PUBLISHED: 12:28 EST, 14 June 2012 | UPDATED: 16:17 EST, 14 June 2012
Hundreds of people in Washington D.C. got the shock of their lives last night when they saw what they believed to be a UFO being transported across a local highway.
The internet exploded with sightings of the ‘alien spacecraft’ being driven along the Capitol Beltway near College Park on the back of a truck at around 11 p.m.
Hundreds of people Tweeted pictures of the mysterious object alongside exclamations of concern and astonishment.
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‘A UFO In Maryland! Where’s Men In Black When You Need Them!’ @AyeeKeithyKeith said of the saucer-shaped vehicle.
‘Can Obama explain why we got a UFO double parked on the beltway?’ added @TheDollyStoner.
But Maryland State Police today revealed that the so-called alien carrier was in fact a military drone being moved from West Virginia to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Southern Maryland.
Jamie Cosgrove, a public affairs officer for the Navy Unmanned Combat Air Demonstrator Program, said the drone, an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System made by Northrup Grumman, had undergone testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, according to WUSA.
It will be the first unmanned vehicle designed to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier, the station said. The plane is 82 feet long, 32 feet wide and 14 feet high.
‘In the coming months, you can expect to see the X-47B flying over the base and surrounding area along the Chesapeake Bay,’ Matt Funk, lead test engineer, told NBC4.
‘As part of the program’s demonstration, the X-47B will perform arrested landings and catapult launches at Pax to validate its ability to conduct precision approaches to the carrier,’ a military press release said.
‘The base is one of only a few sites in the world where the Navy can run performance tests on aircraft-carrier catapult operations at a land-based facility with flight test and engineering support resources not available on a ship.’
But the clarification from police was not enough to alleviate the concerns of some anxious residents.
‘Why would they parade it so openly down the beltway?’ Karrie Salisbury posted on Facebook.
‘It’s almost like they WANT us to think aliens. Which leads me to wonder, where the hell did it really come from that they would rather us think that?’
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