Let me be clear; until I really started learning about drones, I too thought it was virtually impossible to confuse a drone with an airplane or even a UFO. You can imagine my surprise when I found out differently. Even after I was aware of their capabilities, and the multitude of different types of drones, I was still fooled (albeit temporarily) recently by a very good drone with an exceptional pilot...MUFON's own Marc D'Antonio. Of course the flight was part of our training, and it was very valuable too, as everyone at that night's skywatch was starting to believe we were looking at something truly amazing.
At first it looked just like any of the many other planes that had flown over the area. But then it started making movements that we knew couldn't be attributed to any normal aircraft, and it appeared to be dancing in the sky over an area of many miles. That is the problem with trying to identify something at night by just a moving light. If you don't know the size of the object, or it's altitude, movements can appear very dramatic, and appear to cover much more distance than they actually do. I was just starting to get to the 'well maybe' stage of my observation when I heard the drones motor. Up to that point I was truly puzzled.
So, knowing how easy it is to misidentify itty-bitty lights in the sky, you can imagine my horror when while shopping at the local Ralphs, I see a pyramid of square boxes in the holiday gift isle, with the catchy sign above them "Robotic UFO" and the low price of $25. Immediately my first thought was; "well, this should increase reports to MUFON significantly." Of course I had to buy one on the spot so I would know what to be on the lookout for. I even made a post on Facebook about it, and said that I would post pictures soon. Well, not to worry, this particular drone is not going to be too much of a distraction due to it's poor flight ability. Indoors it's great, outdoors not so good. Although it claims to have enough power to go high, I found that it barely could get to rooftop level, and the flashing blue light was so weak that I didn't even bother to take a picture.
Although this particular model was not anything that I think would be easily misidentified, there are plenty of them out there that can, and will be. A quick visit on the amazon.com website and a search for drones will yield 65,285 results, so yes they are out there. A similar search on Youtube will get you 789,000 hits. While I would not tell anyone to watch them all, I would at least hope that any Field Investigators would take the time to watch as many of the videos as they can, so they are aware of what it is that some of our witnesses are seeing in our nighttime sky.