's a lapse in protocol.

This lighter-than-air vehicle has been funded by contract, and therefore it's immune from the government shutdown. However, much more needs to be investigated. Namely, why is the military endlessly circling Baltimore and allegedly mapping our topography? This is an exercise in redundancy considering the plethora of images already available, both classified and unclassified.

And what is the purpose of making ground to blimp measurement? Is this a precursor to unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — operating in our airspace? Also, I'm uneasy when any agency, especially one with "warfare" as its middle name, decides to survey our area.

"Moby Blimp" has flown over my home many times. Granted it is a pretty sight, but its purposes may not be so benign. Doug Abbotts of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division needs to tell us more, as does the Army.

Lately social media and comments threads have been a bonanza for conspiracy theorists. I believe the mayor of Baltimore and the City Council should investigate this "mapping" project. The people of Baltimore need to know exactly what is being mapped, and why.

R. Nester Ellis

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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