Nov 13, 2019 I Nick Redfern

Black Helicopters: My Own Experience in 2018

One of the strangest things of all about being a researcher and writer on the world of the supernatural, is when the investigator – in this particular case, me – becomes a part of the story itself. For the most part I’m a writer, investigator, researcher and lecturer on paranormal phenomena. And a regular, road-tripping enthusiast. Occasionally, though, I find myself being the witness. Or the victim. Word it as you see fit: as I see it, both are perfectly applicable. There was, perhaps, no better example of this than a very strange affair that went down on a late afternoon in March 2018. I was working on an article for the guys here at Mysterious Universe when I heard a helicopter go over. Well, there was nothing particularly strange about that: occasionally, they do fly over here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Usually, however, it’s when the local news channel is filming a stolen car doing 100 MPH on the local highway. Or, when there has been a particularly bad accident. You get the point, I’m sure.

With my mind primarily focused on the article, I didn’t think much at all about the helicopter above. After a few minutes, though, it dawned on me that the helicopter had no intention of passing by: its constant sound suggested it was circling. Not only that, it was clearly getting louder, which suggested it was getting closer. We’re talking about the typical and familiar “whup-whup” noise that a helicopter makes. So, with my curiosity now piqued, I stopped what I was doing and went to the door of my apartment. And then I opened it…

On doing so, I was struck by the sight above me. It wasn’t a helicopter, after all. Rather, it was two of them, flying very closely to each other. And, they were not circling in the general area: they were alternately circling and hovering directly over the block of apartments I live in – and at an almost-perilous height. I could have completely dismissed the whole matter as being of no consequence, were it not for one thing: the two helicopters completely lacked any kind of identifying markings. I probably don’t need to tell anyone that every vehicle in the sky – whether a plane or a helicopter – is required to display those aforementioned markings. Oh, and lest I forget (some chance of that!) the two craft were completely black in color.

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UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crews from 3rd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division complete aerial gunnery at Fort Bliss, Texas, December 12, 2017. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Capt. Tyson Friar, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs )

The black helicopters – also known as “phantom black helicopters” – have been a staple part of Ufology for more than a half a century. Many researchers assume that the craft are flown by “black-ops” units that are dispatched to UFO crash-sites and / or to secretly monitor alien abductees and cattle mutilations. The fact is, though, there is something very strange about at least some of these unmarked, completely black helicopters: people describe seeing them vanish into a flash of light. On other occasions, they shrink into the form of a ball of light and then disappear – as in literally. I even have one record on file from 1981 where the witness – a schoolteacher in Waukesha, Wisconsin (the site of the terrible “Slenderman attack” in 2014) – encountered a low-flying black helicopter that morphed into nothing less than a Mothman-type flying humanoid. Imagine that!

In my case, I was sure (well, I was fairly sure…) that the two helicopters were real, nuts-and-bolts craft; there were, however, some anomalies. The most graphic one, of course, was not what I could see, but what I couldn’t see: those missing markings. As the helicopters were not just low – but very low – I fired off a bunch of photos. And what did I do with those photos? Well, after the excitement calmed down,  I posted them to my Facebook page (if you aren't a Facebook friend of me and can't access the photos there, I have now posted them to my blog. Click here). It’s no surprise that most people commented on the extraordinary fact that the two craft were 100 percent black and 100 percent lacking in identifying markings. That the pilots were clearly flying over my apartment block (which is hardly large) and no-one else’s provoked a lot of debate, too. Had there been a shooting, or a violent car crash (and so on) the likelihood is that there would have been emergency sirens blasting out here, there and everywhere. There was, however, nothing; just what seemed like endless circling for no purpose that I could understand.

After I was satisfied that I had had enough of taking photos, I decided that the next time the helicopters circled close to my part of the block I would give them a friendly wave. I did so. Then, the time after that, I gave them the middle finger – of both hands and simultaneously. And, after about twenty minutes of this craziness, the two finally left in a southerly direction. I left for the couch and the TV. Then came more feedback at Facebook. One of the most intriguing comments made on my Facebook page came from a friend of mine, an employee of Fort Hood, which is a military base in Killeen, Texas. He said: “That’s a Robinson R-44 helicopter. The interesting thing, Nick, is the ‘wart’ on its nose. It looks like a FLIR payload (a day/night optical sight).”

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Robinson R-44 helicopter

I did some more research and learned that the specific helicopters - the R-44 - that were flying around had been in use since 1992 and had been sold to numerous nations and official bodies, including the Bolivian Air Force, the Mexican Navy, the South African Police Service Air Wing, and even the Forest Protection Service of Russia. It was yet another day in a weird life!

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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