“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Drones Over America

Yesterday, on my way to work I saw two drones circling the highway. They were flying low in a menacing way. I had no choice but to drive underneath them. 

The creepiest thing about The Hunger Games was the constant surveillance that citizens were subjected to, the hover crafts that dropped out of the sky without notice at their doorsteps. Lois Lowry used a similar device in The Giver, though of course she did it first.  

It surprised me to see drones in the relatively rural area I drive through. According to the Washington Post, there was little to no opposition this winter when Congress quietly opened up U.S. airspace to aerial drones. A big push came from the military, which is preparing to bring home drones that were used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don't care what "experts" say. I see their only purpose as surveillance and I don't like it. Law enforcement is using them under the banner of "keeping us safe". But sinister aircraft operated by unknown entities in remote locations seem to have an ulterior purpose.

I think it's that element that makes them seem creepy. Give me the thrill of watching a kid fly a kite, or a hot air balloon floating overhead with a person at the helm, or a fighter jet steaming through the clouds under the command of a gutsy pilot. Give me the human element, someone invested in the risk and the thrill of human achievement. A drone does not convey that. It doesn't feel like the sort of achievement we will be proud of in the future. It seems ironic that at the same time our manned space program has stalled, unmanned drones are flying overhead.

Have you seen a drone? What do you think of them?


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I haven't seen a drone overhead, but it would give me the creeps. Your post made me think of HAL or the Terminator--that fear of losing control of the machines made to 'think.'

Frances Garrood said...

We constantly seem to have helicopters circling round our town at night. Not drones, maybe, but noisy and disturbing.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

I haven't seen one and I agree it's creepy. My guess, considering where you live, is that it's Homeland Security on the prowl for undocumented Manitobans.

Liza said...

I haven't seen one and I think when I do it will creep me out.

Jemi Fraser said...

That would be creepy. Shades of 1984 and those you mentioned. *shiver*

Yvonne Osborne said...

I saw another one today. What gives? I HATE them.

Helicopters always make me think of med flights. But why the night circling?

Ha! Undocumented Manitobans? Of course! Why didn't I think of that?

There is something about them that emits sinister vibes. You'll know one when you see one. No mistake.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks. Yeah,remember The Giver and those crafts that dropped out of the sky? Always knowing exactly where everyone was?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Weird. I have never seen a drone.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I saw another one yesterday.

Pet said...

Are you under the influence of Hunger Games too? :-)
I read the books, borrowed from my niece (12) while on Christmas holidays in Florida last December. And it is true, there is something genuinely Orwellian on all that.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Interesting question. I guess I'm under the influence of something! Is it paranoia?

jbchicoine said...

Okay, this is how lame I am: I didn't even know about drones! I mean, I've heard of such things, but had to Google it! I guess I wouldn't have known one if I saw one. We have lots of other low-flying military stuff go overhead, and yeah, it gives me the creeps.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I had only heard of their controversial use in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here, I'd only heard of them being used at high altitude for scientific purposes, such as collecting weather data. Until recently. You aren't lame. Congress is lame. Shame on them for doing this under the cloak of darkness without any public discussion.