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- A swarm of up to 17 drones is flying over northeastern Colorado.
- Local authorities are aware of the drones, but believe they are harmless.
- Nobody has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the drones, adding to the air of mystery.
A series of nighttime visitations by a mysterious drone swarm has residents of northeastern Colorado baffled. As many as 17 drones appear to be running deliberate search patterns, as if training to look for something. And nobody knows exactly who is controlling the drones, as both the Army and Air Force deny the swarm belongs to them.
An article in the Denver Post says residents of Phillips and Yuma counties have repeatedly seen up to 17 drones at a time, at night between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. The drones have wingspans of up to five or six feet, fly between 30 and 40 miles per hour, and are equipped with red, white, green, and blue navigation lights. The swarm is apparently flying 25-mile grid squares, with drones flying one square and then another.
The drones are unarmed, and they don’t appear threatening. The FAA and Army both deny the drones are theirs, while the Pentagon and Air Force had not returned the Post’s requests for comment by publication. Local law enforcement is aware of the swarm but state that typically, drone operators coordinate with them in order to avoid unnecessary confusion.
The big question, then, is who is operating them. A large swarm of drones is expensive to develop and operate, and the craft appear to be following a sophisticated set of algorithms. Most military bases are in central Colorado, too far for smaller drones like these to operate from. The drones fly over terrain as varied as towns or empty fields. It’s a gutsy move to fly drones over private property; in case one of them goes down, the operator would have to approach the property owner to retrieve their drone.
Authorities have advised residents not to shoot down the drones, saying the batteries that power the aircraft could start fires on the ground.
Source: The Denver Post