[Update: 1:23 p.m. First Sighting Today!] Curiouser and Curiouser: Multiple Helicopter Sightings Hwy 36 to Salmon Creek

Multiple readers have contacted us with questions about a helicopter (or maybe two) that appears to be circling various areas between Hwy 36 and Salmon Creek west of Miranda. The first reports came in about 9:30 p.m. in the Hwy 36 area, several residents in Rio Dell also report seeing one or two helicopters and one was most recently heard about 10:10 p.m. in the Salmon Creek area.

We’re curious if any of you have answers or sightings

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: We’re getting reports as far south as Leggett. Some readers claim to have heard five or more helicopters.

UPDATE 10:44 p.m.: The helicopter(s) have been sighted clear up by Brookings, Oregon. The Del Norte and Curry County Scanner Feed has commenters describing various sightings.

We’ve contacted the Coast Guard but the Coast Guard Public Affairs Office in Humboldt Bay does not know why there would be helicopters in the area.

UPDATE 9:12 a.m. Sunday: Heads up, Humboldt and beyond. There may be more helicopters. Humboldt County Airport Manager Emily Jacobs tells us that last night’s helicopter overflight was part of military maneuvers. And she confirmed that there may be more today. “The Apaches are not coming back through,” Jacobs said. “There may be two Chinooks coming through this afternoon to refuel.”

Let us know if you see them!

UPDATE 1:06 p.m. Sunday: Five “black hawk helicopters” were spotted by a reader flying over Fern Canyon from the north about 1 p.m. And about 40 minutes before that, the reader saw another one headed south.

UPDATE 1:23 p.m. Sunday: Another reader reports, three “military helicopters” in the Trinidad area around 1:15 p.m.


Image by Jetijones (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



  • I heard them about half an hour ago flying around.

  • Been hearing one in Leggett for awhile now

  • I heard four fly overs here in salmon creek.

  • Is the president coming to northern California? 😉

  • Maybe pg and e crews checking storm damage? They do that a lot..

  • I heard them in Fortuna earlier. Thought it very strange.

  • If people were hearing them in Salmon Creek I was hearing them over the hill in the Mattole Canyon Creek watershed. I didn’t note the time but I had gone outside to shut off my generator. Seemed really strange to hear choppers this late at night during heavy overcast weather and foggy conditions in the hills. They seemed kind of loud like they were bigger craft than the CHP, Coast Guard or Air Ambulance.

    Maybe it was a bunch of Army choppers heading south.

  • Heard on old briceland rd, looked like to the north but def circled at least 3 times. Very odd to hear late at nite.

  • Yes. Don’t forget the naval training “grounds” offshore… except who told them it’s okay to bring it onshore?

  • FBI Strike Team headed to Burns Oregon for Civil War v2.0…or maybe there was a Sasquatch sighting..I am hoping for Bigfoot the Ape not Bigfoot the gubbmint

  • The had to file a flight plan to take off from some where???

  • That sounds more like this choppers made infrared pictures. The best time is at night because of the temperature difference of objects. They can see then every waterline, water storage, building…. this pictures are amazing ! You can’t hide anything !

  • I saw three of the five heard in SC and they were all flying due south, high over Elk Ridge,
    not circling.

  • I did not see them but I could hear them land and take off from the Del Norte/Crescent City airport last night. It’s not unusual for the National Guard or other military to ferry helicopters from one base to another along the coast…they often get fuel at the CC airport.

  • Flew over off and on heard and seen, Humboldt Hill approx 9:30-10pm

  • Could it be PG&E? With all the recent storm damage to the power line infrastructure, they have been using copters to find and assess repair needs. Their ships were doing recon in the Willow Creek area last week or so.

  • I’m ninety-nine percent certain that these are Army refueling helicopters. They’re the Chinooks (big double-rotor craft), olive drab with long refueling snouts sticking out the front. They generally seem to come over in fours (but I thought I heard five last night), spaced maybe a minute apart (which could make one think that it was one helicopter circling). They’ve come over several times (training?); I’ve seen them during the day, wondered what they were, and looked them up.

    • According to the Arcata airport manager, those were Apaches but Chinooks may come back through tomorrow.

      • If they were Apaches then I doubt that they were fuelers because the Apaches are considerably smaller than the Chinooks (not so?), and I assume that you need a pretty big chopper for that job. So I don’t know what their mission was. But when the Chinooks come over, if it’s daytime check out those snouts!

    • The probes sticking out front of the Chinooks, Black Hawks or Apaches are to receive fuel in mid-air from air tankers using a drogue system. See photo—

  • There were a mix of sizes. From so large as to sound hovering. to regular, to tiny white ones like in the photo. Most flew due south, at least one flew sothwestish. One did sound like it was circling.
    I bet stocks in blackout curtains rise. That wasn’t a very nice feeling to experience during talks of war.

  • Doesn’t the military normally do maneuvers on their own bases or lands? Seems like notification of counties etc would (should) be provided if they were doing maneuver through civilian areas. Or traveling through to where they are doing maneuvers.

    • The government is allowed to do what ever they want. Why do you think they were flying in rural california at night?

    • Military does their maneuvers practically anywhere they can I grew up in Southern California & watched them do their maneuvers all the time But I lived a few miles up the Highway from the Largest Military Base along the West Coast Camp Pendleton

    • Military flight paths/training areas are designated in Nor cal, they don’t have to notify if they stay in those.

  • They are taking metal detector readings of your firearms so that they can do a ground attack. Wasn’t there ANY TYPE OF MARKINGS ON THEM to identify them as Government or Civilian???

    • I counted Five Blackhawks…. They were not Apaches; nor refueling whatevers. From far away my initial inkling was Apache, but when they came closer they were clearly Blackhawk. They were unmarked, slate black, non reflective. They flew over Depoe Bay, Oregon at approximately 1545pst, heading 195 (give or take 5 degrees), at about 300 to 350 ASL. They were at cruising speed. They (the first four) were in a standard staggered column and had a rear guard or straggler about a quarter mile behind them. Approximately 30 minutes later, 4 Chinook helicopters followed on same heading, same markings, same speed (maybe a little slower), but about twice the flight level. The whole resort saw them and the Blackhawks were so low when they passed you could feel the top deck rattling. I find it strange that it was not in the news.

  • I think it’s rather unprofessional for such a massive flyover at such a time of night with no heads up by the agency. If they cant feel safe by telling the general public just how good are they gonna be if the shit hits the fan. Meaning, if they didn’t tell anyone for their safety they must not be too prepared, or confident. Our military should be confident enough to tell everyone and anyone about training maneuvers on our own soil.

  • Navy jet fighters fly very low and very fast right threw riverside park Rd at least every 3 months they blaze threw here been doing for the last 20 yrs or so I wonder if the choppers are doing the same I have not seen any choppers yet out riverside acres

  • I’m in Newport, OR. I saw 2 Apaches yesterday afternoon and two Chinooks later in the evening. Today, 5 Apaches flew over about 10 mins ago. All moving from north to south.

  • I just watched 5 of them flying south over the North Oregon coast about an hour ago. Yesterday they (5) flew south early afternoon-then back north early evening.

  • Military heading to the Oregon Stand off at the Wildlife Refuge?

    • That’s what I am wondering too.

    • If anything, they’d be heading back from Burns, after the meeting yesterday. The PPN & Idaho 3 percenters mediated with the sheriff’s & FBI. After shaking hands & handing the resolutions over to the FBI, the FBI agreed to investigate many avenues, especially the district attorney and others who were responsible for allegedly wrongly imprisoning the Hammonds. (Ignored/hidden witness testimonies, etc).
      The constitutional restoration project is smoothing out, I imagine most of the swat teamed FBI are headed home.
      The county is excitedly learning about their rights & hope to continue on their own after their mentors (Cowboys) leave.
      Pete Santilli is reporting live every day & night still, plus lots of clips are posted.

  • Four just headed south from Patrick’s Point and one was flying north about an hour ago.

  • Fly over harbor oregon at 1:09pm
    Notification of fly over should be manitory. Locals last night had them in there scopes.

    • It is not illegal to fly any aircraft over this area since it is not a restricted fly zone. And it is not a regulation to notify anyone especially the police. Still a free country!! PARANOIA…………………….

  • Saw three large dark helicopters above AP road at 2:15 pm. They were headed southwest toward main stem eel.

  • I just saw four black helicopters in a close diamond pattern flying over Santa Rosa, CA at 2:27pm 1/10/16. They were heading southeast. I heard what I’m guessing was them flying over last night, but they were flying around for awhile above the clouds. Someone called in to the police about them last night and the police didn’t know who’s choppers they were, according to my desktop scanner.

  • They just passed over Myers Flat headed south 1/10 @ 2:17

  • One lonely military helicopter in the cove around 2 pm.

  • I saw a group of five Blackhawk helicopters around 3 p.m. this Sunday. It looked like they were heading East of Brentwood, CA.

  • All 5 of them flew over my house in Crescent City earlier today, around 1 p.m. My husband said they were Apaches. He would know, ex-military and current wild land firefighter.

  • Hey. They’re flying north of me and south of me. I’ve got really good ears. I haven’t heard a one of them. Do you think they’ve decided it’s just not worth it to make me that mad?

  • The navy declared the area from san fran to canadian border and east to the 5 as a “testing area”. They got a slap on the wrist a few years back when they were practicing helicopter maneuvers in the valleys around petrolia and honeydew and ran some cattle and horses over cliffs. There was a public comment period but like most public meetings it was just for show, not taken seriously at all. They are killing so many large ocean animals with sonar testing.

  • I think they are carefully placing terrorists in position to start pouring kool-aid

  • Three seen over Laytonville this afternoon. ..

  • Saw 3 over Harris about 2:20 flying one behind the other…..

  • The Government is coming to take your guns and scouting a good location for a FEMA camp. Whatever they are doing, they are not our friends, even if you voted for Obama. Hell , they might even consider all of Humboldt to be a terrorist org.

  • We saw 6 of them heading south above Patricks Point at maybe 3, 3:30. Equidistant, in a straight line. One of us who used to work at the airport said they were probably just getting in their flying time. ?

  • I finally heard one… just now. 10:20pm Smith River

  • 3 Blackhawks flew over Laytonville fallowing HWY 101 at about 2:30 pm heading south.

  • I remember when the Black hawks were new. In about 79. Watching the pilots train from dawn to dusk. Leaving from the now defunct Norton AFB. Flying in a big circle. Over the mountains and around the San Ber’Dino valley. Saw 3 flying so. over Riverside park Sunday afternoon. I still look up and think, “man that must be a blast flyin one of those things”. Don’t get paranoid folks! It’s just an air show.

  • Just heading to Fort Irwin for training. Y’all can relax.

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  • I live southwest of Laytonville. To the southwest of me far off in the distance, last night around 1 am (morning of the 9th) I spotted a helicopter hovering and using a spotlight for what seemed at least ten minutes. It was far enough, but it seemed to have lights on it as well? It seemed to hover pretty high up and was flashing a light in a pretty wide radius.

  • Lots of military stealth helicopters flying over Donnelly, ID… I’ve recorded at least 17 this past week alone, both at night and during the day. They appear to be flying North.

  • I’ve counted 15 flying through since yesterday, here in siskiyou county. They re headed south and flying just east of I-5. Anyone know what the deal is?

  • North Santiam River (Mehama area) 12:30’ish May 23. 6 Huge helicopters flew over in a curved fomation, hauling ass North. Have never seen that here in this canyon. Curious to see and hear.

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