Officials to ‘scale back’ operations investigating mystery drones over northeastern Colorado

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jan 13, 2020

DENVER – Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) officials said Monday they will ‘scale back’ their investigation of mysterious drone sightings over northeastern Colorado, after a review of an incident involving one such aircraft in close proximity to a medical helicopter did not appear to be related to a plethora of sightings that have been reported since late November.

Both air and ground-based resources were deployed to search for suspicious drone activity after a Flight for Life helicopter reported a drone “in dangerous proximity” to the aircraft last week.

In their latest report, however, officials said the incident does not appear to be connected to the sightings reported across northeastern Colorado.

“This determination was made based on the information shared directly with CDPS staff, including the incident occurred during daylight hours, involved one drone, and the pilot cannot identify a specific location,” the report reads.

MORE: Drone’s close call with Colorado medical helicopter ‘extremely concerning'

Further, officials stated the department has, “confirmed no incidents involving criminal activity, nor have investigations substantiated reports of suspicious or illegal drone activity.”

Though the CDPS will scale back operations, they will continue to respond and investigate reports of suspicious drone activity, the report states.

“While I can’t conclusively say we have solved the mystery, we have been able to rule out a lot of the activity that was causing concern,” said CDPS executive director Stan Hilkey. “We will continue to remain vigilant and respond as new information comes in.”

The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC), which has been receiving and analyzing reports of suspicious drones, also released some numbers based on what they found.

Out of 90 reports from November 23, 2019 to January 13, 2020, 14 sightings were confirmed to be “hobbyist drones,” which did not fit the description of large wingspan drones flying in tandem.

From Jan. 6 to the 13, CAIC received 23 reports of drone activity: 13 of those were determined to be planets, stars, or small hobbyist drones; 6 were ruled out as atmospheric conditions or commercial aircraft; 4 were not identifiable.

If you see suspicious drone activity and would like to report it, you can do so by clicking this link.