A squadron of drones flying over the Midwest every night for nearly two weeks have left both residents and officials wondering who’s flying them and what purpose they are serving, a report said Sunday.
In the past week, three more rural counties have experienced nightly flyovers from the northeast corner of Colorado to at least one county in neighboring Nebraska, the Denver Post reported.
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Sheriffs in Lincoln, Washington and Sedgwick counties say their offices have been inundated with calls this week about the devices, the newspaper reported.
While there has been no claim of responsibility, an abundance of theories have been offered, ranging from the work of a Mexican drug cartel, to aliens from a far-off galaxy to The History Channel searching for long-lost cities or farmers looking to track cows.
Sedgwick County Sheriff Carlton Britton is taking it all in stride, saying with a chuckle: “Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of conspiracy theories floating in Sedgwick County right now.”
Britton admits to seeing the drones himself and said residents have been calling his office since Dec. 17, reporting six to 10 drones at a time.
Similar calls have also been received by officials in nearby Phillips County: The drones hover or cruise through the area between 7 and 10 p.m., flying several hundred feet in the air, the report said.
Sheriffs have reached out to the Federal Aviation Authority, and Elliot previously told the newspaper the Air Force has denied involvement. The FAA also told The Post this week it had no information on the mystery flyers. Neither did the Drug Enforcement Administration nor the U.S. Army Forces Command.
Thus far, it’s all been speculation as to who is flying the drones with six-foot wingspans and what their purpose might be.
Britton, along with Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliott, have been trying to determine if any laws are being broken with the nocturnal flights. Currently, he said, it’s all above board — even if it’s a bit disconcerting.
“We have no idea at this point. No leads and no thoughts. It’s just an odd phenomenon.”
Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Nestor said he received the first report of a drone sighting in his jurisdiction Thursday night. He expects the conspiracy theorists to run wild, but Nastor said he’s most concerned with the drones colliding midair with planes from Limon’s airport or helicopters used in emergency situations, the Post reported.
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“I would love for someone to break it wide open. I don’t know what it is, but I would like it not to be in my county,” Nestor said.