‘Mysterious’ drones sightings may be due to more drone flights, expert says

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DENVER – Northeast Colorado’s biggest mystery may not be that mysterious at all, experts say.

For the past couple of weeks, dozens of drones have been reported flying in clusters from Weld to Yuma Counties and everywhere in between. No one has come forward yet, prompting more questions from the public about who they belong to and what they are doing.

“I have heard about it. It’s obviously popped up in the news,” Mike Winn, CEO of San Francisco-based DroneDeploy, told FOX31.

DroneDeploy makes software for all types of drones. According to their website, their software is responsible for mapping 100 million acres in more than 180 countries for more than 400,000 customers.

“The general theme is getting a bird’s eye view of a space that you care about,” Winn said.

Most of their customers are in construction, agriculture or energy industries.

Winn says the unidentified flying objects over Colorado probably aren’t anything new.

“This is now very normal. People are doing…over a million flights with our software every year. We’re growing very rapidly. We expect that to double this year, so it’s not abnormal for people to see drones being used commercially,” Winn said.

His theory is that there are more reported sightings each night because more people are looking for what has already been there.

“We see drones flown all the time. Nothing unusual about drones being flown,” he said.

According to NASA, more than 700,000 drones will fly in the US in 2020. That could help explain why reported drone sightings are happening in other parts of Colorado -- like Castle Rock and Grand Junction -- and across the country.

The big question remains as to who is behind the fleet that originally sparked the questions.

“It wouldn’t be us,” Winn said. “It might be one of our users.”

He says it doesn’t seem suspicious to him that no one has come forward to claim responsibility.

“It might well be the people that are flying haven’t even heard about it. Otherwise, it could be that these are military operations and they might not want to talk about it. And perhaps it’s a bunch of hobbyists for fun flying around perfectly legally.”

Whatever it is, he says Americans are getting a glimpse into the what our skies will look like in the near future.

“Get used to this stuff. It is really growing fast. It’s saving lives and helping American businesses be more efficient,” Winn said.

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