Secret missile launchers were uncovered. Fighter jets scrambled into the air. The White House went into lockdown. This was not a drill. Last week, the Battle of Washington DC was just a hair-trigger away.
It was 8.27am on November 26 when air-defence computers picked up something unexpected. It was an unidentified target. It was a “slow-moving blob” relentlessly flying towards the heart of the US capital.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t supposed to be doing that. Washington DC is surrounded by a rigorously enforced “no-fly zone”. The events of September 11, 2001, are forever in that nation’s mind. So, an “Aircon Yellow” alert was issued.
Warning calls went out by radio. Attempts were made to identify the aircraft. There was no response.
The target continued to get closer. Soon, it crossed another no-go line. Just minutes from potential disaster, emergency protocols swung into effect.