Summer Wells Search How Drones can help with special guest SAR Drone Expert
I want to say a special thank you to my patreon supporters, the channel members, all of the folks who subscribe and leave positive comments down below its the engagement. The after conversation after these live streams are over that i really enjoy, and i want to say thank you to everybody for positively interacting here in these live streams. Uh you guys dont know how much i appreciate that i want to say first before we get started julie and dr ed julie. Thank you for your support and happy birthday. Happy 63rd birthday. You know they say: 63 is the new 29, so happy birthday to you, julie and also, i want to say thank you to denise spalding for the generous super chat prior to the show starting she sent in a 300 super chat, and she says lets support these Individuals that dedicate their time and efforts to trying to locate or find these children lets bring these children home, sir dude, iran and equisearch. May god bless each and every one of you thank you denise for the generous super chats in the past and that generous super chat. Tonight i have three special guests and a fourth thats going to be joining us later on. I want to just tell you my special guests um, two of them. You know okay, lets, let that go two of them. You know from previous shows uh dave raider from equisearch. He is the director of midwest tech, midwest equisearch, the ohio chapter and twyla cisco.
She is the search coordinator. They are live with us uh from a remote location in in georgia, theyre on another assignment right now, but they were kind enough to take out their evening to join us, and i also have a drone uh expert gene robinson from sar thats search and recovery. Drones. Hes, a retired air force medic, he flew uh missions in the um air force and i want to thank him for his service. Hell be joining us shortly. Uh its going to be a wonderful show were going to talk about summer wells and drones. Sonar drones, sonar equipped drones and all different types of drones for mis searching for missings, not just missing children, but for missing folks, whether theyre elderly, whether theyre special needs where theres a special category hikers missing in the mountains. All kinds of aerial um support that these folks that fly these drones. So what i want to do quickly, too, is say again a special thank you to my moderators and the replay viewers. But before we get started, i want to play a little bit of media, as i always do so. You guys can see a little bit about what were going to be talking about tonight and, if you hold up to the end of the live show we are gon na. Take a five or ten minute period of questions and answer. So q a will follow at the end, so please grin and bear it while were talking to the guests.
I dont want to try to you, know, branch off, but we will be saying hello to everybody in the chat as we go, but i want to just play this bit of media. While you guys are waiting, so you can um get a better understanding of what were going to talk about tonight. So here we go. Hikers is a success thanks in part to what is about search for missing. Hikers is a success thanks in part to what is buzzing in the sky. These days, drones douglas county search and rescue teams launched a drone to help find two men who got lost while hiking an area in the pike national forest known as devils head right there. Karen morfitt joins us now to explain how this all worked out and karen those men are safe at home tonight, theyre at home, safe and without any injuries. Karen, the douglas county search and rescue team was able to use cell phone pings and one of these a drone to find and to find those missing, hikers and bring them to safety all within just a few hours. Shortly after learning, two hikers were lost in the pike national forest douglas county search and rescue crews were on the ground and in the air using a drone. I think its awesome, its fantastic. It is, in fact, i think, where search and rescue, especially in the wilderness, areas is heading on thursday, roman bukhari and the rest of the rescue team were called on to find two men who lost their way after leaving the devils head trail.
The teams newly approved drone was launched and quickly covered miles of terrain before their boots would ever touch the ground before were out there. We can search massive areas of terrain before were out there. We can see at high points of visibility. Is there in fact someone there while its an invaluable search tool? It also gives those responding on foot critical information. They need to complete a successful rescue and everybody knew exactly where we were going. What we were seeing, who we had to deal with, how many we were going to deal with and that made my life much easier? In fact, in a forest spanning thousands of acres, it took just two hours for crews to find those missing. Hikers bucari says as successful as the search was its just a glimpse into what that technology can do. It is a tremendous tool and im glad that its on our team and im glad that we can use it now. A spokesperson for the douglas county search and rescue team says almost immediately after those hikers were rescued. The first question they had was: how much is all of this going to cost us? This, they say can be an important reminder to everyone that if you find yourself in a situation like this, never hesitate to call for help, they do not charge for their services. For now were live karen morfitz cbs 4 news, so i just want to highlight that, towards the end, the statement that this reporter just made uh – and this this was footage from years ago from 2017, they do not charge for their services.
This is a 501 c 3 non profit organization, um the guests that im about to um, introduce you to are going to be sharing the proceeds from tonight. So all super chats or anything that is sent in donations wide will be split between gene robinson and his search and rescue drone organization and texas, aqua search. So without further ado, i want to introduce my guest gene robinson is kind enough to join us from texas hes taken out some of his time from his busy schedule. Gene. Thank you. So much for joining the crime time with duty ron show its an honor to have you hello, rons pleasure, to be here im happy to talk about drones, and i want to just start off by saying thank you for your service to our country, um uh. You know again, i tip my cap to all the men and women who uh serve our country. Freedom, doesnt come free and i greatly appreciate what you have done and what you continue to do in your retirement uh from the military. So thank you for that. Um quickly, im going to add uh, two friends who you guys, who you both, who you know well both of these two theyre coming remote from georgia: im not going to give up their location because they got so many fans on my show they might show up At their door and ask them for autograph dave, raider and twyla uh from echo search midwest.
Thank you guys for joining absolutely good to see you again hi jane we dont mess around those two uh they got their mics turned up. They want everybody to hear them. Uh, let me start off with you gene, please tell the audience. You got 20 years, as you said to me, experience flying these drones, just set it up for my audience how you got involved in uh, the drone business uh. Actually, i had a company that produced a fixed wing drone called the spectra and uh. It was 2004 when we started uh kind of producing a drone, and we were trying to trying to decide. You know what was the best kind of niche that a drone would fit in, and my my military service tells me that you know hey search and rescue, and you know stuff with the pjs and the the prime beef. It would be certainly a good application. So i actually reached out to tim miller with with texas, equisearch uh there in houston and uh said you know, hey we got this thing, you know, can, can we help you out and he put us off and he put us off and yeah theres theres a Picture of tim right there and there was a case came up and he said you know well call gene robinson and tell him to take his little toy and go down there and see if he can do any good, so uh. He was just throwing that uh.
That drone up – and that looks like a sophisticated drone that thats me thats me flying the drone and uh yeah. That is the spectre flying wing uh. A lot of people see i had hair. Then a lot of people uh forget that uh, the fixed wing drones is where we started the the multi rotor drones came along later and they kind of became the darling. If you will, because they are more versatile uh, they dont fly as this. This long. This one looks sophisticated and advanced right there uh it it for the time it was very advanced. It had a full telemetry system, guidance, control and youd see the camera there uh it had uh just about everything. A military grade drone would have in it, but it was civilian great. Did you build that this drone yourself? I i designed that drone and built it and started a process of producing those drones in my facility uh up until gosh 2015.. Is there any music on this, or could i play this? What you guys are talking about here or uh – well, theres, a search right there in the houston ship channel that uh. That picture was the very first picture of the very first flight. When tim called me down there to to help them and uh, it was like that, quick that we got that that find in there uh yeah theres theres tim talking, theres theres a whole uh string of uh stuff going on back there and him talking.
So i mean, if you want to sure, go ahead yeah i i want you to. I want you to more so im going to put you back on and then ill play this after were done. Talking um, i id. Rather, you tell the audience about how you got started because i interrupted you, so i apologize for that. I just got so excited when i saw this um joe murray, who is going to be a guest with us at the end. Leave it up to an attorney to find this, i didnt even find this footage. He sent this to me so its its a minute and 50 seconds and ill go back to it so again, ill put you full screen, just let everybody know how you got into it, because i did interrupt you so lets. Do it over lets? Do a do over okay do over was, is that i i i designed this this flying wing and i offered my assistance to texas equal search, and it took almost a year before they would use me and so 2005 or so um. They sent me out to a case in in west, texas and uh. I could say his name, you can look it up david lee, pettit uh was his name. He was uh, he had been missing for six months and uh. The family contacted texas, second search and when, when tim said, you know, hey lets lets send gene out there with his toy airplane and see if he can do any good.
So i went out there um with my then partner, myron, smartenberg and uh. We flew three flights when we got there, it was windy as all get out, but we got the flights in and took about. 200 images went back to the hotel room that night because it got dark and we did a process that we call squinting the images you have to squint them and you just look down real close to them and you know we found some some good targets. So we walked out there. I walked out the next day. They went and and searched one field, and i walked straight out literally straight out to the guy in 15 minutes and found him where, unfortunately, he had committed suicide and how long was he? How long was he missing at that point? When you found him six months, he had been missing six months and the uh the sheriff had decided that he was off in some other part of the country, robbing banks and doing things like that, so they did their searches, their ground searches or whatever they do. Initially, you know, i know from being a police officer 20 years. You know we searched the inside out, we started the house or the last place the person would start saw has seen, and then we worked way out um. So essentially, they did all their stuff, and six months later you throw up uh, as tim miller calls it. What did he call it a toy airplane? I can hear tim saying that too yeah well gene.
Why dont you go, throw up your toy airplane and see what the heck you can find uh excellent. So, six months later you find this gentleman who unfortunately committed suicide, but you brought him home to his family. What was that feeling like? That was your first mission that you found somebody what what what was that felt uh i ive got to tell you when i fell out of that tree. I hit 100 branches on the way down and uh that that really opened my eyes. The family was so grateful and you know its. I i got to use some of my military experience. I wasnt shocked by what i saw and you know i could actually provide uh. You know a little assistance to them, not much, but you know i could at least give them some comfort and on the way home when we were driving home with myron and myself uh. We were both like weve got ta do this this. This is the right thing and uh we told tim then that you know hey were were on board. We want to do this and, of course, when tim found out that you know in 15 minutes three flights and 15 minutes later we found this guy. He says: youre my new hero and uh from that point forward. Its ive been to 31 states and six countries doing search and rescue with not only the fixed wing but the rotor wing aircraft.
How many? How many successful uh missions? Now a successful mission is a fine whether the person is alive or dead. Uh approximately. How many successful missions have you had. I am up to 20, but thats only the ones that i count where i walked out there and i actually found the victim. There are many multiple others that i did. The imagery flew the the missions for them, scanned the images and directed them, and somebody else found what we were looking for wow. So i you know, i dont really know right right. Yeah i mean it could be more. Could be less, but you know again, youre bringing this technology forward and police departments are trying to mimic this and get it on board. So i were going to get into some of your training and some of the things that you do and you teach a bit now. I think its important its a its a wonderful technology that can do nothing but good. I feel in my heart um its an advancement that is um great for police departments that are resource drained that do do not have the funding to pay for overtime, to throw the whirlybird up and gas it up and pay the overtime to the pilots uh or To contract it out to uh farmer joe or whoever has got a you know, people want to get paid, they want to get. You know they have to pay for their fuel.
You throw one of these drones up granted: theyre, not cheap, but um, its a its a great asset to any small or medium sized police department that cant afford it in their budget um lori j. Thank you for the 20 super sticker. For those of you tuning in this is a gene robinson uh s, a r president uh he does the drone s a r he its search and recovery. He runs a non profit and dave. Raider and twyla are here with us in georgia joining us from one of their uh. The current missions that theyre on all of the fundamentals from this proceeds of the live stream here are going towards 50 percent to dave rader and his organization and 50 to uh gene. So thank you to everyone who generously donates and if you want to donate directly, i will link down below a direct link to both gene and daves um uh organization, so that im sure that you guys have, i know dave – has a paypal, im sure gene. You have something set up ill link that in the description and if you send a direct paypal to me, i will just forward it to those guys its easier that way. Um again dave talk a little bit about how you came into contact with gene, because i heard the story but its fascinating. You know me and gene went back um. You know i i knew of gene back on.
I started with kaylee anthony, of course, and i i knew of him and um uh and what his capabilities were, but i was i was new to it myself right, so i really didnt get into the whole um the whole drone thing until later. On so uh there was a there was a case up in uh bloomington indiana, with lauren spears, missing and um thats. When we we threw everything uh budget, the the damn kitchen sink on on this uh. On this case, uh lauren still has not been found um. I i basically lived in uh bloomington for like six weeks um, but um we brought dr jean in and uh ill, never forget the girl that was kind of my sidekick at the time with which worked for the university um. She was so into this and jean she wanted to go out with gene and there was there was a uh, an area um. I think it was a some sort of a a quarry of some sort, its like a stone quarry and i couldnt see over the edge – and i thought you know what this will be a great place for gene and his bird to go up and see what The hell we couldnt see um and then gene ill. Let you take it from there and uh and we did – and it was quite interesting because uh that was one of the cases that got quite a bit of attention in dc as well.
Uh, as i walked off the plane, my phone was ringing and it was the faa and they said. Oh, we understand youre about to fly a mission. I was like how how do you guys know this? The news – the news sometimes is not our friends and the news media, probably no, it hadnt been leaked to the media yet um, but thats, another story: yeah and uh. Anyway. We ended up getting some congressional um involvement on that one and we did go out and we flew that quarry, and that was that was quite a hairy kind of a situation to be in. We wouldnt wanted to put anybody in that quarry because it was tumbled down, granite, rocks, uh, water, obviously uh, and who knows what other critters are out there, that that could have injured a team out there. So yeah we we did uh some full 3d modeling of the the quarries themselves and stitched them all together and we could look at them. We could look down into the cracks in the rocks wow and that and that imaging uh is invaluable to a search, because absolutely you can never get somebody on foot to go in there. You know its impossible. That thing was absolutely. It was literally from the road uh the berm. Then there was the guard rail and then there was maybe two foot and then that thing went straight down. I mean it was just nasty if you would have thrown somebody over there and gene.
I think youll agree with this. Nobody would have ever seen it yeah. That was a perfect scenario, for that drew hey, guys, um were were were talking and im. This channel has been covering the summer wells case a five year old girl who was reported missing by her parents june 15th, so were in today. I dont know what is it 65 or something like that uh its too long, so shes outstanding still supposedly she just vanished outside of her property um. I got to ask you im going to put you on the spot here. Gene and you dont have to answer it if you dont want to what could the drones bring to this search for summer wells at this time? Right now? Well, quite a bit actually because were doing some very significant research right now using alternate payloads rather than you know, your usual video or or the still imagery were using both thermal and what we call near infrared. It is visible, but it looks at things differently and i actually did send a team out from the bear county sheriffs office. I was involved in another search and they requested. I think that dave was in on the coordination of that and they had the same sort of equipment that i had and, quite frankly, they built it on my recommendation because both of those guys were my students when they went through the drone training so um they Actually got deployed, i dont know how many days out it was at the, but but they flew it and they found a couple of areas of interest that they did clear.
But even at this what we would call late stage of the game. We can still see very clearly disturbed earth and thats. What we would be looking for is things like disturbed earth, and you know, unfortunately, that the child is a very small little package and youre looking for very small patches of disturbed earth in farm country. If you will right and uh, you know its its uh theres theres still a possibility that the drone could provide a clue uh. We can see things like tire tracks and and uh uh other what we call trace evidence and you know thats the only way you get it is with a drum. You know sometimes gene we as law enforcement investigators. We always reference a small piece of a puzzle. Now we heard the rescue captain tim coop when he was still the commander in charge of the search and rescue he talked about on the news that summer wells could be hidden in such a small space. The size of two folders manila folders, yes, and that was his words and not mine, uh, so im glad that you brought that up because the human eye, and even from a helicopter or you know, helicopters have their limitations, whereas a drone you can kind of get It down close to the tree line, you are not worried about if it does catch trees and having a aircraft accident and we have death of the pilot or people on the ground, so theres so much extra.
I feel – and you can correct me if im wrong but im looking at this from an investigators standpoint where you can take those smaller drones into some areas where you would not be able to get the whirlybird or the helicopter whatever you want to refer to it. As absolutely – and that gives you a birds, eye view of areas and locations that are so out in the middle of nowhere secreted, where somebody could have taken this child and really tried to do a good job of hiding and then you say, whoa whoa wait a Minute look at this over here, whereas you couldnt have gotten a helicopter. I want to quickly answer lauren hill uh noelle hall. She asked and sent the super chat um. If equisearch has a new england division, i dont think that they do but dave. Let you answer that that would that would fall under the midwest, unfortunately, so yes, so lauren lauren noel hall uh. Thank you for your support. Shes, an awesome subscriber and great friend of this, this community um, if uh, texas, equisearch down in um texas, obviously handles the southern parts. But it looks like dave. Rader has probably um the the rest of the 47 states im im anywhere from anywhere from east of the mississippi and again in my geography books at the time i sure dont understand how the hell i got mississippi. Arkansas and uh. I dont have louisiana so so now, im in georgia, so now im im in 19 different states, so im im continuing on soon ill catch up with g yeah.
You know better than i do and so does. Twyla and gene uh, but ive been dealing with tim miller just for a month now, and i know that when he says something you know theres really not a lot of argument with him its just like okay boss, whatever you need, he calls me up and he Doesnt even say hello, he goes ron whats. The word. Do we get an answer on this and i tell him you also know, and he goes okay got ta go. Thank you. I got ta go click. No! His words are im gon na. Take this other call right right. Well, he just tells me i got ta go cause. I dont think he sugarcoats anything with me. He just says i got ta go um, so drones in any type of missing or any type of search. Even when we it comes to prisoners that are are loose and on the run, uh. These are an invaluable tool and i want you to talk about some of the different equipment that you have on some of your drones in your fleet. How many do you have uh give the audience these folks know nothing about it. Just like i, i know youre laughing at me, but im trying to uh im, trying to im trying to give my people a little bit of insight to this uh. This very great tool that is invaluable for searching for folks, okay. Well, i want to start.
I was kind of chuckling because i was going to try to count in my head how many drones i have, and i dont im not sure i can do that at this point but uh you know because i build them all myself. One of the things im. Sorry go ahead, give us a guesstimate um. I have at least a dozen awesome less in less than 50., okay, all right um, and what what what do they range from? What do you got traditional drones? You have the winged ones, im going to start showing this movie now this couple i have fixed wing drones and i have military grade drones. I have the the arion sky ranger, which dave has one of those uh. I fly a lot of dji products. I have uh unique products. I have uh home built aircraft and uh ive modified my aircraft pretty significantly based on the payload that im trying to carry so there you go okay, one thing youre more handsome today than you were back then yeah. I, like the look now a little bit of father time. You know, listen like like wine, we age wine, okay, all right! Well, let me let me start off by saying the timing on the deployment of the drone is just as significant as the employment of the drone itself and the reason i say that is, i wrote a book called first to deploy and really a drone should be The first to deploy.
Why? Because we can capture a scene, we can capture an area for all eternity down to a third of an inch. Okay itll be a memorialized in imagery. So imagine what that does, if its say, for example, a crime scene before the first boot even walks in there. You have a good idea of what that crime scene looked like now, its a its a its a virgin crime scene photo exactly. You have a baseline to start with thats awesome so and then and then you have to look further on some of these missing person cases and i think youve got an example here we collect what we call trace evidence, and this is stuff that not normally you Wouldnt see from the air or see from the ground, but you cant see from the air like we can see. If people walk through tall grass, we can see the path that they have taken. We have used tire tracks to take us to victims of violent crimes. We have used trace evidence to find hard evidence when perps have tried to hide it and ran through the mud and threw it in a culvert. So you know the sooner that we can get out and get flown the better. And when we first started this, we were always last to deploy when everybody gave up, and you know they couldnt, they couldnt sustain the search any longer, theyd, say: okay, call equisearch and that robinson guy and see if hell bring his toy airplane out and fly it And well go out and fly it, and i cant tell you how many times we fly it we go um.
Did you guys check this? Why no, we didnt and not here that is david lee pettit. His family very graciously allowed me to use that image as an example, because they wanted to advocate for the use of the drones because they succeeded where law enforcement and standard search teams had failed them. So im going to go full screen with this. This is actual drone footage of this gentleman who committed suicide and six months later, um your gene and his team went out there um. I believe we saw tim miller a young tamil out there with him, and this is actual footage and theres our deceased uh mayhem. Rest in peace um – this is again this to me makes me happy and at the same time, sad for him and his family, but this is. This is a good thing i mean, like you said: everybody missed this. He would have been out there um. You know decomposing without a recovery for his family, for they may not have ever found him. You know so i mean this is this is a great thing all right. Listen. I have criminal defense attorney, a friend of the channel joe murray im, paying this guy by the hour, so uh im already into him at least 550., so um joe murray welcome into the live stream. Thank you for patiently waiting for your turn. I know you were chomping at the bit to get in here. Thank you, joe.
I just absolutely love what what all of your guests, i mean im just humbled by by what im reading about the work that you do and how important it is and how its voluntary its a non profit, its, not a government agency, a bloated fat. You know government agency, these are real people doing a very important job and i i support you, a hundred percent. You know its got its its gods work. What dave uh to miller all of the search and rescues we had brian on the other night, uh brian smith, uh? These are folks who look twylas there, shes a mother and shes down in uh atlanta on a case. Uh dave calls upon her and she just you know, lets go boss lets do it uh. I too am recommitting myself to anything that i could do for these folks and right now, its a law enforcement bridge. You know where we can make contact with folks im im batting my my batting average sucks but im trying to do the best i can for uh tim miller, dave, dave, raider and the the crew here um. You know gene again, um anytime, that i could be of help to you and generating funds uh. This is a way i can help and for me i cant fly a drone. I certainly cant um im, not great at searching. I dont know the the right way to do these things, but im willing to learn.
If you, let me crash a couple of your planes, those uh those um. What did what did tim call them? The your uh toy planes toy airplane. If you, let me try it, i i mean ill ill, give it a whirl uh emily. Thank you for the super chat, five dollars in gratitude for all who search now. Gentlemen, we have a few different cases that we cover here and ive covered. Many missing and maya miliente comes into mind: oren and orson west two california city bakersfield boys. We wanted to go out there. Bakersfield gave us the kibash. I want you to talk a little bit about and and were running into this with summer wells too hawkins county has said. We dont need you right now, but we we will eventually need you, so um were were in this holding pattern. I want you to talk a little bit about some of the struggles early on in what 2014 2015, maybe earlier that you had with the federal aviation uh administration, uh gene – i i told you, i was gon na walk you into this, but you could tread lightly Or you can go full full full force with it. No, i i really dont have any problem with this. I think its part of the uh, the advocacy and uh the the efforts that we made to make drones more acceptable. The faa in 2006 february 13, 2006 asked me how i remember that grounded all drums and uh.
That was at a time when we had been working with the faa very diligently to come up with a process and procedure for a safe process to use drums, and they told us then said: look you know. Dont get excited six. Eight months youll be back in the air, no problem. Well, it only took them 10 years and i was going to continue and they they had come out and they clarified and said that uh. We are not going to allow any commercial operation of drones and i was like okay. I understand that im, a pilot as well. I have a pilots license and an faa pilots license. So i get it. I understand the safety argument. However, when they said the commercial operations were not allowed, i decided im still going to do this one way or the other. So i approached the irs and i i applied for my 501c3, which by definition is a non commercial entity and i continued on and uh. It rocked the faa back for you know about a year. They didnt know how to react to it and they finally came up, and i was on a search uh in uh far north texas and i was doing the right thing. Like i said, im a pilot. I called the flight service station and said: look guys im out here, im going to be flying, ive got it was a seven year old child and he had been missing for five days and uh.
I i told him what i was going to be doing and how i was going to do it and they said wait a minute um five days. You know what um we dont see that thats going to be a recovery dont. You think, and i said look i said i dont ever second guess anybody these days so im not going to say that he said well. You know we think its its going to be a recovery, so there is no imminent loss of life, so its not an emergency so disapproved, and i was standing next to the dad talking on my cell phone at the time – and i said im sorry, sir, but I am not going to tell this gentleman what you just said: youre going to tell him so i watched that gentleman said you know yes here i am and i watched him get redder and redder and redder as that conversation took place, and i really thought i Was going to lose my phone because i thought he was going to smash it to pieces wow but um that led to a i got a a a letter from the faa legal and it was a cease and desist operations and actually it wasnt a letter. It was a, it was an email, it was an email as a matter of fact, and i was like wow um, so the fed has shut me down. So i didnt know what to do and it was approached by a lawyer out of new york and he said, hey i heard about that and he said im willing to take your case.
Pro bono. I was like you know what knock your lights out, because at this point all i could lose was my polish license right and i said you know: go ahead im not flying planes these days so go ahead and take it so uh that that would be the The very one that im talking about and um, so we started fighting it and uh. It was very interesting. I think it made it to the the seventh dc court of appeals and uh. They were nervous because it was going to be some bad publicity. You know, for you, know, shutting down a search for a child and uh good look thats, not a good look. No, no, its, not a good look! So uh anyway, it was actually dismissed on a technicality which you know counselor. You can probably elucidate a little bit more on this, but at the time an email was not an allowable legal instrument. You want me to put it back up, so you can read it. Oh no! I have it right in front of me over here and uh. I got ta say i mean your affidavit. Gene was was wonderful. It was really striking if you dont mind id like to read paragraph six. Paragraph six gene writes, for example, devin davis age two went missing from his home in southwest texas in april of 2012. After extensive search efforts had failed, including manned helicopters, and a texas equisearch was planning to terminate as texas equisearch was planning to terminate the search.
A model aircraft was used after a single 15 minute flight. The images captured by the camera and reviewed by my wife, kudos to your wife on a computer, showed the red shirt. Devin was wearing, devins body was recovered in swampy water, mere feet from where searchers and kayaks had already passed by, and then i just want to skip down to where it says because of the presence of alligators in the water. Had the body not been found by the model aircraft, it likely never would have been and devins family would to this day, not know what happened, what became of their child thats incredible? I mean just reading that paragraph. It just humbles me what you people are doing and gene you are all in you, your wife, i i see what youre doing and i i really am just youre its commendable, what youre doing in the service of others. We need more of that in this country. Theres too much division and strife right now, so i i love that you guys are here, you need to be. You know commended for what youre doing its so important, but getting back to the case and and the incredible work, and it demonstrates how important your service is, and i thought that paragraph also addresses the faas position. Oh its really a recovery, its not a rescue mission recovery is just as important as you pointed out there, not knowing what happened to your child and – and you make that good point with the existence of the alligators in that swampy water.
They may never have learned if the search was stopped and and the the drone was not used, so it just shows, and it proves how important it was to do what you guys did. So, yes, it was dismissed on the technicality and i can explain that very simply in the fourth branch of our government, the administrative agencies. In order to review a decision from an administrative agency, the courts have said you cant keep running to us every time. Something happens. It has to be a final determination or theres some legal consequence, somebody fined you, somebody suspended you. Somebody took some action against you. We dont want to review everything. The agency does the courts. You know selfishly with judicial economy, only want to decide matters that that are the final determination and decision of the agency. In this case they dismissed the petition on that very basis. They said this was the agency attorney, i believe who was commenting on their interpretation of the law: thats, not a final determination, as the court held, which is really ridiculous, because theyre telling you what youre doing is illegal. That sounds pretty final to me. However, as the court looks at it its their opinion about the law, so you know thats why that technicality struck your petition, but im so glad you, you persevered and you continued on, because that work that you do, i cant stress it enough, and people need to Support you and donate to your foundation, its an incredible effort that youre doing and look at what you did in this case, and i i want to point to paragraph six again in the summer wells case.
That terrain is pretty rough there and there was talk about, bears and dave. You could talk about that as well and twyla the animals that are there. So time is of the essence when youre using technology like this and paragraph six really just drove that home. To me so uh, thank you for what youre doing again, i just cant, i cant. Thank you enough yeah and you dont get thanks from an attorney, especially a criminal defense attorney, often so yeah joe, i mean joe. You got a heart as big as anybody that ive ever met and i got to say im honored, to be friends with you, because you have so much information and smarts and youre a wealth of information and youre an invaluable tool for this community. I want to put everybodys attention to paragraph 8 as well, and in paragraph 8 it says this technology has saved lives, theyre talking about drones, the same camera equipped spectra model aircraft used by texas equisearch has been used by a volunteer in a foreign country to locate And rescue abducted children who were not, who were to be sold into a sex slavery and eventually murdered, if not for the use of this model type aircraft to protect the personal security of the individuals who are involved in that effort. Further details cannot be publicly disclosed and gene. You can answer this or not. I know you and i discussed this um. Is it true that you were involved in a little bit of stuff at the border in mexico, or would you rather not talk about it? No because i dont go back there anymore, i cant um as a defense attorney.
I have to intercede here and i have to advise. You have a fifth amendment privilege against helping council council council, okay, um! Thank you, sir. I appreciate it so can i can i restate. Can i restate my question: judge um, let me restate my question uh and i wont even make it a question, its admirable what you did down at the border – and god bless you for that, because it was very, very a risky operation and it is still ongoing. This is still a very big issue at our border. Uh and children are being trafficked left and right, and we all know this to be true, uh and its the incredible pictures ive ever taken in my life yeah. I commend you for it and um man. I i i i come down there and um bring extra magazines and fight with you. If i had to so im im a gun, toting american legal illegal, i can carry in all 50 states. I have my federal license, so i can carry everywhere. I go. I just got to unload it and put it in a lock box and put it in with my checked luggage and then, as soon as i get out comes out on my conveyor belt. I go right into the bathroom. I load up and im good to go. So anyways uh but yeah i had to bring that up and that was in paragraph eight, a quick mention about uh.
You know horrible situations that are going on with our children in in this country and outside the country. Uh dave and twilight twyla. I i cant do a live stream without putting you on the spot ron. Just real quick before you move off that paragraph. Nine is the email on the language look at that language and tell me that it says uh. I received a written directive from an faa official that the operation of the model aircraft by myself or tequis texas, equisearch for volunteer search and rescue purposes, is illegal and must stop immediately. How is that not like a final cease and desist dont go any further. You know its so for the court to i mean its just disappointing. You know that they they took that you know version of it yeah, not seeing that as a final determination. You know how did you feel about that gene when you you know when you were going through, that little error there was a discouraging for you or you said, im fighting. I i always kind of laughed at the people that you know conspiracy, theorists and the government is out to get you kind of thing uh. You know i said you know nobodys going to come after a single. You know little me kind of guy and uh to be quite honest with you. It kind of scared me yeah, yeah its enough to scare anybody when youre talking about the feds, all right, twyla youre, not getting off the hook here so dont think that that joe murray saved you ill mute, joe murray.
If i have to um twyla, i need you as the search director search coordinator to talk to our audience about the um, the value of drone searches. I i think it would be a really good uh tool for us to have out there when we go back for summer, because the terrain is horrible and we did see a bear me and another teammate. We did see that bear like real life, fair, and i think i think gene would be um a really big help to us out there. I think it. I really do think that that would do us some good out there and anything else. Have you seen any of this stuff in um? Have you seen any of these drones in use in your times of doing searches? Yes, um. We had one in alabama um and i seen him fly. He actually flew at night and during the day i didnt get to see the night part of it, but i did get to watch. Him fly a drone um on another case that we had in alabama and im telling you its some good good stuff, because they can get that drone down in little little tiny spots that you would that we cant get to, and it can see things from up. Above that we cant see its its its awesome, its pretty cool stuff yeah. I thought dave he needs to just. Let me go ahead and learn to fly the drone.
It probably wouldnt last like very long, but i would try yeah when those things crash the guy over there thats thats, who i wont, teach you hes a pro he gene i want you to. I want you to quickly talk about um, some of the teachings that you do uh the other day. I called you, you said you left your phone home and you were teaching um. What are you doing now for um? You know with the teaching where youre teaching law enforcement, youre teaching regular folks, yes, as a matter of fact, ive just kind of joined forces with the community college here at austin community college and they have a public safety training center. That is specific for public safety. Training and uh, obviously, drones were a very natural fit uh. They have an evoc track out there. They have a force on force, room which we also use with our drones, because we fly them indoors and we apply them in confined spaces and they have a gun range out there and its uh its on a beautiful piece of property and its just a jewel. Its just a its a good place to go. Theyve got three classrooms and theyve started teaching a course that is just for drums. Right and uh. Sorry go ahead! No, no im, saying right: thats, thats, great, okay, uh and um. You can go to the acc public safety training center website there and they they have some some pretty good imagery on there and we are expanding it.
We are going to offer uh advanced courses in imagery and thermal using flear search and rescue confined space. You know uh swat tactics. How to you know, fly use the drone to be number one in the stack uh, so that uh, you know you can you can potentially save a life as you go into those sorts of situations. That is awesome. Of course, me being fire, you know, ive ive done a lot of fire stuff as well, and wildland. Fire situations are stuff that uh drones are made for, because it allows incident command to be able to see where the fire front is and where to put the wet stuff on the red, stuff right and thats thats. The important part is that you know getting to use these drones to their fullest capacity and pull capabilities. I wanted to ask you quickly about your fleet that you had. You said somewhere between 15 and 50.. That was a pretty good wide range of drones. Um talk about the um, the sonar that you have on there whats the capabilities when youre flying up in the air uh in laymans terms. Let these folks know what the what you can and cant do. Do you have um? Do you have the heat, uh sensing im, not saying it right talk about all this stuff? Okay? Well, the payloads are expanding for us uh. You know we started out just shooting three megapixel pictures and then they added video and then we went up to 10 20 megapixels and 4k video, and i predicted back in 2005, i said, as payloads get smaller were going to see more and more different sorts of Data being collected and really a drone is just a truck.
You know the truck carries the the cargo out there. We we fill it full of data. We come back so weve now expanded from your usual rgb kind of images, regular color images to near infrared, which is the upper end of the visible spectrum which shows us so many different things about plant health and vegetation and disturbed earth and uh. We are were now working on a uh uh, a grant from the nij to discover clandestine graves using drones, and we have already established some methodologies where we can actually see the heat from someone that is is buried. Uh from a drone using thermal imagery and thats. Been with texas state university and uh, their forensics anthropology research facility, which we kind of colloquially call the body uh and its thats, been a blessing as well to be able to continue with that now sonar and ground penetrating radar, which i never thought i would ever See ground penetrating radar with a drone, but it is coming to pass uh dave and texas tech research. Weve used the sonar in its a boat but its still a remote drone type boat to go into small ponds where we couldnt get a larger boat. It has just the same capabilities as you know, a manned boat and now weve done the poc, the proof of concept where we can take a transducer put the unit on the drum transducer dangles underneath the drone. We can dip it into the pond and take a 360 view of the pond wow.
So i mean the technology is there we are just applying it in a little different way. Can i ask a question to expand on that? I hate i hate to be that guy when i was in the police academy, they always said dont. Let raise your hand unless you got something smart to say: uh, im that guy right now now you take that drone and you put it in a pond or a river or a lake, and you dip the sonar in there. Can you move that drone to different places and then do more 360s to get okay all right, so i wasnt that dumb that wasnt, that big of a question um im thinking from an investigators, standpoint hey if we got a big piece of a lake uh like We im like im thinking of summer wells, it looked like it was a decent sized uh body of water and it went far across and far up and down. So now you could take that remote drone like youre flying it and go. Oh lets go across and you can be on the the shore and be across. However far you can go with the drone thats freaking phenomenal. If, if, if the hawkins county sheriffs authorized equisearch to come back, would you come back and do drone work there? Of course i mean thats what we do i mean my aerial sonar is still being built, weve done proof of concept and uh thats, going to be a little kind of an expensive prospect, but uh were gon na were gon na.
Do that we got the little. We got the little as tim says: the toy aircraft, the toy boat, my buddy thats thats, phenomenal uh, im gon na go quickly to the to the people in the chat theres over 1500 people here. So let me go full screen on me, uh and watch how that drops down to maybe 900. uh. I want to say i want to say thank you to everybody in the chat, if youre new, here and first time watching uh one of the dutyron crime time educational, live streams, we have a drone pilot, expert, uh and search and rescue from equisearch. He works hand in hand with twyla and dave and tim miller, uh gene robinson from texas um sar drones, thats gene robinson s, a r drones uh. Let me know if youre new here in the chat by putting a new and also let me know if youre enjoying this live stream, were gon na get to the questions and answer i like to do my roll call. So let me know where youre watching city, state or country – and let me give you a quick shout out uh hello, kathleen welcome in thank you for joining. I appreciate you being here. Thank you, joey brooklyn, just in case you guys dont know it. Joey is from brooklyn uh juanita. Thank you for being new. I appreciate you being here hello, roxanne from mississippi anybody from the great state of texas here, hello, ohio, welcome in thank you, becky from st louis missouri, hello from cape town as south africa.
Welcome in appreciate you being in here hello from nova scotia excellent great to see you, australia put another prawn on the barbie uh great to see you. Thank you for joining from scotland. We have people from all over the world. Portland oregon hello from illinois good to see you anybody from georgia. If anybodys in georgia, i could tell you where dave and twyler are staying, you can go over there and buy them a drink. I wouldnt do that brother um. Thank you! So much for the super chat, meg shoot says, tell dave and twyla their teammates love them from tennessee megan. Is it shut or shoot shut? Megan thats one of our teammates shes in tennessee with me, excellent, excellent uh, the chats going so fast, hello, uh from united kingdom great to see you, salt lake city, utah, uh nurse granny, welcome in nurse granny.