Static said:Two PAOs at Whiteman had ample time to check with schedulers about B-2 deployments. One answered the query before the story broke, the other - a day after the story broke. It wasn't as if just answered the queries off the cuff or didn't have time to consult the schedulers.
They could have said "We'll check and get back to you." but didn't. I inquiry to Whiteman was March 10 and was answered on March 28th.
Perhaps I'm a cynical (former) Fed - but I provided information to and requested information from PAOs from the USAF and USN for years. Without disparaging any of them, it's really hard for me to believe that the responses to the sighting are part of some kind of elaborate cover-up. Keep in mind that here in the States, "PAO Specialist" is an entry level position - some of the active duty ones that I've encountered were quite literally teenagers right out of basic, and quite a few of the civilian specialists that I've met are recent college graduates. I've personally been misquoted and had my words taken out of context more times than I can remember by PAOs.
The PAOs at locations associated with high visibility programs receive an incredibly high volume of inquiries from the public and the press every day. A person I know who was once a specialist at NAS Oceana literally received hundreds of emails from people wanting F-14 flyovers, especially when it was announced that they were being retired. In addition to the standard requests for tours and noise complaints, I can imagine that Whiteman's PAO Office receives a ton of emails daily from people who "saw something" just based on the high-profile nature and unique appearance of the B-2. It's actually hard to imagine a scenario where a GS-7 specialist would take a significant amount of time to check with the 509th and the 131st to get confirmation of where their aircraft were on a particular day and time - even when the person asking is a well known and respected aviation writer and blogger, or an esteemed veteran aviation journalist.
It's also clear that the other response was from a more senior person who after a meeting, generated a canned response for the extremely high volume of queries received after this story broke. Considering the current threat environment and geopolitical situation, we shouldn't really expect to get an accurate official answer about the whereabouts of one of our most valuable and sensitive National Assets. The "Air Force Official" who spoke to the USNI reporter was speaking off the record, and merely stated that the pictures are likely of training sorties. Its important to note that there was no confirmation of any specific flights at a particular date and time.
That said, anything is possible.