You would think the state that’s the home of the US Air Force Academy would be on top of a mysterious appearance of giant drones which has been going on for over a week with no announced cause from the military, government, law enforcement or private drone operators. You would be wrong. The Denver Post finally took matters into its own hands and did its own in-depth investigation. Here are some of their discoveries and highlights.
“We just coexist with them now. You see ’em and just tip your cap.”
It’s not a good sign when the top police officer in the ground zero county for these giant drones now considers them to be part of his area of protection, not an invader. Yet that’s the attitude of Lincoln County Capt. Michael Yowell. He showed the Post his ready-for-TV map with pins marking all the reports his office has received of drone sightings, from one to a fleet. Yowell says he thought there was a pattern to the nightly movements of the drones, which started in mid-December and seemed to move south across his county in a grid pattern, but then they moved horizontally back and forth. As his partner, Sheriff Tom Nestor, puts it:
“There’s just no rhyme or reason to any of this.”
As always, the best place to get the real scoop is where adult beverages are being consumed, so the Post went to a bar in Hugo where employee Faye Harding said her patrons are all talking about the drones but she’s not concerned about them.
“It’s definitely interesting though — something different.”
The owner of the Country Pride restaurant in Limon (another hotbed for the drones), Stephanie Hill, says her daughter has seen the lights and her husband hopes it’s aliens. In the ironically-named town of Last Chance, a Denver Post reporter and photographer saw and heard the drones for themselves – six in all over a 20-minute span. (Photos here.) When they asked Deputy Justin Allen about them, he agreed with his fellow officers.
“It’s a mix of concern and curiosity. It’s really just the uncertainty of it. Probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen here.”
Uncertainty is not a good thing in these tense times … especially when it’s unidentified things flying overhead. The Colorado Springs Gazette agrees and its investigation found something interesting that may ultimately be the cause. Air Force Global Strike Command, headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, provides nuclear deterrence protection for Colorado’s many underground Minuteman silos out of F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming – just across the border from … you guessed it – northeastern Colorado, the home of the drones. According to the Gazette, the Air Force conducts civilian drone testing there as part of its counterdrone program. As expected, requests for more information from the Air Force have not been answered. However, Lisa Meserve, who handles federal sales for Dedrone, a system used by the Air Force, to detect and tracks small civilian drones using the radio signals they require for control, did.
“They fly drones against what they have all the time.”
Is this the answer to the mysterious giant drone sightings in Colorado and Nebraska? If it is, will anyone else admit to it, or should residents take the advice of Captain Yowell:
“You see ’em and just tip your cap.”
We’ll stay on top of this until it’s resolved.