What Are The Black Helicopter Conspiracies?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
November 21, 2018
Last Updated
September 23, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
14 min read
Posted in
Conspiracy Theory Analysis, Government

For those who spend any amount of time in conspiracy circles talk of “black helicopters” is relatively rampant. And these potentially ominous aerial vehicles have links to a wide range of secret activity, from UFO sightings, encounters with the Men In Black, and even cattle mutilation. In fact, it was during the wave of cattle mutilation cases of the late-1970s when black helicopters began to be reported regularly. Many ranch owners and farmers would claim to have witnessed these vehicles in the days before or after the discovery of a mutilated animal.

A picture of three Black helicopters flying over Washington DC

Black helicopters over Washington DC

In some circles, however, these menacing helicopters carry with them an air of paranoia, particularly it would seem in the United States, where a persistent and underlying concern still resides among many of an “invasion” by soldiers from a secret shadow world government. In a similar vein, sightings of black helicopters have been linked to secret mind control projects of intelligence agencies, apparently sending out low-frequency waves to vast sections of the population. No one organization exclusively owns such a unit of heavy-duty black helicopters, yet the sightings continue to stack up. While the theories as to what they are and why they apparently patrol our skies may be up for debate, the existence of these mystery aircraft surely isn’t.

We will look at a recent case in Chicago from September 2018 that would appear to feature one of these black helicopters at the end of this article. The footage below, though, is very much worth watching, if only to give a “feel” for what people across the world, but in particular the United States, claim they are seeing increasingly in the skies above them.

A Genuine Mystery – Menacing Or Not!

The fact is, nobody actually knows who owns these black helicopters or what their purpose is. As is very obviously the point, the exterior is unmarked of any distinguishing features or symbols. And while they stand out very obviously in the day, their black exterior allows night missions to be carried out much more discreetly. If these machines operated in silence such clandestine missions would be even easier to carry out.

Bizarrely, many of these reports actually mention that the helicopters make no sound whatsoever. This would appear to be nonsensical, as helicopters can most often be heard before seen due to the frantic rotation of the helicopter blades which keep the object aloft (known as blade-vortex interaction). However, it would appear that these claims are not as ridiculous as we might think when we look at news from Eurocopter engineers that their Blue Edge rotor blade system operates in virtual silence. [1] As you might imagine, while it might not alter its presence on an enemy’s radar screen, any potential targets in the immediate vicinity of such a silent craft would be (relatively) easy pickings.

Might these developments and these strange, dark vehicles suggest a heavy-duty, secretly deployed military vehicle? One that is under the control of the top echelons of government, military, and intelligence services. Many of the claims of silent, black helicopters, for example, come from the many cattle mutilation cases. While some believe such cases are the result of alien experimentation, others suggest a more direct government involvement. And point to the sightings of black helicopters around the sites of mutilated cattle as partial proof of something untoward.

The short video below is most certainly interesting viewing and looks at this a little further. How long might this technology have existed behind-the-scenes?

A Top-Secret UFO Response Unit?

It isn’t just in the United States where these mysterious black aircraft are spotted. In the United Kingdom, several reports of unmarked and suddenly appearing black helicopters are within the details of UFO reports. Many of which feature claims of crashed or downed unidentified aircraft. Those witnesses who have experienced these scenarios close-up state that most-often, there is a military presence about those who emerge from these crafts. And what’s more, more often than not, these units appear to be of a mixture of British and American soldiers.

We have examined, on several occasions, the work of one-time leading UK UFO researcher, the late Tony Dodd. He would claim that these helicopters were carrying top-secret response teams whose job it was to recover downed UFOs and/or evidence of cattle mutilation. On occasion, according to Dodd, they would even retrieve and cover-up evidence of human-cattle mutilation. What’s more, these units could be deployed at a moment’s notice. And even stranger, they more often than not had prior warning that a UFO was about to crash. And at what location. They would most often be on the scene within minutes, if not sooner.

If these claims are true, we have to ask, how many UFOs have come crashing to Earth, whether accidentally or intentionally so, and all evidence of such an encounter simply wiped away by a unit that arrived on site before anyone, literally, knew what was happening? While the above is unnerving but certainly plausible, there are theories as to these ominous aircraft that test the limits of even the most open-minded of people. We will come back to these shortly. For now, though, we will keep our attention on the United Kingdom.

Further Black Helicopter Cases In The United Kingdom

Perhaps we would be wise to return our attention to the research of veteran researcher and author, Nick Redfern, who documents some intriguing encounters with Black Helicopters in his book Top Secret Alien Abduction Files: What The Government Doesn’t Want You To Know, several of which unfolded in the United Kingdom. [2]

According to Redfern’s research, a newspaper report from early 1974 appeared courtesy of leaked information from someone in the British government of the time. According to the report, the Special Branch (a department of the British police force) was discreetly “investigating reports of unidentified helicopters all across the United Kingdom”.

Although it was first suspected that the strange helicopter reports might be connected to terrorism, or even illegal immigration, when the Special Branch and other individual police forces made official statements to the press following the leak, they claimed that they had found nothing to indicate a connection to terrorism, nor did they have any solid leads as to what the helicopters were doing or who was responsible for them.

One police force (in Cheshire) expressed great concern as the region where many of the black helicopters were sighted “cross one of the main flight paths to Manchester Airport”. They would continue that a “special license” was required by anyone wishing to fly at night and that the pilot, or pilots, were in “breach of civil aviation law”.

Interestingly or not, unofficial speculation suggests that these helicopters were often sighted above or near the houses of people who had claimed to have been abducted by aliens.

Whatever the truth might have been behind the strange black helicopter sightings over the United Kingdom in the mid-1970s, it would remain locked away for decades. Then, however, at the start of the twenty-first century, the files regarding the incidents began to become available to the public courtesy of the UK Freedom of Information Act. And it is to the content of one of these files we will turn our attention to next.

Revelations Discovered In Declassified Files

As Redfern notes, one of these files was under the name Alleged Unauthorized Helicopter Flights in Derbyshire and Cheshire.

The file claimed that the strange helicopters were “observed on a number of occasions over a period of two weeks”. What’s more, according to the witness statements, they appeared to be “practicing landings”, often near “quarries and explosive stores in the Derbyshire countryside”.

This is perhaps interesting as we know that the countryside regions of Derbyshire boasts more than its fair share of UFO activity.

The file would ultimately offer no explanation as to what the strange, black helicopters might be or what they were doing. However, the officer who prepared the file had spoken to a helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force who had extended experience of night-flying. It was their opinion that these night flights in this area of Derbyshire would be “extremely dangerous”, not least because of the “nature of the terrain” as well as the “number of overhead pylons in the area”.

Redfern then notes that several intelligence and military departments held secret meetings in order to decide upon a plan of action to combat these potentially dangerous night flights. A decision was seemingly made to have fighter jets on standby so that they could actively pursue these mysterious aircraft with the hopes of “forcing them to land”. Almost immediately following this decision, sightings of the strange black helicopters suddenly ceased.

Evidence Of An Unknown Government Or Military Department?

With this last detail in mind, we need to ask why the sightings appeared to stop almost as a direct result of the decision of the UK government and military to actively give chase to them? Were those responsible for them an unknown arm of the UK government or military? One who might have been privy to the discreet meetings and plans and who then took their own decision to stop the flights? And if so, what was the mission of these unnerving aircraft in the first place, and do they share a connection to the many black helicopters spotted over the United States?

Maybe it is worth our while briefly examining the Cash-Landrum UFO case from December 1980, one of the most famous and credible on record when Vickie Landrum, her grandson, Colby, and her friend, Betty Cash, witnessed a diamond-shaped object flying overhead while driving home in Dayton, Texas.

Of particular interest to us here, though, were the presence of ominous military helicopters that appeared several moments after the diamond-shaped UFO. These helicopters appeared “from all directions”, with Betty later recalling that “they were trying to encircle the thing”. Ultimately, the UFO would leave the area with the helicopters following close behind.

We might also remind ourselves of the alleged UFO crash in the Berwyn Mountains that occurred around the same time as the black helicopter sightings in January 1974. We know, for example, that many witnesses to the events spoke of “phantom helicopters” being seen in the region before and after the alleged crash.

A Dark Government Connection?

There is perhaps ample reason to think that a dark government or military agency might be behind at least some of these black helicopter conspiracies.

In the book Conspiracy Theories: A Guide to the World’s Most Intriguing Mysteries, James King relays several strange incidents [3] involving these ominous aerial vehicles. For example, according to King’s research, a teenager was chased for around 45 minutes by a black helicopter on 7th May 1994 in Harahan, Louisiana. The teenage boy claimed that when he viewed the helicopter there was “no mark of its origin or owners”. What made this incident even more alarming was the fact that several of those inside the helicopter even exited the vehicle while it hovered and pointed their heavily armed weapons toward him.

In the same book, King also relays an almost identical and no less chilling incident that unfolded over the nation’s capital around a week after the Louisiana chase. According to the account, a car carrying several people suddenly realized that a black helicopter was following them, seemingly giving chase. This continued for some distance before the driver of the car pulled over and attempted to flee. When he did, however, much like the Louisiana incident, “men in black uniforms” began to descend from the vehicle, pointing their weapons at the driver. It was, according to the witness, only the suddenly heavy oncoming traffic that forced the men to retreat back up to the helicopter and fly off.

Yet another bizarre and disturbing incident occurred the following year, this time in the state of Nevada. A couple who owned farmland in the region claimed that an unmarked black helicopter sprayed an “unknown substance” over their land. Ultimately, it is their belief that this resulted in the death of several of their animals. When the couple complained to authorities, they were told that they themselves had no information or knowledge of the incident.

Misunderstood “Legitimate” Operations?

The incidents documented by King perhaps add a further, even more unnerving aspect to the apparent mystery of the black helicopters. That their occupants, for reasons unknown, are prepared to use force, perhaps even deadly force, to meet their objectives, of which, we know very little. The accounts, though, do resonate with an incident involving black helicopters that unfolded over Chicago in 2018, an incident we will examine shortly.

If there is a secret government connection to the sightings and reports of black helicopters, what is the reason for these apparent clandestine missions? Might at least some of them be “legitimate” secret operations, perhaps in the interests of security and the protection of the population? We should note in the interests of balance, that many military departments and even various law enforcement departments use black or dark helicopters for legitimate reasons. Or might such reasons make darker projects much easier to cloak and hide from the general public?

King also documents a strange three-week period in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in March 1999. According to his research, sightings of strange black helicopters began over the city, with some coming from different places within minutes of each other. What’s more, one particular sighting, according to witnesses, saw a black helicopter hovering over a particular street for several minutes before suddenly leaving. Black helicopters were seen over this particular street for almost a month.

More Recent Black Helicopter-UFO Accounts

We might also consider the 1997 Howden Moor UFO incident which, according to some witnesses, featured the presence of “unmarked black helicopters” following an apparent retrieval of a crashed UFO.

One particularly intriguing witness account to the Howden Moor incident was “Emma Maidenhead” (not her real name), who would state that on the night of the apparent UFO crash she heard two military jets flying at extremely low altitude. This was followed by a “humming noise” which caused her to go toward the bedroom window. She would witness a strange triangular craft that flew toward the moor area, followed shortly afterward by several helicopters who were seemingly searching the area.

An account from the Hudson Valley – a particularly active UFO region – in 2006 could also be of interest to us. The anonymous witness claimed to have seen a distinct oval-shaped UFO over the Nanuet region. However, they would also state that following the sighting, “the sky was full of helicopters with searchlights” for several hours.

More recently, on 26th June 2020 in Devon in the United Kingdom, another UFO-black helicopter incident unfolded. On the afternoon in question, the anonymous witness, a resident local to the area, was taking pictures of the Teign Estuary. However, as he did so, he suddenly noticed a dark, oval-shaped object hovering motionless in the air.

As he was watching the object, though, a black helicopter appeared behind him and headed straight toward the dark object. The witness watched the helicopter circle the area several times before it headed away from the area as quickly as it arrived. The witness would further state that it was “pretty clear” the helicopter was aware of the anomalous object.

Ultimately, it is hard to deny a connection between these mysterious and often ominous black helicopters and UFOs.

Alien “Shapeshifting” Technological Machines?

Although it is perhaps much less spoken of, there are cases where witnesses claim to have seen these already mysterious black helicopters “shapeshift” into an entirely different piece of machinery.

UFO researcher and author, Nick Redfern, claims to have over twenty cases and witness reports stating exactly that. What’s more, many of the descriptions of these newly formed machines, according to Redfern’s files, resemble the “shapes of classic 1950s-era flying saucers”. Others change into sphere-like structures, sometimes enveloped by a “blinding ball of light”.

One such report occurred on 2nd March 2013 over the skies of Haverhill in Massachusetts. The witness noticed a Blackhawk helicopter flying overhead. However, moments later, this helicopter would morph into a different shape entirely.

According to the MUFON report, the witness was indoors when the sound of an extremely low flying helicopter alerted them to look outside. As they did so, they grabbed their camera. What appeared to be a “normal Blackhawk helicopter” was moving through the afternoon sky, heading south from the east. The helicopter would circle the area several times, allowing the witness to snap several pictures from different angles. On the last “fly-by”, however, something very strange happened.

The helicopter was beginning to move away from the witness after making a sudden and extremely sharp turn. However, it didn’t look like a helicopter anymore. In fact, the object was so strange the witness “couldn’t even identify any parts”. The amount of time between the object looking like a helicopter to its change was no longer than ten seconds.

The final two pictures taken by the witness are visible below.

a split image allegedly showing a black helicopter changing shape

Do these pictures show the same object changing shape?

The Non-Human Entities Programs

The use of black helicopters by top-secret government departments is not at all something most of us would consider strange. Or even unlikely. However, throw in the claims of Transformer-like changes while in flight, and most begin to distance themselves from them. According to the claims of former MUFON State-Director from Nebraska, Ray Boeche, transforming machines are not even the bizarre part of the black helicopter conspiracies.

According to the account told by Boeche to Redfern, he was approached by two physicists working for the US Department of Defense at some point in 1993. The program they were involved with was one that looked to establish communication with “Non-Human Entities” (NHEs). The project had been running for some time. However, several of those involved with it suffered extremely bizarre runs of “bad luck” or ill-health. Several had even died in more than mysterious and suspicious circumstances. In fact, the events are outright bizarre and ominous surrounding this project. Rumors would run rife through the ranks of the project. Rumors that these Non-Human Entities were actually demons “from a literal Hell”.

While this interpretation of these mysterious vehicles would certainly explain the transformation of these solid vehicles into something completely different, Redfern, states that his personal belief in “demons from Hell” is something that requires a little pinch of salt. At best. However, he also states that through his research, he knows of people in positions of power in the US government. People who very much have this perspective of events. And in a world where perspective is reality, that is a prospect that should frighten us all.

More recently, and certainly a case with no demonic and morphing claims within them, is an incident over downtown Chicago.

The 2018 Chicago Incident

On the afternoon of 26th September 2018, in broad daylight no less, a black helicopter was witnessed performing a “crazy low fly out” [4] over Chicago, Illinois. What’s more, this unmarked helicopter was dropping off “soldiers” in field-ready battle gear. Complete with night-vision, infrared panoramic battle-goggles, and heavy-duty weapons. And all manner of military equipment all on to the roof of a high-rise building. What happened following this bizarre drop-off, and where this unit went, is unknown. As is who exactly the unit was.

One Chicago resident would capture several minutes of footage of the mysterious deployment and would post it onto social media. Many would speculate that the helicopters were likely “federal agents”. Indeed, according to aviation expert, Tyler Rogoway, Chicago police informed him that a training drill had recently taken place. However, that is all the information they would divulge. The Illinois Military Department would decline to comment at all. As you might imagine, especially when we take into account the legends and conspiracies that surround such dark aerial transport, this dismissive approach would lead many in conspiracy circles to debate just what kind of “training” was taking place.

Or perhaps it wasn’t a training drill at all, but some kind of “live operation”? Unreported (and so meaning those involved are unaccountable), and taking place hidden in plain sight of the public. While such speculation is exactly that, it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.

Incidentally, a quick search online of citizens’ videos of these strange, ominous helicopters brings back a plethora of results. And, much the same as UFO sightings, a reasonable explanation will most likely explain the vast majority. Some, though, certainly do appear to be something we should perhaps pay a little more attention to.

Picture of a Black Helicopter with soldiers descending from it on ropes

Chicago September 2018

Where Do Black Helicopters Fit Into The Big Picture?

It is also interesting to note that when black helicopter reports began in 1973, a UFO wave hit around the world. And once more, we should remind ourselves of the other intriguing connections that might well be found in the cattle mutilation phenomena, which although had been happening since the mid-1960s, began to surge in the mid-to-late-1970s around the same time the black helicopters began to be witnessed in abundance.

Perhaps we should also recall the apparent findings of Derrick Gough in the mid-1990s who claimed he indeed had documents leaked to him that suggested a joint secret UK-US military operation that was designed to cover up all manner of UFO activity. And what’s more, part of these operations was to secure certain areas after being alerted to upcoming UFO activity so that the occupants of these apparent alien craft could fulfill their missions. Of particular interest is that a unit of helicopters and a team of pilots were kept on constant standby ready to fly at a moment’s notice.

What these revelations suggest, if we accept they are true for a moment, is that not only does this team have apparent prior knowledge of upcoming UFO activities, but that they actively assist, albeit indirectly, in them.

The article in which we examined the findings of Derrick Gough received a comment in January 2019 from a reader – “Tony” – who claimed that “this phenomenon is ongoing in the south Wales areas”. They would further claim that they had seen “strange pulsating golden balls” (remember the description above of spheres by Redfern) which was followed by “helicopter activity, (and then) followed by lights in the mountains”.

What’s more, they had not just witnessed these events once. Tony would continue that “everything goes silent for about a month or so” before the activity begins again. And it would unfold along the “same search pattern, totally blacked out helicopter going over the mountains”. Tony would further note that these strange incidents always seemed to happen after 1:30 am and were often accompanied by a “hum that gets right into your head”. Tony would conclude that “whatever it is, it’s real, and it’s happening!”

It would appear that something most certainly is.

Just One More Complex Situation To Unravel!

Is there a reason for us to be collectively suspicious of these apparent menacing aircraft flying overhead at any given time? On one clandestine mission or another? Or might this be a case of authorities’ genuine need for such highly-trained groups, ready to mobilize at the drop of a hat? After all, as much as we wish it was, the world is far from perfect. And while undoubtedly there are reasons, if only genuine to them, why people carry out acts of atrocities against people, on individuals or on large groups at once, most of us respect and welcome such a group who can, possibly more often than we might realize, stop such an event unfolding in the first place. Although, the absolute secrecy that accompanies such situations makes many people feel uneasy at best. And, given our collective governments’ history, it’s hard to blame them for that.

Like many situations in history, and indeed in life, the truth to those questions and claims are likely somewhere in the middle of the absolute complex web of agenda-driven narratives and the unquestioning ideological sympathies that follow. For as long as there is a mystery that requires solving, there will be people, and groups of people, who will look to twist it to their own ends. Whether for money, power, or both. Indeed, in many ways, rather than a cover-up per se, at least some aspects of certain conspiracies, at some stage, will be subject to how wider knowledge of information might alter public opinion. And what the knock-on effects these acts of disclosure might be.

On the other hand, perhaps these questions are nothing more than a diversion from what the real prize might be?

The video below features footage of an apparent Black helicopter from 2007.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • ROSEMARY says:

    18 months ago, having picked my son up from the local train station, went home to cook supper for us, it was late by then. While cooking in the kitchen, i could hear a helicopter, very, very, close, felt like it was sitting on the roof!!, and not moving. i called to my son, and asked him to go and have a look , from the garden. almost immediately, he called me, mum, you have to come and look at this, i said can’t, i’m cooking, he replied, no, no, you really do have to look.!!!!
    i did. seeing things beyond your comprehension, is weird1 I went freezing cold and i was shaking like a leaf. above us, in the sky, were what appeared to be balls of light, probably, 30-40, they had the ability, to shoot across the sky, in a fraction of a second, its rural here, you can see for miles, the chopper, only feet away, black, no lights, thudding away. this continued for about 45 minutes, and in seconds, they all left, so did the chopper. wtf, was that!!?????????

  • O. M. says:

    I am disturbed that in one moment we can be so weak minded and told what not to believe and what to believe. Often it is obvious to me that there are carefully worded articles that in my mind seem to have an intent to sway the reader to one side or the other and lack objectivity. I am not the brightest candle on the tree as evident in my grammar. If i can clearly see this disturbing fact, why do others who are clearly much more intelligent than myself, lack the ability to see it themselves. I often find myself saying, “the world has lost its ever loving f-ing mind. The media’s intent to sway a reader to one side of a debate or the other often shows signs of intent to mislead. Why? I would imagine the all mighty dollar is the cause. What else? It is astonishing how an individual can not only be so much more intelligent than myself, but also small minded as well. They can posses an ego that inflates and believes themselves to be God, the authority, and the only intelligent life out there. How limited a species we are. It truly is sad and how disappointing we must be to those that dedicate their life to loving the many souls on this rock and encouraging their growth. They in turn act like idiots.

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