The New Year and the New Decade rang in creepy formations of large remote-controlled drones over the eastern plains of Colorado. The craft’s reported 6-foot wingspan suggests that these are no hobbyist’s toys.
To date, no one has stepped forward to claim the drones and calm public concerns. This fact has led researchers to speculate that military operatives or their corporate contractors are responsible for the massive drones spotted flying over towns in Morgan, Yuma, Logan, Washington, Phillips, and Weld Counties.
In mid-December 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began looking into the nocturnal sightings of unidentified drones flying in formation over sparsely populated areas in northeastern Colorado and southwest Nebraska.
FAA representative Ian Gregor told Reuters in an emailed statement that “multiple FAA divisions and government agencies are investigating these reports.” The FAA provides no further comment or details regarding ongoing investigations.
On December 20, 2019, the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado posted on Facebook that “multiple reports of drone sightings in the county over the last week” were being followed up. The same day, deputies from two counties (Phillips and Yuma) “tracked over 16 drones between the two counties. We believe that the drones, though startling, are not malicious in nature.”
According to Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliot, the drones have blinking lights and travel in square grid patterns almost every night between 5 pm and 10 pm. The drones were then seen over Morgan County, Colorado, and Perkins County, Nebraska. Elliot asked the FAA if the drones might be mapping the Eastern Plains for the presence of oil and gas – during the dark hours of the night.
Eyewitness Wyatt Harman called the aerial display “unnerving.” In an interview on NBC’s Today show, the Washington County, Colorado resident described what he saw:
“They can sit there and hover. They can descend very fast. They can take off very fast.”
Colorado’s GOP U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, reported his news after contacting the FAA:
“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.”
In late December, the FAA proposed remote tracking of all drones operational in U.S. airspace.
From her farm on the outskirts of Palisade, Nebraska, Missy Blackman called three drones she spied one evening recently that hovered, motionless, over her property “creepy.” One of them lingered behind the other two, prompting the perplexed woman to comment:
“I have a lot of questions about why and what are they, and nobody seems to have any answers.”
Sheriff James Brueggeman in Perkins County, Nebraska, saw the UFOs on the last night of 2019 while on patrol. He revealed that the locals in his jurisdiction didn’t take kindly to snoopers and had threatened to shoot them out of the skies – which is illegal:
“I think it’s kind of a joke but you have to remember the part of the country we live in. People here don’t like their privacy to be invaded.”
Jennifer Rollins recorded one of the first published videos of the drones while visiting her parents in Yuma County, Colorado.
“That is a drone. That is so creepy. It is southwest of my parents’ house and it just keeps bobbing up and down. And all of a sudden it will just drop and move toward the house…There’s quite a few in the area. As you can see, it’s just hovering there…there are red and white flashing lights on it.”
Rollins continued describing what she was recording on her mobile device:
“It’s so weird how it’s moving. I’m not moving my phone at all. That’s the little device [in the sky. Cue intro music from The Twilight Zone].”
Rollins shared what she saw:
“It was too low to the ground to be a plane and it seemed ‘way too close to the house to be out in space, like a satellite. It was definitely within driving range, for sure. You could see that it was rotating. You could see things sticking off to the sides. It was crazy.”
Chris Swathwood, who chairs the Legislative Affairs Committee for the Colorado Aviation Business Association and is an experienced drone pilot, was part of a team of aviation industry experts who went into the field in eastern Colorado to lay eyes on the UFOs. He reported what they saw:
“We did get eyes on one about 200 to 300 feet above and it was moving at about 100 knots. It was a large fixed-wing aircraft. It was dark, and it had lights – unlike any other manned aircraft, would normally have.”
The expert observer thinks the drones are larger than 8 feet and can take off and land vertically:
“This aircraft could use a runway to take off or it could be what we call a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing aircraft), which essentially would have some electric run props which would help it to take off and then a drive motor engine in the back. It could be gas or electrical driven that allows it to cruise in flight.”
At a cost of more than $100,000, whoever owns these creepy intruders has very deep pockets. According to Swathwood:
“These are very sophisticated, very high end, very specific and very targeted drones. We have the consensus that it’s probably the military or a military contractor.”
The U.S. Air Force has denied flying such drones in Colorado. Several regional oil and gas companies have also come forward to say these are not their aircraft.
Will the real drone owner please stand up?