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“Highly Modified Drone” Over Tucson: Alien UFOs or Chinese Drones?

F-22
F-22 Raptors from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. fly in formation behind a KC-135 Stratotanker from Altus Air Force Base, Okla. after air refueling over New York, Aug. 21, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman)

Media, the government, and the military have been confounded for two years about a mysterious object that “swarmed” Naval warships off the coast of California back in the summer of 2019.

The Navy, Coast Guard, and FBI have all been investigating what happened, according to a FOIA request by The Drive into documents associated with the investigation.

There has, of course, been speculation that the objects were UFOs, but the answer seems more likely that they were foreign military or surveillance equipment of some sort.

“I am aware of those sightings and as it’s been reported there have been other sightings by aviators in the air and by other ships not only of the United States, but other nations—and of course other elements within the U.S. joint force,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday told the media earlier this year.

Now, there is another report about mysterious buzzing objects, once again in the Southwestern part of the United States, once again from The Drive’s The War Zone vertical.

According to the piece, this event took place in February of this year and consisted of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter discovering what it called a “highly modified drone,” above Tucson, Arizona.

The drone, or “whatever it was,” per the report, was able to outrun both the CBP aircraft and a Tucson Police Department helicopter. The object “flew through military airspace, deftly maneuvered around both helicopters with bizarre agility, and ultimately disappeared into cloud cover above the altitude the helicopters could safely fly.”

The War Zone also recently obtained audio from the CBP helicopter from the time of the incident, also via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Based on the recordings, the site said, “it’s clear that all parties involved with the incident were baffled by the drone’s performance, noting that it appeared ‘super sophisticated’ and possibly satellite-controlled.”

They also noted that the drone was “essentially playing with them by repeatedly positioning itself directly above their helicopters’ rotors, some 1,000 feet above them.” The two pilots appear to agree that the object above them was in fact a drone.

“I just couldn’t tell you – I couldn’t give you its dimensions as it was moving… too sketchy for us to…,” the Tucson tower employee said on the recording. “I assure you it was not a quadcopter, and it was the most advanced drone we’ve dealt with over the last decade here. Its abilities were pretty incredible, um, I just – I can’t tell you exactly its size.”

What exactly the object was, or where it came from, remains undetermined by the government.

 Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Wenbert

    August 24, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    There is no basis on which to assume that the objects afflicting our carrier battle groups off both costs are simply Chinese (or Russian) “drones”. There is no principle, nor extrapolation of known principles, by which their flight characteristics – or the energy storage density required to attain them – could have been achieved with Human technology. It seems unlikely in the extreme that the one confronted in Tucson could be, either.

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