Drone spotted flying above Metrodome during Vikings-Packers game [PHOTOS] [UPDATE]

Categories: Police
vikes drone closeup.jpg
Nathan M. Hansen -- photo taken from Metrodome plaza shortly before yesterday's game.
Blogger Kevin Hayden writes: "[A] VIPR team [with a drone] at a random NFL event should send chills up your spine."
Think drones only fly above Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other quasi-theaters of war?

SEE ALSO:
-- Camp Ripley drones: New $3.9 million facility sparks protest
-- Grand Forks police to begin regularly using drones this spring


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):

vikes vipr team.jpeg


vikes drone full.jpeg


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.

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36 comments
Processed
Processed

Ahh... That's what that was. Had hoped I was just hallucinating. :-/

Riff Raft Jones
Riff Raft Jones

they sound like lawnmowers . They are being used in mpls.

dgruebele
dgruebele

Be responsible and take down this fraudulent article, or rewrite it. People are sharing it on FB after only seeing the title. It's just propagating B.S. conspiracy theory.

JaimeFeller
JaimeFeller

When are the criminals going to get their own drones? I hope never. But groups of people will claim that it is a violation of their rights if they are not allowed to own them. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let us read some good books this year. http://x.co/rDnu

Grant Mayland
Grant Mayland

Yeah, that's definitely a hobby drone. OMG A DRONE, POLICE STATE GUYS. Give me a break.

Amara Chambers
Amara Chambers

Just another example of amazing City Pages journalism...

notbeck
notbeck

@sharona45 Thanks for freaking me out this morning...roving teams of pseudo protection...what are we becoming?

atrupar
atrupar

@sallyjos Not a PiPress drone -- see update.

Robert Hilstrom
Robert Hilstrom

they heard there was a border battle going on so they sent in the drones

Ben Perrier
Ben Perrier

"Paranoia will destroya" Cheep entertainment! Get better informed and your life will be less corrupted by conspiracy nut jobs. City pages is a joke, do not look to them for "News". No credibility. Music source is about all they are good for and even That is fading into FaceBook dust.

Ben Kressel
Ben Kressel

Saw it at The Big Gay Race! this summer.

dcawley
dcawley

@MyLittleBloggie That kind of thinking doesn't sell papers, Bob.

Eldon Hagen
Eldon Hagen

That's a WOODTICK. Man! You people gettin' all worked up! ;-}

atrupar
atrupar

@MyLittleBloggie Thanks Bob. That's a good suggestion.

Patrick D. Dentinger
Patrick D. Dentinger

read the story, sam. then scroll down to the comments section and see the post which links to a pic of a sports production company at the game yesterday with the drone.

LerpDerp
LerpDerp

I saw these same guys on Nicolette trying to get that thing off the ground a few months ago. 

Dustin Ruff
Dustin Ruff

Is The City Pages turning into a Fox News outlet?!! How about getting some facts instead of an article full of speculation. Big brother maybe. Production crew maybe. Sensationalism spotted writing in the Twin Cities. There's your headline

Sam Solarz
Sam Solarz

Yup what ever you need to tell yourself.

Jen Woods Antila
Jen Woods Antila

Sounds like it might have been a production company taking video of the dome, NOT big brother.

Ryan Cooper
Ryan Cooper

I seen that!!! Thought I was hallucinating.....

sallyjos
sallyjos

@atrupar Right-- most important NOT BIg Government Drone local Alex Jones crew promoting this as--though facts won't stop them #BroCulture

jeremiah_nelson
jeremiah_nelson

@JBrewerPiPress @citypages Is the drone avail for rental?

atrupar
atrupar

@JBrewerPiPress @citypages @FrederickMelo Thanks for pointing this out. I've gone back and updated post.

micahspieler
micahspieler

@solace it looks disappointedly awkward. Not at all the super-sleuth, evil spy robot I imagined. Cc @citypages

Processed
Processed

@Ryan Cooper Lol That's exactly what I thought when I saw one today!

JBrewerPiPress
JBrewerPiPress

@atrupar @citypages @FrederickMelo Super. One more thing, the TCRover is a St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting vehicle.

solace
solace

@FrederickMelo @JBrewerPiPress @Heckadecimal @guerrinor @tb1960 @JSSHRH cool. probably same one i saw back in October yeah?

FrederickMelo
FrederickMelo

I would assume so, @solace, but all i know is what @JBrewerPiPress tweets. He knoweth all. All knowing TC Rover!

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