Ever at odds are our hopes for great technological innovation and our desires for privacy. Let’s face it — in the 21st century, anonymity is a difficult thing to truly achieve, and stealing away for some peace and quiet sometimes requires fairly drastic measures.
And for one Benedictine monk, Brother Joseph Byron, even the most seemingly secluded hiding spots from the world are no longer safe, thanks to drone technology. Despite climbing to the top of a 200-foot wind turbine in Rhode Island, the monk found his sunbathing session interrupted by a drone, which captured footage of him and his now not-so-secret happy place.
The drone pilot, Kevin Miller, was taking a vacation himself in the union’s smallest state, and thought he would take home footage of a giant wind turbine as a souvenir. But after flying the device to the top of the structure, he found a bit more than he bargained for — a monk sitting on top, attempting to take a nap. According to the Providence Journal, Brother Byron has frequented the turbine since it was first built in 2006 (you can climb up inside the turbine’s tower). “It is not scary; it is peaceful and the views of the bay are spectacular,” Byron told the Journal. “I am not afraid of heights.”
But what is a bit frightening is the apparent lack of solitude that has accosted 21st century America. “It was a little annoying,” Byron said. “It seems you cannot go anywhere to get away anymore.” As a result of this encounter, the monk says that he’s going to take a break from his formerly favorite relaxation spot.
Drone pilot Miller, on the other hand, was amused by the interaction, telling the Daily Mirror, “The guy must have been napping because he did not notice the drone for 5-10 seconds. At that point I decided to take a closer look by moving closer to say hi. Once I got closer I moved the drone side to side to say hello and he motioned back to the drone. It was a cool interaction between us.” Guess the two haven’t actually exchanged opinions quite yet on the incident.
So the next time you think you’re alone with your thoughts, be sure to look up. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a drone coming to interrupt your meditation?