Close Encounters of the Drone Kind: Two years later and there’s still no explanation for Colorado’s mysterious drone swarms

Close Encounters of the Drone Kind: Two years later and there’s still no explanation for Colorado’s mysterious drone swarms

Things were in the sky. And no one understands what they were doing there or who they belonged to.

CultureSeptember 12, 2022

Two years ago, right here in Colorado, a surreal scene swarmed our night skies. Drones. Between 10 and 50 every night appeared just after dark for a month straight; hovering high above the ground, moving together in grid formations, methodically sweeping the area; flying too high to shoot and just low enough not to violate commercial or federal airspace. Ranchers and others living in rural, eastern (flat-ass) Colorado who bore witness to the phenomenon all agreed: the strange craft seemed to be looking for something.

And strange, they were. The drones flew completely silently for hours at a time; they were six feet in diameter, according to witnesses, and according to police reports, from officers who pursued them, they were deployed from (and eventually returned to) much larger, stationary “mothership” drones. They were disturbing ranch operations, freaking cows out, and interfering with local airports.   

Then, as suddenly as the phenomenon had begun, it stopped.

Vice News published a corporate hipster propaganda piece claiming the incident had been a “classic case of mass-hysteria” and every one of those eastern Colorado country bumpkins had imagined what they were seeing nightly, from mid-December 2019 and into mid-January 2020. It was all a mass hallucination, according to that trendy CIA mouthpiece; nothing to see here.

But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t launch full investigations into “imaginary” incidents—which is exactly what the agency did. Declassified documents from that investigation reveal that not only did the FAA have no-fucking-clue who the drones belonged to, not only did they have no-earthly-idea what the drones were doing, but they weren’t even sure they were really “drones” at all.


The Investigation

The FAA launched it’s investigation in December, but by mid-January 2020 the sightings had tapered off. Then that COVID thing happened, Black Lives Matter, Trump’s attempted coup, Joe Biden, and, well, everyone just moved on. So when the FAA came out in 2021 to present their findings, no one remembered or cared what they were talking about. After months of investigating, talking with NORAD, the Air Force, the Pentagon, ICBM missile sites in the area, after reviewing all internal emails regarding these sightings from within those agencies, and interviewing witnesses, the FAA’s only real conclusions were: 1) they had a "high confidence these are not covert military activities,” and 2) that they weren’t from the private sector either, as far as they could tell.

They also noted that whoever was flying these things wasn’t breaking any laws. They were just being super creepy and uber mysterious. So WTF were they?

In one declassified email, the FAA’s chief of staff commented, "Not too long ago, we would have called these ‘UFOs'."

Not so fast. Some modern UFO sightings (like the 2019 case of US warships getting swarmed by something off of the coast of California) refer to Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) as “Drones.” Even when it’s clear the objects in question were something else. But, by all accounts, these were in fact drones, as we all understand them. An off duty Highway Patrol Officer who witnessed the event used night vision goggles to observe the craft and saw, “4 rotors on the drone as well as a horizontal [10 foot] stabilizer or wing.”

That doesn’t sound like a genuine UAP or UFO to me. That sounds like something man-made.

So who, then, made it?

The military obviously can’t be ruled out. If it truly was a test of some new technology of theirs, they’d tell the FAA to keep their damn mouths shut about it. It also still can’t be dismissed that these could’ve been some very wealthy individual or powerful company that was scanning the ground for oil, gas, or some kind of mineral resource, using custom engineered technology. Nor can we say for certain it wasn’t Russia, China, or those goddamned Canadians. And if it had been a foreign power, so blatantly invading the very heart of US airspace, our government probably wouldn’t be too keen on letting us in on that fact, either.

One thing is for damn sure, though: this wasn’t some case of “mass hysteria.” Something happened. Things were in the sky. And no one understands what they were doing there or who they belonged to.


Other mass UFO incidents

There have been plenty of other mass UFO sightings in the US over the years. Some were military operations but others… others are too weird to be so easily explained away.

The White House UFO Flap:
Between July 12 and 29 1952, a series of UFO “flaps” (or waves or swarms, whatever you want to call them) were observed by hundreds of witnesses over Washington DC—specifically, over the White House and Capitol Building—several weeks in a row. The incident was never explained.

Battle of Los Angeles:
In 1942 a massive air phenomenon sent fighter jets scrambling and news media buzzing after hundreds of people witnessed strange and erratic lights in the night sky over LA. Papers at the time said it was an attack by the Japanese. But people claim a photo of the incident shows spotlights focusing on something else.

The Mystery Airships:
From 1896-97 a rash of sightings were reported from Texas to Nebraska to California of strange lights, objects and “airships” that looked like nothing technologically available at the time. Some were seen in the sky, and others were even seen landing with pilots emerging.

2019 Warship Swarms:
In 2019 upwards of three military warships and at least one civilian cruise ship were simultaneously swarmed by unidentifiable pyramid shaped “drones.” The ships’ encounters lasted for hours, and video, radar and thermal cameras all recorded the events—some of which have leaked in recent years.