This article originally appeared on VICE US.
The best thing the Navy has ever done, short of admitting that UFOs are maybe real, is copping to tracing an enormous dick in the sky over Washington state in November 2017.
Now, thanks to the Navy Times, which obtained a copy of the Navy’s probe into the phallus using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we have a record of the absurdly ill-advised discussion between two prankster pilots—perhaps a gift even greater than the penis drawing itself.
Washington locals first noticed the drawing which was made of white contrails that jet engines leave behind. Soon after, the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island said it was responsible, and at some point began investigating the matter it called “absolutely unacceptable” at the time.
We now know that a talented yet rascally jet crew was to blame. Specifically two junior officers, or “Zappers,” with the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 piloting an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. The duo was on a routine training flight when they decided to have some fun.
“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the pilot’s cockpit partner, an electronic warfare officer, said according to the probe.
“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” replied the pilot. “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.”
As Deadspin wrote, you should absolutely dedicate five minutes to reading the entire transcript, which includes lines such as, “Balls are complete.” Here’s an excerpt:
“Balls are going to be a little lopsided,” the pilot advised.
“Balls are complete,” he reported moments later. “I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft.”
“Which way is the shaft going?” the EWO asked.
“The shaft will go to the left,” the pilot answered.
“It’s gonna be a wide shaft,” the EWO noted.
“I don’t wanna make it just like 3 balls,” the pilot said.
“Let’s do it,” the EWO said. “Oh, the head of that penis is going to be thick.”
One of them deleted photos of the drawing from their phone, feeling shameful and not wanting them to spread, the Navy Times wrote. Both immediately apologized.
Their names were redacted in the FOIA response, and it’s unclear whether they face punishment. However, the squadron’s commanding officer called one of them “a ‘whiz kid,’” and the other “my best junior officer,” according to the Navy Times.
I think the most reasonable response to the sordid episode came from the Federal Aviation Administration, which said at the time that unless it poses a flight risk, there ain’t nothing they can do about it.