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Emily Bayard: Were Amherst UFOs actually domestic drones?

To the editor:

The editorial in Monday’s Gazette, “Drones in our skies,” alerts us to the fact that it will not be long until drones are seen more frequently in the United States. In fact, I have already seen one.

At the beginning of January, I saw a large, gray, plane-like aircraft flying low, quietly and very quickly, in the eastern part of Amherst. It was daytime and I was able to see it clearly. It was unlike any plane I’d seen before and I did not know what it was. Several days later, on Jan. 10, the Gazette published an article about UFOs being seen over Amherst at night, one triangular in shape and the other resembling a helicopter. I wondered if these objects were connected to what I saw. Because someone had mentioned drones in an online comment, I searched for photos to see if any of these three objects looked like drones.

They all did. What I saw is referred to as a “Reaper” drone.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union’s website, the FAA allows the use of domestic drones along the Mexican border and in some other areas of the country, for specific purposes. In addition, the website says the military now allows training missions.

Perhaps the drone I saw was on a training mission but no one has come forward to acknowledge this or the use of drones in our area for any other purpose. The thought of drones flying over our Valley is unsettling.

We need to know who is and will be using this technology and for what purpose. Regulations governing the use and oversight of domestic drones are not yet in place. If you are at all concerned, now is the time to ask questions. Contact the FAA and members of Congress. Your privacy is at stake.

Emily Bayard

Shutesbury

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