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A flock of birds near restricted airspace could have been responsible for a mysterious White House lockdown

David Choi , Business Insider US
 Nov 27, 2019, 10:50 AM
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 30: Canadian geese fly ov
Canadian geese fly over the McMillan Sand Filtration Site on December 30, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
  • Two days before millions of Americans were expected to feast on turkey, a flock of birds is theorised to have been responsible for the White House lockdown in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday.
  • The North American Aerospace Defense Command, the US and Canada's first responder to an aerial threat, scrambled US Coast Guard helicopters to investigate the scene.
  • By the time the lockdown was lifted, it was unclear what prompted the warning.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Two days before millions of Americans were expected to feast on turkey for Thanksgiving, a flock of birds is theorised to have been responsible for the White House lockdown in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday.

The White House was placed on lockdown between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. because of an unauthorised aircraft flying in restricted airspace, according to reporters on the scene.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, the US and Canada's first responder to an aerial threat, scrambled US Coast Guard helicopters to investigate the scene. No military fighter jets were dispatched, the US military spokesman Maj. Andrew Hennessy told The Washington Post.

By the time the lockdown was lifted, it was unclear what prompted the warning.

"Upon further investigation, we found there was no aircraft," Hennessy said, according to WRC-TV.

The WJLA reporter Sam Sweeney said the scare may have been because of a flock of birds. Birds are known to migrate south by way of the US Capitol in late October, according to The Washingtonian.

In an unrelated event several hours later, President Donald Trump pardoned one of two turkeys named Bread and Butter. The White House tradition dates back to President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Trump ended up pardoning Butter, and Bread will also live the rest of its short life at "Gobblers Rest" on the Virginia Tech campus.

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