College Student's $350K Drone Delivered by UPS Is Returned

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 08:21 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A college student who mistakenly received a $350k drone in the mail this week has reportedly returned the government package to UPS.

The mix-up happened Tuesday when parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Puma drone were "misdelivered" to the student. The package, sent from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, was supposed to be delivered to a Marine sanctuary in Massachusetts, NOAA spokesman David Miller told Vice.com.

"We sent one of our Puma unmanned aircraft systems to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts," he said. "We sent a set of about eight boxes for this one aircraft system, and one was misdelivered by UPS . . . We did not mail the package to the wrong address — the error occurred on the part of UPS."

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The student, who claims the box had his name and address printed on it, opened the package expecting to see a weightlifting bench he had ordered, but instead found parts of the drone, which NOAA uses for aerial observation.




"We're still investigating what happened, but it's true that we had a misdelivery," a UPS spokesperson told NBC News. "We've already reacquired the package and will get it to the intended recipient."

The $350k drone delivery mistake went viral online after the college student posted about it on social news site Reddit.

"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," the student wrote under the user name Seventy_Seven. "Both boxes has 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."

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