Or perhaps even:
Or even good old fashioned file system corruption being made worse by something like this...
You're angry but you just said you had forgotten about that work for seven years. Was your intention to leave that concept in the graveyard until you died, getting angry should anyone try to profit from it or license it?
If he didn't take a patent on it, then there's nothing stopping IBM from using the same techniques. The problem arises when IBM patents it as if they were the first to invent the technique, then restrict everyone (including the OP) from using the OP's invention. If IBM just used it without patenting, no problem. Of course, it's entirely possible that IBM's invention is slightly different from the OP's - patent claims are rather hard to read for a layman after all.
I thought automated aircraft (no pilot) and RC craft flown by non-pilots were not allowed in controlled airspace in the USA.
Not all US airspace is controlled - in fact, the vast majority is not, particularly at the low altitudes you'd need to be flying at to get this kind of imagery.
"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken