On November 26th, 2017, a man used a drone to distribute his personal manifesto across a couple of Californian NFL stadiums. It was quite a strange move, and some wonder why he didn’t rely on traditional methods such as posting online.
The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers were about to face-off in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, when a drone flew over the crowd and began dropping anti-media propaganda atop them. The drone pilot was not publicly identified, but the crowds eagerly picked up the manifestos, thinking they were free souvenirs. Although they did not know who was giving them the manifestos, several crowd members were indifferent and just wanted free souvenirs from the game.
Many were likely extremely disappointed, because neither the teams nor the stadium was providing them with free souvenirs. Instead, the crowd got several hundreds of copies of a document with a red “X” at the top, and then a long manifesto referring to the first amendment of the United States. Dan Moreno, a lieutenant of the Santa Clara Police Department, said that the manifesto appeared to be promoting freedom of speech, and claimed that the media had been taken over.
Realizing that the documents were not souvenirs, the crowd quickly returned to watching the two teams compete. While police were monitoring the area trying to figure out where the drone had come from, the pilot sent his drone to the Oakland Coliseum to deliver his manifesto to a new set of people, this time, fans of the Raiders.
The suspect was ultimately apprehended, thanks to the collaboration between local authorities, the FBI, and the California Highway Patrol. Moreno said that most of the man’s manifestos were swept away by the wind, and ultimately ended up as litter in the area after people realised the documents were useless to them.
The man faced charged due to his violation of the FAA rule preventing hobbyists from flying drones within five miles of airports, and another rule that prohibits drones from flying within 500 yards of the Levi’s Stadium. The man’s drone was impounded, and was used as evidence.
One cannot ignore the tenacity and innovation that this man had in trying to spread his manifesto to the masses, and using a drone to help is truly a genius way to do so. Unfortunately for him, his work was ultimately pointless, because there is no trace of his manifesto online, and there is no footage of the drone raining his propaganda down on crowds, so it seems like he failed to spread his message effectively.