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Unkown non-civil helicopter over Manchester UK - any thoughts?

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posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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Hey all

I'm not one to usually post such things, but just had an odd experience that I thought I would pick your collective brains about. If there is a better forum for this than here, mods feel free to move.

I live in a suburb of Manchester, UK, and I was just sitting at my desk, working away, when I heard a helicopter outisde the house - but a very odd-sounding one. I'm more than used to our local police chopper, which is an MD902 Explorer and has a very bassy chop sound, with a heavy turbine whine. But this sounded very...I can only say "thin", no real bass to the sound at all, and no distinctive "chop", just a thin rumble. There was no real discernible high-pitch whine to it either. So, curious, I went outside.

I saw a helicopter hovering above the house (this is a suburban area) about, I estimate 100-150 feet, just sitting there, dead still. Unfortunately my phone batteries are kaput so I didn't get chance to take a picture. I remained for about a minute and a half and then flew off to the south west.

I didn't have my phone for a pic, but I did scoot inside to get some binoculars to get a good look-see, and what I saw was definitely not Greater Manchester Police's air unit. Neither was it, as far as I could tell, a civilian craft. it had absolutely NO markings whaatsover - no registry number, nothing. It was also, as far as I could discern, either black or a very dark green (could have been a dark blue or very dark grey, but against a blue sky it was hard to tell for sure).

Now, I'm no aviation expert, but I am pretty sure that civiilian and law-enforcement aircraft are not allowed to fly around without markings or registrations on them. So could this be military? If so, what the heck is it doing over this leafy little suburb?

Puzzled I started researching helicopters to see what it could be - it had a very distinctive tail rotor which I kept in my mind's eye. Now, this is what the local police ND902 unit looks like:



And based on what I saw - the disctinctive tail rotor housing, the large and obvious exhaust at the rear of the rotor housing, the nearest comparison I can find is this, a Gazelle AH1:



However, what I saw a a squarer nose and canopy, more akin to somthing like an Apache, but about the same height and size as the Gazelle above.

But from what I read the Gazelles have all been retired. So now I am stumped. If it was military, why use a retired craft and why have no markings or inignia at all? If police, the same applies. If civilian, the above still applies but can you even buy ex-army hardware like that? And if civil OR military, why would it be stopped dead over a suburban area?

I thought I'd put this out there for anyone who knows about helicopters or has any experience in such matters to be able to offer any ideas. The only thing I can say with certainty is that the tail rotor housing of the Gazelle is spot-on to what I saw.

[edit on 17-1-2010 by dogsounds]

[edit on 17-1-2010 by dogsounds]




posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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Sounds like another "UFO".................Unidentified Flying Observer.

You weren't on ATS..............were you? (Smile)

Honestly, more reports of these are coming out. I could only offer an opinion.

I have had dreams of long lines of these black helicopters, and war planes, taking off ........................in the hundreds, one right after the other. These dreams were 10+ years ago.

Later...................

[edit on 17-1-2010 by Air Force Ron]



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by Air Force Ron
 


Actually, oddly. I had *just* been on ATS earlier. But I was wandering about the net investigating 1991VG, which I am sure is of no conequence


Seems odd though, if it was military or black, what on earth would be of interest in the suburbs? Usually the only reason a helicopter hovers around over here is because some scrotey little chav has TWOK'ed a car or burgled a house and they are helping the ground officers track them down. But there were no sounds of police activity going on, just an annoyed dog and someone doing DIY (it is Sunday, after all
)

I'm hoping someone with knowledge of aircraft may be able to help identify it better from what little info I can give...



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by dogsounds
 


Well i live in the Greater Manchester area.

I'll keep a lookout for any unusual helicopters.

I'm also familiar with the normal police helicopter. It's woken me up in the past, during the night.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by Kram09
 


Thanks


That's how I knew it wasn't the usual chopper copper when I heard it - I'm so used to that that this one sounded totally different. No bass, no whine, no harmonics. Very odd.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 01:52 PM
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Mate I'm not too sure how to post images here, but google commanche helicopter and see if it looks like that



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by ulsterman
 


Interesting, but nah, it's tail rotor housing thing was closer to the Gazelle. And it had the big exhaust tube housing aft of the rotor housing like on the Gazelle (but not as bulky perhaps). And it did have skids.

(Plus, if we had anything as advanced as a Commanche I'd die of shock!)



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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Have you looked at a Dauphin Helicopter? I think that they have the same kind of tail rotor assembly that you are talking about, and have the more square nose as well.

www.enemyforces.net...
Like this?



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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Look at both the Eurocopter Dauphin and the Agusta/Westland AW109. Both of these are used by 8 (SF) Flight, AAC. I doubt it, but should there have been a 'high value task' being carried out then they have been brought into play. Helicopters are used in these type of tasks, in much the same way as they were in Northern Ireland (Op Banner) to observe static and mobile targets in conjunction which ground assets.

The chances are it was something quite innocent, but food for though on an ATS thread.

Out of interest, which area of Mancunia do you reside?



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by The_Archangel
Look at both the Eurocopter Dauphin and the Agusta/Westland AW109. Both of these are used by 8 (SF) Flight, AAC.


Interesting. See below for the Dauphin. The Westland doesn't match either, there is no lower stabilizer fin on the rear rotor housing , and it didn't look this kind of size - it loked like a two-door machine. If I had seen a Westland I would have thought "Cool, Airwolf clone!" (even though that was a Bell, I know
)


Originally posted by SAB17
Have you looked at a Dauphin Helicopter? I think that they have the same kind of tail rotor assembly that you are talking about, and have the more square nose as well.

www.enemyforces.net...
Like this?


It does, but the nose end is too pointy - the canopy and nose didn't have such a steep angle as that. The 'squarness' was more from the tip of the nose right back to the rotor housing. Wasn't quite as chunky and fat either, the whole craft seemed sleeker - less tall - somehow. But not quite as 'old school' as the Gazelle. Really wish my phone had been charged up, darn it!

Looking at these pics (thanks guys), I think the tail end was much like the Dauphin, but I am beginning to think there was perhaps a stabilizer fin at the bottom too, under the circular rotor housing, pointing backwards, like a slightly smaller mirror image of the fin above ( I am afraid I know none of the relevant terminology here so bear with me!). Unfortunately this is from memory, and we know how reliable that is. The canopy looked to be less of 'winshield and windows' affair and more of an actual canopy - I can only really describe it like the kind of thing you see on, say, a Cobra.

The one thing I remember 100% though is that the exhausts behind the rotors were definitely not hidden away in the body panelling like the Dauphin and Westland, they were definitely exposed, quite long, and did not seem attached to the main beam running from the cockpit body to the tail rotors (whetever you call that). So far the Gazelle is the only thing that looks remotely close, it would just need a less-bulbous nose and main hull.

Like you say, I am sure there is some normal, harmless explanation, but heck if I know what it is. Who flies without markings?



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:08 AM
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Do you live far from a TV Transmitter? There are two near me and late last year there was a dark blue helicopter with no visible markings which spent a few days in the area.It had some odd looking lumps and antenna on it and would hover (below 500ft) in the same location for up to 10 mins. before moving of to another in the immediate area.

The locals went nuts because of the noise. The Met. were inundated with calls of complaint but it wasn't their helicopter. It turned out that it belonged to a company contracted by one of the nearby TV Transmitters. The helicopter is full of test equipment and it was assessing test signals in preparation for the Digital Switch over.

Just a thought.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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was it this?



if not




[edit on 18-1-2010 by Luke.S]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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really sounds like your describing a eurocopter EC120

bit like a gazelle but squarer, more modern, bit sleeker maybe, large rear exhaust above the boom but smaller than a gazelles, with a proper canopy style windshield rather than "windows" and a fenestron

and probably relatively quiet due to it being a civilian helicopter, and the fenestron helps



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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you do know you just described blue thunder



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:34 PM
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You are not alone in seeing that copter. I too saw it in the south east and know exactly what you mean by it being more square at the front. It was hovering no more than 50ft (i kid you not) above the factory units. Someone even commented that they thought it was going to hit the building.
Not too long ago i also saw 2 chinooks along with 4 police helicopters working TOGETHER flying INCREDIBLY low over housing estates. The sound was like the world was ending. I believe it's illegal for chinooks to fly that low, but they did'nt seem too bothered by that. Could it be training for future events? and what events are they preparing for?



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:32 PM
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here's a gazelle from 8 Flight Army Air Corps who support SAS in the anti-terrorist role and i don't think they have retired it
www.hmfriends.org.uk... according to www.hmfriends.org.uk...
And it not listed as sold, stored or written off in www.ukserials.com...
Of course the nose is still a problem but the exhaust is a bit different from some of the other gazelles in fact there does seem to be a few variations in the army ones. There are so some gazelles in private hands. Any newer helicoptor seems to have the engine more embedded.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by dogsounds
 


That sounds just like the helicopter usually parked in a compound along side the canal about a mile or so out of Hattersley, black with no markings.

I think the owner had a similar one previously and has been flying them for atleast ten years that I know of. If you walk down the canal from Hattersley toward Ashton Under Lyne, you should see it somewhere on the opposite side of the canal.

I had a quick look on Google Images and these two are the most similar ones I could find.


I remember the front end being shaped more like this.


[edit on 18-1-2010 by ChemicalSubstance]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 07:32 PM
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Thanks all!

In answer to the pics, definitely not anything like the Bell 222B (Airwolf). man, that's a gorgeous looking craft, if I do say so.

If anything, yes, it bears the most resemblance to Blue Thunder (the poor man's Airwolf, lol) but the canopy was not quite as bulky as that, it was more flush with the general hull shape.

Interesting note about seeing one down south over buildings. Even if it is a private craft, I still don't see why someone would be hovering over suburbia like that. And again, wouldn't it be legally required to have a registration or markings on it on the boom (that was the techincal term I was looking for, thaks!) for identification? Wouldn't that be like driving a car without a licence plate (i.e. utterly illegal)?

To the comment about the transmitter, I do live near Winter Hill (when I say 'near' I mean, maybe within 50 miles or something) but Winter Hill isn't used anymore, and that still wouldn't explain why it was over houses so low...I can't the TV Licensing Authority spending that much money to find individual houses!

I'm not sure I will find out what it really was. I'm not sold on civilian due to the lack of markings, and I can't see a civilian craft getting permission to tly that low over houses. I'm not sold on military as you would expect some kind of markings or even basic armament, and I'm not even sure we have black or very dark 'official' military helicopters (and again, can't see why they would be doing what they were). Not sold on police because GMP have one chopper, and it was not that. Can't have been an air-ambulance as, again, no markings, and they don't tend to be dark colors. I'm sure it can't have been local media, as again, no markings - and I would suspect our media are more likely to hire craft out rather than actually buy them.

So...I have no idea. Very odd, very weird. I will add it to my catalog of awe inspiring and bizarre aircraft that have flown over my house. So far, alongside this helicopter, we have had VERY low fly-bys by a Vulcan, a Lancaster bomber, a Spitfire, a Mustang, and even a Messerschmitt ME109 (which was actually play-dogfighting with the Spitfire!). I kid you not. The best was the Spitfire - it sounded beautiful, that big old roaring Rolls-Royce - and the most awe-inspiring that brought a lump to my throat was the Lancaster (My grandfather was a bomb-aimer in top-secret WWII 'flying cigar' missions over Germany). That was just the loudest prop aircraft I have ever heard - made the windows rattle. Gorgeous.

Anyway, I digress at a tangent, and I must away to bed! G'night all!



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by ChemicalSubstance
 


Interesting. If you ever get chance, can you take a picture and post it? It would be fascinating to see if it is the same one!

If it's him...wonder what the heck he was doing? Checking up on the missus?



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 07:49 PM
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How close do you live to the ocean?

Strange things happen to people who bark.

"Death flights"





BUENOS AIRES, March 10— Many of the victims were so weak from torture and detention that they had to be helped aboard the plane. Once in flight, they were injected with a sedative by an Argentine Navy doctor before two officers stripped them and shoved them to their deaths.

Now, one of those officers has acknowledged that he pushed 30 prisoners out of planes flying over the Atlantic Ocean during the right-wing military Government's violent crackdown in the 1970's.

.... he became so distraught that he confessed his actions to a military priest, who absolved him, saying the killings "had to be done to separate the wheat from the chaff."

...the navy conducted the flights every Wednesday for two years....

He said senior military officers had told participants in the flights that the church hierarchy sanctioned the missions as "a Christian form of death."

www.nytimes.com...




Rather chilling tale if you read the link.



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