The infamous sky penis of November 17, 2017, hovering over the clouds of Washington, was a total mystery.
On that fateful day, the puzzling dong appeared near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, around 30 miles north of Seattle. And although the base accepted full responsibility for the phallic drawing in the sky, the public had no understanding of what had actually happened. How'd that big ol' boner get up there anyway?
Now, two years later, a military report has shed light on the long-awaited details.
A copy of the military’s sky penis investigation was obtained by Navy Times. On that November day, local news station KREM began reporting on a clearly man-made shape in the sky that resembled a penis and testicles. The formation had upset a local parent and began making the rounds on Twitter. The Navy soon confirmed that one of its pilots had formed the phallus and issued an apology.
"The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable," the base said in a statement at the time.
According to the new report, it's clear that within hours, the Navy knew what was going on.
“Aircrew maneuvered an EA-18G aircraft in a pattern that resulted in contrails depicting an obscene symbol when viewed from the ground,” read a message from an “official information dispatch” that reached the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. “Media attention is expected.”
In the air that day were two lieutenants, a pilot and an electronics warfare officer, known as an EWO. They were soon edging each other on.
“Draw a giant penis,” the EWO said. “That would be awesome.”
“What did you do on your flight?” the pilot joked. “Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises.”
“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the EWO advised.
The lieutenants began breaking down the concept of drawing a penis in the sky.
“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot said. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other.”
They joked back and forth with each other, according to the report, imagining potential responses to the penis while updating on progress.
“Dude, that would be so funny,” the pilot said. “Airliner’s coming back on their way into Seattle, just this big (expletive)ing, giant penis. We could almost draw a vein in the middle of it too.”
“Balls are going to be a little lopsided,” the pilot advised. Soon after, he reported that despite their lopsided nature, “balls are complete. I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft.”
“Which way is the shaft going?” the EWO asked.
“The shaft will go to the left,” the pilot responded.
“It’s gonna be a wide shaft,” the EWO noted.
“I don’t wanna make it just like 3 balls,” the pilot said, paying attention to realism.
“Let’s do it,” the EWO said. “Oh, the head of that penis is going to be thick.”
“Some like Chinese weather satellite right now that’s like, ‘what the (expletive)?’” the pilot guessed.
The two felt a rush of success.
“Oh yes, that was (expletive)ing amazing,” the pilot said. “This is so obvious.”
“That’s a (expletive),” the EWO said. “Dude, I’m amazed that this stayed.”
“Mishap pilot alpha said, ‘Dude, I’m gonna draw a (expletive),’” the EWO said. “EWO alpha said, ‘Yup, that’s a great idea.’”
Their partner jet soon noticed with approval.
“Your artwork is amazing,” the lieutenant commander EWO in the other jet radioed.
“Glad you guys noticed,” the pilot replied.
But then, a problem. The sky penis was meant to be a cloudy version of Snapchat, quickly dissipating into the sky. But the pair soon realized it was more like they had posted a permanent picture on Instagram, readily available to the world.
“Soon after, I realized the extent of our actions,” the pilot wrote. “That the contrails were remaining longer than predicted. I remarked that we needed to take steps to try to obfuscate it,” the pilot wrote. “I flew one pass over it essentially trying to scribble it out with my contrails. That pass was ineffective.”
By that point, fuel was running low on their jet. The jet was forced to return to base. The lieutenants were quickly contacted by their executive officer, or XO, and fessed up to the drawing. “They both apologized and were at once remorseful,” the XO wrote in a summary.
Anger at the action rose up the ranks, and soon the pair appeared before a disciplinary board. There, the investigating officer recommended “non-punitive letters of instruction.”
“While the sky writing conducted by (the lieutenants) was crude, immature, and unprofessional, it was not premeditated or planned and not in keeping with their character demonstrated prior to the incident,” the investigator wrote.
“Even so, it has caused the United States Navy severe embarrassment in the public arena and jeopardizes the strategic narrative that underpins the justification of the flight hour program.”
Sexual harassment is a problem in the Navy, with a recent report from the Rand Corporation showing that it has yet to drive it out. But, according to the report, “the investigation revealed no indications of poor command climate and no evidence or allegations (of) overt sexism or misogyny.”
Rather, it determines, “this was a really bad decision by some really good guys in a really good squadron.”
And, it should be said, it was a really good dong.
Source: Navy Times
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