The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration accidentally mailed the parts to a $350,000 environment and wildlife monitoring drone to a college student, according to the blog Motherboard. The unidentified student originally posted photos of the drone on Reddit and included this message under the title “I think I just got a drone in the mail”:
Just called UPS. They told me that it was one of the undelivered packages in their office, and asked if I've ever had an undelivered package. I said no, but he insisted that it was mine, and said that it was up to me if I want to keep it or not.
I don't think that's the right way to go about this, so I'm going to call the number on the card, and get this sorted out.
For all of those saying things along the lines of "It's a federal offense to open someone else's mail," I should mention that the label on the exterior was addressed to me. Nothing on the outside of the crate said it was government property. I had ordered a weightlifting bench (which I received) and this came with it. Both boxes had UPS labels with my name and address. Though an odd box, I genuinely thought it was parts for the bench I ordered, since I wasn't expecting a freaking drone.
I have to go back to college in a bit, so I wont be calling that NOAA hotline number right away, as I don't think I have the time to go through all the procedures to come. I plan on calling as soon as I can though.
NOAA spokesperson David Miller told Motherboard that the drone was originally intended to arrive in Massachusetts along with seven other boxes, but that UPS must have erred in sending it to the wrong person.