By Shawn Chitnis


LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Public Safety said Monday it will be scaling back operations of its investigations into suspicious drone activity in northeastern Colorado. The reports dating back to late November and the field work taking place in early January has yet to identify any criminal activity.

(credit: CBS)

“The public has been worried about the reports of strange drone activity,” said CDPS Executive Director Stan Hilkey in a news release. “Our duty is to be responsive to community concerns and to investigate suspicious activity, and so we mobilized our teams to look into this.”

Field investigations on Jan. 10 – 12 continued the work first started on Jan. 6 both on the ground and in the air with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as the Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

(credit: Dept. of Public Safety)

A multi-mission aircraft (MMA) used for fighting wildfires helped investigators look for any suspicious drones. Public reports of unusually large-sized drones flying in groups began on Nov. 23. The field work increased on Jan. 10 after a report of a drone flying close to a Flight for Life helicopter, but investigators determined that was not related to the incidents in northeastern Colorado.

CBS4 was there on Saturday when the Colorado State Patrol assisted with its own drone flying above and south of its substation near Fort Morgan and Interstate 76. A team also compared drone reports received with available flight pattern data.

(credit: CBS)

“Despite all of the reported activity, we are still unaware of any crime being committed,” Hilkey went on to say in the release. “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.”

Since the Colorado Information Analysis Center started collecting data on drone reports, there have been 90 incidents. Hobbyists using drones that were not large enough to fit the description of reports made up for 14 cases.

There were also multiple sightings determined to be planets or stars as well as commercial aircraft. Some were never identified by law enforcement but none were considered illegal.

“The efforts we have put forth on this issue have been valuable,” Hilkey added. “In addition to gathering information, this past week’s operations have been an excellent opportunity for our teams to collaborate and hone their skills with new and emerging technologies.”

(credit: CBS)

Drones make up a large presence in the air across Colorado, according to the FAA. The number of registered drones in the state is 24,030 and the agency receives more than 100 reports of drone sightings from pilots each month. CDPS says it will scale back proactive operations but will respond as needed for future reports of suspicious activity.

“We will continue to remain vigilant and respond as new information comes in,” he said.

Submit suspicious activity report to the CIAC: https://ciacco.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=1095

FAA Records:  https://www.faa.gov/foia/electronic_reading_room/

Shawn Chitnis

Comments (9)
  1. Rich Hamrick says:

    Sounds like they were told to back off.

  2. Buford says:

    One of the drones saw Hillary offing someone; now that drone is missing.

  3. William Wallace says:

    CNN just reported that Trump is behind the drones. They are Russian and Ukrainian made and tasked with keeping stupid liberals from voting.

  4. Steven Zodiac says:

    So let me get this straight – “unaware of any crime being committed”….gee, let me help: (1) these are reportedly drones that are 6 feet or larger – it is illegal to fly a single drone of that size without PRIOR FAA APPROVAL, let alone 30 of them at a time (2) The drones are flying at NIGHT. It is also illegal to fly drones at night without PRIOR FAA APPROVAL. The FAA has publicly stated that they know nothing about these drones – so there’s your crimes. Let’s not even mention the fact that they appear to be sophisticated in that they are apparently a coordinated group of drones. It must be a great comfort to the people of the affected States that their local and federal authorities don’t seem to have any interest in figuring out what these are doing flying above homes, businesses and private land. I know I would feel WELL served if this were the case in my State…..not ! Why not just go ahead and say “Hey, we’re doing some testing – everything’s okay”.

    1. John Smiff says:

      I wonder how high are they and why one of these farmers hasn’t taken one down yet.

  5. Paul says:

    So the commies in Colorado do not care if the drug cartel is flying around drones mapping out ways to deliver. Pay off = blind eyes.

    1. Jack Casey says:

      You’re ridiculous. Having no real cause for pride makes one immune to shame.

  6. Ragnarredbeard says:

    TRANSLATION: Someone told them to back off the investigation.

    1. Alan Whitney says:

      THAT sounds reasonable.

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