In the New York Times article ““The Drone Zone“, Drone aircraft from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico were demoed for the press by targeting (but not firing on) civilian vehicles on the highway.
Holloman sits on almost 60,000 acres of desert badlands, near jagged hills that are frosted with snow for several months of the year — a perfect training ground for pilots who will fly Predators and Reapers over the similarly hostile terrain of Afghanistan. When I visited the base earlier this year with a small group of reporters, we were taken into a command post where a large flat-screen television was broadcasting a video feed from a drone flying overhead. It took a few seconds to figure out exactly what we were looking at. A white S.U.V. traveling along a highway adjacent to the base came into the cross hairs in the center of the screen and was tracked as it headed south along the desert road. When the S.U.V. drove out of the picture, the drone began following another car.
“Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?” a reporter asked. One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.
I liked this article from Channel 9 in Denver which is very careful not to call an “mystery” object flying over Denver a UFO.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a mystery in the sky. A mysterious object flying over Denver nearly caused a mid-air collision Monday evening, 9Wants to Know has learned.
Feith listened to the air traffic recordings and believes the object could be one of three things:
– A military or law enforcement drone.
– A remote controlled aircraft.
– A large bird.
“Was this an unmanned vehicle that was part of some sort of law enforcement operation? Was this somebody that had flown a large model aircraft inadvertently into the airspace? Or was it just [a bird that] caught the pilot’s eye so he believed it was an aircraft but could have been a very large wing span bird,” Feith said.
It’s too bad they can’t call it a UFO since technically it stands for unidentified flying object. But if someone calls something a UFO it’s now meant to mean it’s a alien from another planet.
From the Wired article “Secret Nuclear Drone Plan Nixed by ‘Political Realities’“:
The plan was outlined in a document acquired by the Federation of American Scientists, which outlines a study Sandia conducted. The results? A new way, potentially, of powering military drones.
“As a result of this effort, UAVs were to be able to provide far more surveillance time and intelligence information per mission while reducing the high cost of support activities,” the report noted. “This technology was intended to create unmatched global capabilities to observe and preempt terrorist and weapon of mass destruction (WMD) activities.”
Essentially, the tech allowed for “ultra-persistent” drone flight that didn’t require traditional fuels. As the FAS points out, the study doesn’t ever say “nuclear,” but all of the giveaways are there: “decommissioning and disposal” wouldn’t be issues otherwise.
So what happened? “It was disappointing to all that the political realities would not allow use of the results,” Sandia laments. The lab gave up on nuclear drones due to political pressures, perceived or otherwise. “No near-term benefit to industry or the taxpayer will be encountered as a result of these studies.”