Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Drone spotted flying above Metrodome during Vikings-Packers game
Citypages blog ^ | Mon., Dec. 31 2012 | Aaron Rupar

Posted on 12/31/2012 8:30:50 AM PST by kiryandil

Think drones only fly above Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other quasi-theaters of war?

Think again. Yesterday, an unmanned helicopter was photographed flying above the Metrodome plaza before the Vikings-Packers game. A Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response [VIPR] team was also photographed milling around the plaza.

Here's a photo of the VIPR team, followed by a full-size shot of the drone (all photos courtesy of Nathan M. Hansen's Twitter):

Local "information operations" and "spinstorms" blogger Dan Feidt writes that the drone "is comparable to the sports photography drone... I figured it might just be a civilian hobbyist drone or some weird sports media project until the VIPR team was found by Hansen." (We've done two interviews with Feidt this year: read them here and here.) [UPDATE: In fact, the unmanned aircraft appears to have been under the control of a local production company -- see update below.]

Here's some context about VIPR teams [also known as "viper" teams] from a Los Angeles Times report published late in 2011:

The TSA's 25 "viper" teams -- for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response -- have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more teams next year.

According to budget documents, the department spent $110 million in fiscal 2011 for "surface transportation security," including the TSA's viper program, and is asking for an additional $24 million next year. That compares with more than $5 billion for aviation security.

TSA officials say they have no proof that the roving viper teams have foiled any terrorist plots or thwarted any major threat to public safety. But they argue that the random nature of the searches and the presence of armed officers serve as a deterrent and bolster public confidence.

Of course, one person's "public confidence" is another's "police state." And either way, your tax dollars paid for a VIPR team that probably spent most of its time in Minneapolis staring at drunken football fans walking to and from a game.

:::: UPDATE ::::

It appears the presence of the drone was unrelated to the presence of the VIPR team. TCRover, a reporting truck used by the Pioneer Press, shared a photo indicating the unmanned craft was being used by a local production company to shoot aerial scenes of the Metrodome.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: drones; tsa; tyranny
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-61 last
To: kiryandil
ten bucks says it's a news media drone like this one...

51 posted on 12/31/2012 3:25:59 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kiryandil

Hmmm...I wonder which kind of off-the-shelf infrared device is on the market would be best to use to scan airspace for these things day or night or at higher altitudes where visually spotting them would be difficult or beyond the ability of the unaided eye. Infrared night-vision goggles?

Even the electric multi-rotor helicopters, like the one on the article, must have a head signature, I would expect.


52 posted on 12/31/2012 6:54:52 PM PST by Seizethecarp (Defend aircraft from "runway kill zone" mini-drone helicopter swarm attacks: www.runwaykillzone.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
If I were nearby with a .30-06 rifle(NOT an “assault rifle”), that damn thing wouldn’t have been flying very long.

Cool, although I'd like to try taking it on with a Sopwith Camel. Would make good half-time entertainment. :p
53 posted on 12/31/2012 7:56:21 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Thanks for the ping to this pack of lies and obfuscation.

There is no telling where the truth resides, and conflicting opinions are just stinkin’ confusing.


54 posted on 01/01/2013 11:17:32 AM PST by TheOldLady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: null and void

I just reported you.


55 posted on 01/01/2013 11:31:59 AM PST by Eaker (Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. — Robert A. Heinlein.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Eaker

Duly noted...


56 posted on 01/01/2013 12:10:57 PM PST by null and void (The internet never forgets, or forgives.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
Perhaps we should make ‘drones’ of our own......

Sort of a hybrid ultralight/RCA?

57 posted on 01/01/2013 12:25:37 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: EEGator

Good one!


58 posted on 01/02/2013 11:12:02 AM PST by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: showme_the_Glory

Electric Eye - Judas Priest

Up here in space
I’m looking down on you.
My lasers trace
Everything you do.
You think you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind.
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time.

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam.
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean.
I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye.

Always in focus
You can’t feel my stare.
I zoom into you
You don’t know I’m there.
I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove.

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam.
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean.
I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye.

Electric eye, in the sky
Feel my stare, always there
There’s nothing you can do about it.
Develop and expose
I feed upon your every thought
And so my power grows.

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam.
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean.
I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye.
I’m elected electric spy
I’m elected. Protected. Detective. Electric eye.


59 posted on 01/02/2013 11:17:01 AM PST by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
I always wear protection when watching football games.


60 posted on 01/02/2013 11:26:02 AM PST by McGruff (No New RINOs!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: grumpygresh

The restrictions on larger multirotor hobbyist craft are just beginning. You already can’t use one to take commercial video due to an existing FAA regulation. Small start-up photography companies have gotten cease and desist letters already. These craft can carry several pounds of payload or larger batteries for more range. They can autonomously fly to a pre-determined waypoint, take pictures or whatever and return home using GPS. The operator generally sees video taken from the craft in realtime (FPV).


61 posted on 01/02/2013 11:33:03 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-61 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson