Video: The freaky deaky “drone over Illinois” clip

posted at 8:34 pm on May 18, 2012 by Allahpundit

The obligatory follow-up to Monday night’s anti-drone cri de coeur from Krauthammer. On the one hand, Chicago is hosting the big NATO summit this weekend, for which security should be airtight. Has DHS added a special little birdie to their eyes in the sky?

On the other hand, c’mon. Slate reports:

A government source familiar with domestic drone policy was unequivocal, telling me, “There are no unmanned aerial vehicles being operated in the Chicago area and particularly no vehicles that look like the one in the video. The vehicle pictured in the video is a very, very large vehicle, and the areas these are permitted to operate are in unpopulated areas for the most part, or where there is not a heavy concentration of people.”…

If any further confirmation was required to debunk the video, it was provided by the FAA, which hands out permissions for the domestic use of drones. An FAA spokesperson said, “No UAS [unmanned aerial systems] operators have asked the FAA to approve UAS operations in the Chicago area to support the NATO Summit, and the FAA has not approved any UAS operations in the Chicago area.”

A DHS spokesman also insists that it’s not one of theirs. “Aha,” say our resident black-helicopter types. “Of course that’s what they’d say.” Watch the clip for yourself. First, as noted elsewhere, there seems to be sunlight glinting off the drone even though the skies are overcast. Second, it seems never to waver from its perfectly straight flight path. The only suggestion that it’s not a static image being dragged across the screen from left to right by a video editor is that the image turns fuzzy at points, but that seems like a cheap way of showing it supposedly “passing through clouds” or whatever. Third, aren’t these things designed to operate at a much higher altitude? That’s the whole point of using drones instead of planes against jihadis — they’re high up and verrrry quiet so you can’t see them coming. This thing, however, looks like it’s a couple of thousand feet in the air at best. If DHS was going to risk a scandal by using drones for the NATO summit without telling anyone, wouldn’t they insist on maximum altitude to minimize the chance of the bird being spotted?

Or, maybe it’s real and the drones are coming to get us. Any professional or amateur video editors out there have any insights?


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SkyNet a commin’

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

If you build it…
They will come.

To a town near you.

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Drones are going to flying here in Southern Idaho too.

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Just to help the local police…

Wink..wink

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

KOOLAID2??

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Does the Air Force or DHS or whomever really have to as the FAA for permission if they want to take one of the drones out for a test drive?

My guess is no.

Anyway, the thing in the video looks similar, but it’s not conclusive.

Robert_Paulson on May 18, 2012 at 8:40 PM

That drone would be of better use flying over, you know, the SOUTHERN BORDER.

Punchenko on May 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

The above should read:

Does the Air Force or DHS or whomever really have to ask the FAA for permission if they want to take one of the drones out for a test drive?

Robert_Paulson on May 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Welcome to the future….

idesign on May 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Just to help the local police…

Wink..wink

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

They’re coming to take you away, HA HA.

RickB on May 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

It’s not very convincing. It’s 1/32 of a drone at best.

Curtiss on May 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Could it be the vehicle of a model airplane pilot?
Just askin’

ProfShadow on May 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM

That’s a very straight flight path. Also, very low. And the camera’s actually quite steady even as it’s “struggling” to focus.

I’d say we learn soon that it was edited in.

amerpundit on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Can’t wait until they try to send one through the San Gorgonio Pass. I’d give the eagles better odds.

de rigueur on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Model airplanes appear to fly much faster than the plane in the clip, at least in terms of body-lengths-per-second.

Mohonri on May 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Fake.

Those things hardly make any noise. Why would he turn the camera? Also, if he is filming the drone he can’t even keep centered in on the camera. Looks like it was put in later.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Something else really off about it: He didn’t follow the “drone”. He kept filming the same spot in the sky as it “flew” off. He even returned the camera to the initial spot of the sky in some jittery yet smooth move.

Again, sounds like someone either trying to fool people because he thinks it’s funny or some Alex Jones-type Truther figure who wants everyone to think that OMG THE DRONES ARE COMING TO TAKE YOU TO FEMA CAMPS. Crazy people, in other words.

amerpundit on May 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Did the guy who shot the video get a visit from the “Men In Black”, yet?

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

That’s a very straight flight path. Also, very low. And the camera’s actually quite steady even as it’s “struggling” to focus.

I’d say we learn soon that it was edited in.

amerpundit on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

What I have trouble with is the pre-focus in the sky before the plane flew into the frame on the left and why the cameraman didn’t continue following the plane at the end…
Just allowed it to fly out of the frame to the right..

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

But, but, but, it HAS to be real, its on YouTube!

Flora Duh on May 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

That looks like every fake Bigfoot video ever done, lots of convenient shaking, blurring of focus and nice and short so you never get a really good look at it followed by the still shot to implant the image in your mind of what they want you to see when you watch it again.

clearbluesky on May 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Wow, upon watching it for a second time I realize this is not even a good fake. Man, at least put some effort into it.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM

amerpundit on May 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

It looks like you already posted what I noticed :)

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:53 PM

clearly a hoax. Witness the poor voice acting at the end while he pans away from the object to insert this narration:

“my, that’s a strange plane”.

keep the change on May 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Also, this guy has three videos. One of some bee story from two years ago.

Then two recently: This drone one and another one about planes supposedly flying next to each other, which he also attributes to the NATO summit.

One of the YouTube tags on that last one? “false flag”. One of the tags on the drone one? “UFO”

Gee, you don’t think this guy’s a nut looking to attract other nuts, do you?

amerpundit on May 18, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Isn’t the direction of travel inconsistent with the perspective on the image?

Count to 10 on May 18, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Yeah, but is it a fake fake?

OldEnglish on May 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Maybe one of those new Iranian drones out of Dearborn.

BL@KBIRD on May 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

How munch you wanna bet he is a Ron Paul nutjob.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Fake but accurate?

Or is that the new shape of Blue Thunder?

RoadRunner on May 18, 2012 at 9:05 PM

clearly a hoax. Witness the poor voice acting at the end while he pans away from the object to insert this narration:

“my, that’s a strange plane”.

keep the change on May 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Yup. There’s a right way to say that.

de rigueur on May 18, 2012 at 9:09 PM

where’s the thread on the freaks that covered themselves in chocolate syrup and laid down in the street to protest the keystone pipline. that’s where the real action is baby!

GhoulAid on May 18, 2012 at 9:11 PM

If that was a drone they have finally figured out how to make them much quieter. When I was deployed, those things sound like giant riding lawnmowers even when they get out of sight, you can still hear them. Calling this fake.

joe99jpn on May 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM

It’s fake. The fuzzy bit on the aircraft is the autofocus searching for a stable object. If you look away from the aircraft, at no point does the background go in and out of focus which it would in synch with the aircraft. Definitely cut and paste.

Teafran on May 18, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Did anyone happen to notice that this so called “drone” has a a laser guided bomb in it’s rack? Take a look at the stills.

The flight path is odd and it is flying way too fast for it’s aspect.

Fake

These people are just as bad as the Obamabots.

jmm06 on May 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

where’s the thread on the freaks that covered themselves in chocolate syrup and laid down in the street to protest the keystone pipline. that’s where the real action is baby!

GhoulAid on May 18, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Chocalate syrup???

Sounds like a toxic spill.

Where is the EPA?

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Elgin? C’mon, really? Check the map. Nothing of NATO concern all the way out there. Now the Aurora Airport area, south about 10-15 miles, sure. Blackhawks have been there a couple weeks. C130 and F15′s will be there tonight, or so I’m told. It’s a mile away from me.

CBarker on May 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Fake: The angle of the wing never changes as it moves across the scene.

Also note that the “drone” appears to be carrying Hellfire missiles. Even if they were flying drones over our heads, I seriously doubt they’d be loaded for combat.

ZenDraken on May 18, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Not a BFD. Just Obama scoping out the place where he grew up, Kenya.

Ooops. I meant Illinois. Sometimes I get a country and a state in an entire different country confused. Darn it.

cantaffordcollege on May 18, 2012 at 9:26 PM

This one is a fake and the auteur does not understand perspective well enough to draw a vanishing point.

If the image was genuine you would see the size of the “drone” increase and then decrease as it moves closer to and then away from the lens.

The “drone” was green screened into the video after it was shot – which also explains why it moves quieter than an UFO.

The one that nearly collided head on with a Cessna Citation outside of Denver is the likely inspiration for this effort.

In that case, the authorities, including the FAA are looking for the responsible parties – which is likely to be one of the state level police agencies. The DHS has been providing drones to states on a “down low” basis. Technically, they are being “evaluated” and have not had a capital budgetary impact to the the participating states.

Drones are required to comply with FAA regulations which is why the one near Denver is causing such an uproar – it was in restricted air space and NOBODY is allowed to futz around in those zones without permission.

PolAgnostic on May 18, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Drone, also known as a 30-06 target.

kurtzz3 on May 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Yeah, but is it a fake fake?

OldEnglish on May 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Heh.

BallisticBob on May 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Camera pans to an empty area of sky, then the drone flies through. “That’s not a plane…” he says.

Friggin bogus.

bernverdnardo1 on May 18, 2012 at 9:31 PM

““There are no unmanned aerial vehicles being operated in the Chicago area and particularly no vehicles that look like the one in the video…”

Mmmmkay…

“That was not a missle launch off of the California Coast…”

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

How munch you wanna bet he is a Ron Paul nutjob.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

How much you wanna bet Notorious is a semi-literate rube?

MelonCollie on May 18, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Come on. I’m a Ron Paul nutjob AND I believe that both the cops and the feds want to use drones in the US, and I don’t even believe for a second that this is real.

sobincorporated on May 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

How much you wanna bet Notorious is a semi-literate rube?

MelonCollie on May 18, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Touch a nerve there did I?

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Here is the image he used to fake it. At least find an image that doesn’t show up in the first few images of a google image search.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Fake.

nicktjacob on May 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Fake.

-It’s in a banking position but never banks.

-It’s too low to the ground.

-It’s too loud.

-You hear it before you see it, but with jets it’s closer to the opposite.

-Why would the camera man turn his camera to film a strange plane before he identifies it as a strange plane (the point on the film where he says, “that’s a strange little plane”).

I rest my case.

However, I support the video’s message. Drone surveillance in the US is bad. I don’t trust the Dems with one.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

We are sooo scrooed! That was a Wraith Dart.

Oldnuke on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

This is happening because there are too many drones in Congress.

Kick them out and ground the aerial drones except for use over the borders.

(Or in a terrorist emergency.)

No sky spying on free people.

profitsbeard on May 18, 2012 at 9:54 PM

However, I support the video’s message. Drone surveillance in the US is bad. I don’t trust the Dems with one.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I don’t trust the Repubs with one either.

joekenha on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

KOOLAID2??

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

…cutting the lawn…got dark…missed this and parts of the lawn,

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Elgin? C’mon, really? Check the map. Nothing of NATO concern all the way out there. Now the Aurora Airport area, south about 10-15 miles, sure. Blackhawks have been there a couple weeks. C130 and F15′s will be there tonight, or so I’m told. It’s a mile away from me.

CBarker on May 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Hey neighbor! Lately the O’Hare landing and approach patterns have changed and are running over my neighborhood (between Elgin and Aurora). In Illinois, Elgin, like Rockford, is a good place to be from. Lots of foreclosures and empty homes.

Fallon on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

PolAgnostic on May 18, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Yes great.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Also great post.

It would also have to be going at supersonic speed.

It was debunked on a tech site as well. TheRegister.net I think.

Steveangell on May 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Gee guys, I am sorry! I was just testing my new Consevaliminator. It specifically homes in on Patriotic Whites (optionally White-Hispanics) and does this…

I call her Charlene…

Bulletchaser on May 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Swamp gas reflecting of saturns rings.

Swerve22 on May 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Fake, of course.

Now we don’t have to take the real ones seriously.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

ZenDraken on May 18, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Bingo!…this thing is totally fake. Period!

Static21 on May 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM

That’s understandable as Chicagoland is Holderville, a warzone anyway in parts of it.

KirknBurker on May 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

It’s faked for a few reasons, but the most obvious is the sound. A predator makes a distinct sound which is absent in the video. Instead there’s a jet-sounding noise which a pred does not make. If I had to guess, I’d say it was an RC model of a pred.

NPP on May 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM

We’ll all be starring in the Truman Show soon.

Kissmygrits on May 18, 2012 at 11:02 PM

It’s a fake…

The color & light is all wrong.

redguy on May 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Yup, lookin’ pretty fake.

JoeinTX on May 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM

=============================

Is that not an *ARMED* drone?

============================

It looks like that missile what is under the belly behind the camera pod

huntingmoose on May 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM

If we are going to have drones with cameras flying around, can we tap into the feed? It would be nice to not have to drive 10 miles out to the pasture to check the cows…

cptacek on May 19, 2012 at 12:28 AM

It’s clearly fake. Come on guys, have you ever BEEN to the Internet?

So lets go in order:

1) Logic of the cameraman: Why is the camerman looking at this patch of sky? He hears (that’s … okay lets just give them that one) the drone, sees it in the sky and says “That is a drone, and those shouldn’t be here, so I should record this.” Except that’s not what he says in the video of course. He goes “Welp, that’s an odd little plane.” Which is an absolutely retarded line, as far as made up lines go. And he doesn’t sell it any way shape or form. Then he … doesn’t follow the plane. He turns away from both the action “on the field” as it were, what he was supposedly originally recording, AND away from the “odd little plane”

2) Frame jitter – this looks like the “zooming” was done in after effects. Guess what? The “odd little plane” probably was too.

3) Perfect pause. Yeah, I wish most video cameras had that. AKA – most frames of an object moving in a video will be blurry. Or at least, they won’t look like a still shot overlaid on a video.

4) The angle of the plane is wrong. This is weaker, because it’s more subjective, but the angle of that shot makes it look like the plane should have been much higher up and farther away, to see that much of the underside.

Anyway, it’s an okay job, but not enough to even pass the smell test, so I give it a 7/10.

That anyone here thinks it’s real … well, you must be new here.

apollyonbob on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 AM

The Ronulans must’ve traded in their blimp.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2012 at 2:07 AM

A drone over IL? That’s gotta be Chicago Mayor “tiny dancer” Rahmbo, to be joined Sunday by fellow drone Baraka Hussein Oblotto. What’s the mystery?

stukinIL4now on May 19, 2012 at 2:13 AM

Obviously fake. No comment on whether there are drones over Chicago – just that this image is a fake.

drunyan8315 on May 19, 2012 at 2:42 AM

The Director for the Hawaii Department of Health has verified that this clip is, indeed, genuine.

sartana on May 19, 2012 at 3:07 AM

Probably needed to get below the clouds.

crosspatch on May 19, 2012 at 3:40 AM

If you step through the video, i don’t know. The wing angle does seem to vary as does the size of the plane.

crosspatch on May 19, 2012 at 3:48 AM

It was looking for a little girl who had a lemonade stand without a permit. There were also reports of unpasteurized milk being sold in that area.

Viator on May 19, 2012 at 5:28 AM

If you look real close, you can even see the rainbow emblem on its fuselage….heh!

Don L on May 19, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Odd that there is a jet engine sound yet the drone is PROP driven. Hmmmm…..nah…I call fake.

siwrcw03 on May 19, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Not even as good as some of the UFO flyover fakes…

It gotten to the point you need two eyewitnesses with cameras who don’t know each other to get decent sighting reports on this stuff. Yes, there are those types of sightings and recordings and they go into the ‘yup, that actually happened; don’t know what it is’ category.

Still, unmarked, unmanned, unclaimed drones that you can’t ID are going to be prone to target practice… If you don’t claim it with easily visible markings, you are just clutter in the air and amenable to being removed. Claim it via markings so you can be held accountable for it, or don’t be expecting to get your pretty toy back.

ajacksonian on May 19, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Is it weaponized?

Is it being flown by foreign country?…..

albill on May 19, 2012 at 7:31 AM

The pixellation around the drone in closeup proves it’s a fake. That’s due to anti-aliasing against its original background.

MaggiePoo on May 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM

i would still like to know why one of our drones lands in Iran, and how they did it?

losarkos on May 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM

its romulans not ronulans

losarkos on May 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I could replicate this video with a very cool UFO, if you would like.

Without the cool sound defects.

dogsoldier on May 19, 2012 at 9:08 AM

This county needs to get off their drone addiction ASAP

Freeloader on May 19, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Here’s how we tend to drones in South Carolina:

uddercha0s on May 19, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Well, we *know* that the government would never lie to us. I just can’t believe that some folks would be skeptical. You guys should be ashamed – where’s your patriotism, for crying out loud?

/sarcasm off

Midas on May 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

However, I support the video’s message. Drone surveillance in the US is bad. I don’t trust the Dems with one.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I don’t trust the Repubs with one either.

joekenha on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Well, I wouldn’t trust any political party.

And I’ll go with “fake for 100″ now that others have done some analysis I can review.

ProfShadow on May 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

But, but, but, it HAS to be real, its on YouTube!

Flora Duh on May 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

A couple of years ago, a woman told me (in all seriousness) that you aren’t allowed to lie on the internet.
So, it must be real. ;-)

Solaratov on May 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM

These things are pretty cool. If the cross winds are greater than 15 mph it will not be able to take off. Plus it’s safety record is not pass safety of flight criteria. It got a huge waiver br the FAA for the NATO convention.

jake49 on May 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM

How munch you wanna bet he is a Ron Paul nutjob.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

How much you wanna bet Notorious is a semi-literate rube?

MelonCollie on May 18, 2012 at 9:38 PM

So, tell us, MC. How does it feel to be so perfect that you never make a mis-strike on your keyboard?

Solaratov on May 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Might be fake. Truth is though, that aviation regulations are being relaxed about restricting UAV training flights to military restricted or other special use airspaces. You might just start seeing more of these flying around. If you were anywhere near Watertown or Carthage NY, I guarantee you’d be seeing them like this.

hawkdriver on May 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Could also be a model. The Chicago area has a huge RC airplane community.

I haven’t seen a hobbyist RC version of the MQ-1 Predator (that the vid is referencing), but I’ve seen an MQ-9 Reaper model (also called Predator B). On a crap iPhone video shot by an amateur it would be difficult to distinguish

Quantus on May 19, 2012 at 12:43 PM

If it takes anyone more than a cursory glance to determine how fake this is, I have to question their perceptive abilities.

S. D. on May 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM

When you see hellfires on them… start worrying.

maintenanceman on May 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

It’s incredible to me that anyone would watch this and NOT see that it is fake. From the camera movements, to the blur, to the ridiculous movement of the drone.

Come on people. You ALL spend time on the net, you should’ve learned by now how to immediately spot a fake.

acrolite on May 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

If a sheriff in ND is using them, why wouldn’t the city of Chicago?
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/10/nation/la-na-drone-arrest-20111211

joshlbetts on May 19, 2012 at 6:57 PM