tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 28, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
erbil, northern iraq. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." "cnn newsroom" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. all right, here we go. breaking news on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. i don't think i've ever seen these words before, but there's a first time for everything. a blimp is on the loose. we are told it's flying somewhere in the skies over pennsylvania. there are f-16 jets that have now been scrambled. boy, oh, boy, do i have some questions on this one. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr, also with me our cnn aviatin correspondent maria sbarbara, we're looking at pictures of what said blimp would look like. can you tell me what the heck happened? >> well, we know at in point norad the north american
aerospace command has confirmed that this blimp called jlens came loose from its tether rope at aberdeen proving grounds a military facility just north of washington, d.c., this morning. it was on a tether. this is a system they're testing out there. it's full of radar equipment to test its ability to identify unidentified aircraft, cruise missiles, but it came loose. now this blimp filled with helium is flying north. it is now over pennsylvania, we are told. two f-16s in the air. they were scrambled out of their air station near atlanta ick city, new jersey. the military not saying yet whether those f-16s are armed because right now the u.s. government is trying to figure out what to do about this. i talked to an official tracking this whole situation just a few minutes ago, and he said we are trying to figure it out.
so the u.s. military now working with the faa. obviously a lot of concern to make sure air space safety is maintained. this is flying uncontrolled at about 16,000 feet right now over pennsylvania. they have to make sure there's no unexpected air traffic that would get in its way, would get in the way of the path of this blimp. so air safety a very serious concern at this hour. also tryinging to figure out the obvious question, what do they do to bring it down, to get it on the ground? >> yes. >> in a safe manner. no answer to that question at this moment. i'm told there is a fairly energetic effort between a number of federal agencies looking at all of the options. they don't think at this point it's about to lose helium anytime soon and drift to the ground. are they going to have to take military action and shoot it down? this is the same dilemma and i nomarry can talk about this in more detail you often have when
there have been small private planes that lose their oxygen system, the pilot is unconscious and these planes pose a potential threat on the ground. but this is a massive, much larger than a small airplane. so they have to figure out a way to get it down, get it on the ground safely, not injure anybody on the ground, and not cause any damage on the ground. so shooting it down could theoretically be an option, but you could have to have a pretty good engineering analysis to know where that wreckage might go, what the winds are, how it might drift, and where it would impact on the ground. they're going to want to make sure -- we know the military always wants to make sure when ub r unfied i things are out there that they stay away, keep them away from populated areas. how they do that right now, no answer. >> so f-16s scrambling. we don't know if they're armed or not. to your point, barbara, mary, run through possible options,
option a, shooting it down. to barbara's point, you have to be careful. this is a large blimp, where this thing would potentially land. what else? >> in shooting it down, things are very different from the days of behihindenburg because the a the helium inside the blimp is compartment compartmentalized and far less flammable and explosive than in the days of the hindenburg days. so if they had to shoot it down, one shot would not just cause it to basically pop like a balloon because it is compartmentalized. so they could bring it down gradually, not losing the pay december load on board and also not causing a catastrophic event where it would come down. the problem is it's not like an aircraft in that an aircraft if the pilot is incapacitated, the aircraft will maintain the heading and the attitude of the plane that was last input into the aircraft. in other words, it will glide and we know where it's going to glide. with a blimp, we don't have that because it's subject to air currents.
that's why a plane or a helicopter could not try to get one of the tether lines. remember, it does have lines from the front of the blimp and the back of the blimp and hanging from the blimp. but you can't get near it because it doesn't have a trajectory like an aircraft that's disabled. my guess is they'll try to take it down gradually with one shot into different compartments. and it will not end up like the hin hi hindenburg. >> ladies, don't go too far. we'll keep a close eye on this blimp on the loose. mary schiavo, thanks so much. got to get to south carolina. rich land county sheriff has announced he has officially fired this school resource officer and the sheriff's deputy ben fields. fields lost his job now just two days after this video surfaced online showing him taking down this 16-year-old girl at spring valley high school. officials say fields was called in after the girl refused orders to leave her math class.
while the sheriff criticized the student for not following orders he explained how fields totally break policy in the sheriff's department. >> what he should not have done is thrown the student. that's what he should not have done. he could have maybe done a lot of things that he is trained to do, but he is not trained to throat student. when you make an arrest of someone who does not have a weapon that you need to escape from, you never let go of that subject. you remain control of him. >> the sheriff also added that many at the school supported this school resource officer, including the teacher and the school administrator who initially ordered her to leave the class unsuccessfully. but a second student arrested, for she says protesting her classmate's physical takedown says fields has a reputation for being rough and that is why cell phones were pulled out. >> i mean, just seeing her being thrown across the classroom like
that was really traumatizing. i've never seen anything like that in my life. and it just really broke my heart to watch it. we've heard about his reputation, and we've heard that he's a really -- i don't want -- yeah, i guess i can say dangerous man to get involved with. on that level. so when he came in the classroom, i immediately told my classmates, get your phones out, get your phones out. i think this is going to go downhill. and it did. >> let's discuss. with me now former prosecutor and civil rights attorney charles coleman and also with us marvin thompson, a ceo and president of lighthouse education and foundation and former principal of the now closed charter school featured on blackboard wars on oprah winfrey's network in new orleans. gentlemen, thank you for joining me. charles, let me just turn to you. i read your piece in the root. wufrn of the questions you ask is similar to what we heard from the sheriff, that being, you know, he's really going to look into wlornlt the school resource
officer should have been called in for this disciplinary action in the first place. what dow think? >> sure, brooke. i think that this issue raises a lot of questions about how school resource officers are being engaged in our classrooms with respect to student populations. the purpose of the school resource officer in schools in general is to ensure the safety and protection not only of students but also of faculty. that's typically going to be engaged when you're talking about something insane like a school shooting. something of that nature. school resources offices are not supposed to be used as backups to teachers who can't control their classrooms. the teachers, koumsors, those are the people who are adequately trained to be able to deal with disruptions in classrooms and things of that nature. but when you're talking about school safety and viable threats to the actual physical safety of studentsor or of teachers, those are the instances that school resource officers should be be reserved for. >> marvin, i want to ask you specifically about your school
in new orleans. i know you had at least one sro that teachers and administrators could call in. do you think this was an appropriate time for a school resource officer to be called in over a disciplinary issue apparently involving this young woman not putting her phone away, asked to leave the classroom, she wasn't compliant. what would you say to that? >> well, i think this issue really is about classroom management. teachers are trained with a variety of strategies to address that type of issue that we saw. so i think the sro's presence only escalated a power struggle between a teacher and a student. and steven teachers are well versed in how to deal with the power struggles. one of the primary strategies and things they're aware of is never engage in a power struggle with a student in front of their peers. the student will try to maintain face and that means not giving in. whether it's passively or aggressively. there are a host of strategies this teacher could have used but the ultimate goal, whatever the
strategy, the outcome is to establish a relationship with that student so that the issue at hand doesn't recur. >> so are you saying the teacher in this case failed doing her or his job? >> well, when you start using police officers to manage classroom behavior, you create a police state mentality. and when you do that, for every little offense, particularly those of such a minor offense like not putting away a cell phone, you create a mentality amongst the student population that it's us against them. that becomes a pervasive response to any type of disciplinary action in a classroom. no sro can maintain that kind of work effort. teachers once that culture begins to establish itself, it is a hard way to get back to establishing positive relationships with young people. so my answer is, no, the sro should not have been called. i understand an administrator was also present at some point. >> that's right. >> that's a teaching opportunity
from the administrator to the teacher. that's the moment of engagement in realtime to reinforce the strategies that all good teachers know. >> charles, i'm going to turn to you. i can only hear, i'm channeling my teacher friends who say, i love my students, i love education, i came into these classrooms to teach. yes, i will be the disciplinarian up to a point. but when a student is mouthy and is disrupt pg the rest of the class and stoxing me from doing what i came here to do, to educate, i'm going to call in reinforcements. that's not my job. >> i think part of the thing that people need to understand, even teachers who have that sort of remark or response to this, is that when you get law enforcement involved it becomes a criminal situation. that is, if there's anything that i could take away positively from the sheriff's e remarks today in his press conference is that they were called in and at the point the school resource officer gets involved, he's treating it as a criminal situation. he's not worried about classroom discipline. he's not looking at it as a school situation. his mind-set is taking down a criminal.
now, i completely disagree with that mind-set in terms of it accepted sends a horrible message to the classroom. the officer is to protect the safety of students. what you see on the faces of those children in the video is terror, fear. that's woefully ironic that the person who is charged with protecting them is the person they fear the most. which is a real problem. àyou're right, it's a horrible message. but to those teachers who say, i'm having a problem controlling my classroom. that's not why you bring school resource officers in the picture. that's not their purpose or why they're there. >> such an important conversation. charles coleman, thank you very much. marvin thompson, i appreciate you there in new orleans of new orleans. coming up, another violent incident caught on tape. a high school student body-slamming his principal. that's what happened in south carolina here. we're talking about something
totally separate. that's ahead. also, he loses the top spot and, as he does so, donald trump asks voters in iowa what the hell are you thinking? how far is he willing to go in tonight's republican debate? we'll tel take you there live. and much more on our breaking news. a u.s. military blimp is on the loosz somewhere over pennsylvania. f-16 jets have been scrambled. stand by for that. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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if you're just now join\ing us here, these are pictures of the blimp that is currently on the loose, what it looks like. this is what we're hearing from norad. this is a blimp used with radar equipment, got loose from its moorings earlier this morning from maryland. it is somewhere over the skies of pennsylvania. barbara starr from the pentagon
was just reporting on how the f-16s have now been scrambled. no word on whether they're armed to potentially have to shoot this blimp down. we're watching this closely, hopefully can get eyes on it and figure out how to bring it down to safety and hopefully also in a very rural area. stay tuned for that. meantime, second place. not a place donald trump likes to be, especially not heading into a crucial debate. here we go, round three tonight. and trump is not happy. in the last couple of days, trump nby trumped by carson, boh in a new national poll as well as more than one poll in iowa. let's just say he's not taking it so well. >> iowa, what the hell are you people doing to me? i don't like being second. second is terrible. iowa, will you get your numbers up, please? will you get these numbers up? i promise you i will do such a good job. by wait, before i forget, will you get the numbers up, iowa?
this is ridiculous. please do me a favor. let me win iowa. i refuse to say get your asses in gear. i will not say that. now, if i lose iowa, i will lever speak to you people again. >> oh, let's go to boulder, colorado, where debate preps are under way. with me is cnn political director and m.j. lee cc politics reporter. david, you're wondering what a second place trump would look like. now we know. my question to you is, how far is he going to go tonight on that stage? >> reporter: well, listen, obviously being on stage with the other candidates is different than being in front of all your supporters. i mean, that was an unbelievable approach last night that he gave, sort of begging people to get with the program and get his poll numbers up. but he clearly is coming into this debate very differently than he went into the last two, brook. so i do think we're going to see a different calculus on his part. he also thinks the economy, that being the central issue of this deba debate, is his wheelhouse.
i'm sure he wants to draw sharp contrast with his closest competitor, the guy now in number one, ben carson. >> how, m.j., i know you just published an article on cnn talking about how he will be forced to change his tactics in the debate, trump. how do you think he'll do it? >> reporter: well, i mean, the question is, can donald trump handle being not in first place anymore, as david just said? i think the question also is, is he going to take on ben carson in a way that he hasn't in the past debates? trump has really enjoyed going after some of the other candida4)'éju+$u)s& be on stage tonight, jeb bush, marco rube crow. but has really steered clear of ben carson whose personality is ûvex yo get from donald trump. trump has gone there. he has raised questions about ben carson's religion. he has said that ben carson is too low energy to be commander in chief. this is something that i think we might start to see tonight. although i would point out, brooke, this isn't a no-risk
strategy. you never want to be sort of the zully in the school playground going after the nicest kid in the class. ben carson is sort of the nicest kid in the class. he doesn't want to be the attack dog. he doesn't like to go after rivals. i don't know if the audience and voters will take to that kindly. and i think trump is going to find out the more he goes after carson. >> so that's trump/carson. what about, david, john kasich, ohio governor? we know for so long he vowed the one thing he wouldn't do is go negative. and he did it. take a look do you know how crazy this election is? let me tell you something. i've about had it with these people. i want you to know i'm fed up. i am sick and tired of listening to this nonsense, and i'm going to have to call it like it is as long as i'm in this race. >> that was yesterday. i bet that's a preview of what we'll see from john kasich tonight. i want to ask you about another
establishment guy, jeb bush. talk about make or break. if he has a bad performance, this could be bad for him in terms of dollars and sefrnts. he could lose donors. how high rt stakes for jeb bush? >> they're pretty high, brooke. but let's connect the two. let's connect kasich, what you just heard there, and remember jeb bush over the weekend had similar sound of frustration with the state of the race. these two establishment guys are letting their frustration out, airing it out, in public ahead of this debate with the insurgent wing. party in the trump and carson crowd sort of taking over. they are clearly frustrated by that. jeb bush has a lot on the line tonight. you're absolutely right. he had this confab in houston5÷ with his donors and family. they're still wring their hands a little bit. he needs to walk out of the debate tonight having convinced his supporters and big donors that he's turned things around,'s got this for the long haul and he is the horse they want to ride. if they start getting shaky on that fact after tonight's debate, jeb bush could be in a world of hurt.
>> wow. david chalian, m.j. lee, thank you in boulder. quick reminder don't miss our two-hour edition of "ac 360," 10:00 p.m. next, their graves were already dug. hostages rescued during a u.s. raid from isis terrorists are now speaking out for the first time andyñ revealing just the horrors they endured there. we are also watching breaking news. this military blimp on the loose somewhere above the northeastern united states, two f-16 fighter jets currently tracking this thing. we'll have the very latest for you when we come back. get the new iphone 6s at t-mobile. the network that's doubled its lte coverage in the past year. our new extended range lte signal now reaches twice as far as before. and is four times better in buildings.
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we are told it broke loose from its moorings sometime and somewhere over maryland, flying now somewhere over pennsylvania. f-16 jets have been scrambled so i have with me major general spyder marks. let me just begin with general, how the heck do they bring this thing down? >> but we first have tom seder who is standing by in the cnn weather center. tom, let me go to you. how big is this blimp? >> i believe it's 230 feet. this is big. >> whoa! >> and it's large and white and only half the distance of where flight level is for planes. so if you see a plane obviously 30,000, 35,000 feet, this is only 16,000. there are going to be some areas where we'll get all kinds of video because even though there is rain and i think that rain is going to keep it at 16,000, maybe 18,000 feet from rising too high, but we're probably going to get video. let's talk about what we know and what we don't know, brooke.
this is important. when you talk about the national weather service several time a's day several offices release weather balloons. it's made of latex. and they fill it with hydrogen. they can fill it with helium, but that's more expensive. with helium. we do not know if it's a heavy-duty late ex-. that's important because when weather balloons rise from the national weather service they can reach heights up to 60,000 feet. the pressure drops so the balloon expands until it pops. that's why the material is important. if they let this thing rise, how much pressure can it stand at what height and elevation would it pop and they'd let it fall? here's the other thing. we don't dmoe how heavy the equipment is on the blim. obviously it's experimental and military. they know, and they're tracking it. right now aberdeen, northeast areas of maryland, you can see the rain in the region. what's more important are the winds. so let's look at the winds at the height level of this blimp, meaning 16,000 to 18,000 feet
here. this is not 60,000 where those weather balloons go. across northeast maryland into pennsylvania, where in pennsylvania we're not sure. extreme northern new jersey and then possibly extreme southeastern new york state. maybe make its way into parts of new england and connecticut, massachusetts. but if you follow the wind, they go across the northeast and then get into canada maritime. this is where they may decide if they want to shoot the system down and let it fall to get into a safe zone. but think about this. 16,000 feet, all the airports across this region are going to be high alert. it will give fits to air traffic controllers at 16,000 feet across teterboro, laguardia, jfk, up toward logan. so it will be interesting to find out exactly where this is. but again, we're not sure what the material is, that mean as lot if they decide to let it go to several thousand feet up in the air. >> my goodness, i hope this doesn't affect people flying anywhere in the northeast area.
what a mess! spider marks, major general spider marks, i've got you now. let me try it again. we're talking about potentially shooting this thing down. how? from the f-16s? >> well, frankly, the short answer is sure, you could. but the issue is these jlens have kind of a self-correcting and self-feeling system. they were designed -- we first put these things in place when we were in baghdad so we could tether them to the ground and have a 24/7 persistent hang from the bottom of these things various censors that would give us a good sense of the signals profile on the ground or we could take some great imagery, some good pictures, et cetera. so they're a rñally great intelligence collector. that's what they'reot used for so the key thing is, if you want to shoot this thing down,kohlço wantv.# to try to also primari recover the intelligence
collection on the bottom which has a lot of in this case since it was used here in the united states traffic data, radar data, and it's important that we capture that data. so it's got a pod and you're going to try to secure that thing. now, bear in mind also that the intelligence a'd everything that was processed through that has now been downloaded into the °#á$áz it's recoverable. so the point is, you might be able to write this thing off, but you'veu! a pretty powerful sensor capability that you might want to try to preserve. so realdow want to shoot it dow recover it and tether it again? >> i'm listening to all these possibilities. general spider marks, don't go too far. i have so many more questions for you as i know we're tracking this military blimp 243 feet in length, huge, somewhere over pennsylvania. meantime, i've got to switch gears and go to more breaking news from capitol hill. i have jeff zeleny standing by. what's going on, jeff?
>> reporter: brooke, ki tell you just a few moments ago representative paul ryan republican of wisconsin has been elected to be the next republican speaker of the house. he still faces a full vote tomorrow by the entire house of representatives because this is a constitutional office. they are tallying the votes as we speak, but he's krotsedded thra threshold of the amount needed to become the next house speaker. this caps a month-long frenetic activity. just a month ago speaker john boehner decided to step down. kevin mccarthy we thought would be the speaker of the house. he stepped aside. so paul ryan, the reluctant speaker in many respects, did nost want the job, he is now on the verge of being elected by the entire house. he just won the vote from republicans today. brooke, he would be the youngest -- the second youngest republican house speaker ever. but the youngest republican house speaker in 170 years. he's 45 years old. his family played a big role in this consideration here.
we're expecting to hear from him shortly, brooke. >> i am sure there is a position ready to role. we'll take it. obviously we'll hear from the now speaker of the house. lit me just ask you this. do you have any color from behind the scenes or what's been happening there today? >> reporter: sure. a lot of members i was struck by, brooke, bringing their families in. young children were in the room when the voting was going on. paul ryan is a very popular member of the house of representatives, really on both sides of the aisle. republican and democrat. of course he came into the national spotlight when he was mitt romney's running mate in 2012. he was the vice presidential candidate. consequent consequently, the only person who's been 0 on a presidential ticket to serve as speaker of the house. the color of the room as we talk to people going into the room, they say they are ready to try to show they can govern. they say they want to show that they can be functional. the first test really is coming up later today with this budget
vote. the agreement that's been reached sort of by all sides. conservatives don't like it still. we expect paul ryan when he assumes this position to have a clean deck to get started. john boehner leaves him that. he's clooor cleared the lane of all of these partisanship. jeff, stay with me. matt lewis with the daily caller, let me bring you in. no huge surprise after all of this wrangling behind the scenes, would he, could he, what about the fback-and-forth, his demands, et cetera. first, just your response to this nudz. >> i think this is a huge opportunity. it's been since newt gingrich that republicans had a speaker who was a policy wonk, a solutions oriented charismatic lead leader. not just a vote wrangler but somebody who can sell conservatism to the nation. i think paul ryan could be a historic figure going forward. >> house freedom caucus for one as a challenge. i know they had met before and
he had issued those demands. how do you think he will be able to unify the party moving forward? >> well, it's going to be a challenge. there's no doubt about that. i think pat of the key will be returning to remember order, passing things not rushing things. not making these conservatives feel like all of a sudden there's a vote tomorrow and they're under the gun to read the bill. i think that he can go a long way by just restoring that regular order. but there's no doubt there's going to be problems. there's going to be clashes along the way. but at the end of the day, i do think that ryan is poised to be a very, very important figure. and this is just astonishing. if you had told me two months ago -- remember, ryan wasn't even thought to be in the running. >> not at all. >> it was boehner and then it was going to be mccarthy. a year ago you thought it might be eric cantor. >> right. >> yeah. >> my goodness, what a month. what a difference a month can make. matt, stay with me. i have monte ra ju standing by as well. he's been chasing all of this
for us for cnn. manu, what kind of color do you have behinded scenes? >> paul ryan actually got 200 votes we're told, his next competitor got 43, that's daniel webster of florida. 43 republicans voted for him. 1 voted for marsha blackburn from tennessee and 1 voted for kevin mccar think. now, mr. ryan was nominated speaker because he only needed 125 in order to win the nomination. well more than enough but not enough to get that 218 votes that he would need on the house floor as of thursday. now, we expect a lot of those people who voted for daniel webster to vote for paul ryan tomorrow so he should be no problem for ryan to get elected. bu but it still shows there's a sizeable bloc of conservatives that mr. ryan will have to deal with when it comes time to legislate, folks in that house freedom caucus who said they would support daniel webster who wanted something different in the house republican leadership. so clearly there is still some
consternation on the right. mr. ryan was not able to convince some of those guys to come over and back him. still, i should caution, we do anticipate mr. ryan to be elected speaker tomorrow. but he'll have to worry about the various factions of this party going forward. legislating is not going to be easy as we've seen for so many years here, brooke. >> we were just talking about that. manu, thank you. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, much more news on the soon to be house speaker paul ryan and also the blimp on the loose. breaking news. we'll be right back.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we'll get you back to the u.s. military blimp somewhere flying over the skys of pennsylvania after being untethered presumably accidentally from its moorings this morning in maryland. we'll get you an update on that in just a second. i want to take you back to capitol hill as the house has officially nominated congressman paul ryan to be the house speaker. my colleague jeff zeleny is standing next to someone who didn't vote in favor of paul ryan. jeff, the floor is yours. >> reporter: hey, brooke. i am standing here in congressman trent franks. he did support paul ryan today, but i'll ask you, congressman, take us inside the room. he got about 200 votes we believe. he needs 230 votes tomorrow on the floor. why is today different than tomorrow and how will he get the votes? >> today was the republican primary. tomorrow is the general election. so i think that most of those who voted a different way today will come together and vote for mr. ryan tomorrow because they
understand that the alternative, of course, is to see an opportunity for democrats to try to demagogue or divide the process. so i think that you'll see republicans come together. it won't certainly be a unanimous vote, but i think he will prevail handily tomorrow. >> reporter: but paul ryan said he would only do this job if he had the support of the full republican conference. do you think he actually has that? >> i do. i think that we all understand the moment in this country. we understand that we have a president that holds himself unconstrained to the strugs to the truth of his own words and we have been stalemated here primarily by democrats in the senate that won't allow bills to come to the floor in the senate. the house has passed almost every bill that the republican base wanted us to pass only to see it not even debated in the senate. that's the reason for the dissention in this house and consequently we need a communicator like paul ryan that can properly delineate that to the american people. >> reporter: he will be the youngest house speaker in more than 170 years. take me inside the room when
people were voting for him. what is the sense of the moment in there? and how much do people respect and like paul ryan? >> paul ryan, along with dan webst webster, is a totally, deeply revered and respected individual in this congress. and i love both of them. both of them would have made good speakers. both of them would make a good pallbearer for a man like me. they're that dear to me. >> reporter: congressman, thank you very much. that's the words from one congressman who was in the room. again, he only got 200 votes so several dozen people did not vote for paul ryan. but by all accounts he will be elected tomorrow by this full house as the next speaker of the house, the 54th speaker of the house. brooke? >> 200 votes, webster with 43 and blackburn and mccarthy with 1. jeff, thanks. back to the blimp. i have someone with me on the phone, barry glassman. he is harford county executive in maryland. barry, i understand you were the first one -- this is where the blimp is moored, there in your count gli maryland.
you were the first to realize, uh-oh, the blimp is missing and you need to call the first responders. how long ago was this this morning? >> well, we got a call from the aberdeen proving ground military noon with some general information that one of the blimps had become untethered and was loose. so at that point we do have civilian areas around the military base, and this is a military operation but we had to activate our emergency operations center to begin notifying our emergency operations volunteers and our ems folks out in the field. >> what does the blimp look like? >> it looks like a -- pretty much looks like just a large balloon, sort of like a blimp that you always see, goodyear blimp or blimp you've seen
growing up. >> pretty big, 240-ish feet long. >> it is. >> how was it tenlerred? multiple tethers? how difficult would it be to become unconvict? >> that i can't really speak to. you know, our main concern was looking out for our citizens because initially we had gotten some indication that the tether was dragging. so, you know, as a public official, we didn't know where it was heading and, in fact, if it was going to land in one of our civilian areas and create a hazard to local residents. so we wanted to begin to activate in case in fact it had come down somewhere in my county. later on, we were notified that, in fact, it had left our air space and was traveling towards pennsylvania. so we were able to step down our activation. >> that's right. it sounds like it has long left
where you are in harford county in player mare and is now somewhere in the skies over pennsylvania and would likely continue northward toward new york and potentially canada. barry, thank you so much for calling. we may actually be talking to someone in just a moment who actually has just spotted the blimp in the skies. quick break. back after this. su, you're a mouthbreather. well, just put on a breathe right strip which instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. shut your mouth and say goodnight mouthbreathers. breathe right
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so back on the blimp here, before we hear from the likely house speaker paul ryan, i have mary schiavo back with me on the phone. mary, we've just gotten a picture -- not on the phone. with me on skype. we've gotten a picture of the blimp apparently in bloomsburg, pennsylvania. here's the photo from high above the skies, someone's home there. you know, as we've been discussing this, what is the likelihood it would be potentially shot down versus intentionally deflated versus
what other options there are? >> well, it's probably not too likely it will deflate on its own at this point, and the government has already said the trailing cable is about 6,700 feet long but had been deployed as high as 10,000 feet. so my guess is the cable has somehow either come detached midway or broken because the 6,700 feet of cable is not the full extension of that cable. so my guess is because it contained equipment that tracks incoming missiles, aircraft, et cetera, it's very sensitive equipment, equipment that has not worked well, i might add, but because it has sensitive equipment, i can't imagine defense would allow the blimp to escape the united states air space. and it is compartmentalized. it's not just one big balloon. is it has compartments of air so they could take out a compartment at a time if they can get a good shot. but you can't grab the cable because it's very strong and whoever tries to do that, it's aerodynamically not stable like an aircraft.
it can bob and go from place to place. so it would be very tough to try to snag a cable, if you will. i don't think that will work. >> let me interrupt you, go back to capitol hill to congressman paul ryan who has just been elected as the next speaker of the house. let's watch. >> thank you, everybody. this begins a new day in the house of representatives. john boehner served with humility and distinction, and we owe him a debt of gratitude. but tomorrow we are turning the page. we are not going to have a house that looks like it's looked the last two years. we are going to move forward. we are going to unify. our party has lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision. we believe that the country is on the wrong track.
we think the country is headed in the wrong direction. and we have an obligation here in the people's house to do the people's business to give this country a better way forward, to give this country an alternative. we are going to respect the people by representing the people, and i want to thank my colleagues for bestowing onto me this great honor. thank you. >> all right. i think that lasted less than 60 seconds there, but there you have your likely next u.s. speaker of the house, paul ryan, talking about -- jeff zeleny, let me bring in as i sum it up -- unity in the party, his republican party has lost vision, help define a new vision. your response to his pretty snappy statement. >> reporter: well, brooke, that was short and sweet to say the least. it's clear he paid homage and
respect to speaker boehner. but then he said very bluntly, it's time to turn the page t. is time for a new moment, a new way of how things work here in washington. and he said that republicans will be uniunified. no matter how good of a legislator paul ryan has been, no matter how strong his relationships are with a lot of members up here on capitol hill, he still faces a daunting, daunting challenge of corralling the various strains of conservatism in his republican house conference. you can tell by his own election tally, he only won 200 votes. there are 247 house republicans. he initially said he would only do this if the entire majority of people was behind him so there's no question that it is a different moment. but the question, brooke, is anything going to change in washington? is there really going to be a new time? or is he going to sort of be able to corral this herd of republicans who span the gap from the tea party conservatives to more moderate, more business-minded conservatives.
brooke, also this is coming right in the middle of a very heated republican presidential campaign. swre a debate tonight. these things are linked, tied together. so the fortunes of the republicans winning the white house are connected to this vote. so a new moment. we'll see if it's the same old day for republicans here in washington. >> matt lewis of the "daily caller" is still with me. how do we know it's not the same old day to jeff zeleny's point. when will we know? what will be the litmus test, i suppose, whether or not congressman soon to be speaker ryan will be able to corral that massive spectrum that make up the republicans there in the u.s. house of representatives? >> reporter: well, i think we'll know in short order. look, something paul ryan said in that very brief statement that i think is important, he talked about being an alternati alternative. that's different than being an opposition party. he wants to be an alternative. that means paul ryan wants to put forward a conservative vision, a conservative policy. we're going to talk about things like tax reform. we're going to talk about things
like entitlement reform. it's important to note something else. john boehner on his way out the door cleaned the barn for paul ryan. what that means is, he's not going to have to worry about things like continuing resolutions and debt ceilings. i think he's going to have time to possibly, possibly turn this around. if anybody can do it, paul ryan can. >> matt lewis, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. back with our breaking news, we are tracking this u.s. military blimp that is still on the loose. we're told it broke loose from its moorings somewhere over maryland earlier right around lunchtime. now it's flying somewhere over pennsylvania. that's at least the latest we have. f-16 jet s we know have been scram bld. barbara starr is working this. first mary schiavo, let's go to you, aviation analyst.
i don't know how much of an expert in blimps you r. but you tell me how they could bring this thing down. barbara starr, to you first. you have some reporting on the blimp. >> let me break in for a minute. local officials are now reporting that there have been potentially some power outages in this area. columbia county, pennsylvania, northeastern pennsylvania, because of dragging mooring lines from the blimp. now, i just got off the phone with a military official who is tracking this moment by moment. and in fact, they haven't gotten word of those power outages yet, but they are very concerned about the cables. first up and most important, he says, is the u.s. military wants to warn the public in that area to stay away from the blimp and any of these dragging cables
that they see, that this could pose a hazard to public safety. they believe at the moment -- this sh tis the u.s. military talking -- that the blimp is low to the ground, it has lost altitude. they don't know that it's landed, don't know how low to the ground. they're trying to get as much information as possible as we speak. but these dragging cables, the tethering cables that came loose, are causing a problem apparently in the area. they are really asking the public to stay away from anything that they see that is related to this. at this hour, the u.s. military is talking to the pennsylvania national guard, to the state police, to local law enforcement in columbia county, pennsylvania, again,x northeastern pennsylvania, so try and get as much manpower on this situation as they can. one, to ensure public safety first and foremost, but also to secure the site.
this is military equipment, classified technology. they want to keep it under u.s. military control. so, again, what we're looking at is an evolving situation. it's now desaended. it was at 16,000 feet. it is getting low to the ground. we're told the u.s. military did not take any action to bring it down. there's been no shoot-down. but it has lost apparently a good deal of altitude and it is causing these problems in northeastern pennsylvania. again, i can tell you that norad very adamantly asking the public in that area, stay away from the site if they see any of this. brooke? >> quickly, barbara, when you're reporting the power outages in northeastern pennsylvania, how widespread? do we know? >> well, we're just getting some word of that here at cnn from local power officials. i think they're now trying to assess it. i'm going to be very clear. these are very first reports. but if this thing is dragging
thies cables behind it, you could surmise that perhaps these cables are going to go through perhaps -- again, we don't know -- more than one set of power lines. so this is going to be a concern. but we're endeavoring to get the latest information from those local officials in this area of columbia county in northeastern pennsylvania, get the latest assessment directly from them on exactly what is happening on the ground. brooke? >> barbara starr, thank you so much for the latest there. speaking of columbia county, i actually have dwayne pasino columbia school district officer, individual, who's on the phone with me now. dwayne, can you hear me? >> yes. >> dwayne, i understand you yourself have seen the blimp? >> yes. >> can you tell me how high it appeared to be be flying? low to the ground, pretty high
up there? >> it actually seemed like it was coming down. it was coming right down the highway with the ropes dragging, hitting the power lines. >> you actually saw the ropes hitting the power lines yourself? >> i didn't actually see the power lines but i saw the ropes down. it was barely above the tree, i would say 100 feet or so. >> did it appear to be -- please continue on. >> i saw what looked like it was partially deflated. it was a pure white blimp with the ropes hanging down. and at first i thought it was going to come down on our school grounds but the wind took it a little bit northwest. and it started to head away. >> cruising along pretty slowly? >> yes. >> dwayne, thank you. mary schiavo, let me bring you back in, our aviation analyst. if you're hearing dwayne and barbara reporting that the tethers or cables or whatever you want to call it -- this is
why i was asking what the blimp looked like. i wondered about the tethers. he said right around the tree line and that if there are outages being reported by barbara in terms of electricity, and the fact that it's decreasing in altitude, this thing eventually has to hit the ground. >> it does. and actually it's probably fortunate that it is down and going to hit the ground because those tethers aren't like ropes. they're heavy cables, designed to keep this aloft because this is part of the system that was designed to give the united states information about incoming air traffic, incoming missiles, et cetera. and it was down, remember the guy who tried to land on the capitol grounds last spring. >> sure do. >> it was down that day, a highly controversial program. hasn't worked well. but it's very sensitive and they've got to recover the equipment. so if it did can get on the ground without harming anyone, it's very heavy because it's radar equipment. it's not like a balloon. it's got a lot of stuff in it. if it comes down without harming anyone, it's the best of all
possible scenarios for the defense contractors who are responsible for this. it can still be very dangerous because you can't predict where it's going to go. it's going to go with the wind. >> susan, if we're talking about sensitive material within this blimp, are we to presume the dod will likely have somebody on the ground tracking where the blimp is going and the second it hits the ground they're in there to grab whatever it is they need? >> it is, but i think the local police, local officials will get it first and safe guard it. it is a matter of defense security, the fact it hasn't worked well is a separate issue. it is a national defense issue and the defense department basically is reduced to being a balloon chase team at this point. but they do have to get it and get it back because this was something like a $2.3 billion program that has never worked well. but you don't want this stuff exposed to anyone who could give up any of our defense secrets. yes, they're going to try to go get this and i'm sure the local police will take care of securing it. >> mary schiavo, thank you.
stand by. tom sater, let me bring you back in because in terms of weather in this part of the country, it's nasty, isn't it? >> it sure is. big changes, though, brooke. originally reported at 16,000 feet, half the height at which planes fly at 30,000, 35,000, but now images coming in showing it below the cloud deck. maybe that is helpful to get this system down to the ground. the rain for the most part is light to moderate, but leaving aberdeen and through pennsylvania it has been steady. now, originally when it was reported at 16,000 feet, we looked at those winds at that level, and that would carry it to the northeast. maybe across areas of northern new jersey and onward. it's only moving, we believe, less than 30 miles per hour. however, we've got something else to show you, brooke. we're getting reports -- and this is not yet confirmed -- that possibly southwest of scranton there was maybe a landfall in the town of
bloomsburg. now, when you look where aberdeen is, bloomsburg is almost due north, possibly a li little westward. that makes sense if it was to follow the rain shield northward instead of the winds at 16,000 feet to the northeast. it's unconfirmed but we've had pictures from the bloomsburg area where obviously it's not that high at all. so this is a massive, of course, blimp that is drifting slower than 30 miles per hour, and if it's below that cloud deck it's going to be even slower with the rain hampering its movement. but again, it's interesting, not following winds to the northeast but if it's well lower, of course, below the cloud deck, north to northwest. again, that is some distance from the scranton area to the southwest. so very interesting. we're working to confirm that if it is on the ground, which would be very good news if it landed in a safe area. >> right. not confirmed yet. we're on it, trust me. tom sater, thank you. mary schiavo, thank you as well. we've now getten our first bit
of video of the blimp. we'll share that with you coming up. also more breaking news from the capitol hill. the assumed to be soon to be speaker of the house paul ryan. big day for him and the republicans. we'll be right back. (patrick 1) what's it like to be the boss of you? (patrick 2) pretty great.
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all right, back to our breaking news, back to the blimp. i have mark charik on the phone with me, spokesperson for norad. this is a u.s. military balloon, came loose as we've been reporting from its moorings around lunchtime in maryland, somewhere over pennsylvania. some reports of power outages, reports of tethers hitting some of the power lines in that neck of the woods. mike, tell me about this blimp. >> well, good afternoon, brook. what we can tell you now is that
at approximately 12:20 today the jlens surveillance system aerostat detached from its moorings. right now we're getting reports that as of 2:25 eastern the surveillance system aerostat was located in the vicinity of columbia county, pennsylvania. we are working very closely with local, state and federal officials to include the pennsylvania emergency operations center to ensure, number one, public safety and, number two, the safe recovery of that particular aerostat. >> how concerned are you? and by the way, we've been looking at the video, this is the first video we have all seen, somewhere over bloomsburg, pennsylvania, the blimp there in the sky. i know it's kind of -- video is sort of all over the place. you see what we're talking about. how concerned are you as far as these cables dragging? i was talking to someone who saw them saying they were dragging just above the tree line and
hitting power lines. >> so we are concerned, obviously. we are concerned both from an infrastructure and a public safety -- i think public safety is the number one concern for us. we are asking the public that if they are in the vicinity obviously the cable could be problematic, the blimp itself is about two football fields long. so we are asking the public to notify local law enforcement officials as this aerostat kind of descends and does what it's doing, based on what the weather conditions are there, to actually please stay away from this particular aeostat. >> mike, can you just help us understand, talking to different people, hearing about intelligence within this balloon, radar equipment, what does it do? >> so right now it is part of a norad exercise. it was designed to provide us an
enhanced surveillance capability within the national capital region. it was designed to provide us about a 340-mile over the horizon look at incoming air traffic, high speed and otherwise, and it also provided us a 360-degree view, which in the past we did not have. now, that said, the integrated air defense system within the national capital region is very robust, has been upgraded and continually tweaked since 9/11, and, brooke, i can assure you that the national capital region through the norad integrated air defense system is in place working and will continue to provide defense of united states and the national capital region. >> i am sure. i do not doubt that. mike, how often does the blimp get released to fly?
>> i can tell you, while it will be part of the investigation, this was not a planned release. it was never designed to be released. it is tethered by a 10,000-foot cable on most days. weather permitting and wind conditions obviously being a factor. so it can be up and down, but it was -- it's not intended ever to be released. and again, we don't know the particular cause at this time, but we're certainly waiting to see what the investigation would bring to light. >> will you be looking into whether or not it was intentionally untethered? >> well, obviously i'm not going to speculate, but i think we have to look at all potential -- i'm sure that the investigation would bear that out. >> if it's never meant to be flying, it's got this 10,000-foot cable, how often
would you untether it for it to be up? not flying but be up and be in use? all the time? >> well, again, conditions dependent, weather, wind. >> sure. >> and it's, again, a 10,000-foot-long cable so you're talking almost two miles. it is continually moored and attached to that cable so depending what the investigation shows this was never intended to be released from the tether. >> sure. understand that it is decreasing in altitude, perhaps will just land hopefully in a rural area and not bother anyone. but do you think it should be shot down? >> no, ma'am. i think we're in a monitor situation at this point. it is deflating as we speak. it is releasing some of its helium.
no, that's not an option at all. >> can you deflate it remotely? is that a possibility? >> that is a possibility. >> oh, okay. >> if it was attempted, at this point it's going to be part of the investigation. >> all right. mike, thank you so much. i had a lot of questions. i appreciate all your answers. best of luck to you there with norad. thank you. quick break. you're watching cnn. we'll be right back. if yand you're talking toevere rheumyour rheumatologiste me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain
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it's two football fields length. it is massive, somewhere over the skies in pennsylvania. it broke loose from its cables right around noon in maryland, and we just talked to someone from norad. sort of fascinating talking about what its use is, but it has this 10,000-foot cable it's not actually ever supposed to fly. the one possibility as far as bringing this thing down, as he said, they can deflate it rem e remote remotely. he would prefer not to have it shot down, as we've been talking to people who have spotted this blimp. this is the first bit of video we've gotten. it is losing altitude so they're hoping perhaps it can land somewhere rural and the local authorities can get whatever intelligence and sensitive material that lies within this blimp. that said, i have lieutenant general mark hurtling who is joining me now who can talk a little bit more about what this blimp is, its use is. general, this is an aerostat
blimp. you're familiar with these because of, what, using them overseas? >> yeah. we've used these in iraq and afghanistan, brooke, over the last couple of years. they are a great kit. it's called an aerostat jlens which you heard the individual say stands for joint land elevated network sensor. these things do a whole bunch of stuff. we used to have some of these over all of our bases in northern iraq as an example. they can see 360 degrees if you put a forward looking infrared radar on them. you can see in the dark. and it goes out quite a distance. i don't want to say how far a distance, but you can see people moving around on the ground miles away and track their location and what they're doing and all sorts of things. i'm embarrassed to say it, but we had about 17 of these in
northern iraq, and during my 15 months there in 2007 and '08, we lost three of them. >> no kidding. >> one of them floated into iran. so these tethers break often. they give you great capability when you use these things for intelligence collection, and it sounds like that's what they're doing as far as homeland security or the norad exercise over the nation's capital. but when you lose them, they float awe. over the desert, that's not too bad. but over the countryside of pennsylvania and maryland you have a lot of power lines it could get a little dicey. that sounds like that's what's happening today. >> this is a big deal because if we're talking about these cables, as you point out, three came untethered in your time in northern iraq, you know, and we're reporting some power outages in pennsylvania because these tethers or as it was explained to me it's almost a cable was dragging over some of these power lines and yanking people's electricity. >> right. well, it could certainly short out electrical cables.
what those cables do, they not only tether it to a mooring station, but they also provide data from the cameras on board or the other sensors on board down the cable to the ground station. and that's what gives you the intelligence. so, yeah, i'm a little bit confused because we're talking about this thing flying at 16,000 feet. those cables are not that long. >> 10,000 feet. >> as it breaks free of the mooring, that can be caused by winds or malfunctioning of the cable itself or even just a broken cable because it's being pushed around in the air, this kind of stuff happens. but the data you get from it is pretty good data and great intelligence. so it will cause problems. i heard the individual from norad say that you can remotely deflate them. i don't have that same experience. we could not remotely deflate. you could shoot them down certainly, but when you take a look at the balloon itself,
that's heavy mylar fabric that's around the balloon. that could cause damage wherever it lands. so the best way to deal with this is just to monitor it, watch it, and it will eventually lose the helium inside and land somewhere. that's what happened to our balloons in northern iraq. >> lieutenant general mark hertling. we talk wars. we talk conflicts. and today, my friend, we talk blimps on the loose. i really do appreciate your expertise. >> we talk balloons, brooke. every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast. >> there you go. appreciate it so much. this is serious, though, because what i just got handed a piece of paper apparently 20,000 people are officially without power in the bloomsburg, p.a., area, according to folks with the electric company. reports that the blimp hit power lines in this area and they're going to the scene to investigate that. blimp still on the loose. we're on it. we'll be back.
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and we're back. again, i cannot believe i'm saying this, but blimp still on the loose here. and we are tracking it. this blimp, the u.s. military blimen, has sensitive material, u.s. military sensitive radar equipment, et cetera. it's all in this blimp, about the size of two football fields in length. it flung up from its moorings right around lunchtime as i was told from a county official in maryland around noon. it has now been spotted, as you can see someone sent in their video here. it is somewhere above pennsylvania. but because this thing, as i was talking to someone from nor rad who knows all about it, says it has a 10,000-foot cable. it's never actually supposed to be untethered and flying as it
has been, but the cable has been dragging along as this thing has been coming down in altitude. and as a result of that, 20,000 people are without power in bloomsburg, pennsylvania. so that is an issue. another issue here as well is the faa and norad are working to keep planes out of the path of this runaway blimp. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr first, and then we'll talk to you, david, soocy, our aviation analyst. barbara, what's the latest you have on this thing? >> what we are told, brooke, is it is now very low to the groubd. the cables are dragging. it may be the people in this area, columbia county in northeast pennsylvania, that will, in fact, have the first word because it will be coming down in their area by all accounts. i think the thing that people are going to want to realize here, this is unpowered flight. this is basically drifting along with no control of the flight
path, no control of where it goes. it drifts essentially with the wind and weather patterns. since it broke loose shortly thereafter, it's been tracked by f-16s scrambled out of their air station near atlantic city. at this hour, what we know is the u.s. military now working, of course, very closely with pennsylvania national guard, local police, state police, the governor issuing a statement a short time ago saying everybody is working together to make sure when it comes down to the ground the damage that is caused possibly, the power lines, what the people on the ground may need that are affected by this, all of that now being coordinated between federal, state and local government officials. for norad, for the military, one of the big issues right now first and foremost public safety. they want people to stay away from wherever they see this thing. stay away from the cables. their sheer weight and the fact
that they are dragging and nobody can predict where this thing is going can be very dangerous to public safety along with the power outages. but also they're looking at trying to get some national guard, some police out there so when it finally does come down they can immediately secure the site. it is classified technology. they want to secure the site and scoop up all of whatever comes down. brooke? >> david soocy -- thank you, barbara -- cnn aviation analyst here. talking about the blimp, something interesting that i think is noteworthy that the spokesperson for norad told me a second ago, as we've all been saying f-16 fighter jets have been scrambled, is there a possibility of shooting this thing down? he said, hang on a second. we do have the technology, the capability to remotely deflate this. so do you think that would be their best bet? >> what they're doing right now i would imagine is tracking it to see which way the wind is blowing it. as barbara said, there's no way to control where this thing
goes, it's simply up to the wind and altitude it's flying to tell us where it's going to end up. this is not a small piece of equipment so to remotely deflate it, i'm not familiar with what he's talking about there because technically with this particular blimp it's controlled through a cable. so the actual control mechanisms go through that cable. i'm not aware of any wireless technology that would allow it to be remotely deflated unless they just simply pierce it with a missile or some kind of bullets from the f-16s. that's the only way i would know to deflate it. but there's danger in that, too, because this is not small. it's not like a small floating piece of balloon. this is a very, very heavy piece of equipment. and when it hits the ground -- and it will do so suddenly as soon as it doesn't have enough helium inside to maintain its altitude -- it will go suddenly down and when it does, we have to be very cautious about where it goes and keep people away, as
barbara said, safety the biggest issue right now. >> i know it's flying low. this is what we're hearing from folks who have actually seen this with their own eyes. that said, we know the faa and norad are apparently working to make sure planes don't cross its path. i don't know how they even know what its path would be. your response to that. what do you think they're doing? >> well, there is visual flight rules. i'm hoping that the weather is still good. if the weather gets bad, there will be problems because there will be airplanes flying without the benefit of seeing what's in front of them. in that case, the faa is probably acting to separate and give it a clear air space to make sure no one is flying in that air space at all. but it is something that people want to see so it typically -- we've had this happen a couple of times, once in hawaii with a large balloon that was released there and a blimp lost there. when that happened, it attracted a lot of news media, flying helicopters near it, those types of things. these people need to stay away
from this device. it's not inherently dangerous in that it's going to veer off course suddenly it's going to follow the weather it's predictable in that method. but as far as like i said, it's going to come down hard so we have to be alert and aware of what's happening above you. >> in situations like these generally, we're taught going through breaking news and we quickly have pictures of whatever it is, we don't have any news choppers or any eye on this thing live. i'm wondering, is that because the faa has said to any kind of tv channel, get out of there, we've got to bring this blimp down safely and get out of the air space? >> yeah. likely they've done an emergency, like we did with 9/11, the faa was shut down, the entire air space. we have the authority to shut down specifically air ways to modems to all pilots. all pilots should be aware, alt
air traffic control centers. that area i would almost assure where the blimp is and could possibly go is shut down to all air traffic. awful the private pilots and airplanes are staying away as well. >> i'm sure once this thing l d lands well have lots of video of that. david soocy, thank you so much. quick break. we're back on the blimp after this. real madrid have about 450 million fans. we're trying to give them all the feeling of being at the stadium. the microsoft cloud gives us the scalability to communicate exactly the content that people want to see. it will help people connect to their passion of living real madrid. more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir®. as my diabetes changed,
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blimp, about a football field in length it's become untethered in the maryland area and is flying somewhere high above the skies of pennsylvania. 20,000 people are without power as a result of this situation. we know norad and the faa are working together to try to make sure no planes come anywhere near. likely this is an area in a no fly zone as they try to make sure this thing comes down safely. this is a military blimp. there is classified information on board. so we know state, local, federal authorities are all tracking this thing and want to make sure that if and when it does finally come down it doesn't injure anyone on the ground. want to make sure they get that classified, sensitive material as soon as possible. so i have with me still lieutenant general mark hertling who has pretty interesting expertise on these jlens aerostat blimps having been in iraq and afghanistan. general, you were telling me 17,
i believe was the number, of these particular blimps and 3 of them at one point in time became untethered. and it took you 7 hours to deflate one of them. can you tell me about that process. >> well, yeah, brooke. we actually didn't deflate it. we just monitored it, much like what is going on right now, and watched it float. and then in that particular case, the forward operating base it came from was near baghdad, and the doggone thing floated all the way up toward mosul, a little over 150 miles away, until it finally came down. luckily, it came down in our territory and we could recover it. but we had to monitor it. we were watching it on radar. we had helicopters approaching it and, just like the f-16s are doing now -- make no mistake, those f-16s are not going to shoot it down, as david soocy said. they're more than likely just clearing air space for the rest of the northeastern corridor so no civilian airplanes crash into
this thing. and by the way, these things were not loved by our army aviators or the air force guys as well because they're very difficult to see at night. when they're on they're tethered. when they're not loose they're floating around much like a balloon would be so you don't really know where the wire is holding it to the mooring station. so the army helicopter pilots would always complain about these things. but the army infantry guys were really interested in them because it gave really good intelligence about enemy forces on the ground. so it as a mixed bag. but they do break loose as this one has. the information on board the actual jlens, the camera or whatever it's carrying, in and of itself it doesn't have any classified information. but it is a device that you certainly don't want to show the capability of because the lens and the ability of the optics can see, as i said earlier, a great distance. >> got it. >> so it's a good piece of kit.
and when it does come down, as david soocy says, it will come down like a very heavy balloon wherever it lands. so that in and of itself could be dangerous as well. when it land it's going to land, and it's not something you want to fall out of the sky. it will come down very slowly. >> and talking to the sole source i know you were listening from norad, he was saying to me that they do have the ability to remote deflate, which i know is different from the blimps that you dealt with in iraq. and he was also telling me that it's this 10,000-foot cable that keeps this thing normally tethered to the ground there in maryland. and it's because of this cable that's dragging over some of these power lines leaving 20,000 people without power. but when i think of tether, i think of almost cloth. but clearly this is such a massive sized blimp, what is it, like a metal cable? >> it is exactly a metal cable. i mean, these things, first of
all, will weigh a couple hundred pounds. and when you're talking about the force of wind pulling it around, that cable that's tethering it to the mooring station has got to be pretty strong. i don't know exactly the dimensions of the cable, but it's got to be at least 1 or 2 inches in diameter, and it's an iron cable. it is not a cloth tether. these things are heavy, and they've got to be moored securely. so when you're talking about something breaking away, it could break from the ground station itself. it could break from the nose of the aircraft. and there's only one of the cables attaching to the -- at least ours. i'm talking about my personal experience. there was one cable attached to the nose muh the aircraft, and it would float based on how far -- how much you reeled it in or how much cable you gave it. so all of those things are factors, and that cable that's holding this thing, which appears to be bigger than the ones we used. probably by twice the size.
it's got to be pretty heavy. and again, you're right, it's going to short out electrical cables as it travels over, if it's dragging that cable. it could cause damage because it is a very heavy cable. but the thing that really concerns me more than anything, even though power is out to quite a few people, is the aircraft that might come into this air space. that's what the f-16s are doing, just clearing the air corridors around there as david soocy said. >> got it. so important to have the f-16s scrambled in a situation like this. and hopefully no one is injured and this eventually just comes to a standstill on the ground there somewhere perhaps in pennsylvania in a rural area. general hertling thank you so, so much. speaking of pennsylvania, i actually have someone on the phone with me, karm >> yes, i can. >> all right. so you are there in pennsylvania. you have had eyes on this blimp. how recently -- how far up was
it? >> it was -- it was right above the school. it was actually caught on the roof for a while. and then it got loose and flew away. but it did knock power out here in columbia county. >> so do you have power? >> no. >> you don't have power. we're looking at this picture. i'm assuming this is the one you sent us. so it was stuck so this cable, this tether, it somehow what wrapped its way around a piece of school and was stuck for a while? >> yes. it was stuck for just a little bit at the top of the school. the first picture is actually when it was stuck on the school. and then it flew away. it, you know, took off. but just for a little bit it was stuck there. the power did go out. it still is out. >> oh, my goodness. so were there a bunch of people just standing around on the ground with cell phones looking toward the sky? >> pretty much.
the students were still in the room, it was all dark. there was a little bit of chaos because of what happened, but we were out there with our cell phones taking a picture of it. >> were kids still in the school? >> yes, they were. because we didn't know what had happened at that point what was going on, so we just kind of kept them where they were until we found out what was going on. when we realized we weren't going to have power they told us maybe not until later tonight. >> we've talked about altitude, how it's sort of decreasing in altitude. it sounds like it's deflating. could you tell that with your own eyes? >> no, i couldn't tell that. i just know that when it came unattached from the school it flew off into the distance. didn't see it, you know, losing altitude at that point. >> and how rural is where you're calling me from, from the bloomsberg area in pennsylvania
in case this blimp does decide to come down in your area. >> there's a lot of farmland, but there's a lot of houses. so in our area here, you know, we had a little bit of space if it were to come down. but it didn't come down. there's neighborhoods and houses around that it could have come down on. >> okay. karm, thank you so much. you saw the blimp stuck on a school for a little bit of time there in pennsylvania. don't have pow er, thanks for calling in. we're going to take a quick commercial break. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. back on this untethered blimp next. (patrick 1) what's it like to be the boss of you? (patrick 2) pretty great. (patrick 1) how about a 10% raise? (patrick 2) how about 20? (patrick 1) how about done? (patrick 2) that's the kind of control i like... ...and that's what they give me at national car rental. i can choose any car in the aisle i want-
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untethered blimp somewhere in the skies over pennsylvania. 27,000 people without power because of this metal cable, this 10,000 foot met kal cable that normally tethers it to the ground has been dragging and hitting not only power lines. we just spoke with a woman in bloomsberg, p.a., said it hit and stayed upon a school for a little while. also effecting flights, air space in the area. mary schiavo is still with me, our cnn aviation expert, specialist, first talk to me about how this issue here is affecting people's flights or planes in the northeast area. >> well, the faa never did issue any official orders vacating the air space, but they worked in conjunction with norad to watch it, monitor it and to divert traffic arpd it. but it could be very dangerous. you know, this happened about a year ago with a budweiser, i don't think it was owned by budweiser, but a budweiser beer blimp got away and the faa had to do the same thing, clear traffic for it and it headed
towards canada. they had to monitor, keep traffic away from it but didn't issue any orders keeping flights on the ground or closing airports or anything. so they seem to have managed the traffic fine around it. >> what about investigation wise? eventually probably sooner rather than later this blimp is going to land. and when it does what does the investigation look like? >> ordinarily for example if it was a private or commercial blimp, you know, like the beer blimp, the faa and national transportation safety board would have jurisdiction over the investigation. however, since it's a defense department program being run by defense department contractor and deals with norad which is surveillance of incoming cruise missiles, aircraft, hostile flights or flights in the d.c. area or around the country this will be investigated by the defense department. and they will issue the report. and i think it will be a black eye for the contractor because this program is so
controversial. it was considered one they just couldn't kill. this might be the death nail for it. but it will be controversial whether it's worth doing this program anymore. maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but that will all be part of the investigation. >> you know, several people have mentioned the controversial nature of this and add to that also the, you know, sensitive military intelligence that is on board this blimp. i'm just wondering does this concern you what's happened here? or do you think this is just an absolute fluke accident one-off? >> no because it's happened before. like i said, i mean, a beer blimp last year. they do get loose. tethered blimps particularly in weather what it was doing up in bad weather is a question again for the investigators -- >> but military. that's what makes this different. >> that's what makes it different, but these things come loose. it's happened before. look, blimps have been used including for militay intelligence all the way back. so there are many instances where they get loose. the question is they're being deployed here over the united states of america and we're very
populated. and so i think that will be part of the question. and also if the intelligence is good enough to warrant the risk. >> got it. mary, forgive me. i have to cut you off. i'm up against there'd but thank you for being with me the entire two hours. tle "the lead" starts now. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we have this breaking news, the military as you know is scrambling right now to try to get control of its own runaway blimp. a blimp that floated away from a base in northern maryland. officials say the blimp is creating a dangerous situation on the ground. this thing made it some 150 miles north with fighter jets right behind it. people in bloomsberg, pennsylvania looked up, they started snapping photographs and video of the blimp. it's almost 250 feet long. it's floating in the air. we're getting new images in by the minute. a cable dragging below the blimp is causing major concern right now. it is to blame for a major power