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FBI investigating mysterious drone hovering near JFK airport

By Jeff Winkler
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 17:35 EDT
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The FBI is hunting down a UFO. Really.

At John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Monday, a pilot reported seeing an unidentified black drone hovering about 2,000 feet from the ground as his plane made its final descent. The drone came within 200 feet of the plane, according to several news reports.

Now, the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the sighting of the drone, said to be black, with four propellers and roughly three feet in diameter.

“The FBI is asking anyone with information about the unmanned aircraft or the operator to contact us,”said John Giacalone, the special agent. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew.”

A recording of the pilot’s message to air traffic control (ATC) was recorded by LiveATC.net. The pilot can be heard saying, “We saw a drone, a drone aircraft.”

While the U.S. government operates about 8,000 drones, hobbyists are prohibited from flying their unmanned aircrafts higher than 400 ft. as well as operating around airports and other designated air spaces. For the most part, commercial drone use is prohibited although the guidelines are sketchy. President Barack Obama has set a Sept. 2015 deadline for the FAA to put drone rules and regulations into place. As Wired.com noted, its unclear if it drone was just some hobbyist breaking the rules or “a real spy vessel from the Evil Empire.”

The FAA estimates that by 2020, there will be 30,000 drones hovering over the country, according to the Toronto Star.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

 
 
 
 
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