Another night, another helicopter …

(refresh for latest info, including updated comments)
helicopterwatch.pngJust like last night, we were out for a bit, got home, and suddenly there’s a helicopter – this one also sweeping around southwest West Seattle, Lincoln Park/South Beach Drive vicinity. We saw a few cruisers while we headed through that area a few minutes ago but nothing active except an empty car being checked out by an SPD cruiser with rollers, near the Lincoln Park 76. Listening to the scanner, of course, nothing obvious so far. 11:58 PM UPDATE: Comment from area resident says police told her/him it’s a search related to a robbery at Beach Drive/Lincoln Park Way. We saw two SPD units parked in that exact spot, no rollers though, while driving home at about 11:25 so this might match up. 12:06 PM UPDATE: From the scanner, report of suspect running southbound on beach from ferry terminal after jumping the wall. Helicopter (confirmed as Guardian One, operated by King County, but it assists Seattle Police, who don’t have a chopper) heading that way. 12:22 AM UPDATE: Heard from Lt. Ron Smith at Southwest Precinct: Search for “possible burglary suspects who fled southbound through Lincoln Park.”

40 Replies to "Another night, another helicopter ..."

  • elissa October 25, 2008 (11:39 pm)

    i just called 911 b/c i was worried and they are looking for somebody again!!! they are flying over our house at kenyon/fauntleroy…no spotlight?

  • neighbor October 25, 2008 (11:41 pm)

    They’ve been circling for at least 20 minutes now. focused on the north end of the park. Saw one cruiser fly by – lights no siren.

  • HunterG October 25, 2008 (11:45 pm)

    My place too, driving me crazy and kind of creeping me out. If anyone finds out what’s going on let TR know!!

  • Maximus October 25, 2008 (11:45 pm)

    In live near the Kenney home and last Summer I saw two military black hawks circling in with machines guns mounted on the size. Clearly it was an exercise and they were much lower then. Last night I saw two sets of lights but couldn’t make out the type of helicopter. I’m wondering if this is just military exercises and the police activity is just coincidence?

  • CharlieB October 25, 2008 (11:47 pm)

    Looks like they’ve finally given up. Pretty much right above my house for like 30 minutes.

  • CharlieB October 25, 2008 (11:48 pm)

    Probably has something to do with my unpaid parking tickets. Sorry.

  • elissa October 25, 2008 (11:49 pm)

    they are still circling s end of lincoln park….no spotlights seen.

  • WSB October 25, 2008 (11:50 pm)

    Not sure if I’ll have as much luck tonight getting info. But I’m trying. May also head back down the hill to see if it’s that same car we mentioned seeing across from LP 76 (by the tennis courts) – even JMoT remarked as we passed that spot around 11:25 that it was weird to see a unit with rollers going, behind what appeared to be an empty car.

  • miws October 25, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    I’ve noticed it too, over about the last twenty minutes.


    I’m beginning to think that somebody that reads this blog, that has alot of money, time on their hands, and a helicopter, is flying it arouund just to make us curious! ;)



  • qu'est que c'est? October 25, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    What the hell is going on? Circling circling circling fauntleroy/kenyan/monroe & park over and over and over. No spotlight. 30 minutes now?

  • neighbor October 25, 2008 (11:52 pm)

    Five police cars just went past the Kenny going north away from the park. No lights, going the speed limit…but the helicopter is still buzzing.

  • rosa October 25, 2008 (11:53 pm)

    Saw some police lights flicker at tip of coleman pool area around 11:35pm. May have been in the water. Hard to see from my vantage point. The helicopter hasn’t been using its spot lights though, Odd.

  • SS October 25, 2008 (11:53 pm)

    Annoying and kinda creepy…

  • N. Lincoln Pk neighbor October 25, 2008 (11:55 pm)

    KC Sherriff said they’re helping SPD. SPD said robbery at Beach Dr & Lincoln Park Way

  • JanS October 25, 2008 (11:55 pm)

    come down to the Admiral District…it’s quiet here. Now, I know people mean well, but 911 is for EMERGENCIES, not to ask about a helicopter flying over. Please, if you must, call the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011. While you’re tying up the emergency # with a non-emergent situation, someone with a break-in may not be able to get through.

    Just a thought :)

  • transplantella October 25, 2008 (11:56 pm)

    Next to Lincoln Park….helicopter still circling. Been going round and round for at least half an hour.

    Here he comes again…….

  • WSB October 25, 2008 (11:56 pm)

    There are no 911 calls open or recent to suggest any kind of a crime involving injury, if that’s any comfort, forgot to mention that earlier. 911 online log shows fire/medics, not police, but is always a good resource as first line to check “where are those sirens going?” —

  • Kellen October 25, 2008 (11:56 pm)

    Thought they were done, but nope! Had some cop cars race by, but still odd considering last nights as well. Coincidence or related?

    Sounds like a lawn mower right outside the house!

  • JenY October 25, 2008 (11:57 pm)

    I live a block off Fauntleroy near the south end of the park and just noticed it 10 minutes ago. Still no spotlight. Seems to be checking out the area between the 35th ridge and the park from maybe Cloverdale north.

  • rosa October 25, 2008 (11:58 pm)

    Around 11:40pm I saw several flashlights at the north end of Lincoln park trail close to Beach drive, shining up into the woods.

  • Oy October 25, 2008 (11:59 pm)

    Helicopters still going strong:

    KC Sherriff said they’re helping SPD. SPD said robbery at Beach Dr & Lincoln Park Way
    Comment by N. Lincoln Pk neighbor — October 25, 08 11:55 pm #

  • CharlieB October 26, 2008 (12:01 am)

    Yep, still out there. I’m watching a movie w/ lots of helicopers, so it’s helping the surround sound

  • rosa October 26, 2008 (12:01 am)

    Now that I am awake I can’t stop eating the holloween chocolates I bought for the trick or treaters.

  • Manuel W. October 26, 2008 (12:05 am)

    Still buzzing, woke me up, I’m near Morgan Junction. I bet it’s using an infrared camera, like one of these.

  • transplantella October 26, 2008 (12:06 am)

    We can see the intersection of Beach Dr. and Lincoln Park Way from our balcony. Nary a cop. Nothing.

    Just the helicopter.

  • Evan October 26, 2008 (12:06 am)

    Just wanted to second what JanS said.

    If you think about the fact that there are probably hundreds of households that can hear the helicopter right now, if all of them (or even 20 or 30 of them) called 911 to ask what was going on, someone with a genuine emergency might not be able to get through.

    I don’t mean to be critical though, it’s driving me crazy too…it’s on an orbit that takes it directly over my house, and my 1-year-old just woke up for the third time. :)

  • JenY October 26, 2008 (12:07 am)

    Still hearing it, not so close anymore… my garage door broke and is stuck open, yikes! But all my other doors are bolted and my dog barks like a maniac at the slightest provocation, so I’m gonna go to bed. It’s good to have virtual neighbors to keep company with!

  • Alex October 26, 2008 (12:09 am)

    It seems to have stopped, we’re right by the Kenney Home. It’s weird, I noticed it didn’t have a spotlight or anything on when I was watching it, it seemed to just be circling.

  • WSB October 26, 2008 (12:11 am)

    I have just added an update to the blurb above. Search now focusing south of ferry terminal. And I have to echo the 911 thing. IF IT IS NOT AN EMERGENCY, DO NOT CALL 911. That is why I am not calling 911. We work closely with law-enforcement agencies as does the rest of the news media, and due to the new nature of a media source like WSB that can provide real-time neighborhood-level information, it does require a shift from the way they are set up to do business – I am continuing to work on getting better after-hours contacts so answers to situations like this will be easier to find and report – and all the help contributed by the “I’m seeing” “I’m hearing” reports you are all adding is very helpful too. I’m still monitoring the scanner and hope to hear if/when the search comes to a (successful) end.

  • elissa October 26, 2008 (12:17 am)

    DOY!!! 911 is for ER! i’m concerned for my family/1yr old and want to know what is going on. if a crazy dude is on the loose, I need to know!! the non er number doesn’t have any info. the call lasted less than a minute. i want to be “in the know” in case i have to protect my family.

  • C.W. October 26, 2008 (12:17 am)

    Posted in last nights blog, but was referring to tonights activity. We’re right by the Kenny as well, and thankfully the copter has stopped (for now), and I can get the kids back to sleep. Hope ‘they’ find whatever or whoever ‘they’ were looking for. Am also bookmarking this page. Nice to know there is a West Seattle Online Community like this one!

  • Rodney October 26, 2008 (12:18 am)

    What was the boat in the middle of the straight going fast headed south. Now he looks like he’s turned around and headed north. Is this some exercise for the SPD? Annoying.

  • Manuel W. October 26, 2008 (12:20 am)

    I wonder if it is Guardian One, the new helicopter King County bought in July 2008. This press release says it has “forward looking infrared.”

    “Guardian One is available to any police agency in the three county area while flying for crime fighting and suspect apprehension at no charge.”

    A $3.4 million helicopter, paid for by Department of Homeland Security.

    Picture here

    Here’s a 2005 article which refers to older helicopters also nicknamed Guardian One:

    “We’ve had guys cover themselves in mud,” Somers chuckled, describing suspects who’ve tried to mask their body heat from Guardian One’s Forward Looking Infra Red device, which can detect a two-degree temperature difference. “It doesn’t work.”

    Seems to be gone now… back to sleep.

  • WSB October 26, 2008 (12:21 am)

    Adding an update. Heard back from on-duty commander. Search for “possible burglary suspects” who fled southbound through Lincoln Park.

  • Jerald October 26, 2008 (12:23 am)

    I can’t imagine the police would welcome everyone in the south end of West Seattle calling 911 so they can be “in the know.” If the “crazy dude on the loose” is rattling your doorknob, then call 911!

  • Raymond October 26, 2008 (12:23 am)

    I watched the helicopter for most of the time it was in the neiborhood. It was a white helicopter and had a logo on the side. I don’t know what the logo was but it was a round logo. Maybe they were using FLIR(Forward looking infrared)? Also I would like to ad that it is nice to have a website that has the most up-to date information about my neiborhood. this issue was posted at 11:37 and not even 15 min. had gone by and there are already 29 comments on this topic. Way to go WSB!!!!!!!!!

  • WSB October 26, 2008 (12:34 am)

    Thanks – that is our mission, “West Seattle news/information/discussion, 24/7” and we are very serious about it. And couldn’t do it without your help. Last night’s chopper situation by the way passed 120 comments (the industry term for it is “crowdsourcing” – people contributing bits and pieces of information and observation that together with whatever official info is available, can help draw a more complete picture)

  • GenHillOne October 26, 2008 (7:57 am)

    lol, if you keep calling them about helicopters, elissa (you did last time too, yes?), I’m sure SPD will make sure you’re “in the know” on what constitutes misuse of 911 soon

  • JimmyG October 26, 2008 (10:28 am)

    elissa, just because you’re home alone with a kid doesn’t make it an emergency.
    So you call 911 and they tell you a murderer is on the loose–what do you differently than what you’re already doing in your home? I hope you already have your doors locked and don’t answer the door to strangers.
    And you’ve no “right” to know what’s going on. But glad to see your selfishness overrides your neighbors potential need to reach a 911 operator if they have a real emergency.

  • WSB October 26, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Given that this incident is over and now deteriorating into personal criticism of the person who called 911, I am closing the comment thread here. The point about not calling 911 for informational reasons has been made. I see an opportunity for a followup story which I plan to pursue – in hopes of providing some reassurance to folks that if there is some immediate threat to them they will be notified, evacuated, etc. We have seen other neighborhoods cordoned off when there is a search for someone known to be armed and dangerous (May 2007 US Bank robbery, for example – we weren’t doing news here fulltime then but a tv-station slideshow we linked to at the time is still accessible:
    . I don’t know if a weapon was known or believed to have been used in last night’s burglary. Meantime, we also will keep working, as I wrote earlier, to get better access to afterhours info – which we too try to use SPARINGLY because if we or any other media source was calling police every 5 minutes “what are those sirens? why did two police cars just race down California?” it would take authorities away from the rest of their work – we try to use other avenues like the online 911 log and the scanner (as well as in-person reporting if an address is known) FIRST, and hold off on the direct inquiries until it’s something like the helicopters of the past two nights, where there is a situation that is obvious to hundreds if not thousands of people, and where discussing/reporting it here might actually help get information out to reassure people. We’ll keep working to do a better job … TR

Sorry, comment time is over.