A huge group of drones is flying over Colorado at night. Police, the FAA and the military all say “not us”.

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COLORADO- I don’t know about you, but I do not like being spied on.  Neither do residents of rural Colorado and Nebraska.

Which is why they’ve been contacting police to report drones flying over their farms and homes since the week before Christmas.

Unfortunately, the police didn’t know anything about the drones.  Nor, it seems, does anyone else.

Local law enforcement has been in contact with their state governments, the federal government, and the US military, but none have claimed to be responsible for the drones.  Even Amazon was contacted but denied connection to the flying objects.

Not even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had any knowledge of them.  The FAA said they’ve been “in contact with local law enforcement but we don’t have any concrete information to act on at this time.”

The drones have repeatedly appeared in formation in groups, sometimes 30 at a time.  Usually they’re in the air from about 7pm-10pm and they have blinking lights.  Some apparently have a wingspan of 6 feet.

“They can sit there and hover,” said Washington County, Colorado resident Wyatt Harman.  “They can descend very fast. They can take off very fast.”

Harman followed the speedy flying objects for about 15 miles trying to determine their origin.  At about 70 MPH, they were unable to keep up with them due to the drones taking off quickly until they disappeared.

The drones are reportedly flying high enough to not be breaking any trespassing laws, but residents say they’re still low enough to be “creepy.”

Missy Blackman, who lives on a farm outside of Palisade, Nebraska, said:

“It’s creepy.  I have a lot of questions of why and what are they, and nobody seems to have any answers.” 

Blackman saw three drones hovering over her farm on a recent evening, including one that lingered right above her house.

Blackman saw one of the drones flying during daylight hours Wednesday, which was the first time there has been any sighting during the day.  She used binoculars to attempt to get some type of identification or clue as to where they might be coming from, but there were no markings at all.  She was able to see their coloring, which is silver and white.

Perkins County, Nebraska Sheriff James Brueggeman saw the drones while on patrol earlier this week. 

“In terms of aircraft flying at night and not being identified, this is a first for me personally,” he said.

“I think it’s kind of a joke,” Sheriff Brueggeman continued, “but you have to remember the part of the country we live in.  People here don’t like their privacy to be invaded.”

Some theories have arisen from these drone visits.  Some say they think private companies are using them to survey for oil or natural gas, but others say it’s too dark for that in the hours they appear. 

Mapping operations have been suggested, but still it doesn’t make sense for that to occur at night.  Others say that someone’s practicing for drone shows at sporting events or theme parks.

Of course, some are also speculating the presence of the drones being alien aircraft.

Another officer from Colorado who asked to remain anonymous had his own thoughts.

“We knew there was a problem with aliens sneaking into our country.  Never thought it would go down like this,” said the sergeant, laughing.

The FAA has opened an investigation on the Nebraska and Colorado sightings.  The administration has been working on policy for over a year where all but the smallest drones would be required to be identifiable, so law enforcement and federal agencies can ascertain who’s flying them.

Federal transportation secretary Elaine Chao said this in support of new policies the FAA is attempting to enact:

“Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the F.A.A., law enforcement and federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction.”

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor stated:

“Multiple F.A.A. divisions and government agencies are investigating these reports.”

He also assured residents that investigators were trying to determine who was operating the drones, and why.

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado took to Twitter to comfort concerned residents.  He tweeted:

“I’ve been in contact with the FAA regarding the heavy drone activity in Eastern Colorado and I’m encouraged that they’ve opened a full investigation to learn the source and purpose of the drones. I will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

The people who have sighted and reported the drones aren’t interested in creating mass hysteria or trying to play into a conspiracy theory scheme. 

“Most people are very reasonable, and they say it could be somebody mapping or doing topography,” said Lincoln City, Colorado Sheriff’s Captain Michael Yowell. 

He noticed a squadron of drones flying over his house on New Year’s Eve. 

“But you can’t rule out what you don’t know.”

Captain Yowell attempted to obtain photographs of the formations he’s seen by using the same camera he uses to photograph crime scenes but was unable to get a clear image.

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A huge group of drones is flying over Colorado at night.  Police, the FAA and the military all say "not us".

The Captain also said local authorities are coordinating across the county and state lines to figure out where the drones are coming from by studying the flight paths.

“We want to know, at around 10 o’clock, when we start to lose visuals of these, which direction are they homing? Which way are they heading?” Captain Yowell said. “We hope that’s how we can contact somebody on the ground.” 

Residents are being warned to not shoot at the unidentified flying objects, as shooting anything out of the sky, to include “creepy” drones, is a federal offense.  It’s been determined that the drones are appearing to stay at least 150 feet away from buildings and people.

Last May, the US Department of Homeland Security warned people that China was possibly using drone technology to steal information from users.  The objects of concern were sold on Amazon and aimed towards children. 

The government feared the information would be shared on severs accessible by the manufacturer as well as third parties.

The DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency sent alerts to the public about a “potential risk to an organization’s information.”  The agency feared that the products may “contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself.”

While no specific manufacturers were named in the warnings, 75-80% of drones sold in the US and Canada are from a company headquartered in Shenzhen, China.

Another alert from DHS stated:

“The United States government has strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access.

Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities.”

The US Army and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) both issued similar warnings in 2017.

In May of last year after DHS issued their concerns and warnings, President Trump signed an executive order effectively banned US firms from using telecommunications equipment made by the Chinese company Huawei, due to security and spying concerns.

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