A penis drawn from the contrail of a Navy plane appeared in the skies above Washington State on November 16, 2017.
While photos of the crude sky sketch went viral at the time -- it was reported on by local media and then garnered national headlines -- the full story of what transpired that day has not been known, until now.
The Navy Times did God's work Monday when it reported the details from the military investigation sparked by the heavenly phallus.
The artists were not named in the report, but they were identified as two junior officers who were undergoing flight training near the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in western Washington.
The lieutenants, who were the two crew members manning an EA-18G aircraft referred to as "Zapper 21," did not premeditate the drawing. The pair were undergoing a normal 90-minute training session, when, struck by inspiration, the electronic warfare officer, or EWO, suggested the idea to the pilot in what appeared to be a joke that escalated.
"Draw a giant penis," said the EWO, according to a transcript of the radio conversation. "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," prompted the EWO.
"I could definitely draw one, that would be easy," the pilot replied. "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."
After outlining this plan of execution, the pilot proceeded to do just that. The transcript then includes an amusing running commentary on the artistic process, including "Balls are going to be a little lopsided" and "The shaft will go to the left," as the pilot said.
There was some consternation into whether the contrails -- the white streaks of air that omit from an aircraft -- would fade before the entire penis was sketched in the sky. "I have a feeling the balls will have dissipated by then," the EWO noted at one point with worry.
Ultimately, they were able to complete the sketch in time -- and even contemplating adding a vein down the shaft as an additional flourish. Their work was even initially complemented by the lieutenant commander in their partner jet. "Your artwork is amazing," they said via radio.
However, after the drawing failed to fade quickly, the reality of its impact became apparent to the officers. "Soon after, I realized the extent of our actions," the pilot wrote in the report. "That the contrails were remaining longer than predicted."
The pilot attempted to, essentially, scribble over the penis with more contrails. That failed, and the plane, running low on gas, had to return to the air station. When asked by the executive officer if anything out of the ordinary had occurred during their test run, the officers fessed up to their shenanigans.
"They both apologized and were at once remorseful," the executive officer, or XO, stated in the report. The XO also defended the pair as "fine officers and capable aviators" who had no other prior issues in their background.
One of the lieutenants had taken photographs of the penis from his phone -- but had quickly deleted them "out of shame and as an attempt at damage control to prevent further accidental spread of the photographs," the investigator wrote in the report.
By then it was too late. A mother had taken her own photographs of the air penis from the ground and reached out to a local TV station to complain, which is when the story really took off.
Of course, the Navy was not pleased with the drawing and the ensuing damage control it incited. The penis "caused the United States Navy severe embarrassment in the public arena and jeopardizes the strategic narrative that underpins the justification of the flight hour program," the investigator noted in the report, adding that "the sophomoric sky drawing indicates a potential waste and misuse of government resources."
According to the report, the drawing led to an investigation of the culture of the command. It found no "indications of poor command climate and no evidence or allegations [of] overt sexism or misogyny," the report noted.
While the XO said the lieutenants should be "held accountable" for the actions, the report did not reveal if any disciplinary actions took place.
Regardless, the air penis will live on in the cultural memory as perhaps the largest -- and certainly most elevated -- dick pic in American history. Read more at Navy Times.