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Mysterious swarms of giant drones have started to appear in the Colorado and Nebraska night sky, and nobody knows where they're coming from Login/Join 
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Very little
Picture of HRK
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I read where there are drone companies that ranchers hire to count the herds, large tracks of land and herds, drones work them in grids. Might be that going on



 
Posts: 15762 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by HRK:
I read where there are drone companies that ranchers hire to count the herds, large tracks of land and herds, drones work them in grids. Might be that going on
No real need to only do that at night if that were the case.
 
Posts: 1996 | Registered: January 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dinosaur
Picture of P210
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quote:
Originally posted by 1s1k:
quote:
Originally posted by HRK:
I read where there are drone companies that ranchers hire to count the herds, large tracks of land and herds, drones work them in grids. Might be that going on
No real need to only do that at night if that were the case.


Thermal imaging ?
 
Posts: 6598 | Location: Maui | Registered: December 15, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by P210:
quote:
Originally posted by 1s1k:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by HRK:
I read where there are drone companies that ranchers hire to count the herds, large tracks of land and herds, drones work them in grids. Might be that going on
No real need to only do that at night if that were the case.


quote:
Thermal imaging?
Still no need to only do this at night. Especially not coming forward Immediately saying that’s what you are doing commercially when the whole country is wondering what’s going on. I just don’t like the timing of all of this with the government recently coming forward with the network drone ID that they want.
 
Posts: 1996 | Registered: January 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 1s1k:
quote:
Originally posted by 911Boss:
6’ is not your standard consumer drone. Swarms of them mean 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars.

My guess is there is definitely an alphabet agency involved, or Bloomberg...




If they are flying at night the FAA knows exactly who it is or they are doing it illegally. With no government reaction they clearly know what’s going on. It sounds like bs to me though that 30 six foot drones are flying at the same place at the same time of night and no one is getting crystal clear video.
I think the government is getting people worked up so their proposed drone ID program is easier to get passed. It also wouldn't surprise me if Bezo is greasing the palm of a greasy politician to make clear airspace below 400'AGL for his delivery services.


Finally, somebody else here knows something about drones and drone law... I watched the news report somebody else posted where they were interviewing lawyers supposed to be experts in this and not ne mentioned that legally you not only can't fly a drone at night with out some more special permission from the FAA but the same goes for going over 400ft above the ground....
 
Posts: 1880 | Location: Greenville, SC | Registered: January 30, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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Surprising that no investigative reporters have rented a GA plane / pilot to fly above these drones and follow them to their point of origin.

Add in a small ground team for any updates and it would be easy to do.

Even easier if you put a FLIR on the plane, easy peasy, we could track them to their point of origin in a single night.
 
Posts: 45798 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
War Damn Eagle!
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I’m kinda shocked a drunk redneck hasn’t tried to shoot one down. Big Grin Razz


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Posts: 12142 | Location: Realville | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Savor the limelight
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^^^^

Bring those drones to Florida. I'm sure we can show folks how it's done.
 
Posts: 6275 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Still finding my way
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quote:
Originally posted by Snake207:
I’m kinda shocked a drunk redneck hasn’t tried to shoot one down. Big Grin Razz

Well they haven't flown over my place yet.... Wink
 
Posts: 9165 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fpuhan
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Google. Mapping for Google Earth.

That's my guess.




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Posts: 2857 | Location: Peoples Republic of North Virginia | Registered: December 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
Picture of kkina
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quote:
Originally posted by fpuhan:
Google. Mapping for Google Earth.

That's my guess.

Good guess, but Google has officially disavowed any knowledge of the operation. I suppose that doesn't necessarily preclude a third-party mapping company, though.



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Posts: 13722 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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out there
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These locations are only a couple hundred miles from Cheyenne Mountain outside Colo Spgs. I have to believe that NORAD knows about them, or the USAF would have been having a turkey shoot.
 
Posts: 7299 | Location: NW OHIO | Registered: May 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't buy this explanation myself, but just to give some an idea of the explanations circulating, I heard one listener call in to a radio program and claim that one theory floating around is that Colorado's new Red Flag law goes into effect today, and that the areas these drone flights are taking place in have Sheriffs who have come out either in opposition to the law or have stated they can't/ won't enforce it...and therefore some government entity is mapping gun owners for enforcement purposes...some have even floated the idea that the idea is for gun owners to shoot at the drones in order to locate gun owners and target them for enforcement. Again, I don't buy this explanation, but I do think some .gov entity is likely behind it.

Perhaps some sort of training of government personnel in night drone formation operations?? Although this still wouldn't explain why not conduct such training in Restricted Airspace.

Then again, there are a lot of illegal marijuana grow sites, maybe these drone flights are part of an ongoing surveillance or enforcement operation...although I don't think illegal grow operations work outdoor plots in the cold months.

quote:
Originally posted by LtJL:
These locations are only a couple hundred miles from Cheyenne Mountain outside Colo Spgs. I have to believe that NORAD knows about them, or the USAF would have been having a turkey shoot.


I honestly don't know if NORAD has the capability to track aircraft this low to the ground... especially if the drones aren't transmitting transponder codes.

Buckley AFB is even closer to the drone overflight areas.
 
Posts: 5477 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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- No waiver was obtained according to the FAA so anyone who values their pt107 is not participating. If it's a publicity stunt, its foolish
- Nav lights apparent, so secrecy is not top priority.
- Night ops mean if there is any purpose to this, they're flying a flir (or equivalent) for thermal imaging. Mapping or ag work is daytime
 
Posts: 498 | Location: NH | Registered: August 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cont- ...daytime work. Thermal mapping from a Vtol bird in forward flight is real tough. If these swarms are Vtol as the above poster speculated.
 
Posts: 498 | Location: NH | Registered: August 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
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Here's who isn't responsible for the 'mysterious drones' in northeastern Colorado:

The Federal Aviation Administration
On Friday, an FAA spokesperson said the agency has not received any drone reports in northeastern Colorado matching the description shared by the sheriff’s offices there. There were no updates from the FAA on Monday, other than that they are speaking to law enforcement but “don’t have any concrete information to act on at this time,” per spokesman Ian Gregor.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
After calling the national number for the Department of Defense, we were sent to NORAD, which basically told us they aren’t aware of any drone operations taking place in northeastern Colorado.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Since one drone operator mentioned the activity in northeastern Colorado could be atmospheric, we contacted NOAA, which does have a drone program. Awesome, but according to spokesperson Theo Stein, the program isn’t conducting any work in Colorado. “We certainly don’t have a drone fleet like the news reports describe,” Stein wrote in a text to 9NEWS.

Xcel Energy
According to its website, Xcel Energy is starting to use more drones for things like inspecting electricity and natural gas lines. A spokesperson for the energy company got back to us Monday night and said that the drones being flown over northeastern Colorado aren't part of that program.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS)
A bunch of people asked us to reach out to the USGS, which does have a drone program, and has the words "geological survey" in its name. A spokesperson said they only use drones from disaster response, so it's not them.

Amazon
Amazon made headlines for its Prime Air delivery service. But no, a spokesperson said Prime Air is not behind the drones in northeastern Colorado.

Google
Google is also trying its hand at a drone delivery service. Its spokesperson also said the company is not responsible for the northeastern Colorado drone sightings.

Colorado Oil and Gas Association
There has been lots of speculation online that the drones are being used for mapping or something else with the oil and gas industry. Jake Taylor, the spokesperson for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said reports about the drones were “definitely interesting” but that he hadn’t heard anything about who they belong to.

Black Swift Technologies
This Boulder-based company conducts a variety of atmospheric research missions – including mapping for things like wildland firefighters. And while a photo of a drone on the company website kind of looks like the 6-foot wingspans of the drones described by Stivers, CEO Jack Elston said the mystery objects don’t belong to his company.

NextEra Energy Resources
The Florida-based company operates numerous wind farms in northern Colorado. Maybe drones were inspecting wind turbines/surveying the area? A company spokesperson said nope, they aren't involved at all.

Measure
This national drone mapping company showed up on multiple Google searches of large businesses that do this sort of thing — and it has a Denver office. A spokesperson emailed us though and said they have nothing to do with the mystery in the plains.

Juniper Unmanned
Golden-based Juniper Unmanned also uses drones for mapping, according to its website. And a company spokesperson told 9NEWS they’re assisting the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in eastern Colorado; however, they end their operations at dusk and don’t fly at night – contrary to the reports from local law enforcement about the activity of the mystery drones. This means Juniper Unmanned isn't involved.

The Colorado Department of Transportation
CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison nixed any theory the drones could be associated with CDOT. “We would not be flying drones around at night,” she said.

Adventure UAV
Adventure UAV is another Colorado-based company that does drone mapping. Tyler Mattas, the owner, said he’s not behind the mystery in northeastern Colorado, but did have a couple of theories. Among them was the fact it’s a single large drone with a bunch of lights that people are confusing as multiple aircraft in a grid pattern. Regardless, he said it’s most likely commercial. “It’s not your average hobbyist,” Mattas said. “I don’t think any local people are operating drones that large.” One thing he mentioned was checking the FAA’s website – after all, if the mystery northeastern Colorado drone operator is legit, they would have to get a waiver to fly at night and outside of the line of sight, assuming their flight pattern is as expansive as the reports suggest.

This led to a rabbit hole search of the FAA’s website, which lists all the waivers that have been granted. Multiple companies showed up on the search, and we contacted all of them. We’ll only update this with who we’ve heard back from.

Uber
Here’s where things get interesting: Uber actually has an FAA waiver to fly drones at night, as well as outside the line of sight. But, in an email to 9NEWS, a spokesperson said the company currently doesn’t fly in Colorado.

Zipline International Inc.
Zipline is a company with a noble mission: Deliver lifesaving medical supplies with drone. It was kind of a stretch they’d be flying a grid pattern in northern Colorado at night, but we thought we’d email them anyway since they have FAA waivers to fly at night and outside the line of sight. Lo and behold, they said they are not responsible for the drones.

Flytcam Motion Pictures
This was another stretch when it came to being the company that was actually responsible for the drones, but they do have FAA waivers for flying at night and outside the line of sight so, we thought we'd ask. The response: Nope. Not them.

1Up Aerial Drone Services Inc.
This Colorado company also does aerial drone services in Colorado. Chuck Adams, the CEO, said he’s not behind the northeastern Colorado drone sightings. He did have one compelling theory though – that the drones aren’t a drone at all. He sent over this video of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Train.

NASA has not yet responded to a query about if this is a possible explanation. SpaceX also hasn’t responded to an email or tweets. We’ll update this story when we get a yes or no answer.

One more thing worth a mention? Recreational drone users don't need a special waiver to fly at night. So, it's possible the drones belong to someone (or a group) just doing it for fun, but not likely, given the reported size of the drones.

9News



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Posts: 13722 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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that the drones aren’t a drone at all. He sent over this video of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Train.

When I first heard about these 'mysterious drones', that came to mind.
 
Posts: 45798 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Charmingly unsophisticated
Picture of AllenInWV
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WTH does Uber have drones??


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Posts: 15684 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
safe & sound
Picture of a1abdj
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WTH does Uber have drones??



Just like Amazon. They are interested in using them for delivery work for Americans who are too lazy to actually drive to McDonald's for their Big Mac.


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Posts: 14362 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Registered: September 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
It's not you,
it's me.
Picture of RAMIUS
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I’d love to shoot a drone down, but it’s pretty lame that shooting one down is a federal offense.
 
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