So, last night at a little past 0030 NORAD was doing a bit of night training which resulted in a couple of fighter jets in afterburner* flying very, very low over my residence in Northern Virginia.
I was sitting at my computer wasting time and trying to un-engage my brain and I heard *something* coming and I wasn’t even sure what it was other than the fact that I knew it would greatly upset the dog lounging out on the deck and I had to get him inside immediately. I dashed to the back door and said, “Moxley, get your ass in RIGHT NOW!!” (It had a sound of very severe thunder and I’d rather him inside than digging a 4 foot deep hole to take cover in outside.) He happily complied and I went dashing to the deck to see what was up.**
I viewed what for all intents and purposes appeared to be a fighter jet in afterburner leaving the neighborhood, but sounding much more like an airplane about to lose an engine. TO THE INTERNET! Facebook & Twitter yielded no immediate answers other than one person on my friend list who had heard/seen the same incident and had the same questions I had. (I am still quite surprised that there was only the two of us in the neighborhood that took to the internet to figure out what on earth was going on.)
OK, time to mine the Twitter contacts for who may be In The Know. Well, as it happened, Nathan Hager of WTOP News (@nhagerwtop) had made a post on his account a few minutes before this Very Loud Incident above my home, so I figured he might still be up and perhaps he’d seen/heard something – and shot him a tweet. Within minutes I had my answer of “Norad training” – and as soon as I saw Norad, I remembered seeing a blurb about a training exercise that had been postponed due to weather. (Sadly, it didn’t stick in my head until I was reminded of it.)
So, on the Twitter side of this posting – I can’t help but give some big props to Nathan (my personal local news guru) Hager for a) paying attention to his Twitter account, even on what had to be his verge of going to bed, and b) taking the time to post a response. It was just great to get an answer so soon. (Really, if you’re not following @nhagerwtop, you should be!
On the “weird after-effects” side – I went to bed and damned if I didn’t have weird airplane crashing and/or end of the world dreams for the rest of the night. I woke up at 0430 and after realizing I still had 2 hours of sleep available to me, yelled at my brain that it was just all a bunch of weird dreams and everything was OK, and that the dog, the cats, and my brother were all in and I didn’t need to worry about any of it. Didn’t help as the weird dreams continued, but seriously, BRAIN, LET ME SLEEP.
The last time I had a couple of fighter jets go over my house in afterburner was when I lived over in Burke. I wallked out to the porch, looked up and thought, “Cool.” It wasn’t for a few minutes before I thought, “Wait, what??” I can only attribute the difference in reaction to now having a dog & brother under the same roof. (Had cats both times and all were inside anyway.)
Really, I have enough on my mind without my brain deciding to create new and non-existent disasters for me to worry on. Really brain, chill out.
*I have forever referred to it as “on afterburner” but my Godfather (for lack of a better description) let me know it is “in” rather than “on” – WTF do I know, my Dad was on E-2’s – they don’t even have afterburners in the first place, and if you see one “on” or “in afterburner” it means an engine is on fire.
**Not sure how going outside to see WTF was happening bodes for me in the event that the Zombie Apocalypse occurs. I may be the first one off the map.