Nature

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I’m surviving (?) Dronepocalyse 2020.

Published January 11, 2020 by ia84

If you don’t live smack dab in the middle of the United States, you may or may not be aware of our current mystery drone situation. It started shortly before Christmas in Colorado, and has progressively worked it’s way into Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming (they’re probably in other states too, but these are the three I currently know of). Every night people are reporting seeing very large drones, usually in groups (the drones, not the people), zipping through the skies, hovering over towns and farms. Honestly, the whole thing sounds like the paranoid ravings of someone who is on a really bad drug trip.

Up until this week, I’d shrugged off the reports, because as previously stated, it sounds crazy. At the beginning of the week, a friend of mine, who lives in the middle of the state, posted video to Facebook of a drone over her home. And since I know she’s not high, I realized there might be some credibility to the massive pile of drone sighting reports. Tuesday, another friend added me to a group on Facebook dedicated to sharing eyewitness accounts, theories, and humor. I would say 92% of the group is made up of genuinely curious, amused people. The remaining 8% are seriously paranoid and get mad when jokes are made because the situation is clearly not being approached with enough seriousness. By this point, I’m in two of these drone groups, and both have turned into a serious dumpster fire of insanity. I’m only staying because I’m equal parts amused and terrified by people’s response to the mystery.

The drones made it to Omaha on Wednesday. I got home from work, right at 2200 (10 pm) and as I was getting out of my car, I noticed lights in the sky rapidly headed my direction. I ran to the backyard to get a better view. Soon enough, something flying too low to be a plane and too quiet to be a helicopter passed by, almost immediately followed by another.

I couldn’t make out anything more than the lights on the bottom. Was way too dark to make out the size, but based on placement of lights, was definitely larger than a drone you’d buy off the shelf.

There was something a bit eerie about the whole thing. I’m used to planes flying overhead, and at least once a year Able-1 (the police helicopter) buzzes over my neighborhood. Those are explained things. I see and/or hear them, and I know what they are. Unlike those things, the drones genuinely are a mystery.

Why do they only fly at night? Why hasn’t anyone come forward and explained their presence? Why so many?

I’ve read a ton of theories at this point that range from plausible to completely ridiculous. Here are a few:

-They’re documenting wildlife migration patterns. I don’t really buy this because I’ve not seen a good explanation for why they’d only be out at night.

-They’re coming to take away all the guns. I don’t even understand how this would work. Maybe they’re scanning for guns? Another one that I’ve not seen a viable explanation for.

-They’re mapping the Ogallala Aquifer. I’m a bit intrigued by this. The drones have been spotted flying grid patterns and they’ve been flying over the aquifer, so I guess that’s possible. (For those who don’t know, the Ogallala Aquifer is a giant body of water under several states here in the middle of the country. Google it, it’s pretty interesting.)

-Tracking the weather patterns. Unless they’re getting sucked up in a tornado, I’m not sure what they’d be tracking that satellite and radar can’t. I’m not completely discounting this one, but I do feel it needs a better explanation.

-It’s the government/military. This, friends, is the most likely.

Personally, I think it’s the military doing training, learning to fly drones at night. So far, it’s the only theory I’ve heard that has a valid reason for them only being out at night.

Whatever the truth, I’ll be surprised if we ever get an actual answer to this mystery. I anticipate that soon the drones will disappear, and it will become a story that turns into an urban legend. It’ll get exaggerated, and in fifty years kids will be telling stories about the alien drone invasion that their grandparents fought off single handed with a fire truck full of Head and Shoulders. No matter what, it’s made for an interesting start to the year.

(And kudos to everyone who gets the Head and Shoulders reference.)

Random Saturday Musings

Published November 10, 2012 by ia84

-So, winter storm Brutus (our storm is named Brutus because letter a-Athena-is apparently hitting the East Coast pretty hard) has been a huge let down here.  It’s hit other parts of the state really hard, but all we’ve gotten is a rain/ice mix.  I’m not complaining too much, though, because I’m hoping to not have to drive through much snow when I head home in about a week.

-Apparently The Hobbit pre-sale tickets outsold the pre-sale tickets of both SkyfallBreaking Dawn 2.  I don’t care so much about it outselling Bond, but I’m super excited it outsold the (hopefully) final Twilight film.  There’s still hope for humanity!  Also, I say “hopefully final” knowing full well that the entire series will probably get remade in a few years.  Back to The Hobbit.  I’m so, so, so, so super, overwhelmingly excited to see it!  I’m so pumped I can’t hardly wait (but I have to, because it’s over a month until it comes out).  

-So, I’m behind on my NaNo.  I’m at 12,797 words, and I need to 16,666 today in order to get back on track.  That’s not quite 4,000 words, so shouldn’t be too hard to reach.  Right now, in Word, that’s showing up (with page breaks done for new chapters) as 47 pages in Pacifico font, and 37 pages in Times New Roman.  That’s 12 pt., single spaced.  (I’m writing in Pacifico because it looks like actual cursive, so I feel like I’m not just typing, but I’m writing.  I probably sound silly, but hey, it works.)  I can honestly say that I’ve never written this much on one subject in my entire life.  Even though my story is getting better, I know the beginning is an absolute travesty.  I desperately want to go back and re-do it, but I made a deal with Katy that neither of us would go back and re-read and undo until December.  It’s a good thing I made that deal.  It’s forcing me to really try to finish something.  I’m not very good at finishing things, so this NaNo is teaching me a very important lesson.

-Everyone seems to be having babies.  Seriously, I have three friends who all had babies within the last 48 hours.  I have friends who are due soon.  I have friends who’ve had babies in the last two weeks.

-I realized, as I was falling asleep last night, that I left my NaNo characters heading out into the outdoors on their journey.  This ought to be good, considering I’m not exactly Outdoors Woman.  While this issue really freaked me out last night, today I feel much more okay about it.  At least it’s not set on Earth, so I can be as creative as I want.

-This last Monday I was having a particularly down day, and I was feeling incredibly sad and hopeless.  I got an email in the middle of the day stating that I had a package in the mail room of the service center.  I immediately went over, because I knew I hadn’t ordered anything, so I couldn’t imagine what would be there.  To my shock, a family from my home church had sent me a care package!  It really did come at the perfect time, and it was so helpful.

-Okay, so this is kind of hard to admit to, but I started going to the campus counseling center a few weeks ago.  The gal who’s been treating me at Student Health thought it would be a good idea, since this whole chronic disease thing is a pretty bitter pill to swallow.  I figured, “Hey, it’s free, it couldn’t hurt.”  So, I started going.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s actually been pretty good for me to talk to someone who’s neither friend nor family, but who I know isn’t going to go blabbing my issues all over the place.  (There’s a whole contract of confidentiality that legally keeps her from doing this.)  Anyway, this week I got assigned homework.  I’m supposed to come up with five good things about myself.  I think this homework was brought on by the fact that the week before we did my intake questionnaire  and when we got to the question, “What are good things about yourself?”  I sat there frozen, and finally came up with, “I’m punctual?”  Which, I am, but it’ a pretty sad state of affairs when the only good thing I can come up with about myself is that I’m on time, and when I state that fact I end up sounding like I’m questioning myself.  Of course, the following question in the intake was about what I didn’t like about myself, and the list I produced was quite long.  So, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching to try to come up with five things I honestly believe are true of myself and are also good.  I’m not sure why I’ve got such a low opinion of myself.  It’s certainly no one else’s fault.  My family has done nothing but remind me that they love me, and how precious and valuable I am to them.  I have friends who genuinely like me, so I know there’s got to be good things about me, I just have to learn to see them for myself.