Phantom Helicopters over the UK

page: 1
43
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
+30 more 
posted on May, 12 2013 @ 09:29 AM
link   

Here’s a story from the early 1970s which I stumbled across whilst researching another UFO case. In fact this story isn’t a strict UFO case as such. But then again it could be.

Back in late 1973 and on into 1974 Northern England was gripped by a number of unexplained helicopter sightings. They were almost exclusively in the hours of darkness, often in bad weather and over difficult terrain.

This was a time of heightened IRA activity and it was feared that their terrorists were operating illegally in the UK. Furthermore information from convicted IRA terrorists implied that the IRA had acquired a helicopter and were using it to plan a jailbreak, terrorist incident or steal industrial explosives.


In early autumn, at the end of September 1973, security guard Simon Crowe was working late at night. Crowe’s job was to secure high explosives stored in a quarry high on the Peak District moors near Buxton. Residents in the area had reported a helicopter attempting to land inside the quarry and called local police. Crowe was alerted and had access to a Landrover to negotiate the terrain. He was called out twice in the same week but was unable to resolve the mystery.



On the first night he spotted an object hovering roughly fifty feet above the ground and shining a spotlight down into the quarry. However as he approached in the Landrover , it rose slowly and then flew away. On the next occasion, Crowe was not aware of anything until it rose out of the quarry and he saw the lights. It rapidly disappeared in the same direction as before. Crowe stated that although the object had an ability to hover and the sound of rotor-blades were audible he could not verify he had actually seen a helicopter.

Over a dozen reports came into police of helicopters apparently practicing landings in quarries in Derbyshire into the winter of 1973. Two officers were even able to identify a helicopter as a Bell 206A Jet Ranger. Not used by police or military forces in the UK or Ireland at the time (or any time).

The UK Criminal Investigation Department (CID) made numerous enquiries to discover the helicopter owners and reasons for the flights but gained little information. They contacted an experienced RAF helicopter pilot. He explained that night flying in the Derbyshire area would be extremely dangerous due to the terrain in the area and the risk posed by overhead pylons. CID and MI5 became involved as they believed these flights were most certainly of an illegal nature.

Tabloids began to speculate that illegal immigrants, drug smugglers, spies and possibly the man from Milk Tray** was piloting these unidentified craft. Sightings continued into early 1974.


**”Man from Milk Tray” TV ads that ran through the 1970s



In the early hours of Monday, January 14th Cheshire police had kept a helicopter reported to them under observation for some time. Derbyshire police were informed as this mysterious flying machine was thought to be heading into their jurisdiction area. Sure enough a patrol sighted something in the Cat and Fiddle area around dawn.

During the following week stories were published in the press with the still unidentified phenomena seemingly centred around the village of Goostrey, Cheshire (close to Jodrell Bank ). A police patrol searched fields near Jodrell Bank telescope after the chopper appeared to land, but it took off before they could reach it. According to the police the helicopter was only active in the early hours and swooped as low as 100ft, sometimes it used a searchlight to pick out pylons and hillsides. At other times it operated without lights at all.


The Daily Telegraph of January 16th reported a bizarre theory:

“Yesterday more theories flourished about the phantom helicopter. It has already been linked with sheep rustlings smuggling, illegal immigrants and IRA gun and bomb squads. Now it is thought that it might be a ‘home-made helicopter’ which the owner, unable to obtain an air worthiness certificates is flying, and dangerously so – at night or, it is suggested it might be a modern – and wealthy – lover who finds it the most convenient way to reach his mistress or girlfriend”.


In the early hours of January 18th Darley Moor, Derbyshire, saw a strange incident. A witness informed police of a single, bright light flying over the Moor. Derbyshire Police declined to speculate as to whether or not there was a connection with the helicopter sightings, but confirmed that an investigation had been set in motion.


Newspapers on January 19th, reported further developments as motorists on the A51 near Duddon, Tarporley, Cheshire witnessed the landing of an ‘unmarked’ helicopter just before 5 pm, the previous evening. A helicopter was seen taking off near a farmhouse . As the helicopter took off a white Ford Escort was seen driving out of the driveway from the farmhouse. The Manchester Evening News explained that the machine belonged to the Ferranti company and had landed near Tarporley on a journey north from London, to drop off a passenger. Some time after the flap had died down; there were reports of helicopters seen or heard flying at night over the River Mersey, Wirral and Liverpool. These reports were later confirmed as military helicopters, engaged in “various” activities.

There was a military exercise, possibly called “Operation Photoflash”, in late January of 1974 in the Irish Sea and this may be linked to the one of the most mysterious UFO cases in the British Isles that occurred in nearby North Wales on the 23rd January 1974. Supposedly a UFO crash landed in the Berwyn Mountains and there was military involvement to recover a craft and flush out two other submerged craft in the Irish Sea.

An espionage theme developed in the Daily Mirror who described the pilot as having “a devil-may-care “ attitude and the story having all the drama of a James Bond script. Mirror reporter Ed Macauley took a daylight flight in a private Jet Ranger over the High Peak and was told by the ex-Army pilot Alex Parker that getting to fly at night over the terrain either meant the guy was a great pilot or a madman and lucky to get away without having a serious accident.








continues below >>>
edit on 12/5/13 by mirageman because: tidy up




posted on May, 12 2013 @ 09:35 AM
link   
The scare reached its height in March 1974 nearly 30 sightings had been reported, some corroborated with radar evidence from Air Traffic Control. However the timings of these flights appeared random and did not seem to coincide with criminal activity (other than flying illegally).

The Home Office convened a secret intelligence conference in London attended by Special Branch detectives, MoD representatives and high ranking officers from the Derbyshire and Cheshire police. The delegation reviewed a dossier of 27 reports compiled by the CID and the evidence collected by Air Traffic Control radars. Senior detectives agreed the sightings could not be ignored and the MoD were asked to report back on what facilities they could offer to track and capture the helicopter and its operators. The British military were contacted but refused to support efforts to track down the culprits in what they perceived to be a costly and high risk exercise if they involved their own pilots and equipment.


Click image to view _/size]


The stories in the tabloid media were proving counter-productive as reports started to come in of perfectly legal flights that all had to be checked out. With no drug smuggling, illegal immigration, IRA or foreign espionage activity ever proven the flights ceased and the reports stopped soon afterwards.

The Special Branch file was closed in October 1974 with the comment “the helicopter and pilot were never identified.”

What was it all about?

It has all the hallmarks of a UFO flap and yet the public, police and news media seemed convinced that this had a more terrestrial but certainly not mundane explanation. No one has ever come forward to reveal any more about something that remains a true mystery for 4 decades now.


Sources:
drdavidclarke.co.uk...

magonia.haaan.com...

mysteriousuniverse.org...

edit on 12/5/13 by mirageman because: tidy up



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 09:56 AM
link   
I must say epic thread OP,

Recently with all the “look at my YouTube video” threads this was a welcome relief very well put together and once again you have produces a well written and original thread on an interesting topic. I believe that threads like this should be put into a special forum, you know like “best of ATS” type of forum.

But that is off-topic.

I have one question, is it possible that these Phantom helicopters were perhaps American, they did have quite a presence in the UK at the time.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:12 AM
link   
reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 


The only confirmed helicopter sighting where the craft was positively identified was the police officers sighting a Bell 206A Jet Ranger. Whether there was one stationed in Britain and who it belonged to doesn't appear to have been traced at the time.

If it had been the US military then it would seem highly irresponsible of them to fly continuously over the Derbyshire Peaks for the best part of 6 months. A one off prank might have occurred and got mixed in with the other stories. But I honestly don't know what caused the sightings.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:36 AM
link   
Reminds me of the animal abduction cases in which witnesses report seeing a helicopter outfitted to look like a UFO.

Imagine a helicopter, with visible rotors, but crap all over the body of the craft making it look like a flying saucer.

Strange stuff. Wonder if there are any reported animal disappearances at the same time.

Good thread. S&F



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:11 AM
link   
I saw a "black helicopter" at about 3 or 4am over Manchester, about 15-20 years ago. It was low enough that I could clearly see it was a chopper, so probably around 400ft high...or there abouts...but this one made no noise what so ever...had no lights either, but clearly a helicopter.

I seem to recall hearing since that you can have silent rota blades...so this might have been why it made no noise, but i doubt back then silent rotas were easily available to the public...so I'm guessing some branch of the military or secret service.

As for the stories of helicopters landing in quarries...well if it was the IRA, that could make sense..As you get high explosives in quarries..obviously.
edit on 12-5-2013 by TheBlackHat because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by JayinAR
Reminds me of the animal abduction cases in which witnesses report seeing a helicopter outfitted to look like a UFO.

Imagine a helicopter, with visible rotors, but crap all over the body of the craft making it look like a flying saucer.

Strange stuff. Wonder if there are any reported animal disappearances at the same time.

Good thread. S&F


There were reoprted cattle mutilations in 1974 in the UK but as I recall they were on Dartmoor. I can also recall that the IRA either used or hatched a plan to use a helo to spring a jailed member somewhere in the uk

Very good thread op enjoyable and well constructed.
edit on 12-5-2013 by hotel1 because: good



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by hotel1

Originally posted by JayinAR
Reminds me of the animal abduction cases in which witnesses report seeing a helicopter outfitted to look like a UFO.

Imagine a helicopter, with visible rotors, but crap all over the body of the craft making it look like a flying saucer.

Strange stuff. Wonder if there are any reported animal disappearances at the same time.

Good thread. S&F


There were reoprted cattle mutilations in 1974 in the UK but as I recall they were on Dartmoor. I can also recall that the IRA either used or hatched a plan to use a helo to spring a jailed member somewhere in the uk

Very good thread op enjoyable and well constructed.
edit on 12-5-2013 by hotel1 because: good


They hijacked a helicopter in Ireland and forced the pilot to land in side a prison yard in Dublin. Thats probably the story your thinking of.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:30 AM
link   

Originally posted by TheBlackHat

Originally posted by hotel1

Originally posted by JayinAR
Reminds me of the animal abduction cases in which witnesses report seeing a helicopter outfitted to look like a UFO.

Imagine a helicopter, with visible rotors, but crap all over the body of the craft making it look like a flying saucer.

Strange stuff. Wonder if there are any reported animal disappearances at the same time.

Good thread. S&F


There were reoprted cattle mutilations in 1974 in the UK but as I recall they were on Dartmoor. I can also recall that the IRA either used or hatched a plan to use a helo to spring a jailed member somewhere in the uk

Very good thread op enjoyable and well constructed.
edit on 12-5-2013 by hotel1 because: good


They hijacked a helicopter in Ireland and forced the pilot to land in side a prison yard in Dublin. Thats probably the story your thinking of.


That is probably it, I was very young when it happened so it must have been a long time ago.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:32 AM
link   
reply to post by mirageman
 


S+F for a look later.

Its looks very interesting but the presentation of this thread is what caught my eye. Well done I love the way you have put it together.
edit on 12-5-2013 by ThePeopleParty because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 01:19 PM
link   


I have one question, is it possible that these Phantom helicopters were perhaps American, they did have quite a presence in the UK at the time.
reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 


Being tenant squadrons at RAF bases, it'd be near impossible to conduct covert missions entirely inside the UK from a British base.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 01:25 PM
link   


If it had been the US military then it would seem highly irresponsible of them to fly continuously over the Derbyshire Peaks for the best part of 6 months.
reply to post by mirageman
 


Not to mention impossible for a Bell 206 helicopter of a US Army or Navy unit to have ventured deep into British airspace without anybody knowing.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 03:25 PM
link   
reply to post by TheBlackHat
 


Yes the IRA did use a helicopter to spring prisoners from jail across the Irish border in Dublin at a time when these sightings were occurring in the North West of England. The incident happened on Halloween in 1973.




The Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape occurred on 31 October 1973 when three Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, Ireland, aboard a hijacked Alouette II helicopter, which briefly landed in the prison's exercise yard. The escape made headlines around the world and was an embarrassment to the Irish coalition government of the time, led by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave, which was criticised by opposition party Fianna Fáil. A manhunt involving twenty thousand members of the Irish Defence Forces and Garda Síochána was launched for the escapees, one of whom, Seamus Twomey, was not recaptured until December 1977.

Source: en.wikipedia.org...




Whether that points to the IRA operating in UK airspace with a stolen helicopter for months on end though I don't know.

But thanks for bringing this up.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 04:12 PM
link   

Originally posted by mirageman

Back in late 1973 and on into 1974 Northern England was gripped by a number of unexplained helicopter sightings.


Another interesting thread mate and it may be coincidence but the U.S. was also gripped by a number of 'mystery helicopter' sightings one year later -several SAC bases were even placed on a high priority alert due to the repeated 'intrusions' and it seems NORAD's Commander-in-Chief was also pretty concerned about it (as were the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense).



The official documents provided in this report list the cause of these incidents (in many cases) as "helicopters". It would soon be obvious, and surely now after 30-plus years, that these were DEFINITELY NOT any type of helicopter. The times listed in the documents are ZULU, so local time had to be calculated so we could use the listings in the proper chronological order. Many times this actually changed the DATE of the sighting.



Excerpts from government documents:



"It is our opinion that the unknown helicopter had demonstrated a clear intent in the weapons storage area"



Two separate patrols from Site R reported sighting 3 oblong objects with a reddish tint moving East to West..One individual stated the object was about the size of a 2 and a half ton truck



Objects being described as "25 yards in diameter, gold or silver in color with blue light on top, hole in middle, and red light on bottom".



SAC CP reports UFO 20 miles southeast of Lewiston, orange white disc object. 24th NORAD Region surveillance checking area.



Received a call from the 341st Strategic Air Command Post (SAC CP), saying that the following missile locations reported seeing a large red to orange to yellow object.



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 Lewiston.



L-1 reports that the object to their northeast seems to be issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape. In all this time, surveillance has not been able to detect any sort of track except for known traffic.


link


Cheers.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 04:38 PM
link   
reply to post by mirageman
 


Thanks for such a thorough thread on this. There is a lot of information there to take in, but I have to say that the first thing to come to mind is the testing of FLIR or night vision technology.

We're all familiar with night vision tech now of course, but night vision has an interesting history going back to WW2.

If we think about the timing of this, early 70's, with their development taking a leap in the Vietnam war, it seems plausible that these flights were testing advances in this technology. Back then, they were presumably moving from the standard night vision they had used in WW2 and then Vietnam and moving on to camera technology.

This tech would have been extremely important top defence. We might look back now and think it's pretty basic, but the only thing that stopped Hitler from wiping out the whole of London was the fact that their pilots could not see in the dark.

The nation to be able to fly over an enemy and see everything clearly, with lights out, would have a significant advantage. This would have been a considerable arms race back then IMO.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 05:30 PM
link   
reply to post by mirageman
 


Sounds very similar to a helicopter employing the "auto rotation"Technique,whereby the chopper shuts down it's engine(s) and allows the main rotor blade to "windmill" in the airflow,this is an extremely tricky manouvre to master and is the preserve of very few expert helicopter pilots.The significance of the sightings at the period stated,is that during the 1970's the likes of the SAS would have been practising stealthy insertion techniques in their fight against the PIRA,The advantage of auto rotation is that noise from the rotor blades is dramatically lessened,especially if there are adverse weather conditions,which may explain the incidences being reported during the night and in inclement weather.

As for the possibility that it may have been a Bell Jet Ranger,the SAS did use a range of non-standard(from a British military perspective) helicopters and other vehicles.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 06:07 PM
link   
I would think that if this were the Gov testing out their latest night vision, they would have stuck to flights over military installations. That way, if they were to crash, nobody is gonna walk up and steal their gadgets.

Shapeshifting UFOs, in my opinion.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 07:07 PM
link   



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:39 PM
link   
reply to post by TheBlackHat
 


Watch the movie Blue Thunder and see the capailability of that chopper at the time.
The movie was made in the 70's and says that those features were being used by the military then.
Imagine what they can do now.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 09:11 PM
link   
reply to post by Rocker2013
 


Could be likely. I recall from some documentaries that early image-intensifier technology was used a lot in the Vietnam war. (Clunky/fidgety vacuum-tube stuff by modern standards, but they worked.)

Now for helicopters dating back to that era that were quiet? I could name one. The OH-6 "Cayuse" or "Little Bird" (Hughes MD-500 in civilian form) is. It's pretty much the opposite of the Huey in terms of noise. The modern version is still popular with law enforcement and companies that do stuff like servicing powerlines because you typically don't hear them unless you're right under them. Great for flying low over populated areas without disturbing anyone.





top topics
 
43
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join



 
$('#skin').click(function(){ window.location.href = "http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1008463/pg1"; });