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This College Kid Accidentally Got A $350,000 Drone In The Mail

“I think I just got a drone in the mail."

Last updated on May 6, 2014, at 12:14 p.m. ET

Posted on May 6, 2014, at 12:14 p.m. ET

You know how it goes: You're minding your own business, living your life, and then one day, you get a $350,000 drone randomly mailed to you.

That's actually what happened to one anonymous college student, who was sent pieces of an eight-part weather drone by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, and uploaded pictures of it on Imgur and Reddit under the headline: "I think I just got a drone in the mail."

"It came in this box by itself, the cardboard box was the thing that I actually ordered."


"Control panel thing."


"I guess this controls it. Did I just get a drone in the mail?"

The parts were mailed to the man by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, which told Motherboard that the delivery appears to be a UPS error.

"We sent one of our Puma unmanned aircraft systems to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts," said David Miller, a spokesperson for NOAA. "We sent a set of about eight boxes for this one aircraft system, and one was misdelivered by UPS. We're working with UPS to find it."

Miller said that seven boxes sent from NOAA arrived safely in Massachusetts. He believes the error was UPS's, not NOAA's.

"I can tell you that it didn't come from us addressed to him," he said.

View this video on YouTube

A video of the Puma unmanned aircraft system in action.

On Reddit, the anonymous accidental recipient explained in more detail how the box came to be in his possession:

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.

Hopefully this will get sorted out quickly.