UPS Mistakenly Delivers $400,000 Drone to Wrong Person

Things get lost in the mail all the time. It’s frustrating when it happens, and those of you who are unfortunate enough to have had first hand experiences with such situations know that it is never the fault of the shipping company. Ever. Because they are perfect.

Armed with a tracking number, delivery address, name, and phone number, you would expect that an international delivery company would be able to send a package to the correct recipient. Well, you would hope, at least. UPS recently sent someone a $400,000 unmanned aerial vehicle. Not only did they deliver it to the wrong person, but they sent it straight to a residential address. Yup, that’s right. UPS delivered a drone to a man’s home.

The temporary owner of the UAV said that the package had been in storage for some time prior to arriving at his house. Even after this good citizen informed UPS of the error, the company had no qualms with him keeping the expensive piece of U.S. government property.



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After such a long delay, one would think that the agency or military base expecting to take delivery of the equipment would follow up on the matter and find out where the package was. They did not. Despite the lack of any attempt to recover the lost equipment by either the courier or the government, however, the relevant government agency did eventually get its drone back. Luckily, the package had come with a business card which had the details of the NOAA aircraft operations center on it, and our good citizen was able to return the drone to its rightful owner. Yup, those are our tax dollars hard at work delivering top-notch, efficient service to the country.

It makes one wonder why on earth the US military is sending such expensive (and sensitive) pieces of equipment via a commercial courier. This isn’t eBay, this is the real world, and things get damaged and lost all the time. Who knows whose hands the drone could have landed in, instead of the honest man in whose care it did end up? (Well, the NSA could probably work that one out in short order, but the overall concern remains valid).  Regardless, let’s hope that UPS takes better care of such packages in the future. Otherwise the United States Military might need to look into more reliable means of shipping, like Uber’s new delivery service, which is now delivering packages across major cities in the united states by bicycle. The only downside to that is thinking of someway to attach a basket large enough to transport a $400,000 dollar drone in.