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UAV in West Florida...just wondering why

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posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 11:22 AM
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I was outside around 2:00 Thursday packing my car for a trip. I heard a 'buzzing' noise, and looked up to the south. I saw what I thought was probably a small prop plane (by the sound) but as it got closer I took another look and it could only be what I can desribe as a UAV.

It was not too high (1000 ft or less) and it was moving at a good clip. It had a engine on the top on the rear, and the body kind of looked like a crusie missle with wings and the tail fins were inverted. It was really cool to see this thing zoom over, and then took off toward the gulf. THere was something small in the underbelly, black or dark in color. It was a off whitish color.

Now, with SOCOM HQ and Macdill close, you see things on the coast occasionlly, but this was over the mainland in the city. Did anyone else see anything like this over the weekend in any other cities? IS this a normal thing for the military to do, as I did not think so. Just a curious citizen.




posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 12:05 PM
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We live in MA. My wife was driving home one evening on a major highway and saw an 'odd plane' flying just over treetop altitude off to one side of the highway. I'm a pilot and we own a plane so she has more than an average exposure to aircraft. Based upon what she described I pulled up some net images and she identified it as a UAV. It was grey, had no markings and was essentially silent. So I guess maybe they train with them in populated areas? The closest military base is a couple hours away.


[edit on 22-2-2005 by jtma508]



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 12:21 PM
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jtma.

Hanscom AFB is right there. If thats a few hours from you, you MUST live in extreme western MA. Otis AFB on the Cape as well. Its not suprising at all to see a UAV operating out of any of these bases.

I wouldnt be suprised if you see a few F22's soon as these AFB's are some of the north easts premiere AFB's



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 01:22 PM
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Might have been a homebuilt canard type airplane like the older Rutan E-Z tandem-seat, rear-engine, canard (small wing in front, large, rear-swept wing in back with tail-fins on the sides). I could see how they might be easily mistaken for a cruise missile or uav from below.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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No, I see weird aircraft all the time from Albert Whitted municipal airport downtown, I could see it good enough to see it looked like a Predator class craft. Hell, I thought it might be one used by the USCG for drug surviellence.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 02:29 PM
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The metropolitan Police here in the UK trialed a predator UCAV for traffic and " Other Duties" here in the Uk.

It made the national news at lunch time, ad yet by the evening...Nothing.

If i ever find a link, i will post it, as i have been searching for ages.

Not American or UK, but from South Africa...

www.global-defence.com...

[edit on 22-2-2005 by MadGrimbo]



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Maybe it is just a hobbyist flying his r/c plane? I've seen some of those custom jobs that are about as big as my (full size) truck. Perhaps not the size of a predator, but pretty doggone big. Don't know where exactly in west Florida you are, but when I was taking flight lessons years ago in a Cessna 172 it was quite abundantly clear that doing stuff like buzz the 'glades at just 1000 feet is seriously verboten (disturb the wildlife and such.)



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 03:16 PM
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Sorry for this, but whenever I think of Florida and UAV this picture pops into my head:


A couple of Floridian UAV's in mortal combat:





posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Looks like a geriatric jousting match! Those are the type of badass grannies that have handicapped parking tags yet still drive low riding corvettes in Boca Raton. Sadly, I know this from personal observation.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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What you describe sounds like a Predator UAV....Unless you can give any more details on it...like were the wings twice as long as the body..or something.

and as pointed out...it might just be an r/c plane, there are several I have seen that are pretty big and resemble a real military plane.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 03:52 PM
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No, I see weird aircraft all the time from Albert Whitted municipal airport downtown, I could see it good enough to see it looked like a Predator class craft. Hell, I thought it might be one used by the USCG for drug surviellence.


You must live within spittin' distance of me, hehe....



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 04:03 PM
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Do you live near the seacoast? The gov announced a few years ago that it was going to use UAVs for anti-drug and illegal immigration operations. A new type of UAV that is essentially a large Predator -- called the 'Mariner' -- is being tested for maritime patrol, in fact.


Since a lot of drug trafficking occurs through Florida I wouldn't be surprised if you saw a UAV on an interdiction mission.

It would be funny, though, if this was something the Cubans launched...



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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Here you go EZdad,

Info on mariner:
www.uavworld.com...

A story about UAV border patrol:
www.military.com...

And an image of mariner:




posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by esdad71
... it could only be what I can desribe as a UAV.

It was not too high (1000 ft or less) and it was moving at a good clip. It had a engine on the top on the rear, and the body kind of looked like a crusie missle with wings and the tail fins were inverted....


You are describing a Predator UAV, it is a pusher prop configuration with inverted "V" rear stabilizers. Your close proximity to MacDill AFB and Centcom points to this being a Predator as well.

During recon training and demos it is not anymore unusual to have a UAV fly in civilian air space than a C-130 or other military aircraft.



onlyinmydreams is also correct as the Mariner is the maritime version of the Predator if I am not mistaken.

[edit on 22-2-2005 by intelgurl]



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by esdad71

I heard a 'buzzing' noise

I saw what I thought was probably a small prop plane (by the sound) but as it got closer I took another look and it could only be what I can desribe as a UAV.

It was not too high (1000 ft or less) and it was moving at a good clip. It had a engine on the top on the rear, and the body kind of looked like a crusie missle with wings and the tail fins were inverted.

THere was something small in the underbelly, black or dark in color. It was a off whitish color.





From the meat of your post, what you described sure sounds like the classic description of a Predator, but the flight profile is all wrong.

I can't say I've ever heard of them cruising around at 1000' or less. If it just took off and was climbing that may be the case. You said the bases were close, and for this to only be at 1000' AGL, then they must be very close.

General Atomics and others also make a few other aerovehilces similar in design to the Predator that have similar configurations, but overall there aren't that many with inverted tail fins as you described.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 04:41 PM
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Thanks guys. I am pretty sure it is from just over the bay, I guess it was just a little strange to see it. We see all types of aircraft with the USCG in Clearwater, and plenty of traffic into Macdill AFB. I was just wondering if there was unusual activity that anyone noticed this weekend in Tampa/St PEte area or other major cities.

I was really impressed with actually seeing one however, and not it bieng a pic or on TV. It must be impressive to see it in the field actually attack a target with the Hellfire config that is offered. I hope that there is plenty of use of these in the future.




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