ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 2nd January 2020, 02:37 PM   #1
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Mysterious lights over Colorado, Nebraska cause consternation

Well, the source of the lights as such isn't mysterious; everybody who has seen and reported them agrees they are drones. They have been spotted over the past couple of weeks in a few counties in rural extreme northeastern Colorado, and most recently into Nebraska as well.

The mystery is, whose drones?

They seem to appear fairly consistently between 7 and 10 PM, in groups of eight to ten, and are not your typical toy quadcopter; reportedly they have wingspans of up to six feet. Interestingly, according to the linked news report, the drones also feature navigation lighting - something which, so far as I am aware, the FAA does not require on recreational drones (though of course I could be wrong).

The size of the drones, to me, precludes some kind of airshow or aerial demonstration practice (light-show drones tend to by tiny and fly in much larger swarms besides); but the size and the lighting also, to me, makes it unlikely to be some private individual or amateur group, making me lean toward some kind of commercial or industrial testing or application.

To me, the situation is troubling. Obviously you have the issue of the ubiquitous yokels, who view "drones" as invariably evil and intrusive and want to solve the intrusion with their favored tool-of-first-resort for defendin' thur proppity (i.e., guns); since these drones are rather large and feature navigation lighting like real airplanes do, the possibility of a dangerous or deadly mistake is self-evident.

Additionally - and equally troubling, in my opinion - is the mention in the news report that police are unable to find out who the drones belong to; nobody has come forward in response to the incidents making national news, and the drones fly too fast for anyone who spots them from the ground to be able to successfully track them to their landing site.

It has been mentioned that none of the reported sightings so far has seemed to indicate any illegal behavior by the drone operators, and it might be easy to simply say "then there's no need for police to know who they are"; but I disagree with that. The fact that no laws appear to have been violated yet is purely happenstance; in the case that laws are observed being violated, the police should be able to find out who the responsible parties are without too much trouble. The drones are being operated in public, in full view of the public, so there are no "right to privacy" considerations to counterbalance the public's right-to-know.

The Denver Post reports that the FAA has proposed a rule requiring most drones to emit a radio signal that can be received by law enforcement agencies and checked against the licensed operator database to identify a drone's owner. In other words, a sort of a transponder. To me, this sounds like a reasonable and intelligent rule.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 02:42 PM   #2
plague311
Great minds think...
 
plague311's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 8,154
Your first link goes to a receipt with the words "******* Pig" written on it.
__________________
"Circumcision and death threats go together like milk and cookies." - William Parcher

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
plague311 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 03:41 PM   #3
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,434
Bunch of articles in the Denver Post:

Mysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped
Quote:
A 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.

The 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.

The 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.”

“Weird and concerning”: Mystery drone sightings continue in Colorado, into Nebraska

No more mystery drones? FAA proposes rule for drones to identify themselves
Quote:
Agency says it doesn’t know who’s flying the machines in Colorado and Nebraska

News articles are inconsistent. Some describe six-foot "wingspans", which sort of implies a fixed-wing aircraft, but others describe some of them as "hovering". There is a video, but it just shows a light in the darkness, little different from old-school UFO footage.

Curious stuff, if it is real.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 04:47 PM   #4
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Your first link goes to a receipt with the words "******* Pig" written on it.
Huh, that's weird.

This is the link I intended to put in the OP. The link that ended up there was from another thread I was viewing.

I'd like to request that the mods edit the link provided in this post into the OP in order to avoid confusion, since the link there makes no sense in context.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002

Last edited by Checkmite; 2nd January 2020 at 04:54 PM.
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 04:51 PM   #5
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
News articles are inconsistent. Some describe six-foot "wingspans", which sort of implies a fixed-wing aircraft, but others describe some of them as "hovering".
I wouldn't call that inconsistent; it's fairly well known that fixed-wing aircraft can appear to hover from certain perspectives, especially when all you can see of them is a light. I think it's likely the "hovering" reports are from people who have spotted the lights from a distance, while closer observers are able to provide more accurate descriptions.

Apparently multiple law enforcement agencies have confirmed having actually witnessed the drone activity, so I have no doubt it's real.

That said, as the article I (correctly?) linked in my last post points out, the widespread reporting of the activity has led to some false-alarm reports in other locations.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002

Last edited by Checkmite; 2nd January 2020 at 04:53 PM.
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 05:03 PM   #6
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,864
"Wingspan" just means length across. It doesn't necessarily mean a fixed-wing aircraft.
Hell, people talk about basketball players having "wingspans" even though they have arms, not wings.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 05:12 PM   #7
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,886
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
"Wingspan" just means length across. It doesn't necessarily mean a fixed-wing aircraft.
Hell, people talk about basketball players having "wingspans" even though they have arms, not wings.

Yeah. I suspect the writer was just using the terminology they were most familiar with, although "span" would probably have sufficed. Or even "across".

I haven't gotten the impression that there is any real question that they are some sort of multi-rotor device.

A six foot drone is pretty substantial. Large numbers of them tends to argue against a hobbyist operation.

Maybe some publicity set-up?
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."

Last edited by quadraginta; 2nd January 2020 at 05:16 PM.
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 05:15 PM   #8
Arcade22
Philosopher
 
Arcade22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6,105
No doubt this reminds the rural hicks of UFO cattle mutilations and anal probing. They hoped that dark era was long past them...
__________________
We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. - Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Arcade22 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 05:34 PM   #9
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Maybe some publicity set-up?
My mind went there at first; but I've personally discounted it. Even for flyover country, this particular area is seriously remote. Usually the point of a publicity stunt is to draw as many eyes as possible.

The quote provided by crescent is very interesting to me, describing the drones as appearing to fly some kind of consistent, predictable square "search pattern". Also, it was unclear from the reports I'd read, but the one he links confirms the fact that the drones haven't just appeared often, but literally every night around the same time.

I think it's either a drone-making company that's testing a new product or software (maybe search-pattern software?), or a company using an established product to do some remote-sensing work or mapping for GIS or something along those lines.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 06:48 PM   #10
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,434
Update from the Denver Post:

Gov. Jared Polis wants to “get to the bottom” of Colorado’s drone mystery

Quote:
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday he wants to “get to the bottom” of the ongoing drone mystery in rural northeast Colorado even as reports of the unmanned aircraft continue nightly.
(Bolding added by crescent)

Quote:
On Thursday, the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the University of Colorado Boulder told The Post that they’re not flying the drones. Others who have denied the operation include a smattering of private drone companies, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Carson, Intel and Amazon, among others.

The FAA on Thursday said it had no new information to share as it continues to investigate the aircraft.

On New Year’s Eve, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management agreed to begin providing support to local law enforcement as they investigate the origin of the drones....
I've been following this for a while now because I live here in Colorado and used to visit some of those far flung towns out in the northeastern part of the state. I have relatives who farm out there, we refer to that part of the state as "the drylands". I didn't mention it here because I figured nobody here cares what goes on out the remote places like that.

I am curious to see how this develops.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 06:58 PM   #11
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 17,572
Does USAF have a flight school in Co Springs? Student pilots flying in formation in the dark, NOT drones?
__________________
Great minds discuss ideas.
Medium minds discuss events.
Small minds spend all their time on U-Tube and Facebook.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 07:28 PM   #12
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,434
Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Does USAF have a flight school in Co Springs? Student pilots flying in formation in the dark, NOT drones?
Maybe, but this is a few hundred miles from that. There is lots of empty prairie to fly over that is much closer to the Academy, including Ft. Carson Army Base which is quite close to the AF Academy.

One thing I forgot to mention is the missile silos - most no longer in use. Lots of them out in NE Colorado and SE Wyoming. Locals know where they are though, as they were much too big to be built in secret out on the plains where there are no trees or terrain to hide a big construction project. Some of the counties now own one or two to keep records in and because it is cool to own a missile silo.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 08:19 PM   #13
PhantomWolf
Penultimate Amazing
 
PhantomWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 19,510
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
To me, the situation is troubling. Obviously you have the issue of the ubiquitous yokels, who view "drones" as invariably evil and intrusive and want to solve the intrusion with their favored tool-of-first-resort for defendin' thur proppity (i.e., guns); since these drones are rather large and feature navigation lighting like real airplanes do, the possibility of a dangerous or deadly mistake is self-evident.
I know right, I was reading an article on Stuff earlier and it was saying that the local sheriff was like "They're over Federal land so we can't shoot them down." and I was like "Shoot them down? WTF is wrong with you people!"
__________________

It must be fun to lead a life completely unburdened by reality. -- JayUtah
I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. -- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

PhantomWolf is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 09:08 PM   #14
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 10,092
Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I know right, I was reading an article on Stuff earlier and it was saying that the local sheriff was like "They're over Federal land so we can't shoot them down." and I was like "Shoot them down? WTF is wrong with you people!"
A member of yea verily this very forum posted seeing a drone hovering outside her window while she was in a somewhat immodest situation.

Unless such things are part of a jazzy aeronautic display, one can assume that they are up to no good, if on your property and a-peekin in yer windows. They are the exact equivalent of mechanical peeping Toms, so yeah, the instinct is to disable them with extreme prejudice.

These oversize ones are presumably built with something else in mind, tho. Mapping/surveying? Formation flying practice? Trial run for search and rescue services? Hard to say.
__________________

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -Mark Twain
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 09:32 PM   #15
PhantomWolf
Penultimate Amazing
 
PhantomWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 19,510
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
A member of yea verily this very forum posted seeing a drone hovering outside her window while she was in a somewhat immodest situation.

Unless such things are part of a jazzy aeronautic display, one can assume that they are up to no good, if on your property and a-peekin in yer windows. They are the exact equivalent of mechanical peeping Toms, so yeah, the instinct is to disable them with extreme prejudice.

These oversize ones are presumably built with something else in mind, tho. Mapping/surveying? Formation flying practice? Trial run for search and rescue services? Hard to say.
If you can't tell the difference between something flying outside of your window and something flying some distance away over Federal land, then there is something very wrong.

As to a solution to peeping drones? Try curtains.
__________________

It must be fun to lead a life completely unburdened by reality. -- JayUtah
I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. -- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

PhantomWolf is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 10:12 PM   #16
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 10,092
Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
If you can't tell the difference between something flying outside of your window and something flying some distance away over Federal land, then there is something very wrong.
I already acknowledged that these were something else, but the mindset for dealing with them is understandable, if not meant literally. Although something that large could carry quite powerful zooming lenses.

Quote:
As to a solution to peeping drones? Try curtains.
Oh, yeah. We should now have to barricade ourselves in our homes, squelching out any possible ray of light and abandon any expectation of privacy to protect the rights of pervs. Totally see your point.
__________________

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -Mark Twain
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 10:16 PM   #17
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
A member of yea verily this very forum posted seeing a drone hovering outside her window while she was in a somewhat immodest situation.

Unless such things are part of a jazzy aeronautic display, one can assume that they are up to no good, if on your property and a-peekin in yer windows. They are the exact equivalent of mechanical peeping Toms, so yeah, the instinct is to disable them with extreme prejudice.
Sure, but obviously there's a big difference between a little quadcopter that's plainly hovering right outside your window while you're half-naked, and a little quadcopter (or any other kind of drone) that's doing....something else. Anything else at all, really.

Generally, the kinds of people I'm talking about want to shoot down any drones anywhere they see them, because their automatic presumption is that they're necessarily up to no good. If the drone is not in front of any window, but rather is 500 feet in the air above the next-door neighbor's property and clearly on its way somewhere else, they want to shoot that one down too. When relaying the story to friends, they will likely describe that drone as "peekin in mah winders" even though it was doing no such thing.

Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
These oversize ones are presumably built with something else in mind, tho. Mapping/surveying? Formation flying practice? Trial run for search and rescue services? Hard to say.
My understanding is, the larger ones are still supposed to be evil because they are used by the government UN deep state to shoot missiles at US citizens. They're also looking in peoples' windows too, just doing it from a mile away with a super-duper-powered spy camera.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2020, 10:23 PM   #18
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 24,757
It's odd to me that nobody has stepped forward to claim ownership and explain what is going on.

These need to be officially checked out until it is known exactly what is going on. We need to have certainty that these are not part of practice/training/development for domestic terrorism.

It would be a shame if these things eventually got loaded up with weapons and then went on a mission. Practice in the Colorado wilderness and then take them to Baltimore for the massacre.

They need to become a known thing soon.
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:04 AM   #19
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 10,092
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Sure, but obviously there's a big difference between a little quadcopter that's plainly hovering right outside your window while you're half-naked, and a little quadcopter (or any other kind of drone) that's doing....something else. Anything else at all, really.

Generally, the kinds of people I'm talking about want to shoot down any drones anywhere they see them, because their automatic presumption is that they're necessarily up to no good. If the drone is not in front of any window, but rather is 500 feet in the air above the next-door neighbor's property and clearly on its way somewhere else, they want to shoot that one down too. When relaying the story to friends, they will likely describe that drone as "peekin in mah winders" even though it was doing no such thing.



My understanding is, the larger ones are still supposed to be evil because they are used by the government UN deep state to shoot missiles at US citizens. They're also looking in peoples' windows too, just doing it from a mile away with a super-duper-powered spy camera.
I think these things pose an interesting conflict-of-rights dilemma. Seems like, having recording capabilities, they should be banned from areas where private citizens would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (including residential airspace).

In theory, it would also work to have their recordings streamed to a public website, complete with registered owner info. Purely a spit-balling solution, of course, but drones are the functional equivalent of carrying an actively recording device into a locker room. I think the potential for abuse outweighs the freedom of recording whoever you please, even when they are in their bedrooms.

The big 'uns, though...I would think they are commercial, and their owner is thinking in FAA terms with the lights, so likely not malicious. I'm thinking military/State, or private recon services in trial runs.

The fear of the unknown being met with violence is a very old tale among the humans, I hear. Whoever is playing cloak-and-dagger would be wise to come clean.
__________________

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -Mark Twain
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:19 AM   #20
phunk
Illuminator
 
phunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
Seems to me that if they're flying the same area every night, and the government wants to get to the bottom of it, well, send a helicopter out and follow them home. Not that complicated.
phunk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:23 AM   #21
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 10,092
Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Seems to me that if they're flying the same area every night, and the government wants to get to the bottom of it, well, send a helicopter out and follow them home. Not that complicated.
You paying? Plus there are FAA airspace rules for the copter, if they fly into a residential or restricted area.

I'd just fly in and follow with a drone. Two can play and all that.
__________________

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -Mark Twain
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:33 AM   #22
rockysmith76
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1,023
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I wouldn't call that inconsistent; it's fairly well known that fixed-wing aircraft can appear to hover from certain perspectives, especially when all you can see of them is a light. I think it's likely the "hovering" reports are from people who have spotted the lights from a distance, while closer observers are able to provide more accurate descriptions.

Apparently multiple law enforcement agencies have confirmed having actually witnessed the drone activity, so I have no doubt it's real.

That said, as the article I (correctly?) linked in my last post points out, the widespread reporting of the activity has led to some false-alarm reports in other locations.
It's not misconception, like you observed, it's drones. The mystery is whose are they and what are they doing.
rockysmith76 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:46 AM   #23
rockysmith76
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1,023
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
You paying? Plus there are FAA airspace rules for the copter, if they fly into a residential or restricted area.

I'd just fly in and follow with a drone. Two can play and all that.
The rules vary for Commercial verses Hobbyist Drones, it sounds like these are Commercial size, but if they were hobbyist level the Copter option becomes less plausible, depending on whose flying it.
rockysmith76 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 08:46 AM   #24
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,434
I am still a bit skeptical of this - although I don't have any evidence to support my skepticism. Sort of an unskeptical skeptism.

I mean, this reminds me of crop circles, cattle mutilation, and the various flavors of Black Helicopter CTs.

A few tidbits to add based upon having some familiarity of the area (albeit only in passing and somewhat out of date):

No federal lands in the area. It is not far from the Pawnee National Grasslands, but most of the sightings seem to be east and south of that (and even the grasslands are a checkerboard pattern with only about 30% of the land in the boundary being federally managed).

A fair bit of oil and gas leasing in the area.

I guess we'll find out sooner or later. I've just got a gut feeling that this will fade away into a nothingburger. Time will tell.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 11:52 AM   #25
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 90,592
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
"Wingspan" just means length across. It doesn't necessarily mean a fixed-wing aircraft.
Hell, people talk about basketball players having "wingspans" even though they have arms, not wings.
Do they have drumsticks?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 12:02 PM   #26
Mike!
Official Ponylandistanian National Treasure. Respect it!
 
Mike!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ponylandistan! Where the bacon grows on trees! Can it get any better than that? I submit it can not!
Posts: 34,339
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
"Wingspan" just means length across. It doesn't necessarily mean a fixed-wing aircraft.
Hell, people talk about basketball players having "wingspans" even though they have arms, not wings.
Oh? Then how do you explain, "air time", smart guy, huh? Yeah, I thought as much.
__________________
"Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes...
Because then it won't really matter, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes."
Mike! is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 12:43 PM   #27
Tony99
Muse
 
Tony99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Austin
Posts: 831
Originally Posted by crescent View Post

A fair bit of oil and gas leasing in the area.

I guess we'll find out sooner or later. I've just got a gut feeling that this will fade away into a nothingburger. Time will tell.
Quite a few petroleum and natural gas companies use drones for line inspection and leak detection in remote areas.
Utility companies also use them to inspect high-lines and substation facilities.
Tony99 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 02:41 PM   #28
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 47,919
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Maybe, but this is a few hundred miles from that. There is lots of empty prairie to fly over that is much closer to the Academy, including Ft. Carson Army Base which is quite close to the AF Academy.

One thing I forgot to mention is the missile silos - most no longer in use. Lots of them out in NE Colorado and SE Wyoming. Locals know where they are though, as they were much too big to be built in secret out on the plains where there are no trees or terrain to hide a big construction project. Some of the counties now own one or two to keep records in and because it is cool to own a missile silo.
And this does not sound like the kind of flying that the Zoomies at Colorado Springs would be doing anyway.
In fact,you would be surprised at how little flying the Zoomies do. The USAF is about preparing them to be pilots and,more specifically, commanders. The actual heavy duty flight training takes place After they graduate.
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 02:50 PM   #29
Arcade22
Philosopher
 
Arcade22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6,105
Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Seems to me that if they're flying the same area every night, and the government wants to get to the bottom of it, well, send a helicopter out and follow them home. Not that complicated.
For some reason I get the impression that the federal authorities would be a little bit more reactive if they genuinely had no idea what these unknown aircraft were coming from.

Their indifference would suggest that they either do know what is going on, or less likely, that they do not care about unknown aircraft violating American airspace with impunity.
__________________
We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. - Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Arcade22 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 02:53 PM   #30
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 47,919
Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
For some reason I get the impression that the federal authorities would be a little bit more reactive if they genuinely had no idea what these unknown aircraft were coming from.

Their indifference would suggest that they either do know what is going on, or less likely, that they do not care about unknown aircraft violating American airspace with impunity.
Or they just think it poses no threat and not worth investigating.
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.

Last edited by dudalb; 3rd January 2020 at 02:55 PM.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 02:54 PM   #31
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 47,919
Any idea how much it would cost to do this?
If it's low enough, I would say the possibility of it being some pratical jokers just doing it to create a fuss has to be considered high.
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 03:04 PM   #32
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 25,012
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I am still a bit skeptical of this - although I don't have any evidence to support my skepticism. Sort of an unskeptical skeptism.

I mean, this reminds me of crop circles, cattle mutilation, and the various flavors of Black Helicopter CTs.
I don't see the similarity. Unlike alien spaceships, drones definitely exist and are used for a variety of activities. This incident is only unusual in the number of drones and the consistency of the activity - and the fact that the people behind it aren't known. But I don't think anything about the story is extraordinary; nobody is claiming the drones are performing physically-improbably maneuvers, shooting laser beams at people, or sucking animals up into the sky. They're just flying around a lot in this particular area, seemingly for some definite purpose, and people really want to know why.

Originally Posted by crescent View Post
A few tidbits to add based upon having some familiarity of the area (albeit only in passing and somewhat out of date):

No federal lands in the area. It is not far from the Pawnee National Grasslands, but most of the sightings seem to be east and south of that (and even the grasslands are a checkerboard pattern with only about 30% of the land in the boundary being federally managed).

A fair bit of oil and gas leasing in the area.

I guess we'll find out sooner or later. I've just got a gut feeling that this will fade away into a nothingburger. Time will tell.
I get that; but in my opinion, the vast majority of mysteries have "nothingburger" solutions when you get right down to it.

When four German tourists disappeared in 1996 while driving through Death Valley in California, the immediately obvious, simple, and frankly boring solution is that they got lost on a wrong turn and died somewhere in the desert - as one does - and of course that is exactly what happened. But while the ultimate solution may be "boring", the mystery of the particulars about where exactly they ended up and what their final moments were spent doing was nevertheless compelling to many people until their remains were finally found in 2009.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 03:05 PM   #33
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,947
Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
For some reason I get the impression that the federal authorities would be a little bit more reactive if they genuinely had no idea what these unknown aircraft were coming from.

Their indifference would suggest that they either do know what is going on, or less likely, that they do not care about unknown aircraft violating American airspace with impunity.
Might be different in Sweden, but in the US, especially the West, there is plenty of airspace to fly in that isn't "regulated". Some airspace requires no flight plan. Some airspace and particular aircraft don't even require a licensed pilot to fly.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 03:12 PM   #34
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 47,919
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Might be different in Sweden, but in the US, especially the West, there is plenty of airspace to fly in that isn't "regulated". Some airspace requires no flight plan. Some airspace and particular aircraft don't even require a licensed pilot to fly.
This and I suspect federal authorities simply don't have the time and money to waste investigating every report of a "UFO" or "Mysterious Lights" that come in.
And some Europeans simply don
t get how empty and remote a good deal of the US West still is.
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 03:37 PM   #35
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,886
Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
Quite a few petroleum and natural gas companies use drones for line inspection and leak detection in remote areas.
Utility companies also use them to inspect high-lines and substation facilities.

If the explanation were so mundane why wouldn't the responsible party(s) just step forward and say so? It isn't like the questions about this drone activity would have gone unnoticed by them. At least, I wouldn't think so.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 03:57 PM   #36
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 17,572
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This and I suspect federal authorities simply don't have the time and money to waste investigating every report of a "UFO" or "Mysterious Lights" that come in.
And some Europeans simply don
t get how empty and remote a good deal of the US West still is.
Yet they love to watch Spaghetti Westerns...
__________________
Great minds discuss ideas.
Medium minds discuss events.
Small minds spend all their time on U-Tube and Facebook.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 04:01 PM   #37
PhantomWolf
Penultimate Amazing
 
PhantomWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 19,510
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This and I suspect federal authorities simply don't have the time and money to waste investigating every report of a "UFO" or "Mysterious Lights" that come in.
And some Europeans simply [don't] get how empty and remote a good deal of the US West still is.
Well when you consider that over 81% of Nevada is still Federally owned because no one wanted it.....
__________________

It must be fun to lead a life completely unburdened by reality. -- JayUtah
I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. -- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

PhantomWolf is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 04:01 PM   #38
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 17,572
Mystery drone sightings? Perhaps Clowns have gone hi-tech?
__________________
Great minds discuss ideas.
Medium minds discuss events.
Small minds spend all their time on U-Tube and Facebook.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 04:06 PM   #39
Arcade22
Philosopher
 
Arcade22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6,105
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Might be different in Sweden, but in the US, especially the West, there is plenty of airspace to fly in that isn't "regulated". Some airspace requires no flight plan. Some airspace and particular aircraft don't even require a licensed pilot to fly.
Yes but the US does have radar coverage over most/all of the continental US airspace. The chairforce should be able to track their flight routes, and where they operate out of.
__________________
We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. - Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Arcade22 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd January 2020, 04:16 PM   #40
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 10,092
Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Yes but the US does have radar coverage over most/all of the continental US airspace. The chairforce should be able to track their flight routes, and where they operate out of.
Small lightweight craft at low altitudes are unlikely to be picked up by radar.
__________________

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -Mark Twain
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:12 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.