Navy says it will hold Whidbey Island aircrew accountable for tracing giant phallus over Okanogan County
Nov. 16, 2017 Updated Fri., Nov. 17, 2017 at 2:01 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky!
It’s a bird.
It’s a plane.
No, it’s a phallic skydrawing, and a military aircraft is the culprit.
Okanogan residents told The Spokesman-Review that they saw the male genitalia deliberately being drawn in the skies above their town by a jet around noon Thursday.
Images of the drawing were quickly posted to social media, residents said, and sent around town through text message.
The Naval Air Station in Whidbey Island has claimed responsibility for the drawing, calling it “unacceptable” and “of zero training value.”
The base’s public affairs office on Friday referred questions to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in San Diego, where Lt. Cmdr. Leslie Hubbell said the crew involved in the sky-drawing would be held accountable.
Hubbell said an investigation has been launched, although it’s not clear who in the chain of command will make the final decision on disciplinary action. She declined to speculate on whether the crew members involved could be discharged.
Hubbell said the aircraft involved was an EA-18G Growler from the VAQ-130 Electronic Attack Squadron based at Whidbey Island, on a “routine training” flight. The highly maneuverable plane is a cousin of the F/A-18 Super Hornet, outiftted with radar and communication jamming equipment.
On Thursday night at The Club Sports Bar and Grill in Okanogan, a central Washington town of just 2,550 residents, locals shared a few laughs about the image they’d seen in the clouds.
Ramone Duran said he was running errands when he looked up and saw what he thought looked like the start of someone trying to draw a male member with jet contrails.
About five minutes later, Duran said, the drawing was complete.
“After it made the circles at the bottom, I knew what it was and started laughing,” Duran said. “It was pretty funny to see that. You don’t expect to see something like that.”
Misty Waugh, a server and bartender at The Club, said she wasn’t aware of the drawing until her 12-year-old son texted her a picture.
“I thought it was pretty funny, and so did he” she said. “A lot of people have been talking about it.”
Reporter Chad Sokol updated this story on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, to include information from the Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in San Diego.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.