What the heck was that?

By Greg Hill
After several weeks of unexplained and inexplicable drone sightings in and around Yuma County, Michael Spicer, founder of “ArchAngel RECON” presented the Yuma Pioneer with a press-release that claimed to be an explanation for the drone sightings that have been worrying folks in this region for the past few weeks.
Please indulge me as I do a quick and dirty rhetorical analysis of this press-release.
(I’m writing this column under the generous assumption that ArchAngel RECON is a real organization and that Mr. Spicer’s press-release is not a deliberate spoof.)
Spicer writes, “We did notice the attention the so called mystery drones picked up, both local and worldwide…”
Congratulations on noticing the fact that your squadrons of flying robots picked up some attention. You are very observant, sir.
As to your phrase, “so called mystery drones,” what else were they if not mysterious?
You allege that you’ve filed all the necessary paperwork, contacted the appropriate offices, and that you did your “part to tell them all exactly what we will provide here to you.”
Translation: “We’ve covered our legal hindquarters.”
Let’s examine exactly what Mr. Spicer provides for us.
“We are a group of professionals who track a particular high value aerospace target.”
Well, that clears everything up! Mr. Spicer belongs to a guild of dentists who like to track the flight patterns of Lear jets.
“Our tracking takes us through many areas that most would describe as the middle of nowhere, that’s the flight path.”
I prefer to call this area “the middle of America.” And although it is rural, Yuma County is populated by actual creatures I like to call “humans.” And when humans — even humans in low-population areas — encounter mysterious squadrons of flying robots, they will react in a manner that I’d describe as “entirely predictable” (i.e., we will generate any kind of explanation that makes sense).
Here’s another dandy. “Drones were 100 percent in your area with flashing lights flying in grid patterns during this time the concern of mystery drones was born.”
So, Mr. Spicer, you acknowledge that the existence of your squadrons of flying robots happened simultaneous to the birth of the concern of the mystery drones. Of course they were present for the birth, they were — to borrow your metaphor — the mother of that concern.
I don’t know what your intent was with that phrase, but to me it seems as if you wrote it with a lawyer whispering in your ear, “Under no circumstances shall you explicitly acknowledge that your drones caused any sort of anxiety to the people over whom they were hovering.”
Here’s another linguistic travesty: “We track and capture the aerospace target nicknamed the TicTac or UAP from various encounters such as with the USS Nimitz ship. This is a human made aircraft with human made technology that happens to defy known physics and out preform [sic] the best current known radar and fighter jet capabilities while operating on a power source that would in theory, also change our entire knowledge of that sector.”
Here’s what I think Mr. Spicer is trying to tell us: “A flying object called a TicTac, or UAP, had an undefined encounter with a supercarrier ship (presumably over a body of water). The TicTac/UAP is now being monitored by my squadrons of flying robots in a region a thousand miles from any ocean. By the way, this TicTac/UAP thing can disobey the laws of nature and it includes a fantastical power source. But don’t worry, it was designed by humans. And we’re going to capture it.”
Am I mis-reading this? ‘Cause it sounds completely bonkers.
But don’t worry. Mr. Spicer tells us, “As Professionals, we don’t ask you to believe us, we challenge you to prove us wrong.” And then he volunteers to submit to an infallible modern lie-detector test.
If there were an infallible lie-detector test, we could dismantle the legal system. Alas, there is no infallible lie-detector test. There isn’t even a reasonably reliable lie-detector test.
Not that a lie-detector (even an infallible one) could prove you right or wrong. It would only prove that you believe what you’re saying. And right now, it sounds to me like you might be suffering from the delusional malady known as mass hysteria. I’m sure you’re familiar with the phenomenon; your article posits that it’s affecting the people terrorized by your squadrons of flying robots.
Moving on, you write, “As for right now you can sleep easy, technology is in the airspace above you.”
That does not make me sleep easy (seriously, I’ve had nightmares about these stupid drones). It makes me wonder what kind of person thinks there’s any comfort in the phrase “technology is in the airspace above you.”
ArchAngel RECON is not a government organization, it would appear. So what is it? After reading his piece, I’m not sure even Mr. Spicer knows.
Another gem: “Rather than going out at night in the darkness to look up at lights, go out in the light in the daytime and look at the ground to see what these drones were hunting.”
Which is…snipes?
“Only trust our one account for any and all statements…”
If there’s one thing you’ve established, sir, it is the opposite of trust.

Hill can be reached at civility@eastofdenver.com.