Home » Air » Drones » Video: UFO or X-47B Riding on a Flatbed?

Video: UFO or X-47B Riding on a Flatbed?

by John Reed on December 19, 2011

Happy Monday, everyone. Below you’ll find an interesting video to give you material to show your crazy uncle during the holidays.

Despite the title, this video doesn’t show a UAV going cross country on a flatbed truck. It shows what looks like one of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B drones being shipped to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland from California, a Northrop spokesman just confirmed to DT. Remember, the two X-47Bs are being sent to Pax River where they’ll practice aircraft carrier take-offs and landings on a strip of runway painted to resemble a flight deck. After that, the drones will perform the real thing using this technology.

Yes, its shrink wrapped but you can clearly see the profile of the aircraft’s nose and air intake beneath the packaging. You can also see the plane’s landing gear, too.

Click through the jump for the video:

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

AirSix November 29, 1999 at 8:00 pm

“Despite the title, this video doesn’t show a UAV going cross country on a flatbed truck.”

Uh, that’s exactly what it shows. It doesn’t show a UFO going cross country on a flatbed truck.

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Zac Tudley December 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Define UFO. If you aren't some Aircraft Nerd you probably dont know what it is..

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TLAM Strike December 20, 2011 at 12:22 am

UFO: Unidentified Flying Object.

While this Object may not be immediately Identifiable to everyone it is most definitely not Flying therefore not a UFO.

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poom December 20, 2011 at 2:00 am

that is so stupid its not flying so its not a ufo , so you see a plane on the ground does that mean it doesn't fly? its like where trying to add and your asking what is a number , …my thought are this looks not new but does look advanced , i belive they been having some equipment and or some sort of planes for years now and when people saw them back then they thought it was aliens but it was just planes we never saw before or were used to (roswell i think was in the 50, when you can see a change into technology)

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Marvelous December 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

That’s a nice looking….drone….ufo…drone…airplane….spacecraft…drone thingy. I guess.

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tony June 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I think this is the worst way to ship a drone plane. These things are ship in C-5's which are faster and cheaper. This mode of transport just gives terrorists the chance to either study them or destroy them. These are steath drones. they are expensive and high tech. Why for the love pete, would we pack them on such slow target.

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@4FingrsOfBurbon December 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

That has to be one hell of a freight bill. I know here in NC the permits required for something like that is crazy. It will probably come through here on I40. Why not fly it?

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DanS December 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Versus the cost of losing the aircraft to some flight malfunction in transit? Case of being penny wise and dollar foolish.

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ryan December 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Why not put it in a big crate?!

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ew_3 December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Might have been concerned some Iranian foreign exchange student would jam it.

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fromage December 19, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Or, you know, in a cargo plane.

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George June 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

people are fricking out just to see it towing. Imaging if this thing is flying…

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Crowbar June 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

why didn't they fly it there?

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guest June 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

becuz there r rules, u cant fly an unmanned aircraft in commercial airspace.

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Woggie June 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

It's a drone – pilotless and not sufficently tested or approved to fly over populated citizens.

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Blogengeezer June 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

This project most likely funded many tiers of 'public infrastructure' on it's journey, by the Fees, Assessments, Taxes, Permits, Restriction relaxing $$$$, and multitude of Jobs created. Got to be a profit, to sustain bureaucracy of govt in some fashion, even if/especially if, the taxPayers are picking up the tab.

Beautiful craft. Reminiscent of the German 'Horton' (concept)…from the 1940's. Those Germans, always ingenious and productive. No wonder that Europe, even/especially today, desperately relies on them….. for financial Sustainability. Boeing is wise for following the Germans. Maybe things would be different,…. IF WWII had—???

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gSk November 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Neither of these UAVs is cleared for flying in unrestricted airspace. They are not operational. Have to truck them or barge them. The program chose to truck them.

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Logan Hartke December 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Disney's had one of those on their Backlot Tour for years now.

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TMB December 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Was Flight of the Navigator a Disney film? I totally got that impression from the video.

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Logan Hartke December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Yep, that's the one.

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benny December 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I'm not sure you could get a UAV flight path across the US. They are restricted to very specific areas where they care allowed to fly. I suppose it would have been more expensive to ship by sea. There's probably going to be a lot more towns/highways where they will have to close traffic, take up power lines, remove signs, etc. You should have seen them take the COORS beer fermenting tanks from KIng George, Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley, only $180,106 just for local cost not including the truckers fee. They looked like huge rocket ships ( http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/112005/11(http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/culpeper/2006/seventh_tank_transport_set15042.asp) 11 hours to go 95 miles

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Guest December 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

So basically our military flies into other countries whenever it wants but can't get a flight permit in our own?

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TMB December 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Pretty much. The FAA isn't comfortable with unmanned aircraft in the same flight patterns as passenger jets. Figuring that out has been a work in progress for the last 10 years. Obviously we care a lot more about the safety of our airspace than other countries :)

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tom343 December 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I think the guy meant stick the thing atop one of those ugly 747-looking NASA planes used to move space shuttles from one coast to the other and fly it as cargo, not fly the thing itself.

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Cartantion February 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

what's the big deal…it would take my wife 11 hours to drive 95 miles!

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Andrew Jackson December 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Mental picture of the person calling in to report "a flying saucer on the back of a 18-wheeler"…….LOL. Made my day.

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Wooly December 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

@AirSix. Observe. The tractor has 2 steering wheels, 3×4 drive wheels + the lowbed had 3×4 tag wheels=26 wheels.

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Treble_Maker June 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

That's right, Wooly. This 18-wheeler has 26 wheels!

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jhj June 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

yeah, aliens put landing gear and landing lighting on their saucer to confuse us. lol. Knuckleheads

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Mark December 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I am going to go with a UFO because that's just more… fun.

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carter June 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

It cant be an UFO cuz its not flying :P

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jhrn June 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

what a dope

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sdog December 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

i wonder was the shape of this too irregular to fit on a c-5 galaxy?

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TMB December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

If that's the case, how did the X-47 get to Afghanistan in the first place?

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EJ257 December 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Your thinking about the RQ-170…

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TMB December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Yep, you're right. All I saw was the flying wing.

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EJ257 December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Looks like they took the wings off for the truck ride. Even then it just might be too wide to fit in the C-5.

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ajSpades December 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Yeah, too wide for the C-5. To transport F-18s and F-16s they basically have to slice the wings off the fuselage to fit it in a C-5. Wiki says with the wings folded the X-47 is about 30 feet wide. Looking at the video that seems correct.

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tom343 December 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

they should of shipped two of them at once. They drill a hole through the middle of each and fasten a fork to the front one and some gears and chains to the back one and make a huge motorcycle.

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LoSul December 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Reminds me of the scene from the movie "Flight of the Navigator"
http://imcdb.org/images/153/153.jpg

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Curt Hulbert June 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Looks real similar to that movie….. I loved that movie growningup!!!!

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Tribulationtime December 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

By the way What can do the X-47B? Or What do they research with it?

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zardinuk December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

It's a chinese spy! lol

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W.R.Monger December 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

wish i could give you more thumbs up for that one :D

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neither December 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

I appreciate your sensitivity to nuance. No sarcasm.

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Klem December 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I am in love with X-47B!

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Evan December 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Finally, somebody gets this right. I want a job at DARPA so bad. ;-D

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wes June 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

me too it looks awsome

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kim December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Would it be too much to ask for them to take a detour around Roswell N.M., just to keep the conspiracy theorists occupied for another couple of decades?

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John December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Iranian export or import?

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Tehran December 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Better to have self destruct mode for export

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Woody December 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

What about the drone the Iranians have?….is the US just screwed about that one?…what would be the consequences of an airstrike to blow up the building its housed in, dammit, we are the US, what the hell can they do about it if the building was leveled?…..just bomb it late at night when the least amount of people would be present….someome help me out, what am I missing?…

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Mick December 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

About half of your brain, I should think.. You simply can't go around flipping bombs/missiles at targets in sovereign countries. Not that it's stopped the US before, mind you. It's the breathtaking arrogance of (some) Americans, which gobsmacks me: "…we are the US, what the hell can they do about it?…".

I would love to see your reaction if another country bombed a target in the continental US. I doubt you'd be quite so gung-ho.

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ipisking December 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Come on now Mick the U.S. have been flying those types of missions since the Cold War and those were manned missions.

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Guest December 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

There's still something "fishy" about the whole RQ-170 snafu. Typically the mlitary replies with "No Comment" or "We can neitther confirm or deny". But they replied and validated auhtenticity almost too quickly. It was as if theey were anxious to say, "Yup you got us all right". Then there are the cosmetic anomalies. Seems there is more propaganda flyying around than UAVs. in Iran…

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Josh December 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

"dammit, we are the US, what the hell can they do about it if the building was leveled?"
Ummm, perhaps incite a deep hatred of the US throughout the Islamic world until once again some very determined individuals decide to fly plane loads of people into our tall buildings… or something like that.

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Skipdallas December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I would think: Common Sense

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W.R.Monger December 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

we don't want it blown up or returned because it's a fake. just the fact that the iranians don't have it torn apart to show the world our tech should be the first clue. then there's the color and sheen (look at the X-47B), also the inlet has a "grill" (again look at the real aircraft) and they won't show the bottom (because it's unfinished and they couldn't match the landing gear). lastly the story upon how they acquired it keeps changing so add all of this up and it's reasonable to say it's a poor mockup of pictures of prototypes and the real deal.

here's the real question, why is our military and government going along with this farce?

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Bob Mack June 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

Even if they have a real drone, what are they going to do with it? They have no ability to deploy it or use it in any truly meaningful way. The drone itself is really just the tip of the iceberg as far as the operation behind the drone is concerned. Too bad to lose it, but it doesn't really benefit the Iranians all that much. It's a PR coup as much as anything.

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Ems December 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm

this is not an X-47B its an RQ-170 copy that i ordered on ebay from China! and it just shipped :)

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StryderK December 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm

It's the same thing back in the cold war when I head this story.

Back then, when the Russians firt made the huge Typhoon class SSBN, they wanted to test it out to see if our defense can detect it. So they send a Typhoon on a "stunt" run on our East Coast to test our defenses. Unfortunatly, it got tracked by a L.A. class hunter-killer sub all the way from the mid atlantic to the coast. We got some great sound sigiture on the Typhoon also.

So the story goes, when the navy got it, they were really happy, then someone piped up, "Now What?" he asked. Everyone went "What do you mean?" "What I mean is this, is it a really good idea to let the Russians know they've been had?" Everyone all of a sudden went silent cause there was a point. If we acted like a blind man, then we will have a HUGE tactical advantage. The Russian will be kept blind and dumb, they will think they got the advantage when they dont. If we let them know, then the Russians will of course improve the Typhoon and try to find a way around our defenses, which will let us out to dry. It was such a connundrum that it went all the way up to Sec of Navy to decide.

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jcUSMC June 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Ahhh yes…the nuber 47 with extra duck sauce!

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Betcha December 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

So is this next drone to crash in Pakistan or Iran? I am sure this one really does have secrets we don't want the Chinese to steal.

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John December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Are you sure the "secrets we don't want the Chinese to steal", are not already in their hands?

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Eisenhower December 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I would hope they are, perhaps a lil smallpox too ;) How stupid do u really think we are?

hide and watch ;)

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Guest December 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Actually, why didn't they just go down to Whitehouse, OLF, down outside of Jacksonville, FL, where they already have a land-based carrier deck located? The folks at Pax River could send a detachment down there for a year or so to get the stuff done.

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elportonative77 December 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Hey yall it's official. Japan has officially selected the F-35 as the F-X program winner.

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phillip December 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Wait !! That is the drone we shot down over the Mojave Desert from Iran…now we are even!!

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travis December 20, 2011 at 3:21 am

just saw one of the two X47B's getting delivered to PAX Naval Air Station.. quite a sight.

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J.B. December 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

You can see the landing gear clearly in lower right hand of that photo…like they say on ESPN…C'mon man!.

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Infidel4LIFE December 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Made with Chicom parts??

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Panzer Bob December 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Geez some small town housewife reporting….".it's a flying saucer!!!" First thing anybody should have noticed was the conventional lading gear it was sitting on.

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UlyssesSG June 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

So you presume 'alien' ships don't need landing gear? Hovering silently in ground effect perhaps after its pilot toggles the systems shutdown switch? This information is classified.

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Paul June 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

we don't know how to fly it,so we attached some landing gear to the bottom of craft.That way we can transport it to the next gov. personal and see if they can make it go!

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Jacob December 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I dunno, this is a tough one. I'm gonna have to go with it being a UFO.

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pinion December 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Potato or potatoe? Millions of opinions.

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Skip December 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

The Military better smarten up and put a self-destruct package on these things to preserve their secrets. Who's the moron flying them without one!

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David Peterson December 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

Back in the days of the NIKE series missiles testing at WSMR. each missile was equiped with an explosive device. If the missile veered off course, Range Safety Officer could detonate the explosive and destroy the missile. WHY WASN'T THE DRONE FITTED WITH A DEVICE SUCH AS THE MISSILES SO IT COULD HAVE BEEN DESTROYED INSTEAD OF FALLING INTO ENEMY HANDS.. ME THINKS I SMELL A RAT SOMEWHERE

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Rick From LA June 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

it was, the drone was bombarded with interference so it could not read the destruct message. In electronic warfare, he who has the more powerful transmitter wins and that power drops when moving away from the transmitter. If the destrcut code is sent from 1,000 miles in space, then Iranian would need less than 1/10th the signal strength to overide the command if the transmitter was 10 miles from the target.

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steve December 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

No wonder America is in trouble. These people vote. Morons.

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Matthew W December 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

Are there dimwits that REALLY thought this was a spaceship??

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"Funny Cube" December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

What the hell is wrong with that lady? She calls is a "funny sphere" then proclaims "That looks like a UFO!" while bobbing her head like a maniacal clown. It is not funny, nor is it a sphere. . .and more importantly it was not flying! Is it any wonder that we need vigilant people in law enforcement? Citizens such as she don't even know what the hell they're seeing, and they proudly proclaim to the world that they are so stupid that they don't know what a sphere is and that something being hauled on a truck must be flying.

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lakawak December 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

What is wrong with you that you don't realize that the word UFO has become more than just the what the acronym stands for. Most people are not pathetically anal like you and think "Well…it is not flying! So it can't be a UFO."

If an alien civilization ever did visit us in a ship, yes…99.99999% of the world would STILL call it a UFO even after it landed.

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LarsAlaska December 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

…They are restricted to very specific areas where they care allowed to fly…

Wait a minute – It's a stealthy UAV, so you don't need permission…

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JPH December 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

Silly Obama voters!

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Roman D Mac January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I was a member of the Ukrainian underground movement from 1944 – 1948. I a sense
we were primitive in communication, but from present view modern because all none wire communications could be eavesdropped. But the population sent us intelligence
messages by hanging certain pots on the fense to be "Dried", or performing certains daily chores sound of which could be heard far away in forests, or at night pasting them
in a certain form to stop cold air from broken window pain. It's all in my UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) memoirs, http://www.windingpathtofreedom.com

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Mike S. January 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

I wondered what that was when it went through my town. Thought it might have been something from the A.F. museum.

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Jesse February 16, 2012 at 1:49 am

It doesn’t look like the craft on the truck. Flight of the Navigator sh.t

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paxrat February 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I don't think it came from CA. I think it shipped from a hanger at Wright Pat…….

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Matthew June 14, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yea, sure, they just want you to believe that we haven't captured the spacecraft from aliens landing on this planet who are out to take over the entire world. The gov't just wanted to carry this plane across the country because it can't fly and we don't have a place to land it when we do. The next thin you know, they will be telling us the moon landing was real and the Earth isn't flat ("it's turtles all the way down")
Nothing to see her, move along.

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BigWave June 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

OOooooooooooo…………….. Lets go with the "freaky"………. It's really an alien space craft. The landing gear and intake nozzel are bogus and only there to throw you off. The unit is actually hovering above the trailer and can not escape due to the force shield eminating from the dark gray unit under the ass end of the Saucer. The Aliens that were flying the Saucer are actually disguised as humans and have taken over the 18-wheeler so they can get it to a remote and secure location to enact repairs or probably have the cosmic version of AAA come and tow it back to their service/repair center. It's all part of the Republican Coverup being conducted by the Alien Science Seminars With InvestigationsProperly Encouraged. (ASS WIPE). OOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooo………….. So-o-o-o-o-o Fre-e-e-e-eakyyy

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Laura Dixon June 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

The tires were a dead give-away. Why every decent respectable extra terrestrial I know don’t need tires on their vehicle; they generally glide and hover along.

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wes June 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

that plane looks badass

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New Mexico June 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Am I the only one wondering why they just did not fly it across country?

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Yianni June 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

Thank you! Either fly it or ship repair parts to its location.

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antonio June 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

i saw it crashing

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UFO Hunter June 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm

This looks like a jet with round wings.

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larry June 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

X-47B shape not match what in the 18 weeler,so the military hide something

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justin June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

yeah i was looking at the shape too and no it does not match

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Ed420 June 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

They marched it through the DC area as a prequel to actual UFO's that will be visiting Washington later this summer so that we wouldn't freak out. It's all part of the conspiracy , man! Alien invasion…here it comes!

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jan jazrawi June 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

At least they did not say a big foot was flying it.. otherwise BOBO would be all over that

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X Files June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Is agent scully and molder on their way to investigate this?!!? The truth is out there…..

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mango June 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Military clears up or covers up?

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Um... June 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Medic10Zulu June 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

this video is the one that brought me to this site lol

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Tinfoil Hat June 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

one of the truck drivers was quoted saying "Klaatu barada nikto" over and over and looking very nervous.

the 'landing gear' are fake, used to stabilize the craft during transport – they watched flight of the navigator and decided that they should prop it up and not cover it with a blanket to make it seem more plausible. Also, it's not the true shape of the craft, it's actually a composite shell used to disguise it.

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Courtney C-Bo Shelby June 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Obviously its not some flying saucer,but instead something the military has been working on,but what's killing me is,i don't see why that's just as okay with everyone. i think it is making a mockery of the american peolpe,but obviously that's what our government does best anyways… they wont disclose certain secrets and bases to the public and taxpayers that pay for them,and with all the mystery,money and secrecy that surrounds this issue,you would think the citizens of the United States would demand better transparency! But no,we're just all excited like attention starved little kids. Shame,shame.

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Tinfoil Hat June 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

What kind of military secrets could they have if they told everyone?

Excuse me American public, could you sign this non-disclosure statement, then we will tell you all about the "secret" tests we conduct, and take you on tours of the "secret" installations. But you have to promise not to tell anyone, post the pictures on the web, or even have pillow talk with your spouse about it.

How do you propose a military maintain any kind of edge if they have "transparency"? And if they did have it, how many conspiracy people would say it was a lie to cover up the truth? Wait, maybe you're on to something, no one would believe our government was telling the truth, we can hide the facts right out in the open.

<adjusts hat for better coverage>

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Summer Teef June 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

"Sumbitch just landed on my neighbors mobile home!"

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Greg Howard June 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

hard to believe it could be a UFO when no serious science has proven that aliens exist.

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Budman June 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

Actually….the Govt. created the X47B just so they could ship this UFO across the country!!!!! LOL

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Chris June 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

it's a digital camera with wings

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Ufo attack February 16, 2013 at 11:06 am
marc June 30, 2013 at 5:23 am
Mark December 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

That was probably said so as to keep people out of the way so they could ship it.

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lakawak December 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Gee…I think maybe they know more than you do about what they were and were not supposed to say. He didn't say ANYTHING about it other than they shipped it.

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neither December 20, 2011 at 9:08 am

Can the editors delete this thread? It is dumb.

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Dave December 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

That is a different aircraft, it is Boeing owned and not Navy owned, so Boeing could do what it wanted to it. The Navy does not have the assets or the money in the program pay the bill to have a 747 refitted for the X-47B specs.

And it cannot fly across the country because of the FAA rules preventing unmanned aircraft operating in commercial airspace.

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BigWAve June 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

Learn how to spell or turn on your spell-check.

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crowbar June 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Is it not a flying machine?

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