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Letter from the Editor – Fallout

Attribution: © Can Stock Photo / tfmills

Prince Frederick, MD - It was last Thursday evening, March 9 that TheBayNet.com’s staff person on night watch received several calls from individuals in the Lexington Park area who said they saw and, in some cases, heard an object fall from the sky. Some speculation that the object might have been a large aircraft was fueled when many of the same people who thought they saw something fall out of the sky definitely saw the unmanned craft being hauled away by a large truck.

So, was the reporting of this occurrence bad, over-sensationalized journalism? Let’s compare it to one of the great radio hoaxes of all time—the late 1930s “War of the Worlds.” In that case many people ran amok in panic, thinking that the Earth had been invaded and was under attack. Of course, it was supposed to be pure entertainment.

Our reporting was not done for entertainment purposes but it also was not intended to alarm anyone. The fact is, several people—unrelated—reported seeing what they believed was something falling from the sky. That is not an inconceivable occurrence.

There is a naval base in our community. There’s also an airport and our community is within driving distance of other larger airports. There are satellites in space. Objects have been known to fall out of aircraft. And now, drones have become every grownup child’s favorite toy. Things are going to fall out of the sky and people are going to be curious about them. As a local news service we are curious, too. We find average people are great news sources, too.

We have since been assured by authorities—who were contacted immediately and subsequently responded—that the unmanned aircraft did not fall out of the sky. In fact, its evening transport from Naval Air Station Patuxent River had been announced through Navy channels last month. The juxtaposition of the two occurrences was likely coincidental.

Looking back, there may be a few words in the original story and headline that perhaps should have been added or tweaked to make it clear that the occurrence was an unsolved mystery. For now the sky remains intact but the urge to look to the heavens and wonder what’s up and what might be coming down remains. And so the sky vigil continues.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the management of TheBayNet.com.

Contact Marty Madden at  marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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