From Shelly Bradbury's 12-23-19 DENVER POST article entitled "Mysterious Drones Flying Nighttime Patterns Over Northeast Colorado Leave Local Law Enforcement Stumped":
band of large drones appears to be flying nighttime search patterns
over northeast Colorado — and local authorities say they don’t know
who’s behind the mysterious aircraft.
drones, estimated to have six-foot wingspans, have been flying over
Phillips and Yuma counties every night for about the last week, Phillips
County Sheriff Thomas Elliott said Monday.
drones stay about 200 feet to 300 feet in the air and fly steadily in
squares of about 25 miles, he said. There are at least 17 drones; they
emerge each night around 7 p.m. and disappear around 10 p.m., he said.
“They’ve been doing a grid search, a grid pattern,” he said. “They fly one square and then they fly another square.”
sheriff’s office can’t explain where the drones are coming from or who
is flying them. The estimated size and number of drones makes it
unlikely that they’re being flown by hobbyists, Undersheriff William
Federal Aviation Administration told the sheriff’s office that it had
no information on the drones, and the U.S. Air Force said the aircraft
aren’t theirs, Elliott said.
spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration told The Denver Post
on Monday that the drones aren’t operated by the agency. A spokesman for
the FAA said that agency likely has no information on them. Drone
pilots aren’t required to file flight plans, unless they’re flying in
controlled airspace, like near an airport.
with the Air Force and the Department of Defense did not immediately
return The Post’s requests for comment on the mystery aircraft Monday.
U.S. Army Forces Command spokesman John Boyce said Monday he was not
aware of any training involving military drones in that area.