A U.S. official tells CBS News that there is “high confidence” that a captured American aircraft shown on Iranian television today is, in fact, one of this country’s most sophisticated spy planes. The Pentagon declined to comment, but the American official says analysis of the video confirms the RQ-170 unmanned drone was captured. Exactly how that happened is still being analyzed.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that the aircraft presented as the unmanned U.S. surveillance drone appeared to be nearly intact, though the undercarriage was obscured by propaganda banners draped below the wings. The message on the left proclaimed, “America cannot do any harm to us.” And on the right, against a background of American flags and skulls, the message read: “We have trampled on America.”

U.S. officials – still studying the video – are convinced the aircraft is the stealth drone reported lost over the weekend. But, the Pentagon declined comment, with spokesman George Little citing intelligence concerns. “We did have a UAV go missing, but when it comes to sensitive reconnaissance missions, we call them sensitive for a reason,” Little said. LINK

Ok this story has bothered the crap out of me since it broke the other day. Unfortunately I’ve been working and haven’t been able to post about it until now. I understand that in the big scheme of things, sh*t happens. Murphy’s law applies at all times. But think about this: someone screwed up by allowing one of our most top-secret systems to fall into the hands of one of our worst enemies. This is bad. Unless this was an intentional act, possibly disinformation (we may never know) this is a case of GROSS NEGLIGENCE for a couple of reasons. The first is – SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING!

In light of the Bin Laden raid and the trouble the SEALS had with totally demolishing a disabled Top Secret helicopter, someone in the DRONE program should have given a thought to the old “What if ?” scenario. As in what if the Iranians, Pakistani’s, Chinese or Taliban get hold of this TOP SECRET DRONE WHERE WE CAN’T GET TO IT? What then?

The second is why are we using our MOST ADVANCED SYSTEM spying on Iran? Couldn’t we use a first generation drone for the job saving the TOP SECRET stuff for an actual shooting war, say with the Chinese? Why use all your tricks before you need to? If this is as bad as every indication seems to say it is we just compromised the next generation of secret technology for no gain. Brilliant. What are they trying to learn from this drone that we don’t know already? That the Iranians are building nuclear weapons? Duh. No sh*t Sherlock. Despite the public ambivalence of the Obama administration Iran policy someone in the inner circle must be plenty worried about what the Iranians are up to if they are risking this technology.

But the thing the bothers me the most about this incident is there were no steps taken to ensure destruction of this technology. The military apparently hasn’t learned a simple lesson. Remember the case of the NAVY plane off the coast of China that was forced to land in China after a mid-air collision with a dumb ass Chinese jet pilot set to intercept them? The spy plane fell into the hands of the Chinese who proceeded to take it apart from the seams. The crew stated that they were using HAMMERS to try to destroy the sensitive communications and spy gear before the Chinese authorities boarded the plane.

HAMMERS? (Shudder) Really? Can it get any more insane?  I can only bet (horrified) that it was no ORDINARY WAL-MART hammer. It most likely was a government-spec hammer, specially constructed out of titanium or other top secret material and subject to a rigorous ten-year testing program.

Can someone explain to me how a top-secret drone, over enemy territory isn’t equipped with a self destruct system JUST IN CASE? Can someone explain to me how spy planes don’t have a few incendiary grenades locked in a box so the last guy out of the cabin can pop one just to keep the Chinese from reverse-engineering our most secret systems? SOMEONE PLEASE???




  1. Ingineer66 says:

    I was thinking same thing. Why didn’t it have something to destroy the technology or at least blow it into tiny pieces to put back together.

  2. Howie says:

    I can tell you, but I would have to kill you.

    I know nothing about the RQ-170, but I believe that stealth technology is not that secret anymore.

    The problem with drones is they are controlled by a radio signal. If that signal is blocked, how could the operators activate the self-destruct switch? They couldn’t. The only thing the manufactures could do is plan a back up program to either have the plane fly to someplace safe or crash, hoping the plane is destroyed.

    This whole incident has highlighted the problem with drones. A pilot in the cockpit could still disable the technology. Drones are made to protect the people using them from harm.

    • Spoken like a true pilot! 🙂

      I would think you write it into the program… if the drone loses contact, is jammed or otherwise malfunctions it triggers a self destruct sequence. Am I off the reservation here?

      BTW they are now reporting that the Russians sold the Iranians jamming equipment. Sounds like your on to something.

      • Howie says:

        How big of a self destruct sequence are we talking about? Would you want to be the guy that has to push that thing back in the hangar with it filled with explosives? What about when the signal is lost slightly due to interference in the atmosphere? How about when the signal is lost due to the antenna or ground station or satellite? I think the issue is more complicated than you think. Anytime you fly a plane there is a certain amount of risk involved in losing it. What if the plane that was lost was an F-22, the most advanced fighter/attack plane in the world? Should we then have a self-destruct sequence for that plane?
        I know it sounds like a good idea, but somethings are harder to do than said.

      • I get what you’re saying, but the drone is already supposed to do a couple of things if it loses its signal. It is supposed to crash, loiter until the signal returns or return to base. If we can’t rig it to self destruct completely then at least use enough to fry it’s electronics and anything sensitive. That we should be able to do remotely. I’m pretty sure any 15 year old with a Play Station could figure this one out. If we can signal Voyager half way across the Galaxy we SHOULD be able to remotely destroy a top secret lost drone.
        As far as the F-22 losing it in actual combat is one thing. Actually we both know an airstrike would be ordered in that case as it should have been done here. Obama said he didn’t do it because it’s an act of war. Really? So is violating Iranian air space. Duh. You should to be ready for this situation BEFORE you fly the mission.

  3. Mike47 says:

    Basic problem is obvious to me… as our technology has rapidly advanced, our ability to apply common sense has diminished. We are becoming fools with fancy, expensive toys. Our value system has deteriorated as well, allowing poor leadership to creep into our government. Good example of this is 22 naval officers fired this year for personal indiscretions. Don’t even get me started on the current situation in the White House…

  4. Dustoff says:


    O-dumber has just asked for it back….. what a fool.

    Iran answer was pound sand.

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