December 15th, 2011
01:53 PM ET

Crashed drone was looking at Iran nuclear sites

By Tim Lister, with reporting by Kathleen Johnston and Pam Benson

The Sentinel drone that crashed in Iran last week was on a surveillance mission of suspected nuclear sites in the country, U.S. military officials tell CNN.

Previously, U.S. and NATO officials had said the drone was on a mission to patrol the Afghan-Iran border and had veered off course.

The officials say the Afghan government was unaware of the use of its territory to fly surveillance drones over Iran, and that the CIA had not informed the Defense Department of the drone's mission when reports first emerged that it had crashed.  One official told CNN that the U.S. military "did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission."

In Kabul Wednesday U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta refused to comment directly on the specifics of the drone's mission but did not deny that it had been spying on Iran and said the drone program carried out "important intelligence operations which we will continue to pursue."

The RQ-170 Sentinel is one of the United States' most sophisticated drones and flies at up to 50,000 feet.  It is designed to evade sophisticated air defenses.  One former intelligence official told CNN that it's "impossible to see" and discounted Iranian claims that it had been brought down by some form of electronic counter-measures.

"It simply fell into their laps," he said - after satellite communication was lost.

An Iranian engineer working on the captured drone claimed to the Christian Science Monitor that Iran was able to overtake the drone control system and land it.  The engineer described to reporter Scott Peterson how Iran was able to exploit a vulnerability in the drone system.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said categorically that Iran had nothing to do with the fate of the aircraft.

"I will say without hesitation that this was not something that anyone had anything to do with, coming down with, other than a technical problem," he said. "I will tell you there was a technical problem that was our problem, nobody else's problem. I think there is a lot of PR going on."

But Panetta did not categorically rule out the possibility when asked whether the drone could have been taken down by a cyberattack or jamming.

"You can make all kinds of guesses at this point. Obviously there's nothing that you can rule out and nothing that you can rule in right now," Panetta told Fox News earlier this week.

The former official doubted the intelligence value of the drone to the Iranians.  For example, the sensors on the underbelly of the drone would have been badly damaged, he said. And coolant could have damaged the main computer.  The sensors are designed to detect airborne chemical traces that might come from a nuclear facility or intercept cell-phone conversations.

But Bill Sweetman, the editor in chief of Defense Technology International, believed everything inside the plane would be in one piece based on what he could see from the video released by the Iranians.  Sweetman added this aircraft did not represent the crown jewels of U.S. technology. "This is not the most advanced stealth technology out there."

Iranian officials have said the drone came down over eastern Iran, hundreds of miles from the cluster of nuclear sites in central and north-western Iran. Some said it came down close to the city of Kashmar in Khorasan province; others that it was recovered in the Tabas desert to the south-west.

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaei, told CNN, "It was brought down somewhere in about some 150 miles or 250 kilometers deep into the Iranian territory in the province of Khorasan in the northern city of Tabas."

The Tabas desert is a remote region used by the U.S. military in 1980 as a staging area during the abortive attempt to rescue the hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

According to experts who follow Iran's nuclear program, this part of the country is not known for nuclear facilities.  More than a decade ago there were reports that Iran had developed an enrichment facility with North Korean help in the Tabas Desert.  But its existence was never confirmed, and an official at the International Atomic Energy Agency said its delegations had not been to the area.

David Albright, the president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), expressed doubts that North Korea would have shared centrifuge technology with Iran at a time it was developing its own enrichment facilities.

The area is known for its uranium mines. which Iran is under no obligation to subject to international inspection.  The main mine is at Saghand in Yazd province, to the south-west of the Tabas desert.  According to ISIS, it supplies uranium ore concentrate to a facility at Ardakan.  Other mines in Iran's eastern provinces are being developed, according to the IAEA.

Equally the drone may have been traveling across eastern Iran toward other known or suspected nuclear sites, experts say. In its most recent report, the IAEA identified many of these in and around Tehran as well as around Qom and Isfahan.

It is still unclear where the drone was based in Afghanistan. Previously reported sightings of the RQ-170 Sentinel were at the Kandahar base in southern Afghanistan.  But Afghan officials say this mission began at the former Soviet air base at Shindand in western Herat province.  A straight line from there to known nuclear facilities identified by the IAEA in north and central Iran would have taken the drone close to Kashmar.

The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has refused to confirm the Sentinel left Shindand.

CNN's Kathleen Johnston and Pam Benson contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Central Intelligence Agency • drones • Intelligence • Iran • Kabul • Nuclear
soundoff (1,201 Responses)
  1. mellow replies

    what other reason would there be? to take pictures of the naked Iranian women?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      Maybe......Persian women are very beautiful. If you would have said Pakistani or Afghani women, then yes I agree with your tongue-in-cheek humor

      December 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • John1Galt

      Exactly. The subtitle should be "Well After All, We Should Certainly Hope So."

      December 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  2. Gordy

    So they lied???

    December 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  3. Byrd

    And what exactly can these drones do, besides fire missiles, that a satellite can't? Answer: nothing. These drones are nothing but expensive toys that allow violence-programmed joystickers the ability to kill with impunity while slugging down cans of Jolt. This is what happens when you give the Pentagon an unlimited budget which, if the black programs are included, is exactly what they have.

    It shouldn't be forgotten that the Pentagon was hit just two days after von Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon couldn't account for about $1.2 trillion. But it's just a coincidence that the offices that were hit by the cruise missile were the very officers where those records were kept.

    Coincidence? Only for fools.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • csam18

      I always love a good conspiracy theory.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      Where did you buy that tin foil hat? That's a nice one indeed.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • John1Galt

      C'mon, come clean. Your hat is lined with tin foil, isn't it?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • youShouldRead

      LOL, you obviously did not read this article. This was a CIA mission and had nothing to do with the Pentagon. But you are most likely a conspiracy theorist o no matter what anyone says, you will still be crazy.

      "One official told CNN that the U.S. military "did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission."

      December 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • MC

      For one, spy satellites cost billions, drones costs 10's of millions at the high end. Two, a picture from 9.5 miles is considerably better than one at 200+ miles. Three, you can't recall a satellite to replace the payload. Four, you can't predict when a drone is overhead, meanwhile satellites are nearly as predictable as the rising sun... therefore, anyone with a math background can figure out when to hide what they don't want seen from a satellite.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • MC

        That's what I get... I take the time to respond to the ignorance of the first paragraph, without reading the lunatic conspiracy garbage in the 2nd.

        Clearly this isn't worth my time. Never fight a battle of wits against the unarmed.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • Byrd

        Especially when the idiot you're arguing with is yourself.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tim

      "what exactly can these drones do, besides fire missiles, that a satellite can't?"

      1) Collect air samples
      2) Detect low level trace radiation
      3) Collect Magnetic Anomaly data
      4) Intercept localized data traffic (cell phone to wireless data)
      5) Detect ambient sound data using air pressure variation
      6) Probably a lot of other things that we just don't know about

      December 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Byrd

      Thanks to all at NSA who replied below. Interesting to see that particular unit is still operating.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        You're welcome.

        Unfortunately, you seem to know too much information about us. We can't have intelligent citizens figuring out things that "nobody" else can. We'll be coming for you soon.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
      • David

        Yeah, because anyone that does not share your opinion must be a government plant. Maybe, just maybe not everyone shares your opinion. Maybe you are wrong.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • David

      Actually these drones can do a lot which satellites can not do. First, the sensors of the U.A.V. can check air particles for nuclear activity. Satellites can not for obvious reasons. Second, U.A.V.s can Loiter and provide constant surveillance. Most satellites can not, they would need to be in a Geo synchronous orbit, which hard and expensive to do. Third U.A.V.s are much less expensive to operate and are plentiful in number for multiple missions and targets. There are far fewer Satellites because of cost and effort to use them so availability is quite limited. Well, that is four major differences in favor of U.A.V.s.

      They are also cheaper then manned planes to operate and provide much more operational capability.

      Certainly worth the cost. I'd rather my hard earned teacher tax dollars went to supporting the defense budget, particularly unmanned systems.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        Exactly. These unmanned systems are infinitely cheaper than the manned ones they're slowly replacing. Most bang for the tax payers buck in my opinion.

        ...by the way, don't bother arguing with Byrd. It's probably a bit like picking on the retarded kid on the playground, it's easy to do, but just doesn't feel right.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Nube

      Drones can remain over the target for an extended period of time. satalites cannot. also they may be equiped with sensors satalites are not equiped with.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – very few drones are armed. This one certainly wasn't; it's mission was reconnaissance, not offense. And the advantage they have over satellites is very simple: they're hundreds to thousands of times cheaper, and can largely be built and operated using readily available, off-the-shelf components.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  4. J Sledge

    The drone was looking at Iran's nuclear facilities. What a shock. America shopping for another war?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • David

      Oh I forgot real life is like a cop show evidence just appears from nowhere. How do you think countries obtain evidence aka intelligence?

      December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  5. spence

    So in effect the US committed an act of agression, if not war.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • RonMexico

      Seriously??? And Iran hasn't committed acts of aggression against the US?????? No one is a bigger supporter of Islamic terrorism than Iran. No one has perpetuated more IED's directed at US forces than Iran. If this was an act of war . . . so be it. They should get exactly what they deserve.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      So gathering intelligence is an act of agression? We have a long standing dispute with Iran or its nuclear program, so this makes perfect sense. Don't get me wrong, we are pretty F@CK3D from it though

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  6. Sunfighter

    Everyday they show this its hurting the president. Just like when they held those hostages at the embassy, every day they allow these pictures, the administration looks more and more incompetent and impotent.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Not really. What looks incompetent and impotent is when the Administration publicly acknowledges such missions and provide profuse details about them. I am stunned and dismayed to see the oral diarrhea being belched forth by high level US officials. There's absolutely no reason for it, and it is detrimental on a number of levels.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  7. a disgrace

    the last thing a leaderless and failing america needs is to get a beating from iran! they already made fools out of themselves leave it at that!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  8. anthony

    So much for Honor...they will lie to everyone and with a big smile on there face, thats what they were trained to do.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  9. jack

    oh btw, US knew very well that the drone would be captured.
    The drone had a successful mission... which was to just drop spy insect robots.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • David

      Actually that is not a bad idea. Send in a Trojan horse as they are accessing the plane's data the plane is uploading viruses into iranian networks.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • robert

        With our wireless networks we can detect all thier networks and connect to them so we could hack them. I have never heard of the usa lose contact with one of our plane and just let it land at a airport before.

        December 16, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  10. Mike

    USA is comical man.. first they lie about the mission, now they say it landed right in their laps.. I highly doubt this USA got owned by Iran and they will admit it next week.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • ron

      Professional liars all. It does get rather tiresome.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • John

      Just more proof our Government cannot run anything. Cant fix the middle east / can protect our troops from friendly fire / can admit when they have done anything wrong / cant admit they were incompetant to let Iran get their prized drone / looks very intact and not scratched drone the Iranians have. maby President Obama should have said Pretty Please with sugar on top return our drone. Oh well we are running out of Iraq and the Iranians will move in and we will wish Sadam was still in charge.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  11. ron

    Wouldn't it be great if our country just told the truth for once instead of always trying to lie their way out of everything.
    "I did not have sex with that woman"

    December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  12. Steven Brown

    The biggest MISTAKE of this whole operation was not having a self-destruct button the CIA could press to destroy the drone before it was compromised. There should be a congressional investigation.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Kosenrufu

      My thought is that perhaps they purposely let Iran catch it. WOnder if they could have false info on the drone just to cause Iran to do something stupid so we have a reason to invade. I think Iran should take the high ground and give it back.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      I don't know how important the technology is. Drones are popular because they're cheap and quick to build, using readily available off-the-shelf components. I doubt the intelligence value of the craft itself is very high. Self-destruct mechanisms add weight, which reduces both mission time and payload; if there's nothing on board worth protecting, it makes sense to leave it off.

      I am quite certain this question will come up in the appropriate committees, however.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  13. shwebell

    Hmmm. Drone supposedly lost, recovered by Iranians completely intact. Can anyone say Trojan Horse?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Bonasera

      I was thinking the same thing. Next big state party in Iran, BAMN!, the whole thing blows up.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • JOHNYJOBoy

      That is exactly what I have been thinking too. Iranians hacking into a top secret program to commandeer a drone, just doesn't sound right.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  14. what's your freedom worth?

    Why are we using drones anyway for these kinds of missions? Aren’t satellites sophisticated enough to get the images we need? Place a satellite over Iran and take all the photos you want…
    Spying is necessary and done by all countries. There’s more to this story, then we’ll ever know…

    December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Wait, WHAT!!!???

      I thought Barry won the Nobel Peace Prize? That's pretty typical for a Nobel Peace Prize winner to be bombing other countries, invading their sovereign air space, etc. Standard stuff. Worst president in history – bar none.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • svann

      The obvious answer is no satellites are not good enough. Best resolution is about 0.41 meters (government use only) by the geosat satellite launched in 08.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Drones have a lot of advantages over satellites. Persistence, air sampling, low cost are just the high points. Satellites do have the unique advantage of being able to image with impunity; they are not considered a violation of sovereign territory thanks to treaties promoted by Eisenhower.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  15. Rajiv Shaw

    Why is the undercarriage hidden?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • ajgorm

      They are hiding the reproductive organs ..

      December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      damaged during the landing due to an altitude mismatch.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Kosenrufu

      Excellent question, Rajiv. I can understand why the USA might put a curtain around the specialized camers and equipment on the under belly to hide them but doesn't make sense why Iran would do that. Perhaps the aircraft was broken up and they don't want to display the underside because it would show the world Iran is lying about having an fully functional drone. Who knows why any country's government "secret police, CIA, whatever" do anything though. As usual, its we regular people who get left in the dark.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Boo

      They don't want you to see the vertically challenged people holding it up.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      The grill over the air intake visible in some photos – it's been removed in the photo above – looks badly buckled. That could indicate a VERY hard landing. It's likely that damage was heavy, and Iran doesn't want to reveal just how bad because it would undermine other parts of their story.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  16. ajgorm

    It is probably alien technology they predicted a third world war for us too a holes.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  17. ajgorm

    yeah right this is all we need is them taking over our ICBM's and using them against us. Stop bombing yourselves they would tell us.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      that....would be the ultimate Gob and Buster moment.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  18. jim slim

    The gave it to Iran to make Israel freak out and bomb them, without USA involvement, The best thing to do is return it, that would mess up all the plans. It's that or Israel will take the first steps. you know its True

    December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Kosenrufu

      Interesting theory. I hope Israel doesnt attack. It would be a horrific moment for the world because Israel has nukes.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • svann

      Why would Israel care if Iran had a drone? Its old tech anyway.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
      • jim slim

        Stealth and drop a bomb is 1 reason ?

        December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  19. Tim

    Am I the only person that doesn't think Iran would use a nuclear weapon even if they had one?

    Ok, I probably am, but I just don't see them using or allowing a third party group to use a nuclear weapon knowing that it would not only incur the immediate wrath of Israel, but the most powerful and destructive military machine in human history (that's us by the way). The regime might be a bit fanatical, but they are not suicidal. Self preservation of the regime is their number 1 priority.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • svann

      I think they certainly would use it if someone were invading them. Otherwise, no.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        Good point, probably the only circumstance in which they would.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Kosenrufu

      I don't think even Iran is that stupid. The only country in the world I am concerned about Nuclear use is North Korea, possibly Pakistan and India. We know the USA has no qualms about using one. We've used them twice before on Japan. And even then we didn't need to use it because Japan was six months away from surrender anyway. They were starving and their military production was pretty minimalized.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Bob in Pa

      Why wait, turn Iran into a parking lot today.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
      • David

        Because the people of Iran do not deserve that. Assassinate the the Good ol' boy network of clerics that really run the country and let the go from there.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Hard to say. Some of that Hidden Iman stuff the ruling elite peddle is very creepy. But perhaps a more realistic concern is that once attained, they would go the Pakistani route and start selling it, possibly to some rather questionable clients.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        Definitely a legitimate concern. The only reason I say they wouldn't do that is that no matter who detonates a weapon, the material used can be traced back to the specific reactor and nation that created it in the first place. Even if they gave a weapon to Hezbollah or some other organization, in the end the fingers would still point back to Iran, thus inviting a catastrophic retaliation on par with a smack-down from god himself.

        I do agree, however, that the whole "Imam in the well" stuff is creepy indeed.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • hIGHbRASS

      Ok, I probably am, but I just don't see them using or allowing a third party group to use a nuclear weapon knowing that it would not only incur the immediate wrath of Israel, but the most powerful and destructive military machine in human history (that's us by the way). The regime might be a bit fanatical, but they are not suicidal. Self preservation of the regime is their number 1 priority.

      The transfrer of militarized nuclear technology has been well documented throughout the middle east. This only leads to the MAD endgame with unstable regimes. It's much easier to keep the genie in the bottle than to put it back.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  20. svann

    Iran must have gotten proof of their claims that this was a mission flying into their country, or else we never would have admitted it.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  21. Harvey

    The fact that Iran was apparently able to grab control of the drone indicates there is an unauthorized software back door in the system. Iran either got wind of it or someone sold it to them. I would be willing to bet that this possibility is under close investigation by the authorities.

    The reasons are several fold. First communications between the drone and the controllers must be encrypted. Second I would expect the codes would be changed on a per mission basis. This would indicate either the codes are being leaked to the Iranians on a regular basis or there is a back door that bypasses the codes all together.

    Considering the logistics involved; I would suspect a back door before I would suspect the codes are being leaked. The back door would have to obtained by the Iranians only once.while the updated codes would have to be sent to them over and over again. I also suspect if a back door is found, we will never hear about. Once the responsible party or parties are found, they will simply disappear.

    One final thought. Do not underestimate the Iranians ability to reverse engineer the drone. These people are not dummies.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • svann

      Two months ago our drone program got infected by a keylogger program.

      http://www(.)wired(.)com/dangerroom/2011/10/virus-hits-drone-fleet/

      December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • Harvey

        Possibly the key logger program helped the Iranians, but with the encryption involved I think the help would be minimal. The commands needed to control the drone would be as easy to change as the encryption codes themselves.

        I write software for a living. I know I could slip a back door into a system that would be extremely hard to detect. I would write the initialization code in such a way machine language is written into RAM, a few bytes here, a few bytes there, and then execute the code. It would be extremely hard to detect because it would not be obviously visible in the source code.

        I once used this method to set up an anti copy scheme in some game software I wrote years ago. To the best of my knowledge it was never compromised even though I know many hackers tried.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • mfx3

      It's possible we were tipped that they bought such a program, and flew this drone over to find out for sure.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      Look at M*S*N website....little different story.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Frankly, I doubt the whole "grabbing control" story. It's much more likely that a catastrophic on board system failure caused the crash, and the Iranians didn't even know about the craft until they found it lying on the ground somewhere.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  22. US GOVT PATHOLOGIC LIARS

    "I will say without hesitation that this was not something that anyone had anything to do with, coming down with, other than a technical problem," he said. "I will tell you there was a technical problem that was our problem, nobody else's problem. I think there is a lot of PR going on."

    "And furthermore... I will say without hesitation that the bald-faced lies you've so far coming out the U.S. government on this so far, have nothing to do or in common with the bald-faced lies I'm telling you now."

    December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Eric

      Of course they are. If you don't have the clearance, you certainly don't need to know.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  23. streetheat1

    Lost communication with the satellite?? Hmmm the CIA must subscribe to Comcast!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  24. svann

    "This is not the most advanced stealth technology out there."
    Told ya. This drone was designed with lower level tech because there is expected to be risk of loss.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  25. Brian in Toronto

    Its a Trojan Horse. Its collecting data on Iran as we speak and when it finds out what it wanted from inside their intelligence area it will go ka-boom :)

    December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  26. SixDegrees

    And the point of releasing this information is...?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Mr RN

      I agree! WHY are we even speaking of this... are we( USA) trying to get into a PR battle with Iran?? Like the killing of Bin Laden, the current administration releases way too much information and talks TOO much.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  27. Flex

    Now....should this be considered "news"....???

    December 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  28. Booya

    What's the big deal. The whole world wants to know what Iran is doing with their Nuke power, This is technology that Iran cannot duplicate, and this is far from the technology that we have. Trust me.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • thinkharder2

      Well, it is still a big leap for Iran's technology. Plus they can sell it to countries that can duplicate it and give back to Iran. The real scary thing is if they indeed found a way to hack these drones. Much can be done with that....

      December 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • mfx3

      Does anyone still think their nuclear program is a peaceful energy program only?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
      • thinkharder2

        No, but it is understandable that they are trying to match Israel's military potential.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  29. Robert

    To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "We did not spy on that country." Oops.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  30. ajgorm

    We know Iran is always busy working engineering something trying to put the pieces together they take pride in it.Face the fact every year technology changes and we maybe falling behind. We should spend less on war toys and more on R & D to create more jobs to stay ahead of the race.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – a huge amount of R&D gets done by the military.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • ajgorm

        That must be the problem why we are falling behind. It costs 500 bucks for a screw driver.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  31. Jarhead4ever

    Why don't these drones have self destruct mechanisms in them that are automatically activated when control is lost, or even better a simple homing beacon so that it can be found then there is the option of locating it or destroying it??t

    December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      The president had the option to send airstrikes to destroy it, he chose instead to ask for it back! Can't believe I voted for this squid. I knew I made a mistake when he started having televised addresses every time the republicans disagreed with him, like a kid telling on his older brother.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  32. WSYKES

    WHOLE THING VERY FUNNY. DRONE LIKE BIG KITE. IRAN LEARN MUCH. IRAN STILL NOT HAVE HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEM LIKE USA. HAHA

    December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Brathead

      Hey you stupid fu**, what on earth does that have to do with this story. You obviously don't speak english very well, that is quite obvious in you post. And just because you don't know about homosexual activity doesn't mean it isn't going on. I bet your towelhead buddies are riding the brokeback mountain!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Well no homosexual problem with the exception of yourself, that is.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  33. joe

    You mean the United States government lied??? impossible!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Thou shall not lie

      guess who lied about the WMD Iraq ??

      December 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Dejardins

      The drone was straight not a gay drone

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • Flagger

      Has anyone thought that the US crashed this in Iran deliberately and is stating this now to try and egg Iran into retaliation? If Iran were to retaliate it would then give the US a reason to enter the unstable country......

      December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • André

      Well said.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  34. Mossad

    Newt Gingrich good fat boy nuke Iran. Make nice president.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  35. Jesus Cristo

    NUKE SITES??? THEY HAVE NO NUKES! this is propaganda!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • David

      IRAN states that they DO have nuclear sites. It is a question of purpose not existence.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  36. Dreamer96

    So these guys had so much faith in the GPS that they did not put an INS system in it or a terrain mapping system in it?....And if the GPS position just suddenly jump a few hundred miles the computers on board this thing just went along with that information...Oh Please say that is not what happened....This is why terrain following systems work with Ins and GPS and keep track of the planes locations....How do they calculate the wind for crying out loud...a super duper hurricane gust just moved them 100 miles in a few seconds.... These designers should all be fired if that's what they did...

    December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      lowest bidder.

      'nuf said.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • big od

      Boeing did not get their $50 million change order to correct the issue

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • Dreamer96

        This is a RQ-170 built by Locheed/Martin

        December 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      I'm not sure where you got this information, but the story sounds like pure cover. I'd be much more inclined to believe that there was some other fatal malfunction and the drone just crashed; Iran found it and backfilled a much more dramatic story of how they came by it.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • Dreamer96

        do you only read CNN websites...look at the one own in part by Microsoft...

        December 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  37. rad666

    Brought down by a upgraded Commodore 64.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  38. brianNH

    Let's just invade Iran & get it over with. We all know it's inevitable.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  39. Xman

    Why not put about 100lbs of C4 on that bad boy with a satellite detonator before it took off? Why not light up the area where that drone is being kept like the 4th of July? Why oh why hasn't that thing leveled a huge crater by now?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      I agree, no self destruct ?? that seems a no brainer to me. BTW, I am in the industry, or closely related, the chance that Iran took this thing over is slim and none, and maybe most don't realize, the operators flying these things are basically setting waypoints, and monitoring and recording sensors of course. Obviously something went wrong, the chances of that thing surviving to the ground, I doubt it. But it is a red flag and we need to attend to it going forward.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      There's not much that's particularly sensitive about drones; they're not much more than big model airplanes. Some of the electronics might be sensitive, but that can be very difficult to analyze, especially if it's no longer working. And it isn't unusual for critical circuit boards to have self-destructive components to prevent even that. I'm not at all happy that this happened, but the actual intelligence value to Iran and it's allies China and North Korea is probably very small. It would be very different if it were one of our advanced stealth aircraft, but I just don't think this drone is worth much.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  40. Eddie

    Time to roll out the B-71?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Time to roll out an antiquated WW2 medium range bomber?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      Time to bring back an old fashion cannon from the WWII era and fire a few rounds at that nuke plant...just let them try to take control of a few 100 pound shells flying through their airspace..did you catch that Tim?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  41. david

    maybe iran have darth vader... controlling the us drone to land.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • svann

      These are not the drones you are looking for.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  42. John

    Why don't you give Iran a guided tour of Area 51, I can't believe how stupid this current Administration is. It reminds me of the Carter Administration.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Eddie

      Yeah that's right, there is no CIA, no Pentagon, only the president.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      You mean that former Navy Nuclear Engineer that went to Three Mile Island in the middle of a Nuclear meltdown and took control of a high dangerous situation with a hydrogen bubble in the containment dome and saved the plant and the miles around from radiation...
      Or the President that really got a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt..
      Or the President that restarted our Special Ops teams so we have them today like Seal Team Six....
      That President, probably one of the most educated Presidents we have had...

      December 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Henry

      I can't believe that our government doesnt know when to shut up. They should never divulge information regarding their activities overseas.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  43. All of America

    Is loser obama going to take credit for this one or is he going to blame Bush again and again and again and again.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  44. Chris Honry

    saffada

    December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  45. Ryan

    Rome's collapse was prettier than the US's, we're hitting rock bottom and looking very desperate. The UN needs to pay closer attention to the US and stop obeying the US and put its foot down.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  46. Chris Honry

    What would you say if another country told the USA that the USA is not allowed to have a certain technology and that they'd bomb us if we built it? That is what our USA gubmint is doing to Iran and why they don't like us. Plus the fact that we gave Saddam weapons during the IRan /IRaq war. Our hypocrite gubmint should just stick to ripping off the middle class to buy votes from poor/minorities (Dems) and rich robbers (Repubs)

    December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • dbrock

      For one thing, the US is not a theocracy that brainwashes children to hate the Jews. Secondly, wait. . .do I really have to explain this???

      December 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  47. NOT MY CHAIR

    why do we still have the CIA? haven't they done enough damage?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  48. Mayor_McCheese

    Why do you all believe that this current US story s the truth. It is more than conceivable that we intended for them to "capture" this drone for a whole host of possible reasons.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • ajgorm

      Like what ? The question is why would they give them anything ?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
      • Mayor_McCheese

        Like some traceable computer viruses or other technology that would allow us to control their copycat drones. Or perhaps some sort of virus that would allow us to infiltrate Iranian R&D systems for example.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • ajgorm

      I understand what your saying but then if we know that they are this advanced already why give them anything ? If they have copy cat drones and more then they could jam ours and take control.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  49. rafael

    now that Iran has the DRONE and will never ever gives it back, the USA wants to say what everybody already know,you guys spy on each other,and everyone all around the world.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  50. Peikovianii

    The Teheran regime is run by mystic psychopaths. Exactly the sort of people who should not have nuclear weapons and who would supply a dirty bomb to any number of terrorist organizations they already bankroll.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • cythara

      And the United States is not run by 'mystic psychopaths'?!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Jason Hewitt

      Same goes for USA too. USA is run by intelligent psychopath e.g. George W Bush, not sure about Obama though. Obama is just giving us a break. Just imagine any of these Republican candidates other than Ron Paul becomes our president.
      Basically we Americans are actually dumb. This is not democracy at all. Once you elect these psychopaths then it becomes just their ball game. They just do everything as a herd of dictators. They never get punished for any "intelligent" war crimes.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • Laura

        Good point. Listening to their debates, you feel a chill in your spine from their vision of the country and our foreign policies, so many irresponsible and pretty dangerous statements, or simply stupid ones. Ron Paul is the only one from them who is reasonable ans smart.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  51. NotaDroneEngineer

    For everyone asking about self destruct technology and why we couldn't destroy it.... Seems to me we would have had to be able to communicate with the drone to initiate that right? The whole point is we lost command and control of it. How do you set taht off without comms?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Hizzy

      Bad guy detection, duh. :)

      December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • theshizit

      if comms are broke for a suspended length of time then it goes into self destruct mode. The systems run independently of each other. Hows that dumba$?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • agathokles

      It could be pre-programmed to self-destruct if out of communication for more than X minutes.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • Jason Hewitt

        And accidentally it flies over your daughters elementary school then what?
        It cannot be detected and if it becomes rogue it can go anywhere.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  52. ElSid

    Lets see ... We illegally used Afghan territory, without their knowledge, to illegally spy on Iran. We got caught so we lied about our intentions, laughed at Iranians and accused them of being backwards and savage and unable to figure out our drone. We then call them terrorists and criminals and call ourselves civilized and morally superior. I am so proud to be an American.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • DeeNYC

      Stop lying your not an america. Your one of the muslim dogs making believe your an american then saying how ashamed you are.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
      • JohnDoe

        DeeNYC. Yes your Mama loves hairy muslims living in the US.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • cythara

        Is your language for tells us (yes?) that you are foreign American, too, p-tui. I speet on you and blow my nose in your direction.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • RenZen

        now your definitely an American! an American sheep, just because someone is ashamed of what their government does (and for good reason) doesn't make them a "Muslim dog" as you so eloquently put it. It just means their not a racist bigot like you. ohh and just so you know, I'm not a Muslim dog either, I'm a Canadian white boy, and your government scares the crap out of me!

        December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chris Honry

      I feel blessed, honored and proud to be an American. But ashamed and disgusted with the acts our gubmint keeps committing in our names.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Eddie

      I am urinating on Afghanistan. I am defecating on Iran. How's that sound needle dick?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • YourStupid

      Your stupid. just because the united states is stupid doesnt mean that the moronic iranians arent worse. there bumbling idiots. "hey look what we found, a lovely peice of advanced american technology. too bad were all to stupid to know how to work it."

      December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • bart

      Then move. No one is keeping you here. Without the CIA and spying, we wouldn't even have a country anymore. Please pack your bags and move so we can make room for someone who understands that world is not all puppies, rainbows and glitter.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • André

        "Without the CIA and spying, we wouldn't even have a country anymore" .... what do you base that on ???

        December 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • guest314

      You should be proud to be an American, buddy, you don't know how good you have it. The world hates us because they envy us. For example, your snide little comment would have landed you in jail and/or tortured in Iran or China. If you're so tragically ashamed of your own country, you're lucky you have the freedom to get the hell out ;)

      December 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  53. ajgorm

    Now they can take control of our missiles and shoot them back at us. Catalina ring a bell ?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • cythara

      Does the name 'Quasimoto' ring a bell?!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Apparently not. If they can't even get the drone to land safely (which one would think would be their goal, if they took control of the drone in the first place), then there's no chance at all they could direct it or anything else back at us.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  54. Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

    Thank god! No more denials like during the U2 era. Nobody may remember now but the U2 program (essential for estimate of USSR's real capabilities) was officially declared a 'meteorogic research' studying the clouds.

    Obviously, we have to know what progress the Iranians are making with the nuclear weapons program. More important, I think, than to kill jihardists in Pakistan (with the exception of the really dangerous like Bin Laden).

    The era of officially declared wars is way behind us. We have to do what we have to do. Cautiously but efficiently.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  55. Hizzy

    US needs more 007. When Ahamahjabbadeen had his photo-op next to the drone, where was the auto-destruct option???

    December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  56. Chris Honry

    Iranian people are nice and good, they're just like us- they have terrible leadership in the foreign policy area. I have neighbors from Iran and they are good people.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

      not only in foreign opolicy area

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Indeed. It reminds me of America in the early 2000's. The American people are good, no, great! We just had bad, nutty leadership.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • cythara

      just like us. We have terrible leadership, too.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  57. andrew

    The government should have went to TowerHobby.com and order some Futaba RC controller,at least they are encrypted!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  58. ajgorm

    it did not simply fall into their laps how does he know what happened he is guessing. Looks in too good of shape for it to have simply fell from the sky right into their hands they just hapened to be there waiting. We would have located it first before Iran it would be like finding a needle in a haystack we have locators. They took control like they said toooo bad..

    December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • agathokles

      I think the drones are pre-programmed to land on a flat surface, if contact is lost.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  59. RobK

    Really? With all the freaking advanced technology and money thrown at these projects you can't equip it with a simple battery backup self destruct? Oops, it went down? That's it? No, CLICK.... BOOM. Problem solved?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Mossad

      Communication failure. What part you no understand? Can't call service repair man in Iranian desert. Take five days to get there by camel.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Actually, one large reason for the popularity of drones is that they're cheap, simple...and not particularly high-tech. They aren't much more than big model aircraft. I'm not happy about this incident, but I don't think the intelligence value of the aircraft is very high.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  60. Jannani

    America is a failed state with huge debt. Its public debt will be 23 trillion by 2011.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      2011 – is it 1999 in the middle of the america?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Mossad

      Why Israel must save America? Because you give your money to Arab countries for your stupid oil. You too fat and stupid to invent new technology. America fattest people in the world and laziest people they no good any more.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • mike

        and I'm sure whatever country you are hiding in doesn't get any money from the USA and doesn't get any military help from the USA either.... tu rd

        December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • mike

      wow way to use that brain. public debt will be $23 trillion by 2011... really? pretty sure 2011 is about over and we are at $15 trillion

      December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • czerendipity

      Umm, it's already 2011.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Chris Honry

      Best git ta stock pillin that canned food, ammo and water!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  61. equalizer

    wow, lots of hate in this room. Iran has its faults and so do we......

    December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      ...careful now. That type of rational though is not welcome here.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  62. Joe

    I'm shocked, shocked that our government wasn't honest about this.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • fat_jeff

      Where are all you govenment beivers now! Dumb pinheads you are part of the problem.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Squirts

      Yeah! Me too! (rolling eyes)........

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Ike

      I am equally as shocked. I never thought that a government as reputable as the US government could ever try to lie and cover up something like this.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  63. Pilot

    How low did it have to fly to see such a site...and is that why it was brought down by a sling-shot.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  64. Adam

    Iran "controlling the drone" is the equivalent of the kid in a recent car commercial. It starts with a kid in a Darth Vader costume trying to use "the force" on a car. His Dad then clicks the unlock button and the kid thinks he did it.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • DaveL

      That is a great commercial!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Haha

      December 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  65. Rsprings

    What compels the US gov't to act so stupidly??? We have satellites that can do the job quite effectively. More idiocy.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Mossad

      Maybe drone communication by AT&T? Verizon much better.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

      amazing how familiar you are with 'classified' satellite technology. Rest assured that the satellites are used as well.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
      • Mick M

        They use drones like this because they have them. They have them, because Billions of dollars of "Black Project" money is poured into Lockheed & Grumman every year. After this technology is developed, it is under the control of General "Ripper" to be deployed, without any oversight.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • AB

      Satellites can't sample the air.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  66. American Citizen

    No, it was intentionally sent by Barack Obama to aid a nation of Islam by providing a prototype that they could replicate.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      hey man i think your tin foil helmet is starting to fall off again

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Mike Dawson

      Wow, you seem very educated and intelligent...

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Um yeah, I'm sure there are more plausible and rational ways to provide technology to a foreign entity then a globally public spectacle like this.

      Now please take that tin foil off your head, it's interfering with our mind control devices.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      America is failing because of its dumb population. This is evidence of it. I'm American, and ashamed at how uneducated, ignorant and just plain stupid many AMericans are. Thank go for the blue states, the red states are only good for tobacco, guns and cowboys

      December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Tim

        Hey, I live in a Red state and I'm quite proud of it as well. You'll find idiotic posts like the one above coming from just about everywhere, including Blue states. Stupidity transcends borders my friend ;)

        December 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Chris Honry

      Oh yeah, and 9/11 was all done by the US gubmint too, huh?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • DaveL

      You Tea Bagging Luns will seek any opportunity to blame President Obama for anything...Your the ones all crazed with the possibility of Iran having nukes... but now blame the President as if you suddenly don't approve of surveillance operations...Get a life!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  67. Frank

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said categorically that Iran had nothing to do with the fate of the aircraft. "I will say without hesitation that this was not something that anyone had anything to do with, coming down with, other than a technical problem,"

    Yeah, it's not possible that anything Iran is doing in terms of jamming electronic communications could have had any effect on it because the drone was using a super magic communication system which is not bound by the laws of physics.

    Would it be too much to ask that the position of House Intelligence Committee Chairman be filled by someone capable of at least maintaining an illusion of knowledge or competency?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • thinkharder2

      Apparently YES :-).

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  68. Fubarus

    Why would we believe anything anyone in the government says? It is VERY possible this was brought down by jamming. And for this type of aircraft to not have some form of self destruct mechanism is beyond stupid. Not to mention gotta love how the CIA told no one what was going on. "They" won a long time ago for now we are simply eating ourselves from the inside out.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Really? Please describe how jamming would affect this aircraft, given that drones are typically semi-autonomous and rely on sophisticated autopilot systems to keep themselves aloft, with controllers typically giving them little more than a destination point. As far as self-destruct mechanisms go, it's an interesting thought, but drones, while fascinating, aren't normally built with hyper-advanced technology; the intelligence value of the aircraft itself is low.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  69. rad666

    "U.S. military officials" -- Names?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

      Don't worry. CNN is about to post the names of all CIA agents if WikiLeak fail to do it. There should be NO secrets. Is that what you like to see?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  70. James

    Don't explain nothing to those smelly Iranians. Just let Israel nuke them already & be done with it !

    December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Faisal

      Racist statement from a smelly american
      Disclaimer: not all americans are smelly like James. I myself being a proud american

      December 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  71. Bobby

    So then, if they can in fact control these drones what about all the ones currently flying over their country at this very moment (LMAO) ;-)

    December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • fat_jeff

      The government has not told you they been commandored yet.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • czerendipity

        it's 'commandeered' fatty.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  72. Mossad

    lLeave it up to Israel. We will destroy Iran. US is too weak economy and becoming second rate country to Europe.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      Europe is a continent not a country

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      We are weak and poor because we have to give you billions in aid every year.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      Regardless what everyone thinks about America, we have the by far the most powerful military. No one has aircraft carriers, we could do whatever we want. I dont worry about the US's future, everyone is all doom and gloom these days.

      Humans are always like sheep, if everyone is negative they all become negative. Fools

      December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • fact checker

        Please be sure to check your facts, there is other countries with aircraft carriers. Thanks.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  73. Hey cool

    What is that loose knit group of hackers here in the U.S.? Haven't they had some positive hacks into DOD stuff. Kinda like to old movie "sneaker"

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  74. Eddie

    When we decommissioned the Blackbird we said, "satellites can do this job cheaper." I guess that was bull crap after all. Can you imagine?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  75. duped-again

    Why don't we pack a jar of pickled pigs feet in every drone, and advertise as such. Then, they won't touch them.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • James

      Love it !

      December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  76. Dustin Shadbolt

    So it was an act of war really?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  77. Mayor_McCheese

    Did it ever occur to anyone on this forum that we let them "capture" it? Perhaps we wanted them to "capture ' this technology so they could build their own versions that we could then exploit. If we did that, we would have to put on a big show so that they would really believe that they captured it.

    Stranger things have happened.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Mossad

      Maybe it waiting to self destruct when Ahmadinijad stand by for press?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  78. mark

    Maybe the drone software was written in India or Pakistan. that might explain a few things.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Eddie

      That would be funny is it wasn't so likely.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      No in India or Pakistan...but probably by some of them.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  79. howard

    America lies just like Iran and Iraq and others!!! Looks bad, America. We deny all statements. Then we admit the same. Iran was correct. We were the bad guys here.

    Hundreds of years ago, a Bible writer penned these words: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!"

    America wants the world to march to our drummer and when we nabbed without question with our hands in the cookie jar, we lie just like the ones we denigrate so much every day. Seems to me we are no better than they!!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  80. Fred Rey

    The drone never crashed, it was hacked by Iranians and landed. How? Here is the story on Christian Science Monitor:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1215/Exclusive-Iran-hijacked-US-drone-says-Iranian-engineer

    In theory they can use the same method to redirect cruise missiles.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Eddie

      I think it was hacked, yes. But, it would surprise me very much if camel jockeys were the hackers.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Well, that's Iran's spin. Frankly, it sounds like pure bs. It's more likely there was some sort of catastrophic system failure that caused the crash, and the Iranians never knew it was there until they found it on the ground.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  81. ORLY?

    Popcorn, anyone?

    This story won't be as good as the flaming war over 2.3 million more Americans with affordable health care story started, but it might get close!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  82. and then...

    If the US found the Iranian nuke sites, the secret plan was to ask Iran to dismantle them...

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  83. Dreamer96

    Ah Yes the old passive nasal seeker sensor....

    so they put a highly train bloodhound puppy in this thing and told him to go find the bad stuff....So Scooby Doo was back at the controls and Scrappy Doo was flying this super secret drone around....and the Iranians waved a Scrappy Snack around in the air until it landed... Notice how you can not spell Scrappy Without Crappy....

    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  84. CF

    First of all, when stories like this get out, it makes America look really bad. This is no different than stories of us spying on Russia, or China and then sending back pictures of stupid formations in the middle of the desert. Come on people, we are a spying and paranoid nation...period.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • fff

      I know ,because Iran is nothing to be concerned about.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • agathokles

      And what's wrong with spying??? Personally, I hope we do a lot more of it. It's far better and cheaper than invading countries, based on flawed info.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      ...and you dont think that's what they're doing to us as well? Hmm...

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Xman

      Wrong. We spy because it is with the interests of those in the region and the US to spy on Iran. Korea with nukes is one type of problem but a far worse one is a country that supports militant thinking and terrorism is another. Do you really think the Saudis or the Yemenis want a nuclear Iran? Do you think they would turn to the US in a heartbeat for help on knowing what they are up to? Iran's leaders are fanatical, psychotic and delusional. I hope we continue to spy on them. I also hope their program continues finding setbacks in the form of explosions, assassinations, and failures by any and all means possible. Iran is the same reason the UN came to be and why Nazi Germany was the catalyst for uniting a global security body capable and ready to put down a global threat. Iran is why.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • karl sherrick

      I have always wanted to believe in America, but corruption and deception have caused any intelligent person to know that the ruling class in the USA and all politicians are the government controlled mafia and must be feared. As more and more secret documents are declassified all of us become aware of living the "lie".

      December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      All nations spy. So what?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  85. steve

    the scarier part of this story thats not being told is, what was really on and in that drone, talking about its real purpose for being their now, mission almost completed, give it a few days then we will see.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • steve

      nah lus kidding or am i

      December 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • mikeinsjc

      What are you thinking?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • steve

        we dont just allow anyone to our things, we give it too them for a reason, and its so sad that we will never really know why, so many things could have been on the drone, sicknesses, signals, messages, we the american public will never know, or we could be just telling the truth, we lost contact and control yeah right...

        December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  86. Bob

    WTF, they never heard of scuttling charges. How effen stupid can the CIA be. They fly a highly sophisticated, state of the art, revolutionary, technology over hostile territory and have no way of destroying it if it get out of control. Stupid Stupid Stupid. Someone should get fired or shot for this dumb ass move. WTF, WTF!!!!!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • CHUCK

      Our boys are waiting for the Iranian big wigs to gather around it for a photo-op....then kaboom!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • PoBoy

      If they lost control of the airplane then that means they would not be able to detonate the scuttling charge either. It sure as helll can't be put on a timer.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      I think your estimation of the intelligence value of this drone is overblown. I'm not happy about this incident, but drones aren't particularly sophisticated; they're not much more than big model aircraft, and that's one of the reasons they're so popular – they can be built quickly and cheaply with off-the-shelf components. It probably didn't have an airframe-level self-destruct mechanism because it was deemed unnecessary. It is quite likely that if there was anything sensitive on board, it contained it's own self-destruct systems, likely at the circuit-board level. But it isn't all that likely it even required that.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  87. JB

    This administration can't stick with the same lie for over a week with out changing it.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  88. Ian

    Why wasn't there a self-destruct with thermite inside this drone? There should be that in all drone and manned jets.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • DefyTheGods

      My thoughts exactly! Other than what I've seen in movies, I know NOTHING about recconnaisance. That said, even I wonder why this drone doesn't have a self-destruct protocol. WTF, indeed!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Droneman

      If they lost communications with it I'm sure they couldn't send the signal to self destruct.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  89. TellEmWhyUmad

    The US purposely planted that drone so Iran can bring it to their secret laboratories and we can BLOW THEM THE HELL UP!!! I mean think about it, for something that crashed its sure looks like brand new. Not one scratch...? PLEASE... and the thing looks so fake!!! That drone is there to gather intelligence and one we have it all BOOOM!!!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  90. David

    The next bit of information to come out...

    Trojan horse. The USA intentionally made it easy to take control of so we could hack into their systems and the drone contains GPS that is sending us back information at all times.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      GPS receivers are receivers – they don't transmit.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  91. ORLY?

    Wait, wait. Don't tell me. Lemme guess...

    it was Obama's fault! Yeah, that's the ticket! Yeah, and it's a Job Killer. Yeah, that's it. And I'm married to Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that's it!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      You know a different Commander-in-Chief of the US Military in charge of authorizing illegal violations of Iranian airspace?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      End of Sarcasm. Yes, it is Obama's fault because he is in charge of both the CIA (who ran the operation violating Iranian airspace) and the military (which owned the drone that violated Iranian airspace). Either way, without his signature, the drone wouldn't be there. Ergo, it is Obama's fault.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Big daddy millionaire

      Well it depends on how valuable the technology is in that drone. Idk if it is worth it to attack Iran for it or not but IRAN will surly sell it to China and for our safety we have to stop that even if that means an air strike to destroy the drone but the president simply passed on the option of airstrike and thought it was a good idea to plead (beg) Iran for the drone back . SO, yes i would say it is HIS fault that we are where we are but it was not his fault that the drone went down,

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  92. Mark Hudson

    Why in the world did this Drone not have a remote control self-destruct feature? It seems like that would be a key feature.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Ethan Hunt

      Maybe you've been watching too many movies...only Mission Impossible messages can self destruct after they've been watched... or can they??? ;-)

      December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Why would this be a key feature? There's likely nothing particularly interesting on board; drones aren't much more than big model aircraft. They're popular because they're easy to build and they're cheap.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  93. Woatalk

    The US military should make self-destroying/detonating drones, to keep our technology secret and out of the hands of other nations, in case this embarrassment should ever happen again.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  94. mfx3

    Hmmm...when you're working on nukes and threatening to use them once they're ready, you should expect a few UFO's in the sky. I'm sure this one isn't the first or last.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      When did Iran say we're building a nuclear bomb let along saying we"re going to use it once we get it dumbass

      December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  95. BellniniMartini

    Seems to be in great shape for a crashed drone. What ever happened to self destruct button if it ever fell into enemy hands type of plan. Iran is not that dumb of a country, if they can design a nuclear site, they can hack a computer system.
    Stop thinking of them as a country full of sand-dunes and camels. They are proving they are to be recognized.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • csam18

      I'm thinking it's not the actual drone, but a mock up so they can sell their story of having hacked into it. I mean, first they said their military shot it down (no holes or burn marks), and since they realize their story made people scratch their heads, they came up with a new one of being extremely smart and hacking into a highly sophisticated system. Typical Iran bluffing.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  96. Jannani

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2. America invaded Iraq in 2003 and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and displaced 5,000,000+ Iraqi.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government and installed dictator.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. America's public debt will be 23 trillion by 2015.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Woatalk

      Sorry, but that was Saddam....

      December 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Ahh, but the trick is to get everybody else to pay that debt. :-)

      December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

      Do yuou live in the USA and are a citizen over 35? You can run for a president and change the country according to you ideas. Otherwise, if not here, you can join some jihadists or some such. Hopefully, our drones will not get you.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • hIGHbRASS

      Hmm. Dispute your counts. The Iraq's themselves were very efficient in killing each other during the war. No need to worry about our debt, they're backed by the USA. I recommend Treasuries.

      December 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  97. Terrance

    CIA was actually playing their annual "Where's Waldo" game of spot the hook beak nosed Jew in Iran.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • JB

      Way to go Adolf, cute remark!

      December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Common sense

      What with your anti semetic comment?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Rsprings

      I'm sure you don't like racism when directed at you. So why be a racist yourself?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • csam18

      Is it the same game you play of "Where's my brain" on an hourly basis?

      December 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  98. Bud

    Like I said before, turn the drone into a big hole in the ground!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      Good call! Why hasn't the US done this yet? Surely the US got somekind of device onboard incase of something like this. If my Iphone can tell me where it is when I lose it, surely this thing can tell the US where it is.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • leggs

      a self-destruct mechanism would be handy.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • csam18

      As I said before, there are 10 midgets inside waiting for the right opportunity to jump out and dismantle all of Iran's nuclear sites. It's only a matter of time.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  99. Alen Delon

    No more billion dollar military strikes....spend some money here at home if you have a dime left to spare!

    December 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • MATT

      SCREW THAT IF WE SONT DO SOMETHING SOON WORLD WAR 3 WILL BE TRIGGERED TAKE THEM OUT NOW WHILE WE STILL CAN CUZ IF WE WAIT AND THEY GET NUKES THEN WE ARE ALL DONE ONCE WE DROP ONE BOMB THEY SEND A NUKE OUR WAY AND IN ISRAELS DIRECTION... WE CANT HAVE THAT... LETTING IRAN DEVELOPE NUKES IS LIKE LETTING THE BULLY KEEP THE LUNCH MONEY. F THAT

      December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Romeo

        Its clear that your knowledge of warefare is not good.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
      • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

        No need for ALL CAPS. This is 21st century, not the sixties. No WWIII on horizon. Only local wars, all of them not declared. We should stay away from ALL of them but a Republican president will surely find one he would like.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  100. Dave

    Is this really any surprise? I think the big news would've been that we weren't spying on Iran...

    December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
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