Attack of the Drones: Mysterious UAVs in Our Skies
2012-08-03 0:00

By Micah Hanks |

The emergence of new drone technologies have captured the publicís imagination, as well as sparked controversy, especially since the arrival of the US Navyís show-stealing X-47B drone. With its triangular shape, non-existent tail, and sleek, almost saucerian look, the aircraft succeeds in resembling classic descriptions of flying saucers dating all the way back to the 1940s.

As a journalist, one never wants to spend too much time discussing his or her own experiences, opting instead to present a fair, unbiased perspective on such subjects. However, my purpose here is hardly to dissect the controversies surrounding drone use in military operations, border patrol operations, or even surveillance in urban areas. Rather, my reason for addressing the drones on a personal note has to do with my own recent observation of some variety of small, controlled aircraft for which, at present, remains unidentifiedÖ and quite perplexing.

My unusual sighting of what I take to be some variety of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) began with the appearance of a curiously bright light moving along over Interstate 26, just outside Asheville, North Carolina, as I was heading home for the evening; I had been traveling north at about 10:22 PM on the evening of July 23, 2012, headed for the junction with Interstate 40 about a mile away. This white-orange light appeared to simply be hanging in the sky, unmoving, and though I suspected the landing lights of some commercial kind of aircraft, the object in question did not seem to move as my position changed relative to it.

Following my previously stated course, heading northbound along I-26 toward the I-40 junction, I came up alongside the object, which was partially obscured by trees at the time. At this point, I had begun to think what I must be seeing was a helicopter, as it appeared to be hovering in midair, or otherwise moving in some way inconsistent with a commercial airliner. The bright light had apparently been oriented toward the front of the craft, and on the sides I could now see a small flashing white light (making it seem like some kind of conventional craft, yet again), in addition to bluish green and red lights.


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