Jet sparks curiosity

People on the Kansas University campus and in downtown Lawrence noticed a military jet fly low over Jayhawk Boulevard and Allen Fieldhouse Friday afternoon.

A loud jet engine could also be heard. Several people described it as an F-16 jet that buzzed campus.

“What the heck was that??? Big plane just went fast and low over downtown Lawrence,” Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew tweeted at 3:42 p.m.

Military officials did not confirm the reason for the flight or where the jet was based.

“It was not aircraft from the Kansas National Guard,” said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General’s Office. “We aren’t sure where the aircraft are from.”

But she said Kansas officials Friday evening were still checking with other states, including the Texas National Guard.

Douglas County emergency dispatchers said they received several calls asking what the jets were.

“It was not a pre-arranged fly-over, and it had nothing to do with any KU event,” said Jill Jess, a KU spokeswoman.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory referred questions to the military because the agency does not comment on military aircraft, she said.

A spokesman at Whiteman Air Force Base southeast of Kansas City, Mo., said Friday the closest F-16 jets to here are based in Tulsa, Okla., with the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He said some F-16 planes had landed at Whiteman earlier this week and left the base Friday but further information was not available.

Lt. Col. Max Moss, an Oklahoma National Guard spokesman, said the jets in Lawrence were not from Tulsa. He said the base had pilots on a navigation mission but they were headed to Florida.