Jodean Elliott-Blakeslee
Credit: Craters of the Moon National Monument

When the search for missing dayhiker Jodean Elliott-Blakeslee stretched into October 2013, officials at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho decided to enlist virtual help. A fixed wing plane went up first, but those images were taken from too high up to be useful. That's when Superintendent Buckley thought UAV technology might help. Buckley wasn't able to borrow a UAV that would have enough power to cover the territory, but he did arrange for a photographer in a helicopter. It turned out they didn't even need a crowd to find Elliott-Blakeslee – who was located by a spotter on the flight – but Buckley says one of the 1,700 images would have solved the mystery, "The photos picked up every anomaly, from a cow skull to a weather balloon."