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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tempe's Mystery Copter

Authorities fielded some 100 calls from concerned citizens in Tempe, Arizona last Friday, complaining of a helicopter circling their neighborhood at around 2am in the morning. Before much more could be learned, the helicopter returned to the neighborhood and circled some more that Saturday! But no one seems to know why the helicopter was there - or who sent it...

An environmental quality specialist told a local paper the helicopter flight was registered as a military flight, but it was not from the Luke Air Force Base, the border patrol, or the FBI. Immigration and Customs enforcement, as well as the local police, also denied having anything to do with it. However, the Scottsdale bureau of the FAA refused comment when contacted by the newspaper.

While some callers were told it was a military operation, no authorities are saying anything more - like who ran the flight... or why.

Radar confirmed the helicopter was a Vietnam-era Bell UH1 and it followed an "unusual flight pattern" on both visits to the neighborhood; it flew in circles. The helicopter took flight from the Phoenix Goodyear Airport. Eyewitnesses report the copter had "police-type spotlights or infrared," hovered for a long time without a determinable reason, and was very loud.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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