Sun, Apr 13, 2008
Aircraft Wash Ashore Along Gulf Coast
Swimmers and sunbathers hoping to
take advantage of springtime weather last week along the gulf coast
of Alabama were surprised to find some parts of the beach closed,
due to the unexpected return of two non-native species.
According to local news reports, two 20-foot-long Air Force
drone aircraft washed up on beaches near Fort Morgan and Cabana
Beach on Thursday. Initially, witnesses thought they were seeing a
swimmer in distress, or wreckage from a downed airplane.
"We couldn't tell what it was a first," one spring-break
beachgoer told WKRG-5. "You could just see little parts of it. A
wave would come and then you would see another part."
Officials confirmed such unmanned drones are often used during
offshore targeting exercises, between 40-70 miles off the coast. No
one knows how long either aircraft were in the water... though both
planes had a heavy layer of barnacles attached to their
Authorities stressed the aircraft did not pose any danger to
civilians, though a guard was posted to protect the drone near Fort
Morgan from curious onlookers... or perhaps someone looking for a
souvenir to take home.
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