Colorado drones unseen and unsolved, state reports

Mysteries
CNN Colorado drones

A screen shot from CNN video. (CNN / YouTube)

MYSTERY WIRE — The information has slowed down after three weeks of steady reports of 6-foot drones flying in a grid pattern over northeastern Colorado’s night skies. The reports spread to Nebraska and Kansas after originating in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Safety said this week they have found no criminal activity in their investigation of the reports. (CNN.com, Monday, Jan. 13)

A spokesman from F.E. Warren Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, said base personnel haven’t seen the drones. The base oversees nuclear missiles silos in the region. “Our base is kind of a drone no-fly zone. So we do have counter-UAS — unmanned aerial systems — training that goes on within the confines of this installation. But any drones spotted outside this installation are not part of our fleet,” Lt. Jon Carkhuff, a base spokesman, told Fox 31 in Denver.

The Denver Post and other media summarized the Colorado DPS findings, which didn’t include any sightings similar to the drones reported by rural residents. The agency is now scaling back its search.

The findings included 23 reports of drone activity:

  • 13 were planets, stars or small hobbyist drones
  • 6 were commercial aircraft, or “due to atmospheric conditions”
  • 4 were confirmed sightings, but authorities could not determine what it was flying overhead

News reports also discounted any “close call” involving a drone and an emergency medical helicopter.

An agency under Colorado DPS, the Colorado Information Analysis Center, did have something new on the incidents: the first reports came in November. The time frame for the data released by Colorado DPS covers Nov. 23 to Jan. 13.

Another interesting report comes from Motherboard at vice.com, who interviewed a spokesman from Chinese drone manufacturer DJI:

From our perspective, this illustrates why you should take concerns about drones with a real big grain of salt. Because who knows what you’re really seeing? Without an independent confirmation or measurement, it’s a lousy way to try and make policy on how drones should be identified.

DJI spokesman Adam Lisberg

Some estimates put DJI’s share of the drone market somewhere around 75 percent.

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