Is it a military exercise? Exploring for gas and oil? Practice for an air show? A test of a delivery system? An alien invasion?

Whatever it is, it is time for an explanation for the mysterious drones that have been flying about in western and Central Nebraska and in Colorado.

The speculation has been fun, but it’s time for an answer.

The drones are more than just a mystery. They have disturbed and disrupted everyday life for dozens of people.

Having an aircraft hover over a property is an invasion of privacy. Having dozens flying in a grid pattern over you is alarming.

It really shouldn’t be that hard to figure out who is flying the drones, but government agencies seem helpless and clueless, which just feeds wild speculation.

Nebraskans and Coloradoans have handled it well. No one has tried shooting at the drones, heeding law enforcement warnings. People have reported the sightings.

However, it is only a matter of time until patience wears thin and someone fires a shot at one. That would be tragic and dangerous as other people would be put at risk.

Drones serve a legitimate purpose. In the journalistic world, they can give impressive photographs and views of flooding and storm damage. Farmers can use them to check on livestock and crops. And they can be a recreational item when people fly them as a hobby, which could explain sightings of a single drone.

However, it’s important that all federal regulations be followed. A drone could cause a serious accident if it hits a plane or is flown near an airport.

Whoever is responsible for the drones, they should realize that they are being intrusive. People just want to know who is flying them, where they are from and what they are doing.

Property owners — and law enforcement — deserve those answers.

There is a case to be made for secrecy when it comes to military research or business initiatives. However, when you’re flying over homes and private property, that case for secrecy is shattered.

People should know why something is hovering over their house or flying in a grid pattern on their property.

The drone sightings have been an entertaining diversion, but it’s time for the secrecy to end.

Grand Island Independent

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