On Tuesday, an unnamed individual flying an F-35 fighter jet at Luke Air Force base in Arizona continued the tradition of military pilots having nothing better to do with their time than drawing penises in the sky.
One glance at the photo and it’s obvious—it’s definitely a dick. But according to Major Rebecca Heyse, a spokesperson at the Air Force base who I would wager is not happy that part of her job involves coming up with excuses for the behavior of idiots whom I assume are men, this penis-shaped contrail—unlike the other penis-shaped contrails that have been traced in the sky by military pilots—was totally unintentional.
“We’ve seen the photos that have been circulating online from Tuesday afternoon,” Heyse, the chief of public affairs for the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force base, said in a statement emailed to Air Force Times. Heyse continued: “56th Fighter Wing senior leadership reviewed the training tapes from the flight and confirmed that F-35s conducting standard fighter training maneuvers Tuesday afternoon in the Gladden and Bagdad military operating airspace resulted in the creation of the contrails. There was no nefarious or inappropriate behavior during the training flight.”
The Air Force Times notes that the F-35 costs about $44,000 per hour to fly, making this perhaps the most expensive dick-shaped contrail to ever grace our skies, though not the first. In November 2017, two Navy pilots stationed at a base at Whidbey Island in Washington drew a gigantic sky penis, for which they were disciplined. The subsequent investigation found that it was definitely intentional. Here’s part of the conversation between the two pilots who drew the dick, per the Navy Times:
“Draw a giant penis,” the EWO said. “That would be awesome.”
“What did you do on your flight?” the pilot joked. “Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises.”
“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the EWO advised.
“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot boasted. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other.”
They theorized on the second-order effects of their nascent sky drawing.
“Dude, that would be so funny,” the pilot said. “Airliner’s coming back on their way into Seattle, just this big (expletive)ing, giant penis. We could almost draw a vein in the middle of it too.”
Their conversation also included sparkling commentary such as, “Balls are going to be a little lopsided,” “It’s gonna be a wide shaft,” and “The head of that penis is going to be thick.”
And in April of last year, Air Force pilots stationed at the Rammstein base in Germany drew what sure looked like a sky penis, though spokesperson Captain Andrea Valencia attributed the resemblance to “normal flight patterns” that are “based on planned tactics frequently involving circles and straight lines.”
Drawing sky dicks is juvenile at best (though a more preferable use of pilots’ time than, say, killing people in the service of our country). But for some, like M.E. Johnson (of course), a retired colonel in the United States Army Reserve, sky penises are merely the “Price of Freedom.” As Johnson wrote in a revealing op-ed in Task & Purpose last October:
What do we expect from these young guys? They train to kill people under the most challenging of conditions. Political correctness may be in vogue with college students who cannot fathom why people don’t take their gender studies curriculum seriously, but not with fighter pilots. They don’t give a damn about being “progressive.” These guys are warriors.
But if you need close air support, who would you call?
I’ll take the pilot with the balls to draw a penis in the sky. I want Maverick, even knowing he got his ass chewed out for that flyby. The snowflakes can stay in safe spaces hugging gender-neutral therapy dolls.