Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Drone Spotted in Downtown New Haven

The first documented use of a "drone" was recorded last night on State Street and Elm, as it was noted that a large, buzzing object was flying overhead.  It can be rationally concluded that the machine belonged to @WTNH Channel 8.  Based on the location and trajectory of the aircraft, it seems likely, as it would be difficult to have navigated the aircraft above the building from any position nearby on the ground, and the radius of the path of flight seemed central to the building on the corner of Elm and State.

There has been some conversation about the ethics of unmanned flight vehicles, particularly the technology referred to as "drones" in media.  Some towns in Colorado are actually seeking to pass legislation awarding the disablement of such instruments.   About a week ago, one fell from the sky in New York City and almost landed on a pedestrian.  The topic has been discussed locally, although not in the context of how citizens feel about unmanned aircraft in their own backyard.

Most likely culprit
What comes to mind, for any U.S. citizen encountering one of these devices face to face, are the images from international news, pertaining to the use of drones on military targets, which are reported as frequently as just a couple weeks ago.

The drone seen in the sky last night probably doesn't have any weapons capability; but the question that it raises is a matter more aptly described as a 'surveillance' issue; do we consent to being watched from above, whether by the ABC local affiliate, in this case, by private citizens, by the federal government, or by local or state jurisdiction?  The answer is likely to wind up being part of a discussion within legislative groups as the topic has now become less hypothetical upon us by this recent discovery.

Historical Record
A preliminary search of "New Haven CT Drone" revealed no documented evidence of anyone actually using one of these remote-controlled quadrocopters anywhere in New Haven; all mentions of the technology were speculative  in nature (one New Haven Register report cited an event which took place as far away as in Maryland). While that might be evidence that there's simply no documentation, it could also mean that this video footage is the first evidence of drone flight on public record available.

If you have any evidence of a drone in flight and would like to challenge that assertion, do so in the comments section. Time stamp information will be used to assess the validity of any claim.

Comments Question
How would you feel if you heard a loud buzzing sound, directly overhead?