For the second night in a row, mysterious drones have been spotted in Paris. The drones have been flying primarily over major landmarks. In total, five separate sightings have been reported with all of them in the hub of the French city. The first sightings were on Tuesday at 11:00 pm and the latest this morning at 2:00 a.m.
According to officials, the landmarks over which the drones were flying include the US Embassy, Eiffel Tower, and others. While the drones have been seen over two consecutive nights, apparently there have been several others throughout France over the past several months.
Last year, drones were spotted at atomic plants in France and then more recently, flying over a bay in Brittany where nuclear submarines are housed and one of the highest protected areas in the country, as well as the Presidential palace.
The drone spotted this morning was actually caught on film, which will help investigators in conducting an analysis as to what type of drone it is but more important, the person or persons responsible for its flight, as well as the other flights. Drones are prohibited over the skies of Paris so investigators are taking the situation seriously.
Authorities in France confirmed that it appears there are no current threats associated with the drones. However, the government is working to identify the best means of counteracting them. A bigger concern at this point is that whoever is operating the drones is using technology to spy or gain intelligence information but the ultimate issue is that perhaps, the drones could be flown with weapons attached.
Jean Luc-Fournier, a reputable drone operator who was involved with drone legislation in France, stated that rogue flights are condemned by authorized operators since it casts a bad light on the entire industry when in fact, there might be only a small number of people using drones for the wrong reasons.
Following the recent deadly terrorist attacks on Paris, the drone flights have created a lot of tension for the people who live and visit the city. In last month’s attack, Islamic radicals killed 17 people associated with the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. Another attack took place at a kosher grocery store. In that incident, a female police officer was shot to death outside in the street.
One week after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a “survivor’s issue” was published but since that time, no additional publications have gone on sale. However, the first issue in the aftermath of the tragic event will be sold at newsstands today.
At this point, authorities are unsure if the drones are being operated by tourists, drone enthusiasts, as some type of prank, or if perhaps there is something more malicious behind the flights. Authorities have also not been able to determine if there is more than one drone or if all the recent five sightings involve multiple drones.
In France, flying a drone without proper authority is a very serious crime. Just this past October, a 24-year-old tourist from Israel was caught flying a drone over the Notre Dame cathedral. For his actions, the young man was fined $570 and sentenced to one day in jail.