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> Or, and this is my addition, someone is flying the drones who doesn't need a permit, somehow.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." -- Sherlock (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Assuming nymag did their research correctly (it seems a pretty simple series of steps), then the most logical conclusion is that someone has a non-public permit. Which points to military or military-adjacent.

It's addressed in the article that even military uses require permits, for normal military operations. The permit system is there for good reason! No permits are file and the military bases in the region deny using drones.

However of course clandestine operations are exempted from public permits, which makes this all the more interesting...

Military makes little sense though, why conduct testing or operations in one of the worlds most heavily populated metropolises when you clearly have alternate options?

Maybe you want to test feasibility of using your assets for combat in urban areas.

US Military has urban areas at its disposal, could this not be done around fort bragg for example?

I feel one step short of donning a tinfoil hat, but maybe the drones are used for monitoring someone/something in the area where they are being observed?

I’ll take another half-step: perhaps these drones are being used to make someone with ties to that area believe they are being monitored by them in an effort to see how they react.

The sustained media coverage would help with that.

Probably there are no such locations with high rise buildings. I'm pretty sure they need to have surveillance in such areas tested properly in real life.

Could be to test a distributed wide-area surveillance system in realistic conditions.

non public can be non military as well.For example, DEA in cooperation with local law enforcement per scanning for illegal drug farming.

I thought you were going to say ALIENS!

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