Update: Helicopter mystery over The Junction solved!

helicopterwatch.pngChecking now to see if we can find out what it’s doing. Let us know if you’re seeing police on the ground anywhere. 9:46 PM UPDATE: This one might remain a mystery. Lt. Ron Smith at the Southwest Precinct says law enforcers don’t have anything going on that he or dispatch is aware of. As for news choppers, unless there’s a prescheduled evening event (like 4th of July fireworks), they’re usually in for the night long before dark. 9:55 PM UPDATE: Justin from Capitol Hill Seattle says via Twitter that a mystery chopper, not police, is buzzing THAT neighborhood right now. Hmm. 11:35 PM UPDATE: Lt. Smith says police have checked with FAA and learned that it’s a private company doing infrared photography. We may have more on this momentarily. ADDED 11:43 PM: Talked to the FAA. BCRA is the company that had permission for two flyover periods “around Seattle” tonight (the other one was before dark) – and the work apparently involves infrared photography regarding “air barriers”; found out a little more here. As the old saying goes, you learn something new every day. And night!

27 Replies to "Update: Helicopter mystery over The Junction solved!"

  • Kirsten July 29, 2009 (9:38 pm)

    I love this blog so much. I have just been hitting refresh knowing someone would post about what’s up!

  • WSB July 29, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    My original Twitter source says the helicopter left – I have an inquiry out to police and also have somebody just driving toward The Junction to see if there’s anything obvious … TR

  • ericak July 29, 2009 (9:50 pm)

    Seemed like it did a circle or two and then went on. Headed northeast from the Junction.

  • Jersey Jill July 29, 2009 (9:51 pm)

    Maybe they are checking on the house fire for a late night news story!!

  • WSB July 29, 2009 (9:53 pm)

    Out so long now, there’s nothing to see. No other fire calls. And to elaborate what I wrote in the post above, from my TV news past, it’s massively expensive to run news choppers (fuel, required maintenance after every X hours of operation, salary for an experienced pilot) so they generally staff them only for morning-news traffic and early evening news breaking news, with the pilot available during the day – if something GIGANTIC happened in the evening, they would call the pilot in from home.

  • miws July 29, 2009 (10:05 pm)

    It flew northbound over my building, in the Thriftway block, maybe around 9:15?


    Seemed to be flying somewhat, though not extremely, low. Kept listening for it to circle around, but, it just made that one straight shot north, so didn’t bother reporting it to WSB.



  • JFuller July 29, 2009 (10:06 pm)

    Could it just be someone taking arial shots of the areas?

  • WSM July 29, 2009 (10:08 pm)

    There is a movie shoot in town… it could be them?

  • Billy July 29, 2009 (10:28 pm)

    Is it an all black chopper that looks around the same size and shape as Guardian one, Air 4 and chopper 7? If so, it’s some sort of army or military helicopter, which has been flying around in the evening the past couple of nights through Sea-Tac and up to shoreline.

  • Jeff July 29, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    It appeared to be white or light colored, with some dark, maybe navy blue, patches. I couldn’t see any insignias or identifying marks in the darkness, but it didn’t look military to me. Looked more like a news chopper, but didn’t see any logo.

  • just saw it July 29, 2009 (10:53 pm)

    We think it just flew (around 10:30 p.m.) over Fauntleroy. It was noticeable from the deck in front because it was flying South (most commercial planes are heading North from this view) and it had lots of bigger red flashing lights on the body (unlike a plane). And you could hear the propellers.

  • WSB July 29, 2009 (10:54 pm)

    There are non-news choppers that fly over this area at night (we are uphill from southern Lincoln Park) – we hear them frequently – often lifeflight (medical) or Coast Guard. If not tonight, maybe tomorrow someone will solve the mystery, but love the bits and pieces of info coming in! – TR

  • RIH July 29, 2009 (11:07 pm)

    If it was Thanksgiving I would assume it was Les Nessman from WKRP throwing turkeys out…

  • Celeste17 July 29, 2009 (11:10 pm)

    There is a film shooting today with Robin Williams over in Ballard so this might be part of it. http://seattle.metblogs.com/2008/07/31/robin-williams-movie-filming-in-sunset-hill/

  • Celeste17 July 29, 2009 (11:11 pm)

    Opps that was 2008 LOL if one would only read. :O

  • awkenned July 29, 2009 (11:19 pm)

    Are you aware of the fema ‘National Dissaster ‘drills going on July 27-31st in the US, Canada & Mexico?
    FOREIGN troops have been reported in several states.
    The secretive exercise was only supposed to be occurring in 4 US states & WA was not one of them..
    If you’re seeing a military copter, that would be interesting.
    I have confirmation this is not a police copter..

  • WSB July 29, 2009 (11:22 pm)

    And we had that same “not police” confirmation an hour and a half ago, as noted above. As for FEMA, news to me.

  • awkenned July 29, 2009 (11:30 pm)

    and another from someone filming the actual drill in NY? 7-27-09


  • WSB July 29, 2009 (11:45 pm)

    Well, turns out it’s not FEMA, sorry. Infrared photography. Just added all the info, from the FAA. But you never know!

  • Michael July 29, 2009 (11:46 pm)

    It’s obvious – after last winter the Mayor knows we blame him for all forces of nature that hit the city, and has attempted to deploy giant ceiling fans.

  • awkenned July 30, 2009 (12:55 am)

    Infrared photography by whom/for what???

  • RIH July 30, 2009 (1:30 am)

    I’m so glad that I took down my hydroponic/halide herb garden. I would hate for the rotor wash to kill off my precious plants…”Air Barriers” my ass! Tell them to listen to Michael Hedges “Aerial Boundaries” through their Bose X headsets while they fly over WS homes using infrared sensors.

  • Ken July 30, 2009 (5:09 am)

    off topic but I can’t keep silent.
    WTF is up with architects web sites?

    The tiny font implies they all have huge expensive monitors, that I understand, but the black font on a gray background just shrieks “style over function” and the use of gray text on a gray background for “emphasis” cries out for a thumpin with a stainless steel T-Square.
    At least it is not like most other architects sites and written in flash with contact info you cannot cut and paste.

    Architects, designers and marketers all have their place in the world given what easily led monkeys we are, but they often seem as alien as fish to me.

  • WSB July 30, 2009 (5:33 am)

    Even worse for our needs regarding flash sites – they’re not searchable. Then there’s the prominent architecture firm, involved in some high-profile projects we’ve covered, which (last time we checked) had a site that isn’t viewable on a Mac! Huh? Don’t most members of the design profession USE Macs? Argh! – TR

  • Christopher Boffoli July 30, 2009 (7:36 am)

    Nice detective work TR! How interesting.

  • bolo July 30, 2009 (8:10 am)

    Sorry for the hijack but I have found the “Zap Colors” Firefox add-on to be useful when viewing web pages with boneheaded color/distracting background motifs that effectively camouflage the text.
    All it does is make the text on a page black and the background white.

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