DHS Set to Use Smaller and Smaller Spy Drones Against the American People

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Shepard Ambellas

With technology in overdrive, “Big Brother” has something in store for you and the rest of the American people.

In the coming months the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to utilize smaller drones to spy on sporting events and other public events.

These new drones will be durable, portable, and assemble on-the-fly within minutes giving DHS an upper hand in fighting terror (and simply spying on American citizens).

Wired reported;

Like many in the military experimenting with drone miniaturization, DHS is thinking small. The drones it wants to bring to Fort Sill will ideally be launched by hand, like the Army and Marines’ Raven. They should weigh under 25 pounds.

Assembly should take a matter of minutes, and training for their remote pilots and technician a matter of days. DHS isn’t looking for drones that can loiter over an area for a long time: just 30 minutes to two hours, a hint that the department doesn’t foresee drones becoming a primary surveillance tool.

“Law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response” are some of the potential drone missions the RAPS program envisions.

Still, it’s something of a turnaround for DHS. Back in January 2011, Ruth Doherty, a DHS science & tech official, expressed skepticism about using drones to patrol for signs of terrorism or to protect big public events like the Super Bowl.

A case has to be made that they’re economically feasible, not intrusive and acceptable to the public,” Doherty told Danger Room at a D.C. conference. In addition to the potential public outcry, drones have been a headache for DHS at times.

A DHS ground station in 2010 lost communications with one of the first Predators it used to surveil the southern U.S. border, and the department has had trouble finding enough pilots and technicians to operate its initial drone fleet.

Police shops around the country have only recently begun flying surveillance drones, owing in part to cumbersome Federal Aviation Administration restrictions designed to prevent the robots from slamming into commercial passenger aircraft.

That could be an issue for DHS as well. The RAPS drones need a threshold altitude of 1000 feet, well into helicopter territory — above the tops of most skyscrapers — and comparable to the heights reached by “Flying Beer Keg” flown by the Miami-Dade police department.

With most police department techies drooling over these gadgets, I’m sure small spy drones will be on the rise.

Another intelhub.com article points out;

When you smack a fly and it hits against the wall, does it ping?

Let the field tests begin.

‘Field tests?’ You say.

We are now dealing with a new enemy in the surveillance class, something almost unfathomable to grasp the more you ponder — something that will change the way you think and live.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you ‘The Insect Drone’.

The following tip was submitted via [email protected];

I just read the tip report regarding unmarked black helicopters posted attheintelhub.com and have witnessed the same as described in the report including the stated timeline.

CH-47 Chinook

I started seeing the black helicopters (Boeing CH-47 Chinook) last summer as well with the most recent sighting occurring January 8, 2012 (see attached photo).

This one looked similar to the picture above (the only difference being it was black in color and had no markings and at one point was flying fairly low across the area).

They have a different sound to them that is what drew everyone to step out, after seeing what it was I ran inside to grab a camera couldn’t find one so I grabbed my cell phone to take a picture, it was headed southeast and had flown away quite a distance by the time I made my way back outside. I included a cropped version of the original and added an arrow to indicate its location in the photo (see photo below).

This has been happening frequently.

In fact, they fly so low at times that it was possible to see that the pilots inside the chopper were wearing black military looking gear and what looked like headsets and dark glasses.

However, black helicopters aren’t the only things flying around lately there is something else that is so strange and ominous.

In August 2010 I was sitting in my backyard when I noticed a “flock” of strange looking large dragonfly fly over the privacy fence from the north side of my property.

I would approximate their number to have been around a dozen as they approached the confines of my backyard, all but one scattered in different directions.

I watched the one that stayed as it circled the parameter of my property twice then I lost sight of it when suddenly it flew towards me.

As I sat on the deck it started circling directly over my head and it was at this point that I could hear a faint “clicking” sound emitting from this bug, it was then that I stood up from my chair to get a better look at this thing that was larger than any dragonfly I had ever seen.

There was something not natural about the way it looked, it seemed very aggressive in its movement of flight and as I stood there it literally flew in front of my face and that is where it hovered with me standing staring at it and it right back at me and it was at that moment that I realized this was no ordinary dragonfly rather it was mechanical and unlike anything I have ever seen, the tail end of this thing looked razor sharp

I ran inside my home to grab a camera, as I went back outdoors with the camera in hand this “creature” began to fly up and away so I started shooting until the moment it was no longer in sight.

I then quickly uploaded the pictures and I saw that I had missed it in the first few shots, but then I saw —  and was utterly shocked to see what I had caught on camera.

Mechanical Dragonfly Drone

I immediately began researching however being that I had no clue as to what it was that I had just witnessed I was unsure of even what to begin to search for so it took me quite some time to find any info but many months later I would find others with similar stories and learnt that they are known by many names such as described in this article below entitled, Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs written by Rick Weiss, Washington Post, dated Tuesday, October 9, 2007.

An excerpt reads;

Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.

“I heard someone say, ‘Oh my god, look at those,’ ” the college senior from New York recalled. “I look up and I’m like, ‘What the hell is that?’ They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects.”

Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.

“I’d never seen anything like it in my life,” the Washington lawyer said. “They were large for dragonflies. I thought, ‘Is that mechanical, or is that alive?’ ”

That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insect-like drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Others think they are, well, dragonflies — an ancient order of insects that even biologists concede look about as robotic as a living creature can look.

No agency admits to having deployed insect-size spy drones. But a number of U.S. government and private entities acknowledge they are trying. Some federally funded teams are even growing live insects with computer chips in them, with the goal of mounting spyware on their bodies and controlling their flight muscles remotely.

The robobugs could follow suspects, guide missiles to targets or navigate the crannies of collapsed buildings to find survivors.

The technical challenges of creating robotic insects are daunting, and most experts doubt that fully working models exist yet.

“If you find something, let me know,” said Gary Anderson of the Defense Department’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office.

But the CIA secretly developed a simple dragonfly snooper as long ago as the 1970s. And given recent advances, even skeptics say there is always a chance that some agency has quietly managed to make something operational.

Wired article points out the fact that these insect drones have been previously spotted on US streets.

An excerpt reads;

“I heard someone say, ‘Oh my god, look at those,’ ” the college senior from New York recalled. “I look up and I’m like, ‘What the hell is that?’ They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects.”

Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.

“I’d never seen anything like it in my life,” the Washington lawyer said. “They were large for dragonflies. I thought, ‘Is that mechanical, or is that alive?’ “

That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.

A 2011 New York Times article entitled, Changing the Shapes of Air Power documents the potential use of insect swarm technology;

Drones are playing an increasingly important role in the American military. Only 10 years ago, the Pentagon had about 50 drones; now there are 7,000 drones in its inventory, ranging in size from large blimps to tiny Hummingbirds.

Here are 10 drones currently on the battlefield or on the drawing board.

[youtube]4DyIirJPsM8[/youtube]

[youtube]BRw7zR9tszQ[/youtube]

A youtube video on ‘Spy Bots’ depicts the same insect-like drone:

The following video is a testimony from another individual who claims to have had a personal encounter with micro drone technology;

A video from GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania also shows similar insect type drones:

This article first appeared at Theintelhub

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