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While working as a controller at Ellsworth Approach Control in the 80's, I heard this exchange.

ATC: Western 474, Ellsworth Approach Control is utilizing a certain phase of the radar called circular polarization, which allows us to depict only the most severe areas of weather on the radar display.

[Long Pause...]

Western 474: Approach, say again, please.

[Without error, ATC repeated the alert, (which I had never heard before!)]

[Second Long Pause...]

Western 474: Approach, we don't know what's going on down there, but the co-pilot seems to think that somebody just circumsized a polar bear.


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