Spy balloon or Dorothy and Toto passing through? April 1 offers lots of local ‘news’

·3 min read
Peter Haley/Staff file, 2013

As bizarre as real life can be on any day of the week, April Fools’ Day posts on social media still manage to take it to another level.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs couldn’t resist a new spin on an old classic, with a lengthy post detailing the tracking of a mysterious “balloon-like aircraft floating over south Pierce and north Thurston counties.”

in its “See Something Say Something” post, the public affairs team wrote, “The helicopter pilots located the aircraft over Lewis County, south of JBLM, heading due east. They discovered it was in-fact a manned ‘balloon-like’ aircraft — as reported— but it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen or encountered.”

The drama continued.

“The Army pilots reported to the JBLM watch office upon their return to Gray Army Airfield that the pilot of the balloon-like aircraft responded to their request to identify itself by repeating five words: ‘There’s no place like home.’”

“The pilots determined it was Dorothy and Toto on their way back home to Kansas from the Emerald City. They were allowed to continue on their journey with no further questions or concerns.”

The JBLM post came with a link to a video recounting the “Wizard of Oz” - like experience.

Graham Fire & Rescue showed how its “Peloton 95” bike/ladder combo could “respond to any emergency at the sound of the (bike) bell…. always with an axe and ladder in hand, of course.”

Puyallup Police also took to social media to proudly announce the addition of “Carl the Police Camel” to its crew, noting “Carl will be able to help us overcome humps & challenges when it comes to swiftly maneuvering along the River Walk Trail, the Puyallup Loop Trail, & other areas within the city.”

Not to be outdone, Sgt. Darren Moss of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department announced he was resigning to pursue his “lifelong dream” of being a YouTube star, under the name “MossAprilFool.”

Nationally, the folks behind Merriam-Webster dictionary introduced in a Twitter thread “our new totally real editions that have nothing to do with April Fools’ Day,” including titles such as “Words You Hate,” “ALL CAPS (For People Who are Mad)“ and “Just Curse Words.”

And speaking of Twitter, there was perhaps the most unexpected news of all.

“Legacy” blue checkmarks, obtained at no cost by those who’d received the verification mark pre-Elon Musk Twitter ownership, remained on accounts as of early April 1, the date previously announced as when they would be tied to subscriptions.

It remains unknown as to whether this is Musk’s way of marking the day his own special way.