A drone landed on the South Grounds outside the White House Monday, sparking new concerns about the safety of the White House and the U.S. government buildings.

Drone Lands At White House

The Secret Service first became aware of the drone in the early hours of Monday morning, reported USA Today. At that time, one officer “heard and observed a ‘quad copter’ device, approximately two feet in diameter, flying at a very low altitude and ultimately crashing on the southeast side of the complex.” The drone was later discovered in a tree.

“There was an immediate alert and lockdown of the complex until the device was examined and cleared,” the Secret Service said.

By roughly 9:30 a.m. Monday, a man voluntarily came forward and revealed that he was the owner of the drone and that he’d lost control of it when it crashed on the White House grounds. It’s been reported that the individual is a government employee, but he does not work at the White House.

The drone flyer “has been fully cooperative, according to the Secret Service. “Initial indications are that this incident occurred as a result of recreational use of the device.”

While the drone and it’s flyer have been deemed harmless, the fact that an individual was able to get a drone onto the White House grounds virtually undetected is cause for concern.

“I do think it’s a wake-up call for the government to start thinking about how it will protect against this type of thing — it’s important for the government and the military in general,” Missy Cummings, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University, told Fox News. “This [White House drone] was harmless, but in the future it might not be.”

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