What do you do when your village has a serious crime problem and the local police can’t solve it? You hire a drone bearing the image of the Virgin Mary and fly it over town, that’s what.
The village of Prilimanskoe in Ukraine’s Odessa Region was seeing “somebody robbed or beaten up every month,” local business woman Natalya told the Dumskaya website. “Every day I pray for God’s grace to touch our village.”
Sometimes, however, even prayer needs a helping hand – and that’s where a top-of-the-range quadcopter came in handy. Residents literally and metaphorically looked to the heavens for salvation in the face of a crime spike and “inaction from the police.”
Natalya hired a drone to fly the Orthodox icon of the Virgin Mary above the village, which is home to 4,000 people. The sacred image was chosen because it’s believed to provide help in the most dire of circumstances.
The boss of the local aerial photography firm, Vyacheslav Gruby, said it was the strangest order he ever received, but didn’t hesitate to answer the call. “There have been requests to deliver wedding rings from the sky,” he admitted. “We even flew a portrait of a candidate before an election – but when a whole village asks you to take an icon into the air – it’s both difficult and onerous task.”
The UAV performed its flight and, perhaps fittingly, it concluded with a small miracle. “At the very end of the flight, the lace holding the icon was cut off and wound around one of the propellers,” said Gruby. “By all rights the drone should have crashed – but somehow it landed routinely.”
Coincidence? Not likely. There’s been no update on the crime rate in Prilimanskoe just yet – but it’s still early days.