The White House confirmed early Tuesday morning that “a device penetrated White House grounds” as tweeted by ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila. Shortly after the story broke, it was reported that “the drone belonged to a government employee who said he lost control of it.”
As details were made available, the official story was that “an inebriated off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency … lost control of the drone as he operated it from an apartment just blocks from the White House,” as reported at the New York Times.
To accept this narrative, one must believe that an employee who presumably works full time happened to be “inebriated” on a weeknight, and at 3:00 am, along with his “friend,” decided to fly his recreational drone. That is a bit weird, but on it’s own it is possible. But then the drunk employee “lost control” of the drone and of all places, it just happened to land at the White House.
The New York Times report stated that the drunk man “texted his friends, worried that the drone had gone down on the White House grounds, and then went to sleep.” When he woke up and found that his suspicions were correct, he “called the Secret Service and immediately began cooperating with an investigation into the incident.”
Yet another New York Times article reported that the “friend,” also unidentified “because of the legal issues involved,” described the incident, saying that after guiding the $500. drone outside the window of the apartment located “less than a mile away from the White House,”
It hovered for a couple of minutes, not taking direction from the controller. And then it shot up, rising hundreds of feet into the night sky before taking off at a high speed, due east.
The latest article made no mention of the man texting his “friends”:
The two men agreed that there was nothing they could do in the middle of the night, and they went to sleep.
Despite their close proximity to the White House, the buddies did not notice the commotion at 3:00 am:
Earlier this morning emergency vehicles swarmed outside White House to investigate found device pic.twitter.com/BrkujBJNnN
— Nedra Pickler (@nedrapickler) January 26, 2015
Evidently, the friends were awake pretty early despite the fact that they were up quite late, as the article continues,
At 8 the next morning, the man called his friend again. ‘Turn on the news,’ he said. The two watched as Secret Service officers combed the White House lawn, securing the grounds against any potential threats.
Considering the abundance of recent stories about Secret Service failures, as hilariously documented at Broadside News by Curtice Mang and less hilariously by yours truly here and here; the White House would have a great incentive to diminish a clear security breach.
Although it is unlikely, the story about the inebriated employee who “lost control” of a drone that happened to “penetrate the White House” is possible, which is why his name, his friend’s name and his supposed text messages should be made public.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency that employs the man “uses satellites to gather data for the military and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”
Cross-posted at Broadside News