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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/8/2004 12:00 (Entered as : 08/08/1904 12:00)
Reported: 8/9/2004 10:32:18 PM 22:32
Posted: 12/14/2004
Location: United States,
Duration: years
I thought I saw a UFO but it was a homeland security drone.

I thought I saw a UFO but it was actually a homeland security drone. Press Releases Fact Sheet: Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) The success of the Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABC) is contingent on impairing and stopping the smuggling organizations that transport human cargo across the border. To assist state, local and federal elements in their efforts, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are both an important part of the smarter border strategy and an essential element of the Arizona Border Control Initiative. The UAVs permit greater border coverage and quicker response times in rugged, desolate areas of the southwest border.

This is the first non-military use of UAVs for border protection. The Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) will supplement ground security efforts with a live video feed of potential illegal smuggling as it occurs.

The use of UAVs will complement the other intrusion detection and intelligence gathering components of the border surveillance network to meet the mission of stopping the illegal entry of terrorists, smugglers and others into the United States.

UAVs equipped with sophisticated on-board sensors have the potential to provide unparalleled surveillance capability. This capability will provide CBP Border Patrol agents a "birds eye view" of smuggling and allow them to quickly refocus resources to apprehend people illegally entering the country. UAVs will also contribute to enforcement effectiveness and officer safety by providing communications links for coordinating multiple units on the ground is important in remote border operating areas.

UAVs provide long-range surveillance. As a result, they are especially effective force-multipliers because they have the capacity to remain on station much longer than other airborne assets, and are particularly useful for monitoring remote land border areas where patrols cannot easily travel and infrastructure is difficult or impossible to build.

Aviation/Technology The UAV is equipped with electro-optic sensors and communications payloads providing day and night imagery.

It is equipped with a communication capability used by ground control stations to communicate, which is a law enforcement officer safety and a communications/coordination requirement.

The Hermes 450 is a single engine system with advanced composite structure and optimized aerodynamics. Advanced avionics enable autonomous flights and precise GPS navigation.

The UAV is equipped with sophisticated communication systems transferring imagery in real-time to ground control stations.

Specifications Up to 20 hours of flight endurance Reaches ceiling of 18,000 feet (operating at approximately 9,500 feet) Maximum air speed: 95 knots (125 miles per hour) Cruise speed: 70 knots (91 miles per hour) Built as a high wing, V-tail optimal aerodynamic configuration Light composite structure Redundant flight computer avionics and power supply Fully autonomous flight with in-flight redirection (GOVERNMENT DOC - OK TO COPY)

((NUFORC Note: At first, we decided not to post this report, when it first arrived, thinking that it might be a commercial advertisement for the drone described. However, the information appears on the Homeland Security website, (, so we have decided to share it. Frankly, we doubt that the shape of the drone would cause many people to think that they were looking at a UFO, although if it were in the extreme distance, and generated a glint of sunlight, some might think that the reflection might have been caused by a genuine UFO. PD))