Local and federal authorities are investigating confirmed reports of mysterious drone sightings in northeastern Colorado and Nebraska that appeared in the night sky this week.
Sheriff’s offices in Lincoln, Washington and Sedgwick counties have been getting calls this week about the unknown winged devices after initial reports came out of Phillips and Yuma counties, sheriffs said.
The drones reportedly have 6-foot wingspans and fly between 7 and 10 p.m. in gridlike patterns 150 to 200 feet in the air in groups of six to 10, the Denver Post reported.
Yuma County Sheriff Todd Combs said in a Facebook post Tuesday that the drones are flying in airspace controlled by the federal government, however, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Army Forces Command said they don’t have any information.
The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office said it doesn’t have jurisdiction over that airspace and that shooting a drone out of the sky could break federal laws, because drones are recognized as aircrafts.
Combs said on Facebook that local sheriff’s offices, police departments and federal government agencies have scheduled a meeting Jan. 6 to develop a plan to identify who or what is controlling these drones.
“There are many theories about what is going on, but at this point, that’s all they are,” he wrote. “I think we are all feeling a little bit vulnerable due to the intrusion of our privacy that we enjoy in our rural community, but I don’t have a solution or know of one right now.”
Amazon, Paragon Geophysical Services, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Colorado Department of Transportation and UAV Recon have all denied connections to the drones, according to the Denver Post.
In an emailed statement to the Denver Post Monday, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency will be proposing a rule change that would allow law enforcement and federal security agencies to remotely identify drones that fly through their jurisdictions.
According to the FAA website, more than 1.5 million drones were registered with the FAA as of Dec. 10.
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