New images of the mystery bird-like drone crashed in Pakistan. Taken in Iraq.

In August 2011, a video clip from Kalam TV brought to light the capture of a mysterious American bird-like drone crashed over southwestern Pakistan (image below).

Although initially believed to be a sort of home made job, a more in-depth analysis of the images taken at the crash site, showed that the unusual, never seen before robot, was quite sophisticated: the drone had flapping wings, ailerons and a belly camera to spy on insurgents along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What nobody knew at that time was that the (American) mystery bird drone was far from being new, as it had already been used in Iraq.

In fact, a reader of this site sent me an email to explain that the same weird UAV downed in Pakistan had been captured by the Iraqi Hezbollah near al-Bashra, in Iraq, on May 23, 2009 (original video source of the following screenshots can be found here).

Unlike the Pakistan example, the one crashed in Iraq and filmed by Hezbollah, seems to be in better conditions, with its underfuselage camera and moving parts, fairly intact.

When the few images of the bird drone spread online someone speculated it could just have been a DIY rc model made by soldiers with their equipment or a low-cost UAV assembled by China or India to satisfy their insatiable need to spy.

The fact that it was probably already flying in Iraq two years before crashing in Pakistan, proves that the bird-like UAV is not a toy but a small combat proven spy drone.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.