The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

"UFO" spotted on Beltway was a military drone

"UFO" on Beltway
Twitter.com

(CBS News) It wasn't flying, and it's already been identified. But that didn't stop people around Washington, D.C. from buzzing about a possible UFO being towed on the local highway Wednesday night. Many took to Facebook and Twitter to share their amazement of an extraterrestrial craft on the back of a tractor-trailer. Maryland authorities confirmed today that the UFO was actually a military drone.

The aircraft was a Northrop Grumman X-47B, to be exact. The drone was en route to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. Drivers noticed the unusual craft on I-270 and on the Beltway around D.C.

X-47B military drone
X-47B
Northrop Grumman

According to a military press release:

The X-47B is the first unmanned vehicle designed to take off and land on an aircraft carrier. As part of the program's demonstration, the X-47B will perform arrested landings and catapult launches at Pax to validate its ability to conduct precision approaches to the carrier. The base is one of only a few sites in the world where the Navy can run performance tests on aircraft-carrier catapult operations at a land-based facility with flight test and engineering support resources not available on a ship.

So don't worry, it wasn't a UFO. Just an 82-foot long flying military robot. Don't you feel better already?