Skip to comments.Drone spotted flying above Metrodome during Vikings-Packers game
Posted on 12/31/2012 8:30:50 AM PST by kiryandil
Think drones only fly above Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other quasi-theaters of war?
Think again. Yesterday, an unmanned helicopter was photographed flying above the Metrodome plaza before the Vikings-Packers game. A Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response [VIPR] team was also photographed milling around the plaza.
Here's a photo of the VIPR team, followed by a full-size shot of the drone (all photos courtesy of Nathan M. Hansen's Twitter):
Local "information operations" and "spinstorms" blogger Dan Feidt writes that the drone "is comparable to the sports photography drone... I figured it might just be a civilian hobbyist drone or some weird sports media project until the VIPR team was found by Hansen." (We've done two interviews with Feidt this year: read them here and here.) [UPDATE: In fact, the unmanned aircraft appears to have been under the control of a local production company -- see update below.]
Here's some context about VIPR teams [also known as "viper" teams] from a Los Angeles Times report published late in 2011:
The TSA's 25 "viper" teams -- for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response -- have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more teams next year.
According to budget documents, the department spent $110 million in fiscal 2011 for "surface transportation security," including the TSA's viper program, and is asking for an additional $24 million next year. That compares with more than $5 billion for aviation security.
TSA officials say they have no proof that the roving viper teams have foiled any terrorist plots or thwarted any major threat to public safety. But they argue that the random nature of the searches and the presence of armed officers serve as a deterrent and bolster public confidence.
Of course, one person's "public confidence" is another's "police state." And either way, your tax dollars paid for a VIPR team that probably spent most of its time in Minneapolis staring at drunken football fans walking to and from a game.
:::: UPDATE ::::
It appears the presence of the drone was unrelated to the presence of the VIPR team. TCRover, a reporting truck used by the Pioneer Press, shared a photo indicating the unmanned craft was being used by a local production company to shoot aerial scenes of the Metrodome.
Funny, but true
If they were smart they'd just slap Goodyear on the side of the drone ;)
Looking for AP’s missing 9 yards.
Just another government boondoggle. TSA can justify its presence at virtually any high-profile event in the name of “homeland security.” And rest assured; those VIPER teams aren’t composed of your usual TSA gropers at the airport. I’ll bet you a dinner at your favorite steak place that all are supervisory personnel (probably GS-11 equivalent or higher) and many are from out of town.
It’s also a fair guess that most had been in town since Wednesday or Thursday of last week, to ensure adequate preparation time for Sunday’s operation. So, take the number of TSA employees present at the stadium and figure that each were getting at least $190 a day in per diem and lodging expenses, plus round-trip airfare for each TSA worker who’s not from the local area. And don’t forget to add in the rental cars (one for every two members of the team).
All told, the TSA wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars on their little “op” at the regular season finale. And it will be repeated at every playoff game and the Super Bowl. In fact, it would be rather interesting to see how many folks from DHS, TSA, the FBI, BATF, ICE and other security organizations will be in New Orleans for the big game in February.
Or a .243...
lol. They do get to play again, a holding penalty or two less and he may have had it.. Here’s hoping he rips off another 200 yards in Green Bay.
‘hovercraft’ inside the Hump’dome are nothing new as I recall.. I still think they should remove the dome, flood it and stock it with fish, use it for fishing year round and snowmobile racing in the winter.
Having these drones really isn’t any different than telling any present law enforcement personnel to “keep an eye opened”. Given the news of the day that, unfortunately, seems prudent.
.243 would indeed do some damage, but the .30-06 would do a bit more at longer ranges. A .300 Win Mag or .50 Cal (BMG) would be all the better.
Barring an ongoing conflict or security concern, each and every citizen should feel obligated to bring these things down if they are just flying them up there watching us for no reason at all.
Perhaps we should make ‘drones’ of our own......
Check out the picture at post #38
That’s not “ a force equally armed and outfitted as the military.” It’s a clown posse for welfare slugs.
Scattered throughout the upper nether regions of the Lions’ Ford Field in Detroit, there is a security detail of LEO’s armed with sniper rifles watching over the crowd during every game........
Ask Bill Musgrave where they are. Peterson wasn't even on the field during many of the Vikings' third down plays yesterday.
Anyone good at remote controlled planes? Just wait, these too will be banned when someone uses a plane to harm or destroy a drone.
As opposed to the gestapo-in-training we'd be looking at if the Republicans had won?
You have totally wiped your memory of the Bush era police state ramp up? You seriously think this is just an Obama problem?
Words fail me.
Its also a fair guess that most had been in town since Wednesday or Thursday of last week, to ensure adequate preparation time for Sundays operation. So, take the number of TSA employees present at the stadium and figure that each were getting at least $190 a day in per diem and lodging expenses, plus round-trip airfare for each TSA worker whos not from the local area. And dont forget to add in the rental cars (one for every two members of the team).
All told, the TSA wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars on their little op at the regular season finale. And it will be repeated at every playoff game and the Super Bowl. In fact, it would be rather interesting to see how many folks from DHS, TSA, the FBI, BATF, ICE and other security organizations will be in New Orleans for the big game in February.
This bears repeating. Many peasants don't understand the tax dollar bonfire involved when they see stuff like this.
how many folks from DHS, TSA, the FBI, BATF, ICE and other security organizations will be in New Orleans
I call stuff like that "Law Enforcement Senior Skip Day" - on our dime...
Plan carefully FRiend. They will be waiting for you with video feed from the drone to ground teams. And don’t forget where your bullets will go if you happen to miss.
“TSA has become a training ground for a future cadre of para-military police to spy on Americans.”
Many of the TSA personnel I have observed during my travels appear to have been recruited from the big city high school lunchroom staff. Not exactly stealth “spies”.
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
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From Krauthammer :
Im going to go hard left on you here, Im going ACLU. I dont want regulations, I dont want restrictions, I want a ban on this. Drones are instruments of war. The Founders had a great aversion to any instruments of war, the use of the military inside even the United States. It didnt like standing armies, it has all kinds of statutes of using the army in the country.
A drone is a high-tech version of an old army and a musket. It ought to be used in Somalia to hunt bad guys but not in America. I dont want to see it hovering over anybodys home. Yes, you can say we have satellites, weve got Google Street View and London has a camera on every street corner but thats not an excuse to cave in on everything else and accept a society where youre always under being watched by the government. This is not what we want.
I would say that you ban it under all circumstances and I would predict, Im not encouraging, but I an predicting that the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down thats been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country.