Oil and Gas Not to Blame for Colorado’s Drone Swarms

On December 26, Coloradan Jennifer Rollins captured a minute of footage of a drone as it hovered above her home for around half an hour. A few days later, another Coloradan captured similar footage.

Throughout December, residents in northeastern Colorado and parts of Nebraska began to report similar drone sightings in the skies at night. The enigmatic machines are larger than average, with an estimated wingspan of six feet. Several citizens have reported not individual drones hovering in the skies, but entire swarms of drones flying in perfect formation. In one case, the flock numbered as many as seventeen. Sightings have only picked up frequency in the weeks since rural Coloradans began to call authorities, but authorities remain stumped. 

The lack of information has given rise to several conspiracy theories about the origin of the drones, chief among them the (incorrect) belief that the oil and gas industry is behind the mystery.

The Colorado Boogeyman

It would seem that the venom being aimed at the Colorado oil and gas industry isn’t restricted to the courtroom. Perhaps that explains why one of the most popular conspiracy theories used to define the drones is that an oil and gas company is using them for a secretive mapping project.

Here’s one tweet from a nervous Coloradan.

Of course, there’s no proof (or reason) for the oil and gas industry to be behind the mysterious drone appearances. In fact, as much as the niche group of anti-energy advocates would love some proof of oil’s part in the mystery, there is none.

Colorado Oil and Gas Association spokesperson Jake Taylor soundly dismissed the possibility that oil and gas had a guiding hand in the phenomenon. The New York Times also poked a hole in the “survey theory” with one logical question: if they’re looking at the land, why are the drones only appearing at night? Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to do their fly-bys during the day?

Anxiety in Eastern Colorado

To date, even a federal investigation has not yielded results. The mystery of Colorado’s drones remains unsolved. Efforts to uncover the culprit are about to step up, however. On Thursday, Colorado governor Jared Polis pledged to begin his own investigation.

Until then, residents of eastern Colorado will have to turn their cameras to the sky in the hopes of unraveling the mystery.