Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mysterious Drones Over Colorado (Part 2)

As a follow-up to Cryptoscatology's 12-27-19 post about the "Mysterious Drones Over Colorado," I've excerpted relevant passages from Brett Tingley's 2-24-20 TheDrive.com article entitled "Internal Air Force Emails Show Confusion And Concern Over Colorado's Mystery Drones":

In December 2019 and January 2020, the plains of rural northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska were the epicenter of a series of sightings of what were widely described as unidentified drones. Despite the media attention these sightings received and the speculation that they were related to the security forces responsible for protecting intercontinental ballistic missile silos scattered throughout the region, military bases in the area denied that the drones were theirs. While the mystery of the drones’ operator or operators remains unsolved, a series of internal emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal just how serious the drone reports were taken by the 90th Security Forces Group and the public affairs office at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. The emails are heavily redacted, but they at least shed some light on the confusion even the base experienced at the hands of this seemingly unsolved mystery. 
In late December 2019, The War Zone was among the first outlets to report on the somewhat bizarre story of fleets of unidentified drones operating in the airspace above northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska. There was a sense of near-panic as law enforcement agencies were inundated with scores of reports of these drones, prompting the creation of a task force that included the FAA, federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, and sheriffs from multiple Colorado counties. Eventually, the State of Colorado sent one of its well-equipped surveillance planes to hunt for the drones. Since then, however, reports of suspicious drone activity have dropped significantly, according to the Colorado Department of Public Safety and Nebraska State Patrol.
Despite the large effort and the mobilization of Colorado's infrared camera-equipped aircraft, nothing conclusive was identified and, to date, no one has come forward to claim responsibility for the drone activities. That doesn’t mean that the case is closed, however.
Douglas D. Johnson, a volunteer researcher operating in affiliation with the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU), recently obtained emails through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which catalog the internal communications of the public affairs office at F.E. Warren and the 90th Security Forces Group regarding the spate of drone sightings. The 90th Security Forces Group provides security both for F.E. Warren and the 150 Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) operated by the 90th Missile Wing
The heavily redacted emails can be read in their entirety here.
Johnson filed two separate FOIA requests for all official correspondence to and from Jon Carkhuff, a public affairs officer and/or spokesman associated with F.E. Warren Air Force Base, and all official correspondence to and from the headquarters staff of the 90th Security Forces Group that contain any of the following terms: drone, drones, counter-drone, counter-drones, unmanned aerial system, unmanned aerial systems, UAS, counter-UAS, unidentified aircraft, unidentified aerial, unidentified flying, unknown aircraft, UFO, and anomalous. The FOIA requests were for communications ranging from December 15, 2019, through January 18, 2020. The requests were filed on January 18, 2020, and were fulfilled on February 14. 
Many parts of the communications Johnson received are redacted, including the names of the participants in the email chains in which the mystery drones and the base's response to media inquiries about them are discussed. In an exchange about how to respond to an early media inquiry, an unknown sender writes "We need to ensure he doesn't feel like we are hiding anything." On the next page in the same release, after a statement "we do not know the origin of the drones," one writer inserts the hashtag "#aliens."
As the FOIA documents show, public affairs staff at F.E. Warren would eventually release an official press statement on January 17 after receiving input from Major General Ferdinand 'Fred' B. Stoss III, commander of 20th Air Force, the part of Air Force Global Strike Command responsible for overseeing the entire ICBM force. The final version of the statement that was released states definitively that F.E. Warren was not responsible for the drones:
We can confirm that the drones spotted in Colorado and Nebraska are not from F.E. Warren Air Force Base and are not affiliated in any way with the United States Air Force. We have provided this information to the FAA, FBI, and state and local authorities, as they investigate this matter. 
The drones have not posed a threat to any of our sites, facilities or operations.
F.E. Warren AFB does conduct counter-UAS training within the confines of the installation, however, any drones spotted outside of the installation are not part of our fleet.
Click HERE to read Tingley's entire article.

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