Jun 15, 2018 I Nick Redfern

Helicopters? UFOs? Both?

For decades, and across much of the United States, people have reported sightings of what have become known as "Black Helicopters" and "Phantom Helicopters." They are often seen in the direct vicinity of animal mutilation events and UFO encounters. On many occasions they have been seen flying perilously close to the homes of alien abductees. Most of the reports come from the public. In the latter part of 1975, however, a substantial number of sightings came from the U.S. military. It was a wave of activity that still provokes questions to this date.

Such was the concern about the sightings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Air Force Intelligence, and NORAD (the North American Air Defense Command) got involved. Consider this extract from the military titled "Unknown Air Activity. In part, it states: "Since 28 Oct 75 numerous reports of suspicious objects have been received at the NORAD CC. Reliable military personnel at Loring AFB Maine, Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, Malmstrom AFB, MT, Minot AFB, ND, and Canadian forces station Falconbridge, Ontario Canada have visually sighted suspicious objects. Objects at Loring and Wurtsmith were characterized to be helicopters. Missile site personnel, security alert teams and air defense personnel at Malmstrom, Montana report an object which sounded like a jet. FAA advised there were no jet aircraft in the vicinity. Malmstrom search and height finder radars carried the object between 9500 ft. and 15,000 ft. at a speed of seven knots."

NORADCommandCenter 570x456
NORAD Command Center

That was far from the end of the matter: “…personnel reported the object as low as 200 ft. and said that as the interceptors approached the lights went out, after the interceptors had passed the lights came on again…Minot AFB on 10 Nov reported that the site was buzzed by a bright object the size of a car at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 ft. There was no noise emitted by the vehicle."

Concerns about the U.S. media learning about, and investigating, the affair was expressed by the military: "Be assured that this command is doing everything possible to identify and provide solid factual information on these sightings. I have also expressed my concern to SAFOI that we come up soonest with a proposed answer to queries from the press to prevent over reaction by the public to reports by the media that may be blown out of proportion. To date efforts by Air Guard helicopters, SAC helicopters and NORAD F106s have failed to produce positive ID."

Another document, titled "Defense Against Helicopter Assault," reveals the following: "The past two evenings at one of our northern tier bases, an unidentified helicopter has been observed hovering over and in the near vicinity of the weapons storage area. Attempts to identify this aircraft have so far met with negative results.” In other words, something intruded upon the most secure part of the base and no-one was able to determine what was afoot or even why.

One of the most fascinating of all the series of incidents was captioned "Unidentified Helicopter Sighted at Low Level Over Loring AFB." Extracts follow: "On 28 Oct 75, Lewis…advised that the a/c [aircraft] was first observed by Clifton W. Blakeslee, Sgt. [deleted] and William J. Long, SSgt., both assigned to the 42 SPS, who were on duty at the storage area. The initial sighting took place at approximately 1345. The a/c was observed approximately 1,000 meters north of LAFB. The a/c was subsequently observed by Lewis and others intermittently for the next hour and a half. Subsequent to the sighting by Long and Blakeslee, the a/c did not come nearer to the northern perimeter of LAFB than approximately 3 miles. Lewis observed a flashing white strobe light and red navigation lights on the a/c. The operator of the a/c either turned the lights off periodically or the a/c flew below a point from which the lights could be observed. The a/c disappeared from view and did not reappear. A search of the vicinity of the northern perimeter of LAFB by 42 SPS personnel met with negative results."

And there was more to come, as the documentation makes abundantly clear: "On 28 Oct 75, Commander, 42 8W, advised that he responded to the area from which the unidentified a/c was observed. He arrived at approximately 1955. The a/c bore a white flashing light and an amber or orange light. The speed and movement in the air suggested that the a/c was a helicopter. From 1345-2020, the a/c was under constant observation. Subsequent to that time the a/c would appear and disappear from view. The a/c definitely penetrated the LAFB northern perimeter and on one occasion was within 300 yards of the munitions storage area perimeter. Efforts to identify the a/c through Maine State Police and local police departments were not successful."

On November 7, staff from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, recorded this: "Received a call from the 341st Strategic Air Command Post, saying that the following missile locations reported seeing a large red to orange to yellow object: M-1, L-3, LIMA and L-6. The general object location would be 10 miles south of Moore, Montana and 20 miles east of Buffalo, Montana."

Just a few hours later, there was the following, also from Malmstrom: "SAC advised K-1 says very bright object to their east is now southeast of them and they are looking at it with 10 x 50 binoculars. Object seems to have lights (several) on it, but no distinct pattern. The orange/gold object overhead also has small lights on it. SAC also advises female civilian reports having seen an object bearing south from her position six miles west of Lewsitown."

As for NORAD's files, I'll share with you one of the most intriguing of all: "This morning, 11 Nov 75, CFS Falconbridge reported search and height finder radar paints on an object up to 30 nautical miles south of the site ranging in altitude from 26,000 to 72,000 feet. The site commander and other personnel say the object appeared as a bright star but much closer. With binoculars the object appeared as a 100 ft. diameter sphere and appeared to have craters around the outside."

Phantom/Black Helicopters or UFOs: the matter still remains unexplained, as the encounters came to a halt as mysteriously as they had begun.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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