Commentary

Ten Explanations for the Mysterious Drones Over the Plains

It's a dawning of a new drone day in Colorado.
It's a dawning of a new drone day in Colorado. Pixabay
A new mythology is growing on the eastern plains of Colorado. It’s the sort of thing we’re going to see on one of those Mysteries of the Unexplained Paranormal Experience Adventures shows all over cable: weird phenomena in the skies, caught on camera. And even if the mystery is eventually solved, with Governor Jared Polis calling for a full investigation and the FAA analyzing the drone invasion right now (allegedly), the effects of the initial fear and loathing (people like their privacy on the plains to the east of Denver) will linger. Evidence will be denied. Theories will take on a life of their own. And so stories are born.

We decided to get ahead of the urban-myth curve by offering some explanations of our own. You know, totally serious and reasonable shots in the dark — much like the illegal potshots being taken at the night-flying drones out east.


The NRA’s Secret Plan to Stimulate Gun and Ammo Purchases
Speaking of gunplay as a response to the drones’ sudden appearance, that reaction is so widespread that it auto-fills on Google if you type in “can I sho...”. Think about that for a moment: There are lots of rational questions that can start with “can I sho...”. Can I shop at Amazon without destroying my local economy? Can I shower every other day because of dry skin? Can I show a football game at a party without express written consent of the NFL? But, no: It’s “Can I shoot down a drone?” Because this is what people want to know. (The answer, by the way, is no, not legally.)

So it’s entirely possible that these drones have been sent from the National Rifle Association. After all, the NRA's primary strategy is the stoking of fear, so why not send out mysterious fleets of flying robots just begging to be plugged out of the night sky? Shotgun and rifle sales would skyrocket, as would sales of the necessary ammunition. And if this practice has the side effect of drawing more residents of the eastern plains into the NRA’s fundraising web — and gives folks some good target practice at the same time? That’s win-win-win, Wayne LaPierre style.


Disney Mapping Out a Potential Site for Disney Over Mid-America
Now that Disney essentially owns everything that your children and pop-culture-loving Americans could possibly love, they’re obviously looking to expand their mousy empire. Where better to link the coasts than the eastern plains of Colorado, since we were courteous enough to put Denver International Airport right out there, what, a few miles from the border of Kansas? So it’s right there: The drones are just surveying the area for the Disney Imagineers. You can almost hear the planning: “We could put Star Wars Land over here, and the Merry Marvel Marching Society over here, and Elsa’s Frozen Castle over here, which would of course also be the repository for the cryogenically frozen remains of Walt Disney himself. Themed hotels everywhere. And all of Nebraska for parking.”

The Illuminati Lizard People Need Fresh Ground
Even with all of DIA’s expansion, the vast empire of the lizard people who live beneath the airport have run out of room. So they’ve sent out drones to survey new underground areas by which to grow their subterranean kingdom. They have to run at night because they’re looking for heat signatures, hollow spaces beneath the soil where they can build their cave-homes and Illuminati-worshiping chambers. They need to keep their numbers hidden until the 2024 elections, when they will emerge from hiding in order to vote en masse for the GEICO gecko to take the presidency, the nation and, soon enough, the world. Sun lamps and live crickets for everyone!

Pot Farmers Looking for Fertile Ground
With Colorado’s longstanding pot-friendly laws, and Illinois just now recognizing that the water in the marijuana pool is fine and cannonballing in, maybe pot farmers are looking at Kansas and Nebraska as the next areas of growing expansion. Eastern Colorado is just additional and already legal (if not exactly welcoming) ground. The cannabis expansionists are just doing it with drones so as not to make it look like they’re interested and drive up potential prices per acre. That’s why the drones are flying in grid patterns; they’re just trying to get a lay of the land — and the profit potential.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen