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Desert Drone Chase

from The Drive

New Details Emerge On The “Highly Modified Drone” That Outran Police Helicopters Over Tucson

The drone was first detected near an energy storage facility across from Davis-Monthan AFB before evading two pursuing law enforcement helicopters.

BY BRETT TINGLEY

Last month, The War Zone reported on a bizarre drone encounter that occurred in the skies above Tucson, Arizona. According to reports, on the evening of February 9, 2021 around 10:30 PM local time, a helicopter belonging to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, encountered what has been described by KOLD’s Dan Marries, who interviewed an FBI agent assigned to the case, as a “highly modified drone” in controlled airspace. Another helicopter operated by the Tucson Police Department’s Air Support Unit was called in to help track and potentially identify the drone alongside the one from CBP, but the drone was able to evade them both and remain unidentified. Shortly after the incident was disclosed, the FBI released a statement asking for help from the public regarding any information related to the encounter. 

In the days since we first reported on the Tucson drone encounter, individuals have reached out with new information that adds further context to this still-developing story. A source with direct knowledge of the incident’s details told The War Zone they believed the drone was highly unlikely to be battery-powered based on the altitude, distance, and speed at which it flew. The source also stated it seems as though the drone was equipped with an infrared camera based how it was able to dynamically maneuver, including in relation to the helicopters chasing it, despite the low level of ambient light at the time of the incident. They also added that it is “only logical that it was looking towards DM’s [Davis Monthan AFB] flight line” based on its location. 

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Posted on June 2, 2021 by Editor

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