A video has been popping up on Facebook and, for one reason or another, it is sticking in my craw. Here, look for yourself: http://www.hlntv.com/articles/2016/02/03/dutch-police-use-eagles-to-battle-unwanted-drones
Who defines "Unwanted"?
The headline reads, “Eagles vs. drones: A low-tech solution to a high-tech problem”. Basically a Dutch company, “Guard from Above”, is training eagles to ‘take down’ drones. The pompous music starts as a stoic gentleman with a trained eagle on his arm sics the bird on a hovering drone. The text states, “A low-tech solution to a high-tech problem”. Problem? Are the Dutch lousy with drones to the point that this needs to be a thing or is it a question of their government picking which drones are wanted (trust me, the ones run by the police or the government) or the unwanted ones run by, well, people with drones. It begs the question, who defines "Unwanted"?
Now look, I’m not talking about voyeuristic intention or invasion of privacy territory here – I’m talking about your casual, run of the mill, drone user. The user who is responsibly taking video of all the beauty that the Dutch landscape has to offer.
Look, a windmill!
In addition to the whole, man keepin’ you down thing, this can’t be good for these birds, right? “Soar mighty eagle! Strait into the whirling propellers of that legally operated drone!” Then there is the unexpected problem of retaliation that does not seem to have been taken into account. There are those out there who will booby-trap their drones just to keep the aggressive eagle population at bay. A modified Taser unit would probably do the trick. 50,000 volts, a flash in the low ceilinged sky, the eagle drops like Icarus who flew too close to the sun. Too bad. Such a majestic bird. Such a medium-tech solution for a low-tech problem. I bet the unscrupulous drone user would be carrying a lot of extra 9 volt batteries for the rig to set it again and again and again. I wonder, how long does it take to train an eagle from a hatchling to snatch a whirling piece of plastic out of the sky? Probably a lot longer than it takes to buy a box of 9 volt batteries.
I would never advocate such behavior but it is clear to see how it could happen.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In order to stave off the Orwellian skies of the future the everyday Joe should be able to fly them too. Otherwise it’s just one more tool only to be utilized by any police state. You can cry, “it’s all for our security” all you want but without probable cause you are being watched consistently and categorically monitored. This is no longer tin-foil hat wearing banter – this is the real deal. This is life in the twenty-first century.
Prior to this happening, keep smiling for the cameras, learn to fly the friendly skies, and charge up your EMP discharge device. You just may need it.