The U.S. Department of Defense doled out $2 billion apiece for a fleet of B-2 ‘Spirit’ bombers, which have silently menaced the skies since 1989.
Spirit is an apt name for the Northrop Grumman aircraft designed to be something of a ghost. But even one of the most stealthy pieces of technology in the Pentagon’s arsenal evidently can’t hide from the prying eyes of Google Earth.
As such, some guy with undoubtedly too much time on his hands took to YouTube Monday to call out a B-2 for “crop dusting” a farmer’s field near Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
It wasn’t long before the military aficionados on Reddit picked up the video and upvoted this catch more than 100,000 times.
Many users commented with their own experiences witnessing the B-2 in action, often describing its “eerie” presence.
“Was standing in line at the bank when a women started screaming ‘aliens,’” wrote user ShuantheSheep3. “One of these was making a slow silent turn overhead [because] of a nearby airshow. Hilarious that people don’t know what their own government has in it’s arsenal.”
The three-decade-old aircraft retains an impressively lethal record. And the YouTuber’s crop-duster analogy is apt in that the B-2 is truly silent but deadly.
“During its legendary combat debut in Operation Allied Force, the stealth bomber flew less than 1 percent of the total missions, yet destroyed 33 percent of the targets in the first eight weeks of the conflict,” according to Northrop Grumman. “The B-2 also set a record with a 44-hour air combat mission in 2001. Its ability to penetrate enemy territory undetected is why it’s been called to duty in the opening phases of several conflicts including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Odyssey Lightning.”
You can explore the farmer’s field yourself on Google Earth by entering coordinates 39 01 18.5N 93 35 40.5W.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digital Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.