Residents in and around the Washington D.C. area were rather excited after reports that a unidentified flying object was seen being transported through the city and up into Maryland.
The mysterious craft which was described by witnesses as "saucer-shaped" was being transported on the back of a flatbed truck. People became alarmed after they thought the government was transporting a real UFO to a secret government facility down residential streets.
The state of public panic reached a fever pitch when local media reported a man in Maryland dialed 911 after he became concerned because he had a relative near the location of the then-mysterious object.
Alas, the perceived UFO was just an experimental aircraft drone on it was to a base in Maryland. The route took the aircraft through Washington, D.C., Wednesday night. The truck came south on I-270, then took the inner loop of the Capital Beltway from Montgomery County into Prince George's County in Maryland.
The anxiety was alleviated after officials from Northrop Grumman explained that the "UFO" was an unmanned drone called X-47B, according to Brooks McKinney, Northrop Grumman's spokesman.
McKinney explained that the reason for the disc-shaped object design is to make it harder for enemy radar to detect.
"[It's] a shape that minimizes its refection of potential ... enemy radar signals," said McKinney, who also added that the aircraft has no tail.
Officials explained the drone was being transported from Edwards Air Force Base in California to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland for testing. Northrop Grumman hopes that more of these aircraft are ordered to help keep Americans safe.
McKinney stated the remotely-piloted aircraft can be used for surveillance or it can be weaponized if the situation required it.
There is no word as to how many of these new experimental drones there are but two of the experimental aircraft are currently in Maryland, according to officials.