Following up on that mystery helicopter over West Seattle

This past Thursday night, in the 7-8 pm vicinity, a helicopter hovered very high over south West Seattle for a very long time. We received multiple texts asking about it – mostly from Westwood and Fauntleroy – and saw/heard it ourselves. Nothing showed on flight trackers, and various other inquiries went nowhere, so beyond a mention on Twitter, we didn’t write about it. But we kept checking around the next day, including with a regional FAA spokesperson, who told us today that the best he could find out was “this was some sort of law-enforcement operation.” Not local – we re-checked with the King County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the only law-enforcement helicopters in our area, and KCSO confirmed Guardian One wasn’t up at all Thursday night. The State Patrol operates fixed-wing aircraft, so it wasn’t them either.

27 Replies to "Following up on that mystery helicopter over West Seattle"

  • Kyle October 5, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    Crazy that you even found this much info on it. WSB is amazing! I never want to move because no other neighborhood has this level of blog support imo.

    • hj October 5, 2020 (6:29 pm)

      Agreed, on the other hand it would also be cool to live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have unaccountable government helicopters mysteriously hovering overhead.

      • JAFO October 5, 2020 (7:40 pm)

        Good luck finding a neighborhood without crooks.

  • Rick October 5, 2020 (7:35 pm)

    C’mon man,it was the Russians!

    • Jimmy October 6, 2020 (10:54 am)

      It was aliens!it is really odd that our community still doesn’t have a clear reason and clarity on why there was a helicopter in the sky for hours. 

  • Gill & Alex October 5, 2020 (7:59 pm)

    Thanks for the update.  We were wondering about it.

  • John W October 5, 2020 (8:01 pm)

    Did any witness id the type or model of helicopter.?

    • WSB October 5, 2020 (8:29 pm)

      It was WAY too far up (and dark) to discern that, or else our research would have been easier. All that was visible were its blinking red lights

      • Patrick October 5, 2020 (9:53 pm)

        From what I saw, looked like a DHS Blackhawk.

        • Jay October 5, 2020 (11:40 pm)

          That’s cool!

          • Derek October 6, 2020 (7:51 am)

            It’s “cool” that government surveils us to horrifying degrees?

          • Truther October 6, 2020 (8:50 am)

            I’m way more “horrified” by the amount of surveillance done by private industry… “market research” and then profiting (with stunning immediacy) by selling our data, especially our product search histories. No, I don’t actually fear Gov’ts eyes so much…

          • WS98 October 6, 2020 (10:59 pm)

            @Truther, private industry SELLS your info to the government.

  • Outwalking October 5, 2020 (9:05 pm)

    It seemed to have blue lights too. Would like to know who it was.

  • Cindy October 5, 2020 (9:42 pm)

    Not feeling safe about this at all. Thank you WSB for following up.

    • Joseph October 5, 2020 (11:57 pm)

      What makes you feel unsafe about a law enforcement helicopter 3000 to 4000 up looking for dangerous criminals?

      • Chris K October 6, 2020 (12:19 pm)

        Nothing about law enforcement makes me feel safe.  It has quite the opposite effect.

  • dsa October 5, 2020 (10:28 pm)

    Do night vision binoculars work at that height?  Maybe they were watching for seal shooters.

  • WestSide®️ October 6, 2020 (1:03 am)

    I seem to recall this same situation taking place either last year or the year before where a helicopter literally just hovered over the west so high up in the sky for hours that day. It was reported by the blog of course to be an exercise of some sort if my mind serves me right. Also want to add that the seal situation could easily be solved by sitting by or near the nets laid out by tribal fisherman. Sunday through Friday

  • 22blades October 6, 2020 (4:42 am)

    If it’s civilian, it should show up at least as “blocked”. As of Jan 2020, automatic surveillance with transponder standards were increased. Other than government flights, if you’re a target without a code around a large city, chances are good they’re watching you & you might get “a call”.

  • Highpoint Res October 6, 2020 (6:29 am)

    We noticed it over Highpoint during our evening walk (around 6:30). Seemed like it was flying a grid. Could it have been a mapping company (eg google) taking new territorial photos?

  • Pam f October 6, 2020 (10:07 am)

    A few nights before it was over West Seattle,  it was over Vashon I was watching it from my house it was there for over an hour. It then headed off to the west.

  • ScubaFrog October 6, 2020 (11:09 am)

    They can do a lot with FLIR, they may have been following suspects.  Who knows.  If it’s a DHS Black Hawk, perhaps some stupid trumpist-politicized arrest to come re the protests.  The trump admin’s stepped-up federal surveillance (small drones/planes/helicopters/cameras/body cams) of people at protests, which should concern real Constitutionalists and all Americans.  

  • JJ October 6, 2020 (12:14 pm)

    Man, if our government spent half the effort hunting down Nazis and tax evaders… we would have a much better nation.

  • Joan LaBriola October 6, 2020 (1:52 pm)

    The army was doing some practice landings last night at Harborview, they were approaching from Vashon Island— my guess is it was them, maybe the pilots were discussing the approach or waiting for clearance 

  • WeGoHigh October 6, 2020 (4:47 pm)

    So no one’s watched “Conspiracy”?  It’s the black helicopters….

  • John W October 6, 2020 (6:44 pm)

    Great for a qualified expert to finalize this thread.   Thank you Joan Labriola. Occam’s Razor confirmed again.  Now for those conspiracies?

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