Outta Sight, Outta Mind Department: Drones in the Desert

domestic-drone-cartoonWhat is it about deserts that attract the most clandestine human activities? (I grew up in Twin Falls Idaho, not far from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, which at that time, had, as I recall, 65 small experimental atomic reactors, some of them, we discovered later, leaking radioactive water into the ground above the Snake River Aquifer.)

Not hard to guess. Nobody around.

Here’s a long essay that I can’t bear to read in full; unfortunately/fortunately, my need for info conflicts with my desire to remain sane . . . Thanks to wanttoknowinfo.com for the link at alternet.org.

Linden Stanley and James Neal Blue’s General Atomics has a massive stake in the drone industry. But that’s just the start.


From afar, the base itself doesn’t look like much–just a jumble of low-slung prefab structures and warehouses and random industrial machinery flanked by vivid green alfalfa crop fields, and a solar field just beyond. That base could be anything. But it isn’t just anything. We are looking at what used to be an abandoned WWII-era airfield [in the Mojave Desert], but today ranks as possibly the largest private drone base in the United States.

General Atomics took the base over in 2001 and converted it into a testing and quality control facility for its drone fleet. This is where the company tests experimental drone technology–like the newfangled stealth bomber jet drone. But mostly the base is where General Atomics techs assemble and test their Predator and Reaper drones before breaking them down again and shipping them to eager customers in the Air Force, Border Patrol, National Guard and the CIA.

Hey! Don’t forget the militarized police departments all across the U.S. of A!

Drone List Released By FAA Shows Which Police Departments Want To Fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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