Dec 08, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Helicopters of the Silent and Black Type: High-Tech and Top Secret

Tales of what have infamously become known as "black helicopters" abound in the field of conspiracy-theorizing. Two of the biggest questions surrounding the phenomenon are: (a) who has the technology and power to fly such craft; and (b) from where do they operate? There are good reasons to believe that the phenomenon had its origins at none other than Area 51. That sensitivity was almost certainly driven by the fact that the program had its origins in the heart of Area 51. One of those who had uncovered certain, classified data on this particular Nevada-based program was a conspiracy-theorist named Jim Keith. The issue of the silent helicopters was one which particularly intrigued Keith. After all, helicopters are known for their deep, thump-thump sound. So, to encounter a helicopter that is near-silent – or, perhaps, even completely silent – would be amazing, indeed. In pursuing the tales of the silent ‘copters, Keith found himself repeatedly pointed in the direction of Nevada. By now, you know the specific stretch of Nevada. In February of 1995, the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper ran an article titled "Ex-Worker Describes Stealth Copter." It was written by a journalist named Susan Greene. Commenting on all of this, Keith said: “According to statements of a former worker at Groom Lake Air Force Base, a black budget stealth helicopter was being tested at this facility as early as 1990. The code name for the helicopter was ‘T.E.K,’ which stood for 'Test and Evaluation Project K.'"

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(Nick Redfern) Spies in the Skies

Keith continued as follows: "The former worker at Groom Lake reported that the chopper was olive drab, riveted, and angular, with gull wing doors. An account in the Vegas paper quotes experts as saying, ‘Light, quiet and stealthy helicopters could be used for clandestine ‘Rambo-type missions,’ quick-in, quick-out assignments without being noticed." Of course, the mysterious helicopters were seen long before the 1990s; something which suggests the programs operating out of Groom Lake had been going on for decades. In other words, the secrecy surrounding the project suggests that these strange, futuristic aircraft were taking to the skies years before the secrecy was compromised in the nineties. Unfortunately, Keith did not live to pursue this story to its ultimate point. Death stepped in and put paid to that. And, permanently so. But, that’s a story for later.

There are, of course, other accounts of these mysterious helicopters. Official documentation on the encounters has surfaced from the Air Force, the FBI, and the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). One particular document, titled Suspicious Unknown Air Activity, provides the following: "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." The odd saga proceeded to get even stranger: "…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."

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(Nick Redfern) Totally black and no identifying markings

The relevant paperwork makes it very clear that the military was not only concerned about the phenomenon itself, but also by the potential reactions on the part of the media and the public: "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." Then there was a notable document titled Defense Against Helicopter Assault. In part, it reads: “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. As all of the above demonstrates, the Black Helicopters amount to an undeniable enigma.

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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