'Slow-Moving Blob' Got White House Locked Down

Officials thought it was an airspace violation, but it might have just been birds
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2019 10:25 AM CST
Updated Nov 26, 2019 4:34 PM CST
Apparent Airspace Violation Gets White House Locked Down
A uniformed Secret Service officer patrols the White House grounds during a lockdown due to an apparent airspace violation on Tuesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

An apparent airspace violation in Washington, DC, got the White House and the US Capitol locked down for about 45 minutes Tuesday morning, NBC News reports; within hours came word that it was actually a "slow-moving blob" that was to blame. CNN reports the "mysterious" blob showed up on radar at the Capitol Police command center; initial assessments indicated, per a Secret Service statement, that there was a "potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region" and the lockdown ensued from shortly before 8:30am to shortly after 9:10am. FOX 5 DC notes roads were also closed in the area and the Capitol was briefly evacuated.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a tweet that the "plane is not considered hostile at this time. Our jet fighters are on site and responding." But military jets and helicopters scrambled in response found no threat in the air, and hours later, a defense official told CNN it still hadn't been determined what exactly the "blob" was. The official says the possibilities being considered are birds, an atmospheric anomaly, or a drone, and one of the responding aircraft did report encountering a flock of birds in the area. (More Washington, DC stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.