The US Navy has released new video showing the moment a sailor filmed six mysterious drones swarming around its most advanced warship in April 2019.
This incident captured drones hovering around the USS Zumlwalt, although six other ships were involved, and all incidents occurred between March and July 2019.
It happened 19 miles off the coast of California in international waters while the Zumwalt was stationed at Camp Pendleton.
In the video, a sailor can be heard narrating the strange occurrence, saying the planes are operating at an altitude of 300 to 1000 feet and have made several flypasts and circle patterns around the ship.
While the video is unclear, it shows a drone with colorful lights humming above the ship and flying in “uniform patterns,” and the sailor also says they appear to be unarmed.
At one point, one of the drones flew over the ship’s deck and no contact was made with the ship itself.
Drone swarm events have become more common in recent years, and in some incidents less powerful drones are even used as “canaries” to distract security systems or survey defenses.
The drones, captured on April 24, 2019, are equipped with four colored lights as they circled around the USS Zumwalt
The USS Zumwalt is unique in that it is the most technologically capable stealth warship available to the US Navy
The USS Paul Hamilton (left) recorded several encounters with drone swarms during 2019. They were followed on July 15 by drones believed to be operated by a cargo ship based in Hong Kong. On July 21 and again on July 30, they reported drones overhead. Fourteen drones surrounded the USS Ralph Johnson on July 15, 2019 (pictured right).
The drones were documented by the Navy’s SNOOPIE team — the Ship Nautical Or Other Photographic Interpretation and Exploitation Team — to monitor the sightings.
SNOOPIE is made up of sailors trained to take photos to document unusual sightings.
Dave Kovar, CEO of URSA Inc., which specializes in drone safety issues, said that while he “is unable to determine much of the aircraft’s configuration,” it appears to have “four navigation lights.”
Kovar told The Drive the craft could be a “multi-rotor, likely quad, UAV (unidentified aircraft) with running lights.”
Another analyst noted that the drone is sophisticated, saying, “While the video isn’t of the best quality, I don’t see anything on the drone that would make me think it’s something that can’t be bought from a recent commercial.” could drone manufacturer.”
But the pattern of flights and consistent altitude also had the analyst comment, “The drones were either programmed to fly a specific route or they were being piloted remotely while they might be at altitude, which for me wasn’t.” is the hallmark of advanced technology. ‘
The incident happened just 17 miles off the coast of southern California, near the large naval base at Camp Pendleton.
Because it was so close to the US mainland, the analyst concluded it was likely a “planned mission because no one has six drones on a boat for recreational purposes.”
Additionally, the newly released video “really is the only way to do a forensic assessment to determine the provenance and capabilities of an unidentified drone,” they said.
The apparent surveillance of the USS Zumwalt is unique as it is the most technologically capable stealth warship available to the US Navy.
The ship’s stealth technology makes it more durable than other destroyers as it can remain undetected and also operate closer to enemy territory.
Director of Naval Intelligence Scott W. Bray appears before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
Because it was so close to the US mainland, one analyst concluded it was likely a “planned mission because no one has six drones on a boat for recreational purposes.”
It was originally thought that these swarms of “tic-tac”-shaped drones only affected the Navy for a few days in mid-July, but new documents show Navy officials were dealing with these encounters throughout the month.
In one incident in July 2019, the USS Russell fired five shots at the drones, which could fly at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour and travel at least 100 nautical miles.
Two days later, at around 10:30 a.m. on July 23, the USS Russell dispatched a “Ghostbusters” team. The team “completed” their mission around 11:00 am.
The Drive defined a “ghostbuster” as a gun-shaped, low-end UAS device that jams radio frequencies between the drone and its operator.
It is not known if the USS Russell already had “Ghostbusters” on board the ship, or if they were purchased specifically to combat the increasing drone presence.
The Drive reported that the drones linked to the Hong Kong ship weren’t the only troubling encounters.
FACTS ABOUT THE USS ZUMWALT
The USS Zumwalt, the world’s most advanced stealth warship, was first launched on October 29, 2013
The ship was named after Elmo Zumwalt Jr., the youngest ever Chief of Naval Operations
The ship cost $4 billion to build and was built by Bath Iron Works in Maine
The ship supports approximately 175 sailors and weighs 15,000 tons
The Zumwalt’s first commanding officer was Captain James A. Kirk, who drew attention to the resemblance to Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shattner, who wrote a letter in support of the ship’s crew
In March 2019, in the same international waters off Southern California, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry reported up to eight unidentified drones flying about 500 feet directly overhead and “conducting collection operations.”
Where these drones came from was unclear.
On July 21, 2019, the USS Paul Hamilton again reported drones overhead — this time believed to be from “local fishermen operating personal quadcopters.”
Later that week on July 25, the USS Gabrielle Giffords found four drones overhead and asked the nearby USS Pinckney for help. Three small boats were nearby at this point.
On July 30, 2019, the USS Russell saw two groups of lights with five drones over a period of approximately three hours.
Communication with the nearby pleasure craft was never established.
And on the same day, the USS Paul Hamilton reported several drones overhead, some just 200 meters away.
While the operator of the drone swarm has yet to be positively identified, a previous report said the drones may have originated from a Hong Kong cargo ship in nearby waters.
In a congressional hearing earlier this year on UFOs, Navy and Department of Defense officials acknowledged the drone swarms but did not elaborate.
Despite the lack of conclusive information, the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division hosted an event called “Swarm 22” last month.
The event was designed as a “large-scale experimentation event” that brought together over 150 participants to “analyze electromagnetic warfare (EW) deployed on small multi-domain unmanned systems (UxS).
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11165681/Moment-swarm-six-unidentified-drones-fly-Navys-advanced-surface-combatant-ship.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 A swarm of six unidentified drones is currently flying over the US Navy’s most advanced surface combatant