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U.S. Vigilantes Test Drones on Mexican Border (Hold muh taco salad alert)
Reuters | 13 May, 2003

Posted on 05/13/2003 6:30:47 PM PDT by Happy2BMe

Reuters
Tuesday, May 13, 2003; 7:40 PM

By Deborah Tedford

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - An Arizona vigilante group is testing homemade "drone" reconnaissance planes on the U.S.-Mexican border to monitor illegal immigrants entering the United States in lonely desert areas.

Glenn Spencer, head of the American Border Patrol vigilante group, said on Tuesday the group has been testing two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for about a month and plans to have a fleet making passes over the border by early July.

"We want to show how the application of this technology can solve the border problem," Spencer told Reuters.

Police and residents say they are aware of the drones, similar to unmanned U.S. military aircraft used in Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal Mexican immigrants cross the border in search of work every year. Three vigilante groups, some of them armed, have sprung up in Arizona in the last three years to monitor the border and hand over any illegal immigrants they find to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

The groups say U.S. authorities allow too many Mexicans to flout U.S. immigration law. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, some have also said unrestricted immigration poses an unacceptable security risk.

Area residents say the drones invade their privacy and foster poor cross-border relations.

"The Mexican populations along the border are indignant," said Miguel Escobar, a Mexican Foreign Ministry official based in Arizona.

Ray Borane, mayor of the border town of Douglas, Ariz., said the group's activities are racist.

"BORDER HAWK"

The vigilantes say they plan to outfit each UAV with a global positioning device to pinpoint migrants, and then forward hose coordinates to the Border Patrol.

Dubbed the Border Hawk, the $5,000 drone has a wingspan of 5-1/2 feet and flies at an altitude of 300-400 feet -- under the 500 feet mandated for aircraft that need certification by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The craft are made by members of the vigilante group with experience in electronics, Spencer said.

Mario Villarreal, spokesman for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection in Washington, said: "We appreciate the community's efforts in notifying us of suspicious activities... We encourage them to call the Border Patrol or law enforcement but those efforts should be within the law."

He refused to comment directly on the vigilantes or their planned use of drones.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Mexico; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: border; domesticdrones; drones; dronesabp; dronesbp; dronesus; mexico; vigilantes
It's the DRONE - It's the DRONE!
1 posted on 05/13/2003 6:30:47 PM PDT by Happy2BMe
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To: Happy2BMe
DRONE BUMP!
2 posted on 05/13/2003 6:42:31 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (LIBERTY has arrived in Iraq - Now we can concentrate on HOLLYWEED!)
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To: Happy2BMe
How long before 'drone hunting' becomes popular?
3 posted on 05/13/2003 6:45:35 PM PDT by randog (It's always darkest before the dawn--a good time to steal the neighbor's newspaper...)
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To: randog
Laser-tag drone hunting or thirty-ought-six drone hunting?
4 posted on 05/13/2003 6:50:00 PM PDT by _Jim (Guangdong doctor linked as source of SARS in China: http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030320/09/)
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To: Happy2BMe
Nifty.

I'There have been a lot of developments in R/C planes that are modified with conputer controlled servos to change the flaps/throttle and digital interface to the compass/altimeter/gyroscope/GPS instruments. They can then add a camera on a UHF band or use a radio modem or even a cell phone modem to send video back to the base. Heck, you could even fly an 802.11g wireless network node line-of-sight for several miles.

I've considered making one for myself. The parts aren't all that expensive.

I'd love to see photos or a website. I wonder if they're going to use a powered glider design (run engine to gain altitude, then cut throttle and glide for a while). That could be very effective in the southwest climate. Might be able to stay up for a long time in summer months, even at night.
5 posted on 05/13/2003 6:52:07 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Happy2BMe
Hispanic against illegal alien bump. Arm them drones with mace and buck shot. Screw Hispanics who support illegal imigration, they are traitors of this nation and do not represent real Hispanic-Americans.
6 posted on 05/13/2003 6:58:25 PM PDT by Porterville (Screw the grammar, full posting ahead.)
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To: Happy2BMe
Ray Borane, mayor of the border town of Douglas, Ariz., said the group's activities are racist.

Its racist to try to help stop a crime, which illegal immigration is? Ray Borane, you are an idiot!

7 posted on 05/13/2003 7:01:58 PM PDT by Enlightiator
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To: madfly; JackelopeBreeder
ping
8 posted on 05/13/2003 7:03:54 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Enlightiator
"Ray Borane, mayor of the border town of Douglas, Ariz., said the group's activities are racist."

AY KARUMBA! BORDERS! We Ain't Got NO STINKING BORDERS!!

9 posted on 05/13/2003 7:11:48 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (LIBERTY has arrived in Iraq - Now we can concentrate on HOLLYWEED!)
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To: Happy2BMe
Area residents say the drones invade their privacy and foster poor cross-border relations.

"The Mexican populations along the border are indignant," said Miguel Escobar, a Mexican Foreign Ministry official based in Arizona.

Does this mean the Mexican government opposes the Open Skies Treaty?

If foreign nations and nuclear powers are allowed to overfly military reservations in the US without prior notice, why should a handful of impoverished laborers become alarmed when a drone flies over to patrol for illegal immigration and black market traffic?

10 posted on 05/13/2003 7:13:09 PM PDT by Cvengr (0;^))
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To: _Jim
Thirty-ought-six, thirty-ought-seven......whatever it takes.

;^)
11 posted on 05/13/2003 7:16:42 PM PDT by randog (It's always darkest before the dawn--a good time to steal the neighbor's newspaper...)
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To: Happy2BMe


 
 April 25, 2003

American Border Patrol
Successfully Tests UAV
Live Images From "Border Hawk" Sent Over the Internet

UAV aerial view of ABP's Mobile Internet Satellite Transmitter (MIST) and the operator of the UAV. See full size video image. (Taken April 25, 2003 at 5 pm Pacific time.)
Sierra Vista, Arizona (ABP - April 25) -- American Border Patrol (ABP), the high-tech organization that is "shedding light" on the border problem, successfully flew its "Border Hawk," an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and sent live video images from the UAV out over the Internet through the MIST system. According to ABP president, Glenn Spencer, the success of the UAV test will pave the way to the development of a comprehensive, low-cost system of detection and surveillance along America's borders. "This is an important step in reaching our goal of showing how technology can be used to solve the border problem," Spencer said. Spencer said the Border Hawk will be in operation on the border in the next day or so.
Watch [Broadband Only]
Red DotSee aerial shot of SBI footpath

External links may expire at any time.




Note: the Watch [Broadband] link is for a 221Kbps RealPlayer video stream. Very very nice. You can see that the camera has a least one servo so it can swivel independently. Looks like they're using a miniature color video camera as image quality is a bit better than just a nasty ol' webcam.

These people are going to be able to stream live video via net. Very ambitious, very cool hobbyists.
12 posted on 05/13/2003 7:18:14 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Happy2BMe
Main Entry: vigilante
Pronunciation: *vi-j*-*lan-t*
Function: noun
Etymology:Spanish, watchman, guard, from vigilante
vigilant, from Latin vigilant-, vigilans
Date: 1865

: a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law appear inadequate); broadly : a self-appointed doer of justice
–vigilantism \-*lan-*ti-z*m\ noun

Leave it to the liberal press to try and paint these folks in a negative light. I would expect nothing less.

13 posted on 05/13/2003 7:38:01 PM PDT by AlaskaErik
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To: AlaskaErik
I counted the "v" word seven times in the bit, then went back and ran a search on her previous works in Reuters. NONE of the previous work was so poorly written, she was pushing the concept.
14 posted on 05/13/2003 7:45:34 PM PDT by TLI (Continuing the sporting tradition of " Lights ON ! How many roaches can be stomped? ")
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To: Happy2BMe
Ok, who has the drones that are equipped with something a little better than a camera? ;-) We need some of those patrolling the border here. Maybe a few Predators with Hellfires and some snipers to catch those who slip through.

The political ranks in the border areas are infested with people who support the illegals so cries of racism and discrimination are normal behavior for them.

15 posted on 05/13/2003 7:57:47 PM PDT by mindjam
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To: George W. Bush
Border Hawk is about 3 feet long with a six foot wingspan. It carries a video camera and transmitter which beams the video directly to the ground terminal. The video is then fired out via the satellite terminal to stream live over the internet. The payload bay will also accept an infrared camera for night work.

It can take off and land in very short distances and remain airborne up to 90 minutes with the external tanks. If there is at least a moderate breeze, it can be made to hover over a spot just by turning directly into the wind and reducing the throttle.

And yes -- the smuggler community is highly upset with this invasion of their privacy.

If Glenn ever releases close up photos of the bird, the inscription next to the camera port says: SMILE!
16 posted on 05/13/2003 8:13:57 PM PDT by JackelopeBreeder ("Push to test." < Click! > "Release to detonate." Oops...)
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To: JackelopeBreeder
You know, these smugglers are going to pay somebody to try to jam his control signals or they'll try to shoot the plane down.

I don't think they'll let the drone fly without trying something. Well, this Glenn guy sounds pretty smart. We'll see how well ABP fares against them.

I'm wondering what the cost per drone is now that they have done the development work. And the patrol range.

Of course, we all know that the government could simply pipe some satellite feeds to the Border Patrol if they really wanted to stop the traffic. But they don't want to do that.
17 posted on 05/13/2003 8:37:20 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: JackelopeBreeder
Really, really cool stuff - and MAJOR congrats to all those involved and their great efforts.

Just about the time they start making headway with this, some federal judge will be bought off and declare it is invading on the privacy of rattlesnakes, tarrapins, and tarantulas.

18 posted on 05/13/2003 8:41:03 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (LIBERTY has arrived in Iraq - Now we can concentrate on HOLLYWEED!)
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To: George W. Bush; JackelopeBreeder
We're still training UAV (Hunter or Predator) ops out at the Black Tower facility, right? Can you think of a better training opportunity for military UAV pilots?

Or a better test bed for UAV development?

Hmmm...wonder what would happen if I dropped a dime on the TSM?
19 posted on 05/13/2003 8:45:15 PM PDT by HiJinx (The right person, in the right place, at the right time...)
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To: TLI
I counted the "v" word seven times in the bit, then went back and ran a search on her previous works in Reuters. NONE of the previous work was so poorly written, she was pushing the concept.

Funny. I'd been taught in college that if you repeat a point seven times in an article or essay that retention/acceptance of that point jumps to something like 90%. This looks like the author learned the same thing and used it to push her biased agenda-laden point that she thinks YOU should think that the ABP is a bunch of vigilantes.

20 posted on 05/13/2003 8:50:05 PM PDT by Spiff
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To: All
go check out http://www.rcuniverse.com

BTW, my name is also there in the giant scale engines/conversions forums.
21 posted on 05/13/2003 8:50:09 PM PDT by Daniel Ramsey
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To: Daniel Ramsey
now it just needs some napalm tanks
22 posted on 05/13/2003 9:00:23 PM PDT by AlextheWise1
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To: Happy2BMe
The vigilantes say they plan to outfit each UAV with a global positioning device to pinpoint migrants, and then forward hose coordinates to the Border Patrol.

Great...the border patrol shows up with a WATER BUCKET, MAP, COMPASS and a pat on the back. (Thats IF the border patrol shows at all).
23 posted on 05/13/2003 10:40:50 PM PDT by hdrider (wife of hdrider)
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To: hdrider
I can't speak for California, but here in Arizona the Border Patro does show up 95% of the time. The other 5% is when they have flat out run out of agents and transport.

(However, if you want to criticize and lynch their management, Ill bring the rope.)

Their search and rescue team operates in an area God gave to Satan for special punishments. Remember the desert scenes in Star Wars? Part were filmed in Tunisia on the edge of the Sahara desert -- the rest right around Yuma, Arizona.
24 posted on 05/13/2003 11:07:52 PM PDT by JackelopeBreeder ("Push to test." < Click! > "Release to detonate." Oops...)
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To: Happy2BMe
Area residents say the drones invade their privacy and foster poor cross-border relations.

Uh, just which 'area' residents is Reuters talking about? The Mexican border-flouting coyotes, by chance???

"The Mexican populations along the border are indignant," said Miguel Escobar, a Mexican Foreign Ministry official based in Arizona.

Again, which SIDE of the border is indignant? And, ahem, what about the 'American populations', and don't 'border relations' require two sides views being taken into account...where is the 'American' side???

Ray Borane, mayor of the border town of Douglas, Ariz., said the group's activities are racist.

Is this guy even a real citizen?? And if so, can we say he calls Al Gore his President? And if the 'activity' of defending a border is 'racist' is he then calling Mexican Nationals some particular RACE???! And evidently he is inherently calling the INS racist as well. Sounds to me like he might have the rascism problem...

25 posted on 05/14/2003 10:17:44 AM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Happy2BMe
bump
26 posted on 05/14/2003 2:03:23 PM PDT by kimosabe31
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To: kimosabe31; Happy2BMe
Now why would I get the suspicion that some of our more electronically-talented FReepers were busy recently? LOL! Great job, whoever started this ball rolling!
27 posted on 05/14/2003 2:12:11 PM PDT by alwaysconservative ("All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke)
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To: Spiff
"she thinks YOU should think that the ABP is a bunch of vigilantes."

And that is where she failed.  Not only with me, but with anyone that is familiar with the issue. It was a negative move on her part because   those in the area know that ABP members are not vigilantes.  That eventuality seems to have been lost on her as she is residing and writing out of that area.  The ABP members she is calling vigilantes are mostly prior military that know their rights, the boundaries of the law, are fed up with the fed not making good on their own laws and are doing something about it.  There are others doing the same here in Texas and went to jail over it, but that issue is probably rooted in corruption of local LEA.

Too bad Ms. Deborah Tedford can't comment on the dirty cops, it would be much more interesting.

28 posted on 05/15/2003 9:12:04 PM PDT by TLI (Continuing the sporting tradition of " Lights ON ! How many roaches can be stomped? ")
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