Video: Iran claims capture of US intel drone

posted at 12:11 pm on December 4, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Did Iran capture an American drone over the Persian Gulf, or just try to capture the imaginations of the mullahcracy’s subjects? Tehran claims it either shot down or somehow snagged an American intel drone on patrol over the Gulf, but as CNN reports, the US Navy reports that none of its unmanned vehicles are missing:

ABC also reports that the Navy sees nothing missing, but does report that the ScanEagle is “off the shelf” and could belong to someone else:

The United States has denied reports that Iran “caught” and landed a small U.S. drone flying over the Persian Gulf. The unarmed drone, called a ScanEagle, was flying in Iranian airspace when it was brought down by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s FARS news agency reported today.

But the U.S. Navy says it did not lose the drone, adding that the ScanEagle is an “off the shelf variety” and could have belonged to another country. …

The unmanned ScanEagle, 4-feet long with a 10-foot wingspan, is smaller, lighter and far less sophisticated than the Predators and Reapers that fly over places such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. It can carry electro-optical and infrared cameras, fly above 16,000 feet and hover over a battlefield for more than 20 hours, according to its developers, Boeing and Insitu.

The ScanEagle is launched from ships with a “catapult launcher” and lands by catching a rope suspended from a 50-foot tower.

Who else might be launching drones into the Persian Gulf? I suppose it might have been Saudi Arabia, but I doubt that they’re going to operate drones in the area while the US is doing so. I’d guess that either we lost one a while back and the Iranians just got their hands on it, or they constructed a mock-up for propaganda purposes to divert attention from the ruinous domestic economic situation. Even if we did lose a ScanEagle, though, it looks like the intelligence Iran could glean from it would be minimal — which may be why we’re using these particular drones in this theater.


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I think one of mine is missing…last week the kids were flying one of my drones over the North Pole looking for Santa’s house…some elf shot it down with a freeze ray…

albill on December 4, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It says “Mattel” on the side.

The Iranians have never been all that good at faking these achievements.

Bishop on December 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

When are we going to start actually encrypting these things? I would have thought that after Iran ‘captured’ one of ours before we’d start encrypting the signals so that you can’t ‘capture’ them again.

John_Locke on December 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Shhhhhhhhhhh … The drone was manufactured by the Stuxnet Corporation.

aunursa on December 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You can buy comparable drones at “Toys R Us” nowadays.

HotAirian on December 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Richard Heeene unavailable for comment.

Capitalist Hog on December 4, 2012 at 12:20 PM

They really did shoot down a drone. They were provoked to do it by a youtube video.

The Rogue Tomato on December 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I don’t know why we give silly stories like these any play. They are propaganda stories for Iranians.

NotCoach on December 4, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Did Barry send it FedEx?

turfmann on December 4, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Oh…I thought all dems had moved to Iraq.

tomas on December 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

UFD?

Unidentified flying drone?

er..non flying in this case, right?

ted c on December 4, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Someone just sent me the video being used by Alalam.

This s hilarious. The drone looks like it’s on a display stand at a defense exposition. There’s a gold curtain behind it, and a table next to it with a table cloth.

It looks like an international defense expo, probably in Dubai, where one is held frequently. Iran goes to it every time. US vendors go to these things too.

LOL!!!!

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

If it is “off the shelf” then Iran could have bought it. But if I was going to lay money down on a bet, I would bet Israel. They have reason to want to be checking up on Iran, they are generally good enough to have got it in position on some ship and if it is “off the shelf” they would certainly have access to it.

yetanotherjohn on December 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Someone just sent me the video being used by Alalam.

This s hilarious. The drone looks like it’s on a display stand at a defense exposition. There’s a gold curtain behind it, and a table next to it with a table cloth.

It looks like an international defense expo, probably in Dubai, where one is held frequently. Iran goes to it every time. US vendors go to these things too.

LOL!!!!

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Like Obama said, when ya got nothin, ya bang the table and make wild crazy accusations. lol lol

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Hmmm, so Ulsterman pinched posted on of my blog articles. Does this mean that I have made the almost big time?

L.I.B (Let it burn) Burn baby Burn…

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Neither the US Navy or the Iranians really have an incentive to lie here. The Navy wouldn’t want the bad publicity and congressional attention they’d get if they were caught. As for Iran, if they were going to make something up, they would have come up with something better than a four foot long drone.
My guess is it belongs to one of the Arab countries across the gulf

Mahna Mahna on December 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Amazing how they managed to capture that drone with absolutely no damage. A drone which has no landing gear and requires a special lasso-it-out-of-the-air-device for recovery.

ZenDraken on December 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

It was indeed a Saudi drone privately owned by one of the royal family princes, scanning downtown Tehran. Screenshots are now being released.

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

HHmmmm…. who to trust: the Iranians or the Obama regime…. It’s getting to be a tougher call!

Free Indeed on December 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

HHmmmm…. who to trust: the Iranians or the Obama regime…. It’s getting to be a tougher call!

Free Indeed on December 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I was just thinking the same thing!

CoffeeLover on December 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

HHmmmm…. who to trust: the Iranians or the Obama regime…. It’s getting to be a tougher call!

Free Indeed on December 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I was just thinking the same thing!

CoffeeLover on December 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Such contemplations make my head hurt…

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Fox News Reporting that Syrian Forces have been confirmed to be mixing the components of Cyclosarin nerve gas.

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Isn’t this an actual act of war – invading their airspace? I’m sorry but I haven’t seen congress authorizing such actions or declaring war.

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Tough call on who to believe on this one. That is a scan eagle drone made by Boeing. We know our military lies through its teeth most of the time and the pedophile worshiping goat-f***ers in Iran are lunatic scum. Yep, who to believe… This is definitely a tough one.

woodNfish on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Iran? That tiny little country is no threat to us. Obama said so.

MikeA on December 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Amazing how they managed to capture that drone with absolutely no damage. A drone which has no landing gear and requires a special lasso-it-out-of-the-air-device for recovery.

ZenDraken on December 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

…we had no problem giving them the last drone!

KOOLAID2 on December 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

I think there could be some communication problems…I think they were saying Obama is just droning on and on…

right2bright on December 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Amazing how they managed to capture that drone with absolutely no damage. A drone which has no landing gear and requires a special lasso-it-out-of-the-air-device for recovery.

ZenDraken on December 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Actually, it only requires a net. I doubt that it flies that fast in order to conserve fuel so I expect you could snatch it right out the air with a helicopter and a net.

woodNfish on December 4, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Question: How many nuclear bombs would it take to start World War III?

SC.Charlie on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

You are correct, stock footage…that’s a display model…kept expecting to see “Sample only, not for resale” on the side.

right2bright on December 4, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Let the Europeans deal with this, or the Israelis – either way I don’t care. Let someone else be the world police. The whole fear mongering and scare tactics pushed on us is disgusting.

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Question: How many nuclear bombs would it take to start World War III?

SC.Charlie on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

None, WWIII is already over, it ended when the Berlin Wall came down. WWVI on the other hand could very well be kicked off with a single nuclear detonation in the wrong right place.

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

In an empire of lies, truth is treason.

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM

US says all drones are accounted for.

Oh really? What about the drone that attacked Issa’s Madrassa?!!!

Blake on December 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

“All accounted for” and “Not missing” could include the one with ‘Captured by Iran’ ticked off next to its serial number. Just sayin’.

PersonFromPorlock on December 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM

US says all drones are accounted for.

Oh really? What about the drone that attacked Issa’s Madrassa?!!!

Blake on December 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Huh??

jimver on December 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

One of them is lying. Normally, I’d say Iran is the liar. But under this administration…..?

Socratease on December 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It says “Mattel” on the side.

Bishop on December 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Could be: Mattel is a well-known supplier to the military. (M16 gunstocks, among other things)

landlines on December 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM

HHmmmm…. who to trust: the Iranians or the Obama regime…. It’s getting to be a tougher call!

Free Indeed on December 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

NO CONTEST!!

The Iranians have been MUCH more consistent and true to their word over the years.

landlines on December 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM

You are correct, stock footage…that’s a display model…kept expecting to see “Sample only, not for resale” on the side.

right2bright on December 4, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I suspected the same. I grabbed the picture of it shown with the gulf below and it really looks like a brochure picture. It even looks like they didn’t Photoshop out part of the fold and the right side looks like it was picking up reflections due to not being completely flat. Another thing I noticed was that it’s a different color then all the ones I found via Google. It looks like ours are more of a light blue which would make sense if it wanted to blend with the sky better.

Frank Enstine on December 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM

If it is “off the shelf” then Iran could have bought it. But if I was going to lay money down on a bet, I would bet Israel. They have reason to want to be checking up on Iran, they are generally good enough to have got it in position on some ship and if it is “off the shelf” they would certainly have access to it.

yetanotherjohn on December 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM

.
If from Israel, most likely it would have been modified to allow destruction by remote in case of lost control or when a preset signal was interrupted.

News2Use on December 4, 2012 at 2:26 PM

When the 0bama regime denies something, you know it is true.

jukin3 on December 4, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Why would they have to shoot one down?

The Punk would give them the blueprints and schematics if they but asked.

LegendHasIt on December 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Oh really? What about the drone that attacked Issa’s Madrassa?!!!

Blake on December 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

You just put your name on Quinn’s black list.

lester on December 4, 2012 at 3:33 PM

It’s not one of these, is it?

http://www.nitroplanes.com/projet-drone-2500mm-kit.html

I’m thinking of getting one of these to fly over the neighborhood to freak out the locals.

Lickmuffin on December 4, 2012 at 3:39 PM

And here I thought they were nuts for putting those huge butterfly nets on the radio antennae of Iranian patrol boats in the Gulf.

Genius, pure genius I tellya!

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Which liars are lying? Hard to tell.

Philly on December 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

“. . . . . As always, should you or any of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.”

listens2glenn on December 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM

J.E. Dyer on December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

It’s conceivable that Iran could simply have bought the thing, through a third party.

However, in the background of the video, the map over which the drone is situated is labeled ‘Persian Gulf’. In English! Is this really Iran? As others have said, it looks more like an arms sale event, or air show.

Bartrams Garden on December 4, 2012 at 8:00 PM

********* Spy Plane OverNight Drama Alert ***********

‘The US Navy has fully accounted for all UAVs operating in the Middle East region’ US defense official tells @CNN

Dec. 4, 2012, 10:21 a.m. GMT from http://www.nn.com by editor
==========================================================

Update: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s navy chief, General Fadavi, says the ‘intruding’ drone was captured, but gave no further details – @AP

50 mins ago by editor
=========================

Iran captures US drone gathering intelligence over its airspace, Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars reports – @Reuters

1 hour ago by editor

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/iran-captures-us-drone-december-2012
=====

ScanEagle
*********
http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/scaneagle/

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 7:39 AM

canopfor on December 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

It looks like someone glued wings on an RPG.

trl on December 5, 2012 at 2:23 AM