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Saturday was a rather slow news day. The crisis in Greece was on a brief hiatus before the Sunday vote, and most Americans were busy celebrating Independence Day. The only thing that was widely reported was Putin’s 4th of July message to President Obama, in which he offered an olive branch to the US. “In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security.” The message mostly interpreted as a kind of “Happy 4th of July” to the President.

But on that same day something rather interesting happened, and we’re just now hearing about it. Between 10:30am and 11:00 am, two separate teams of Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers flew towards the coasts of California and Alaska. It’s not known if they were armed, by they are designed to carry nuclear payloads. While they didn’t breach US airspace, they did come close enough to cause several American fighter jets to scramble and intercept the bombers.

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This isn’t the first time this has happened either. The Russians did the same thing on the 4th of July in 2012, though it lacked Putin’s coy message to Obama. Separately these two events would mean nothing, but together, they amount to a not-so-subtle question to President Obama: Carrot or stick?

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.