January 7th, 2013
07:52 PM ET

Taking to the air on hunt for dirty bomb threats

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd

Residents of Washington may be surprised by a helicopter flying low overhead this week, endlessly prowling the city to map its radiation signature.

The helicopter is crisscrossing the city, like a lawn mower covering a lawn, flying as low as just 150 feet off the ground. CNN spotted it northwest of downtown on Monday, flying low over the buildings, back and forth, east to west.

The purpose: to produce a baseline scan of the natural radiological readings in the capital. Once the map is done, any new anomalies - or suspicious radioactive activity - could be more easily detected.

If authorities ever need to find stolen radioactive material in the capital or a dirty bomb, they would want to be able to separate out any new spikes in the radioactivity readings.

"If sometime in the future you have a reason to be looking for something radiological, it's very necessary to have the original background so you don't chase a high-radiation area that's part of the background," said Joseph Krol of the National Nuclear Safety Administration, which is conducting the work.

"If there was some type of threat," he said, "we would do the aerial survey first." Then, officers with sensors would go on foot to the location where an anomaly was found. A team could be deployed anywhere in the country within two hours, he said.

"The way we operate," he said, "we assume every time we get a call, that this is the big one."

The scan of the District of Columbia will cover 70 square miles and take about two weeks to complete. But if authorities were urgently trying to find nuclear material, Krol said, "we would hope that scanning the entire city would not be necessary. You always have other indicators, like intelligence, that narrows down the search area."

A dirty bomb - a bomb with no atomic explosion, but spewing enough radioactive material to require evacuations and quarantines - is a method of attack that terrorists would be highly interested in, according to Randy Larsen with the Institute for Homeland Security.

"The good news is, it wouldn't kill a lot of people," he said. "But if you did it here in downtown Washington D.C., or Wall Street in New York City, and the people can't go back in that area for a long time, that's a pretty significant event."

But could a hidden dirty bomb be detected from a helicopter?

"Absolutely," said Larsen, but only after a detailed scan has been done. "This would tend to make something stick out like a sore thumb. Without it, it would be looking for a needle in a haystack."

Two pilots, a scientist, a technician and equipment for detecting gamma radiation are aboard the flights.

Everyday radiation can come from several common urban sources, including industrial sites, construction sites, hospitals that use radiological materials, and even the stone used in buildings and monuments.

The agency has already scanned the capital once before, as well as New York, Baltimore, and San Francisco.

Larsen said the New York scan turned up unexpected sources of radiation - industrial accidents that were never been reported. "They were surprised how many hot spots they found," he said.

The helicopter in Washington is making an exception for the National Zoo, giving it a wider berth to avoid scaring the animals. But Krol said the public should not be worried about the survey's potential impact on people.

"These scanners are passive," he said. "All they're doing is measuring the emanations coming from the ground."

Watch: Surviving a "dirty bomb"

soundoff (143 Responses)
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    April 13, 2013 at 4:23 am | Reply
  4. M

    I don't suppose anyone cares, but they did not actually make an exception for the zoo. I was there on Tuesday afternoon for a few hours and the thing flew over no less than five times. Why even say that if they're not going to hold to it?

    January 10, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
  5. Bueller

    "Never argue with a fool; observers may not be able to tell the difference." – Mark Twain

    January 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  6. Jeb

    The Republicans need to stop. Why don't Anderson Cooper really keep them honest? CNN needs to call out the Republican rhetoric. Otherwise the days of Noah are creeping toward us.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • MrNeedtoKnow

      I believe that both Democracts and Republicans are a bunch of idiots that have been destroying our country since the 2 party system have been dominant. A third party is needed to check and balance the two evils.

      January 9, 2013 at 1:06 am | Reply
  7. ug

    Just more liberal ways to try and scare us and take control of our lives...just total bs!

    January 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Jeb

      Mister you Republicans are demented. Look up the definition of liberal and conservative. If you become ill, distraught or dying who do you think is more likely to throw you a rope Sean Hannity or Chris Mathew? Please, use common sense.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  8. ant

    false flag

    January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  9. Mordrud

    DC has already been hit with a dirty bomb...He's called Marion Barry. They're still suffering from the fallout....oh wait you said BOMB...I thought you said..BUM

    January 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  10. palintwit

    I am convinced that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, taking care to speak only to real Americans, dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again but we must all follow the "Palin Path".

    January 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  11. Whew

    You knnow, if we combine our terrorist threats we might get....

    The dirty underwear bomber.

    Now that is a threat every parent is scared of.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  12. DL

    Dirty bomb detonated by Al-Qeuda or Mossad?

    January 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  13. Bassmaster22

    Much to do about nothing. And as usual, illustrates our unparalleled ability to freak out at every little thing. Go outside and take a walk, folks.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  14. AntiChrist

    I think we have a bigger threat from dirty rotten scoundrels.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Ruprecht

      Ruprecht: Excuse me. May I go to the bathroom first?
      Lawrence Jamieson: Of course you may.
      Ruprecht: [after a pause, and with relief] Thank you.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  15. brown

    The fools that we keep re-electing know that a bomb will make its way to our shores in the near future. They know
    what they have done in foreign lands in our name.

    Keep on re-electing them! The bomb will do what your unwilling to do.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • MrNeedtoKnow

      The idiots that people re-elected Democrats and Republicans are the one to blame for the next terrorist attack due to failure of closing the border and deport all illegal aliens.

      January 9, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply
  16. PeterD

    Obama is a Jerk.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • texcal68

      The president is a brilliant man; you on the other hand are a jerk.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • JimBeam

        Obama is a jerk. Fixed zero in the economy. is attacking guns instead of focusing on real issues. It's all about making himself a dictator and not about the people. He's working on making it available to run for more than 2 terms so dont give me that extremist bs. Also wrote him a letter about the economy. the response i got was about veteran jobs. Im not a veteran. thanks for nothing OBAMA. I'm voting pure republican the next time around. sick of this liberal crap. sad i voted dem this time around.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Observer

        Jim Beam, you are truly one pathetic little bumpkin.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • palintwit

        JimBeam... I think it's nice that your trailer park manager is letting you play with his computer again today. I hope you return the favor. Maybe scrape the cowpies off his tractor or something.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • MrNeedtoKnow

        Yes Mr. Obama is a brilliant man that fooled you and the ignorant, uneducated, and the one that vote for a political party and not for the person.

        January 9, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • ant

      hes a pervert

      January 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  17. Arsh

    they wouldnt have to do this is the President didn't know he was pushing to become a dictator. A revolution is brewing. 2013 will be the new 1776 thanks to Mr. Obama's corrupt government and desire for the "new world order" and a one world government.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • texcal68

      Do you realize how ridiculous your comment is? Try using your critical thinking skills before commenting again.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • brad

      Wow, and the dumb just keep getting dumber.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      You're mentally stable...

      January 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • JimBeam

        A bit extreme but if you've read a text book at any point of your unintelligent life you'd realize that the setting for 2013 America is EXTREMELY similar to that of 1776. your refusal to obtain an education above the 7th grade just further proves how braindead you are. Just happy you can change the channel on your tv right?

        January 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Observer

        Normally, one usually has to drink Jim Beam in order to go batsh!t, but I see that with you it comes naturally.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • JimBeam

        Observer i'm glad that you have nothing better to do than troll on the internet and attempt to harass me on every comment i post. you are a pathetic individual. people that are small like you in the world scare me because you are the type to "make a name for yourself"

        January 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • The one and only Observer, notice the blue ink.

        I apologize for the miscreant towel headed, sheep loving, piece of feces who is pretending to be me, I'm hoping turd boy falls under a drone.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • Observer

        Such eloquence from the phony "look-at-my-g@y-blue-ink" Observer, fondness for ovine scat aside.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Selmers

    As long as we ban guns, though, we will be safe.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  19. scott

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

    January 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  20. Greg Faith

    Boy what would happen if Washington and all the politicians got contaminated by a dirty b o m b? I know what would happen, we'd kick them out and hold elections and replace the lot and maybe, just maybe, America could be brought back onto the right track to balanced budgets and prosperity

    January 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • texcal68

      Greg, not a single politician obtained his or her office by force, he or she was elected by people just like you. Blaming our elected official is a way of avoiding reality. That reality is that we're responsible for this country's problems.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • geeworker

        whattttttt take personal responsibility for my actions never!!!!!

        January 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  21. GovernmentCoverUP

    hmmmmm

    January 8, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
  22. John

    Just ban dirty bombs. Bans fix everything.

    January 8, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Mark

      Better yet hire guards and supply them with a dirty bomb as a deterent

      January 8, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • texcal68

        This article isn't about gun control. Try staying on subject, please!

        January 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Pliny

        Dirty bombs don't kill people.

        People kill people.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ed

      Haha yes! Agreed!

      January 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  23. rad666

    A helicopter being used to track any spikes of intelligence in DC?

    Anything recorded yet?

    January 8, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • The Mayor of Medinah

      Nothing found yet... still looking

      January 8, 2013 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • brad

      ROFLMAO!!!

      January 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  24. Jl

    "accidents that were never been reported"?? Someone needs to go back to grammar school...

    January 8, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  25. Pig in a Poke

    Yep.....DC is filled with dirty bums!

    January 8, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
  26. Rosemary

    Let me see if I understand this. If a citizen, who sees murders, robberies, rapes etc being committed every day, expresses a wish to own a firearm for protection, they are labeled "Paranoid gun nuts" by the Liberal establishment. But the Government, spending Millions of dollars on Zombie Apocalypse or dirty bomb scenarios, is considered protecting people?

    January 8, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Bsmud

      No Rosemary... not "paranoid gun nuts" for wanting to own a gun. No one wants to take away your gun... just your semi automatic gun with armor piercing bullets.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
      • lolol

        DHS bought over 1.6 billion hollow point rounds from all caliber.
        how do yo explain that, Jack?

        January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Derigible

      Yes Rosemary, you have every right to protect yourself.
      Would you feel better with a few rocket launchers ?

      January 8, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • The Mayor of Medinah

      Some day it will happen when we are all un armed and the terrorist will run free

      January 8, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • Observer

        If by "terrorists" you mean the miilitary-industrial-banking complex, then we're too late. They already control things. Have for a long time. Not likely to change anytime soon. And the best part is it doesn't matter who sits in the Oval Office, Repubs or Dems – they do as they're told. Or else........

        January 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • heliocracy

      If you see murders, robberies, and rapes every day, you should call the cops. And consider moving somewhere else.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • Rosemary

        Gee, there are more rapes, robberies and murders being committed than dirty bombs being deployed.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Rosemary

        Maybe the people in DC should move.....just in case.

        January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • brad

      Who sees those things everyday? Maybe in the news, or in gang land. The average citizen doesn't see squat.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • Rosemary

        Then what is the news media reporting about every day. Dirty Bombs?

        January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  27. Logic

    They will just hide the bomb in an old industrial site now.

    January 8, 2013 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • The Realist

      All one has to do is hide a dirty bomb under the Obama care bill; they'll never find. Or as that AZZ Hat Pelosi said, "we've got to read it before we know what's in it"...

      January 8, 2013 at 10:46 am | Reply
  28. rad666

    Wipe out DC?

    Poison its water source.

    January 8, 2013 at 9:35 am | Reply
  29. rad666

    "a method of attack that terrorists would be highly interested"

    Source? Same intelligence source for the WMDs in Iraq?

    January 8, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
  30. orwell

    More fear and smear to keep the sheep in line. Dont ask questions about why theres no difference between the two wealthy gang families that masquerade as political parties. Both parties demonstrate time and time again they obey the will of banks and corporations, and not the will of the American people. Lobbyists have completely undermined the political process.

    We have a do nothing congress whos more concerned with enriching their own wealth at our expense, and telling us what kind of light bulbs we should have in our home. The real terrorists are in washington, and in the banks that control it.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
  31. michaelfury

    http://pulverizedtonearpower.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/pulverized-to-near-power/

    January 8, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
  32. Ivanhoe

    For more info read novels-
    king of Bat'ha by Hashim
    Tales from the East by Ivanhoe
    based on direct experiences in Middle East.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
  33. bo lies

    The dirty bomb hit DC 4 years ago.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
  34. Larry G

    DC is safe, what self respecting terrorist would attack the capital, the accomplishments of the last 10 years on the hill only endear them to the terrorists. Politicians are doing a better job of destabilizing the US than any attack could accomplish.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  35. Nancy

    The first sentence was pretty funny. We're never surprised by low flying helicopters around town. Happens all the time, copters always flying over us. Just another day of living in the city.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
  36. eville11

    industrial accidents that weren't reported....... nice. Maybe you can report them now eh??? sounds fair enough.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:28 am | Reply
  37. Please Grow Up

    I believe that a "soul scanning" device was used over Washington, D.C., and although trace amounts were discovered over the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court showed up in negative numbers.

    January 8, 2013 at 5:45 am | Reply
  38. njduck

    I bet it's a BLACK Helicopter with UN Markings and a Chem Trail...

    January 8, 2013 at 3:39 am | Reply
  39. jamessavik

    If you knew what the Feds see, you would be paranoid too.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:34 am | Reply
  40. Shawn

    They've been doing this for some time for they were conducting fly over mapping the Indianapolis metro area a few months ago. I think there is much more to this story than a dirty bomb preventative measure

    January 8, 2013 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • heliocracy

      Yeah, liberals are gonna take away your radioactive devices soon. Better start hoarding them.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  41. massoud

    This is to obvious to be a False Flag.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:04 am | Reply
  42. GIUK

    Like the copter that was sent up over DC looking for intelligent life, this radiation sniffing copter won't find anything.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:01 am | Reply
    • Medicine Man

      It's not supposed to find anything – it's creating a baseline map so that any anomalies found in future will be evident and can be investigated.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply
      • LeftyCoaster

        Wait – it looks like you actually read the article. That's an interesting approach.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  43. marstomr14

    A radiation signature is the BS that comes out of people's mouths, right? Won't they need more than one helicopter to map DC?

    January 8, 2013 at 1:00 am | Reply
  44. NNN

    How come only one helicopter is assigned to this project? Doesn't sound like much of a serious effort.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • LeftyCoaster

      Well it's not an urgent effort, and using one set of detection devices is preferred because it simplifies the calibration. If you use multiple devices, they have to be calibrated against one another to produce meaningful results.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  45. READ THIS

    HARRP GEO-ENGINEERING BEING DONE BY CHINA AND RUSSIA AGAINST AMERICA TO BE IN POWER

    January 8, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Derigible

      Fail.
      We own HARRP, we got it from Nicola Tesla.
      Poor guy.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • no

      No.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:49 am | Reply
  46. 111Dave111

    Forget the dirty bomb, stop the dirty industry, "scan turned up unexpected sources of radiation – industrial accidents that were never been reported. "They were surprised how many hot spots they found""

    January 8, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
  47. Homer10

    So, they are producing a base line map. What if they find a hot spot? Hmmmm.... I bet they would find some real interesting things if they flew over Nevada.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply
  48. nonofurbeeswax

    wheres jack bower?

    January 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  49. maxanshelsegal

    Reblogged this on Fun and Good.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  50. Rusty

    Fear sells.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • smather2175

      What a lame cover story – after they got caught by CNN – to say they are doing a baseline mapping. I wonder what really instigated this survey. It certainly wasn't proactive. Also, what about all of this malarkey about there being radiation detectors at all of the ports, bridges, etc.? I thought they were supposed to be effective in alerting to any radioactive material being moved around.

      I bet Washington lost something and that was their cover story.

      Also, now terrorists know where to plant or build a bomb... The zoo.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Reply
      • heliocracy

        Sure, if an explanation sounds logical but too simple, it clearly is a cover for yet another complicated and diabolical government scheme which requires the silence and cooperation of about 100,000 people who are usually too stupid to do their regular jobs correctly and who communicate poorly between departments. It's kinda like saying the staff at the DMV is plotting the covert takeover of Iran.

        January 8, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  51. Clear and Present Thinker

    They were checking for "law abiding" gunslingers selling depleted uranium rounds to use against police bullet proof vests. Betcha the chopper made three circles around NRA headquarters.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  52. billmosby

    One way a dirty bomb could still be planted and not be detected would be for it to be planted where some known natural radiation source had been removed. With the right amount of shielding, it would more or less replace the known source with another one and it would look enough like the original item it would not be easily detected.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • 111Dave111

      Like "Everyday radiation can come from several common urban sources, including industrial sites, construction sites, hospitals that use radiological materials, and even the stone used in buildings and monuments."

      January 8, 2013 at 12:18 am | Reply
  53. billmosby

    Ok, we know where the dirty bomb will be planted, at the zoo. Clever way to cut down on the work required after a threat. lol.

    Seriously, they probably should repeat the scan at intervals because things can change over time as new buildings are built, messes cleaned up, new radiation treatment machines installed, etc.

    January 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  54. CLEARLY

    OUR GOVERMENT HAS GONE TOO FAR

    January 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • Robyn

      EVERY REAL RED-BLOODED, BIG-BELLIED, SMALL-BRAINED AMERICUN HAS THE RIGHT TO BE BLOWED UP.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  55. JC

    I'm kind of surprised this hadn't already been done, and more surprised that anyone acknowledges that.

    January 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • Carmelle Simone

      The article says, "The agency has already scanned the capital once before, as well as New York, Baltimore, and San Francisco." So it's not the first time.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • N

      Not new technology. A lot of aerial scans are done when cleaning up old industrial sites, etc.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  56. empresstrudy

    America could stand for a couple of smallish nukes around the DC area. No harm no foul.

    January 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Reply
    • mardijohns

      No dirty bombs in DC while my daughter and grand-daughter live there, please.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • empresstrudy

        Not dirty, that would be anti green. No, neutron bombs. Kill all the people leave the buildings upright.

        January 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  57. jim9988

    quote: The helicopter in Washington is making an exception for the National Zoo, giving it a wider berth to avoid scaring the animals. end quote.
    So if I were a terrorist then...

    January 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      Instead of a Trojan Horse we will get a Trojan Hippo!

      January 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Nou

      you smart

      January 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • JC

      It seems like a pretty safe bet that elephants aren't naturally emitting radioactivity.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
      • billmosby

        They do, though. From potassium-40, just like most living or formerly living things. I used to measure radiation for a living, have seen the potassium-40 gamma ray many times, and had myself scanned every year as most radiation workers are. Saw it in that measurement, too. An elephant would emit quite a lot of radiation, being so big.

        My original reply to you seems to have disappeared. If it comes back, so much the better.

        January 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • heliocracy

      Yeah, no one would notice that you're carrying a dirty bomb into the zoo, or making one there.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
  58. JerPell

    Just look at our President...That's a "Dirty Bum" if I ever saw one and I've seen quit a few!

    January 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  59. tictoc

    Wonder how many pot plants died today,,,,LOL

    January 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  60. Brad76

    Pretty sad that we have to live like this.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  61. disgustedvet

    Do not be afraid . We are only measuring ground emanations. We would not harm you. We are your servants. We assure you that we will NOT scare Zoo animals .

    January 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  62. Michael H

    I'm surprised these were not done decades ago. All of our major cities and ports should already have these maps. Does anyone in Homeland Security have experience in the Boy Scouts – "Be Prepared"???? This does not involve exotic new technology.

    And publicly stating that you are excluding the National Zoo (put up sign saying store dirty bomb here!) It would not take that long to survey the zoo and I've certainly seen helicopters overfly it.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • Bent Frank

      They wont overfly in helicopters but they can map just as well from a vehicle or person walking through the zoo – a much lower profile approach.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Reply
      • billmosby

        Not so much, the buildings get in the way of the gamma rays. You can't see behind them very well that way because building facade materials are fairly good gamma ray shielding. Looking down through roofing material and into backyards and so forth from above gives a much more complete picture.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • kaptainhowdy66

      Just because the zoo isn't being scanned by the helicopter doesn't mean it isn't being scanned. If the equipment is small enough to fit in a helicopter, I'm sure it can be carted through the zoo.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • heliocracy

      Apparently people have this idea that you can show up at the zoo gates with a crate full of radioactive waste, security will just wave you right in.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  63. Phill

    The art of making enemies and developing paranoia schizophrenia.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  64. spynet

    the real question is why? heh

    January 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  65. No one

    They've been doing this for some time now, we had a heads up in the bay area a while back when they were doing it too.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  66. BigGuyWithABigChopper

    Cool! Is that an AugustaWestland helicopter?

    January 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  67. antelopetim

    Yes, let's be sure to inform our enemies on how we intend to protect ourselves so they will be fully informed.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • heliocracy

      Sometimes it's deterrence. The Soviets knew we had nuclear weapons, and it still kept them from attacking...go figure.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
  68. dave

    Why would u make this public and u would think that this would have been years ago. I guess foreign aid got in the way paying for this.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  69. David C.

    They're just doing this *now*? Was this ever done before, post 9-11? Inquiring minds want to know...

    January 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • Medicine Man

      Chances are that someone woke up to the fact that drone technology is now pretty well universal and it can be used to deliver dirty (=radioactive) materials around a city without requiring specialists to mastermind the process.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:55 am | Reply
    • YouDon'tReadGood

      "The agency has already scanned the capital once before, as well as New York, Baltimore, and San Francisco."

      January 8, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
  70. Jim

    Needless to say, this survey is being done at all sorts of high priority targets in the order of importance. They have already done Los Angelos, New York, Chicago... oh wait. Politicians: they always prioritize themselves first.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  71. David

    Terrorists? I'm more worried about some crazy person using it in a school when guns are made illegal.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • weetatded

      your a tard

      January 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
      • Radscout

        *you're

        January 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • rad666

        *turd

        January 8, 2013 at 9:28 am |

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