Today’s UK Telegraph carries an interesting article about a claim by Sudanese officials to have captured a vulture equipped with Israeli aerial surveillance technology. The Israelis say the camera gear is merely part of a project to study vulture migration patterns.
Whatever the truth, the idea of spy vultures raises some interesting issues. In addition to all of the drones flying around in Daniel Suarez’s new Sci-Fi novel KILL DECISION, the main character employs ravens outfitted with cameras to provide real time aerial intelligence. And in my own private eye novel COLD QUARRY, a terrorist plan is potentially hatched (no pun intended) involving carrier pigeons. Such birds have been used in warfare throughout history to ferry messages back and forth.
Personally, I question whether the Israelis would have much luck being able to control vultures. Ravens would make more sense, although they would not have the range of a vulture. Even a well-trained hawk or falcon is possible, although again, precise control and range would always be issues.
Who knows? With all of the spy drones, many now weaponized, tooling the skies these days, almost anything is possible. I’ll have much more to say on this subject soon since I’m putting the finishing touches on a novella, part of a brand new series to be released as an original ebook, that revolves, at least in part, around this type of technology.
What’s your favorite potential spy creature?