AC-130 Gunship Mysteriously Flew Hours Worth Of Laps Over Seattle on Tuesday (Updated)

The track does not make it clear exactly where the aircraft landed, but it is likely sortieing out of McChord AFB located near Tacoma to the south of where it was flying its patterns. Apparently the aircraft landed, took on fuel, and then launched again and was up flying similar patterns last evening, although we don’t have a recorded track on that flight.

We have done a cursory examination of the radio traffic emanating from Seattle International Airport at the time the AC-130 was overhead and strangely enough, we couldn’t pick up any direct communications or traffic calls. It’s possible both air traffic control and the AC-130 was communicating on UHF, which wouldn’t be recorded by LiveATC.com.

We have reached out to Air Force Special Operations Command for explanation but they were unwilling to “comment on the movement of our assets” at this time.

We will be sure to keep you in the know if the mysterious Ghostrider gunship pops up again over Seattle.

Update: 1:30am PST—

Here is another track from the AC-130J’s latest mission, flown on March 21st, 2017. The aircraft executed the mission under the callsign EXIDS11. The jagged lines are likely the result of imperfect telemetry garnered from Multilateration (MLAT) tracking according to two separate sources. The MC-130J’s route continues to be focused on Seatac and is very similar to the one flown the day earlier. The length of these legs is also consistent with an AC-130’s overhead surveillance profile according to multiple sources that have contacted The War Zone.

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