Living In Fear Of Drones

Read and think what it would be like to live in fear of drone strikes in your city. It could happen here. Jennifer Gibson describes the terror hovering over Pakistan in the LA Times:

Last week, Stanford University and New York University released a major study about the use of drones in the ever-evolving but never-ending war on terror. Unfortunately, many commentators missed the report’s key message: Drones are terrorizing an entire civilian population.

I was one of the researchers for the study, and spent weeks in Pakistan interviewing more than 60 people from North Waziristan. Many were survivors of strikes. Others had lost loved ones and family members. All of them live under the constant threat of annihilation.

What my colleagues and I learned from these unnamed and unknown victims of America’s drone warfare gave the report its title: “Living Under Drones.”

People in the United States imagine that drones fly to a target, launch their deadly missiles with surgical precision and return to a U.S. base hundreds or thousands of miles away. But drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above.

And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Women are afraid to meet in markets. Families are afraid to gather at funerals for people wrongly killed in earlier strikes. Drivers are afraid to deliver food from other parts of the country.

The routines of daily life have been ripped to shreds…

[continues in the LA Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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3 Comments on "Living In Fear Of Drones"

  1. cakey pig | Oct 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm |

    Guided missiles controlled by thoroughly misguided individuals.

  2. Crazy Irish Dan . | Oct 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    Frankly, this is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Why?

    The US government already has these drones in, at the very least, training exercises on US soil. 

    For a second reason, while foreign strikes and known weaponry like the Predator are mentioned and pictured, airplane-frame drones have much the same limitations that manned airplanes have. One of these is (of course, unless engineered for Vertical Take Off and hovering, possible but not a current feature of the airplane frame drones often featured in the news) the inability to hover. While flying at speeds equaling to doubling that of a highway cruising automobile allows a certain amount of surveillance – and a very useful one – it’s not quite optimum, especially for, say, domestic surveillance. 

    Better than that? Try a helicopter frame UAV. 

    I have not only seen but have been pursued by these vehicles in northern Los Angeles county, in the area known as Antelope Valley. They were noticeably different than previous generations of helicopter based drones such as the Boeing A160 ‘Hummingbird’ – developed in none other than Victorville, about a 30 minute drive from my former home in the Jackrabbit Flats area of Littlerock, itself merely 20 minutes from Edwards Air Force Base. (Wikipedia page for A160 Hummingbird here –

    These vehicles (even the early prototypes such as the A160) were designed for silent operation. They are much smaller than a manned helicopter, and may run on anything from the Subaru engine mentioned used in the A160 to possibly electric operation. 

    These vehicles can easily hover very closely overhead with a minimum of background noise without drawing undue attention. They can easily, due to their small size and the public’s current unfamiliarity with craft of this size, be mistaken for a ‘full sized’ manned helicopter at a higher altitude. 

    They are equipped with a unique lighting array. My first encounter with them (and as far as I know, with any direct contact with federal level US government anything, really), Edwards USAFB particularly, I was driving a recently acquired Honda CRX to Wal Mart (no shame, only thing open at the time). I was approaching the 47th St./Palmdale Blvd traffic circle. I’d just put some Toyo tires on the car and really wanted to try out my new go-cart. I was checking my rearview when the light came upon me. 

    At first it seemed like a Tahoe had rushed up behind me, and I thought maybe I was about to get pulled over as these are what some local Sheriff’s officers patrol in, and it was around 11pm on a Saturday night. 

    However, the light in question quickly grew to such a luminescence that I quite literally could see nothing but a golden orange light – not the nose on my face or the wheel in my hand, much less the road. 

    As suddenly as it appeared, it left. I entered the traffic circle, now reduced to merely 25mph or so vs the multiple of that figure I’d just been driving, and rather lamely putted around the circle, window now rolled down and looking for the Sheriff’s copter I’m sure must have just done this, as there was no ‘truck’. I never saw a truck, just what I thought were headlights, before they changed to something unlike anything I’d seen or experienced. 

    I was so freaked out, I literally thought I’d better check for ‘lost time’! Sounds funny now, but what other box to put this in? No helicopter was ever seen or heard by me that night, and no, I wasn’t losing time or anything else weird (besides, the classic ‘abduction’ model is way out in the country, not the beginnings of town, LOL). 

    I later was followed by a drone exhibiting this light in broad daylight. I saw it while driving down Avenue P, right by the Nasa facility and Air Force Museum conveniently enough. Seen by both me and my passenger, we both saw a ‘star’ the same color as the above described light. It, however, was no ‘star’, and I was looking at Venus in another part of the sky at the same time. The ‘star’ was about 1/4 the size of the sun that had just dipped behind the western ridge. 

    We approached my block, Avenue R, near Littlerock high, and now, as I turned onto the block, the object we’d been watching was now not seemingly 2000 feet or more above downtown Littlerock, but literally over the southern lot we were now passing, and very low. I also now saw a black main rotor on top, and three typical aircraft style lights, two blue and one red in back up high. 

    I was living the ultimate ‘tinfoil hat guy’ nightmare – my associating with weirdoes and mouthing off on the internet and talking about weird shit I’d seen in my travels on conspiracy radio shows was going to result in a very real ‘visitation’ – by a government helicopter, natch. 

    Needless to say both me and my passenger were quite weirded out by this. We pulled to my house, the helicopter following the whole time (which I could just make out around the flare of the golden orange colored light), and I pulled into the driveway. The helicopter stayed overhead. I couldn’t hear anything over the idling sound of the stock Honda powerplant. My passenger asked what we should do. 

    I told him to open the gate and I’d pull in and we’d get inside the house if we could. 

    He went out to open the gate. I’m in the passenger seat, half expecting to see SWAT looking dudes going down ziplines or a plain white van to pull up or something. Nervous? Understatement. 

    However, I’m a bit of a comedian. And what do comedians do when they’re nervous?

    Tell a joke, or what passes for one in the moment…

    So I poked my head out my window, looked directly at the light, and said, ‘Hi, Guys!’

    As the ‘S’ in ‘guys’ was leaving my lips, the light switched off. I was looking at a very strange helicopter – kind of a dart/missile shaped frontal area with a rise for the main rotor, an ‘enclosed’ type secondary rotor (like the helicopter used by the Coast Guard for rescue has), both painted either very dark blue or black. The oddest thing was the ‘winglet’ which is much like you see on the back of a Chinook. due to the slim main body I assumed it was either the area where the fuel or batteries were held. No noise. 
    ‘Air Force’ white body, and a sky blue insignia that I won’t lie, I never quite made out, but looked like it could either be Air Force or the UN logo. I was just taken aback by the whole thing, the whole experience, trying to take in as much detail as possible. 

    The craft slowly started flying back towards Littlerock High, parallel with and a little north of Avenue R. By ‘slow’, if the craft maintained it’s speed, my little Si could have easily had the time to back out, stop, accelerate and overtake it. It was as if to say, ‘take a good, long look, you pinko freak’. 

    I started noticing these craft in the area after that. I’d seen ‘weird craft’ before and even saw some seem to go away after I pointed them out to a friend of mine staying over (we were on acid that night, but the visuals weren’t heavy and they looked more or less the same as any night I’d seem them stone cold sober). But until then I didn’t know what I was looking at. If they weren’t the wrong brightness and size – and didn’t start fucking MOVING!!! – they’d pass for stars, easily. 

    I realized later that with the central ‘flood’ light at a certain level, and with a simple sequencer no more complicated than what your neighbor probably uses for his Christmas lights, one could easily create the illusion at night of ‘twinkling like a star’. 

    I realized that the areas they were often seen by me hovering over were the 14 Freeway and a town called Lake Los Angeles that is a notorious tweaker haven and basically a desert ghetto/hood. 

    My hypothesis is that Edwards is training personnel to operate these vehicles on US soil. They were seen and videotaped by me hovering over Lake LA and then flying over Palmdale Blvd (the ‘main drag’ of town and main road East) to hover over the 14 Freeway. I believe the training exercise is two part – observing a ‘blighted urban area’ and it’s activity, and observing and recording traffic on Freeways. 

    The US Interstate highway system is the most wide open hole in domestic security and has often been remarked to be by those at Homeland Security. I myself have logged nearly 20k miles driving either legal cars illegally (suspended license) or illegal cars (switched plates, no insurance, etc). If you don’t draw attention to yourself and drive in a sane manner it’s very hard to draw the attention of Highway Patrol. Which is why they want automatic plate readers on their cruisers. 

    Well, imagine having one hovering within a few hundred feet of an interstate highway and very hard to pick out by eye. Also imagine them being able to use them to spy on your conversation through an open window (silent, remember, and obviously equipped with microphones – no ‘space alien’ tech necessary, just off the shelf parts put to a new application) or being able to completely disable a fleeing suspect whether on foot or in a vehicle – if all you can see is a golden light, you can’t run, and you can’t  successfully pilot a vehicle. You stop or you crash. 

    This light? Nothing more than a highly powered and focused version of the orange-golden colored security lights very possibly in use on your road, house, or apartment building. Very distinct from the blue-white of current Police helicopter search lights in both color and function – the golden light scatters and fills up spaces, illuminating shadows, while the high definition of the blue-white light creates nearly equally intense shadows. 

    Off the shelf physics and hardware. Only a better application of it for those that want to track your every move, whether you’re a ‘normal’ citizen or a terrorist, a drug smuggling Hell’s Angel or crack dealing Crip, or just the local pot hook up. Not only does it create more surveillance, it has the effect of deadening to killing the underground economy – how are you going to sling drugs or whatever at 3am when you’re under watch from silent drones that make satellite surveillance seem like a quaint antiquity? Even that over-the-horizon satellite can’t capture audio. Neither, really, can a traditional helicopter – too noisy. 

    The last note I have is to look at the issue of Wired magazine that looked the ‘Bin Laden Raid Mystery Copter’. Note the size of this thing – there’s a pic with it nose down, belly against an outside wall of the compound, and there’s a Pakistani guy standing next to it. His height roughly equals half the length of the entire craft, and if he’s Yao Ming’s double that equals maybe 15 feet. 

    However, Wired swears up and down that not only was it manned (by whom? Vern Troyer?), but that it was a goddamned TROOP TRANSPORT. Trying to compare it in size to a Black Hawk. Hmmm…better worry about them Pakistanis. Not only do they have nuke and hate India, apparently they have like 12 foot tall guys over there too. 

    From my point of view, this technology is applicable to a battlefield as well, especially as advance notice for, say, an inbound top secret Navy Seals mission. Just hope they don’t fly under some power lines, say, and catch the tail on a high tension wire or something. Then you’d have to pressure a leading technology mag, say, to ignore some pretty glaring contradictions between the photos and what they’re trying to describe as some sort of stealth troop transport. 

    Sorry for the ridiculously long comment, but frankly, it’s worth sharing. BTW, these same craft (or rather, their operators) seem to have a predilection for eschewing the standard marker lights I’ve seen them with and buzzing around the hippie microfests – where it’s pretty much known that many attendees will be on psychedelics. (Worth nothing that LA county and Antelope Valley, aka Aerospace Valley, has massive amounts of air traffic, and I’d say using the lights outweighs the risk of secret tech leaking in the even of a mid-air collision with ‘normal’ craft). They’ll use the ‘golden torch’ as I call it alone and depending on one’s inclinations and/or imbibed substances people describe them as ‘alien craft’ or even ‘interdimensional beings’, even ‘golden eyes in a triangle’. They’ll fly in ‘impossible ways’ (no pilot onboard would mean less limitations to the kinds of maneuvers the craft is capable of), etc. 

    Put, I don’t know, a few dozen above a major city (or a bunch of major cities at once, say) , leave the marker lights off, light up the ‘golden torches’, and say hi to your instant ‘alien invasion’. 

    Oh, and btw, many, many videos, mostly over ‘undesirable neighborhoods’, are on You Tube. Try “Los Angeles UFO 2010”, or 2012, etc. 

    Might seem weird to drop this in a comment field but who wants to read some new weirdo’s blog nowadays? Better chance of getting the info out here I guess.

    You can see the videos I took in 2010 of these craft on You Tube under the username Crazy Irish Dan. 

    Thanks for reading, especially if you actually read it all! Sorry for the wall of text but that’s how context is created. Hard to sum that up in a paragraph or two. 

  3. People hear them day and night.
    They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above.

    sounds like Hawaii in late September early October
    when the Fed’s Green Harvest copters terrorizes the skies in search of pot
    they use copters, cause the copter pilots are as stupid as drones

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