This picture does not necessarily represent the sUAS used in this incident.

By Julie Balise

A sunbather on Virginia Beach claims she was sexually harassed by a drone, which she says was being used to spy on women.

In a post on Reddit describing the incident earlier this week, the woman wrote she was relaxing at the beach with her mother when she heard a whirring noise and noticed a remote-controlled aircraft nearby. She resumed napping.

The woman then noticed the drone was flying very close to female beach-goers and had a camera attached to it, according to her Reddit post. After the device hovered close to her and her mother, the woman said she located the men controlling it and approached them. She told them the device was “seriously creepy.” One responded, “It isn’t going to hurt you,” according to her Reddit post.

Full article here: Drone Harassment

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  • When I was a teenager, I worked at a huge state park with a 2 mile beach. There was a guy who used to come to the park driving his mother's 1980 oldsmobile.  We called him Fat Frank.  Mainly because his name was Frank and he was about 400lbs. He liked to come to the beach with his camera and take pictures of small children in bathing suites.  Mostly girls under age 10.  I think you get the idea, your basic Chester The Molester type.  Well he knew he was out in public and there was no expectation of privacy and there was nothing illegal about it.  And he knew that there was nothing we could do about it and nothing the police could do about it.  In fact, whenever they would try, he would start taking pictures of us and the police, then call to complain about us attempting to violate his civil constitutional right to be a pedophile.  All we could do was follow him around and generally annoy him but there was nothing anyone could do to stop him, officially.  Parents would complain and we were often forced to threaten the father with arrest for assault, which sucked because who wouldn't want to drown this guy?

    That only thing that eventually reduced his propensity was when he took pictures of the wrong angry daddy's precious little girl. Fat Frank looked like he got in an altercation with a freight train and of course demanded that her dad be arrested for this violent assault.  But it was the damnedest thing because with hundreds of people at the beach, all the witnesses reported the same thing... "he slipped and fell down".  This alleged assailant was "nowhere to be found", so we think he obviously must have "made the whole thing up to avoid the embarrassment of slipping and falling".  Seemed reasonable to me.  Case closed.

    So in certain circumstances, the line between no expectation of privacy and creepy can be crossed.  And in those cases, like Fat Frank, I wouldn't think twice about the people complaining or swatting the aircraft down with a towel.  Hovering over the dunes taking some nice video of a lovely day at the beach is not violating anyone's privacy, legally or mentally.

  • @ B Richter: Your choice of course. But fortunately there are still plenty of people willing and able to slap down the tiny number of shrill, ignorant hysterical poltroons who, waving tiny fists of fury, attempt to interfere with their rights.

  • If privacy is an issue, how is it current affairs programs always manage to stick cameras and film anybody they wish with or without permission.

    Im not supporting spying via a drone or anything if thats possible, but i think most people have no clue what their rights truely are.

  • Oliver... As a photographer. I would never take pictures of woman or children in a public place. Folks today are way to weird about things like that. If I do public photography I take my wife with me and always ask first. I even have a badge that has my name and identifies me as a photographer. Its the society we live in. Candid photography today is more for female photographers. :)

  • @ B Richter: Are there still weirdos with long lenses skulking about when they can see anything they can possibly want to see on their phone, never mind a computer? And if you want to take pictures on a public beach, just take your camera with you and do it. It's your right, whether someone likes it or not. It's nice if you're polite about it, but there's no law that requires politeness. Yet.

    Here in tinfoil hat land there are people who are convinced that the gum'mint is spying on them with high-altitude drones. Once in a while I get a chance at the local post office or hardware store (both of which contain active security cams that actually are spying on everyone) to ask someone going on about that what makes them think that anything at all they might be doing would be worth the equipment, personnel and money involved in this sort of "spying". These fantasies, like those of Helistorm's park-harradin, or the Reddit attention wh*re,  are just reflections of sad, boring, ignorant lives. Those who are in bad enough shape to start acting these fantasies out by accosting people or posting lies on social media should either be totally ignored, or if necessary frightened into crawling back under their rocks in no uncertain terms. One or the other.  Reasoning with them never works, they're way too far gone. If they call the cops and you're not doing anything wrong, great - coolly identify them to the cops as paranoid nutcakes who are harassing you. Cops deal with morons of that sort every day and are generally disinclined to participate in their bullshit.


  • Yep. DCA on the approach end of 19. The wake turbulence literally rocks the boat. It's pretty awesome.

  • Paddles2Pedals. I revise my guess on the location of your picture. I am saying DCA now, instead. My guess is based on you living in Maryland, and water that close to an airport. I guessed BWI earlier, and know both BWI and DCA are close to water, but DCA is the one with water right up to the end of the runways. I was mixing the two up in my head.

  • Muhammad Al-Rawi. BINGO! 

  • @B Richter,

    This is exactly my argument when people ask me about spying. If someone really wants to spy on you, they're not going to spend $1500 on a multi that sounds like a swarm of bees (and probably don't know how to operate) to get GoPro quality images, they're going to buy a DSLR and a telephoto. 

  • Pedals2Paddles. Agreed. I made comment several times on that article about how the next news story could be about people shooting into the air, and how much of a threat that is to public safety. Next thing you know, both my toys AND theirs are being threatened with heavy regulation, and we are all forced to take up needlepoint instead.

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