FAQ :: How are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used today?

The Houston Police Department started testing unmanned aircraft in 2007 and its first test was shrouded in secrecy. Fortunately, it was captured on tape by (KPRC Local 2 Investigates). KPRC had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks; satellite dishes, and a swirling radar at the test site 70 miles northwest of Houston. HPD cruisers surrounded the farm with a roadblock in place to check each of the dignitaries arriving for the invitation-only event.The invitation spelled out, “NO MEDIA ALLOWED.” HPD Chief Harold Hurtt attended, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and dozens of officers from various police agencies in the Houston area. Few of the guests would comment as they left the test site.

News Chopper 2 had a Local 2 Investigates team following the aircraft for more than one hour as it circled overhead. Its wings spanned ten feet and it circled at an altitude of 1,500 feet. Operators from a private firm called Instiu Inc., manned remote controls from inside the fleet of black trucks as the guests watched a live feed from the high-powered camera aboard the 40-pound aircraft.

“I wasn’t ready to publicize this,” said Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo. She and other department leaders hastily organized a news conference when they realized Local 2 Investigates had captured the entire event on camera.

Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft could be used for covert police actions and for writing traffic tickets. A large number of the officers at the test site were assigned to the department’s ticket-writing Radar Task Force. Capt. Tom Runyan insisted they were only there to provide “site security,” even though KPRC cameras spotted those officers heavily participating in the test flight.

Houston police contacted KPRC from the test site, claiming the entire airspace was restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration. Police even threatened action from the FAA if the Local 2 helicopter remained in the area. However, KPRC reported it had already checked with the FAA on numerous occasions and found no flight restrictions around the site, a point conceded by Montalvo.

The price tag for an unmanned aircraft ranges from $30,000 to $1 million each and HPD is hoping to begin law enforcement from the air by June of 2008 with these new aircraft. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s office is weeks away from launching an unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime. The Vanguard Defense Industries Shadow Hawk helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of an SUV. [1]

“We can put it over a fire, put it over hazzmat spill, put it over a house with a suspect barricaded inside and literally give the incident commander the ability to look at the entire scene with a bird’s eye view, ” said Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel. It is equipped with an infrared camera that can clearly read a license plate from an elevation of twelve hundred feet. The helicopter cost upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal government. [2]

The Department of Homeland Security posted an article on its website about its program of giving police departments grants to buy UAVs:

For local police departments who do not have a helicopter unit or cannot afford one, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are quickly becoming a cheap solution; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas recently purchased the ShadowHawk, a small remote controlled helicopter manufactured by Vanguard Defense Industries.

“The sheriff’s office has no air patrol unit,” said Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel. “To have an aircraft we can deploy quickly when we need it seems to be an appropriate means of equipment and technology. It’s something that will be able to protect our personnel on the ground and the public.”

In response to criticism that drones violate privacy McDaniel said, “We’re not about spying on the residents of this county. We are about putting criminals in jail and putting a stop to criminal activity. We have better things to do, and spying is not our role.” McDaniels explained that one of the major uses of the drones will be to look for missing persons. “It will have specific missions. Certainly we will use it to locate lost individuals in wooded areas. That can be an elderly autism patient or someone lost in the National Forest, which is in the northeast corner of the county,” he said. “This would be a much more efficient use of time and resources when you can launch an aircraft and search from the sky rather than get a bunch of people together and search on foot, horseback, or ATV.” [3]

UAVs are incredible tools for good. As McDaniels noted it is far cheaper to have a UAV search for a missing person than for dozens or hundreds of people to search on foot. Satellite surveillance is also an excellent tool for law enforcement. Yet every invented technology has the potential of being abused by evil people who have no regard for their fellow man and want to enslave them.

History is littered with megalomaniacs who seek absolute power and use every technology at their disposal to get it. Big Brother will be able to use UAVs to eliminate anyone and everyone who gets in the way of the New World Order agenda when the Tribulation years come upon this earth.


[1] 14. Dean, Stephen. “Local 2 Investigates Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Air- craft Test.” 11.21.2007. www.click2houston.com/investigates/14659066/detail.ht ml.

[2] Gutierrez, Kris. “Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird’s-Eye View on Crime.” (11.16.201)

[3] DHS. Montgomery County adds drone to arsenal.” 11.15.2011 www.home landsecuritynewswire.com/srlet20111115-montgomery-county-adds-drone-to-arsenal.