In 1994 Military Helicopter monitors Orb near Crop Circle

JMartJr

Senior Member
Looking for pics of helicopters on the Salisbury Plain, I came across several images of heli-drones or fixed wing drones associated with crewed helicopters.

Capture2.JPG Black_Hornet_Nano_Helicopter_UAV.jpg

I don't think either of these particular drones would account for the flashing-whatever in the original vid (the first is possibly too big and I don't know how well it can loiter in place, the second "Black Hornet" drone is too small), but I do wonder if a helicopter operating in conjunction with a larger heli-drone or quad copter might be the answer here. I see one article covering integrating drones and helicopters to the point where the drone is piloted from the cockpit of the chopper -- would there be siuations where the helicopter would maneuver close to a drone, maybe to launch or recover, or for some other reason?


  • A UK first for seamless integration of a UAV into a helicopter’s mission system – allowing a helicopter crew to control a UAV from the cockpit as if it was one of the aircraft’s on-board sensors
  • Teaming a helicopter with a UAV can significantly increase the situational awareness of the helicopter crew, while the seamless integration minimises additional workload
  • This demonstration, run with the support of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) on behalf of the British Army, confirms Leonardo’s leading role in developing, integrating, and providing cutting-edge solutions for manned, remotely-piloted and autonomous/semi-autonomous missions, in addition to the AW159 Wildcat’s growing potential as a force multiplier in modern battlespace scenarios

On 17th September, Leonardo successfully demonstrated unique integrated capabilities between a manned aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This took place in the UK during Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) trials between a Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter and a semi-autonomous UAV from Callen-Lenz Associates.
and
The demonstration was part of the British Army’s MUMT themed Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 19, and was planned and executed by Dstl and took place on Salisbury Plain...

https://www.suasnews.com/2020/10/le...uav-teaming-in-the-uk-with-its-aw159-wildcat/
Helicopter-UAV-teaming-1024x604.jpg

Edited to include reference to Salisbury Plain the quoted text.
 

gargamel

Member
But it's 1992, right? Drones (in the actual sense of the word, ie "dumb" fixed-wing UAVs meant to be used for target practice or basic photo reconnaissance on straight paths) had been a staple since the late 1940s, but modern stabilized and remote-controlled "drones" like quad- or hexacopters with loitering capability didn't exist back then.(1)

To me the so-called "orb" just looks like a piece of foil waving in the wind at ground level, reflecting light randomly, and the Gazelle looks like it has no interest in it, just flying in the area for a whole different reason.

(1) The modern-day "drone" revolution basically hinges on the development of lightweight, high-power density batteries (lithium ion, basically), in conjunction with modern mini-gyroscopes used for stabilization, that showed up with the smartphone revolution. I used to dabble in RC flight in the 1990s, and electrics were terrible back then because of the heavy battery packs, only allowing a few minutes of flight at a time. I mean, electric cars etc have only now become viable thanks to battery development too. Electric motors work exactly the same as they did 100 years ago (brushless motors are new-ish I guess, but the principles are identical anyway), it's the batteries where it's at.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
don't think either of these particular drones would account for the flashing-whatever in the original vid (the first is possibly too big and I don't know how well it can loiter in place, the second "Black Hornet" drone is too small), but I do wonder if a helicopter operating in conjunction with a larger heli-drone or quad copter might be the answer here.
Seems the article your referencing is from 2020, right? As noted above this video is from 1994. As also discussed above, the light doesn't appear to move, it's stationary.

I'm still thinking something beyond the knoll is reflecting light and the blowing grass is revealing and hiding it back and forth.

Here is a back-hoe or tractor, such as could have been parked in the field behind the knoll, with it's window catching the morning sun:

P1040089.JPG
Here is the tractor with some "grass" almost obscuring the reflection:
tractor1.png
Now we have the tractor with the "grass" fully hiding the reflection:
tractor2.jpg
Finally, we have the problem of looking at a 2D image and trying to ascertain the 3D relationship between the objects. To illustrate, I focused on the 2 fuel tanks from the lower part of the picture. They are clearly in the foreground and closer to the camera then the tractor. But if I fly them up in the air, like a helicopter, they appear to be flying over the tractor and our "glowing orb".
tractor4.jpg
 

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Rory

Senior Member.
It might as well be something entirely innocuous. Just normal people going about their day, having some fun.

These posts do make a really good point that I think a lot of conspiracy theorists and UFO investigators forget: the so-called "military" are mostly just normal blokes like you or I who have their own personalities, quirks, foibles, interests and hobbies, etc. Their job is perhaps a little different to many people's - but helicopter pilots flying over crop circles and taking snaps seems more in alignment with what a truck or taxi driver might do if their journeys took them past something interesting rather than shady government operations.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
just normal blokes like you or I
they probably average about 25 years younger than you or "i" though :)

i mention this because young men, not in war situations, tend to be more whimsical.. then what many may picture as "military". didnt Fravor say something about messing with motorcyclists in the desert when he was a youngun?
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
The date seems to argue srongly against the drone-working-with-helicopter concept, barring super-secret advanced drones available only to the military, I guess. Having no evidence for such things existing, I withdraw the suggestion -- but will file it away for future incidents involving UAPs and helicopters, maybe. ;)
 

jplaza

Member
Just a quick thought, possibly wrong, but anyway here it goes just in case someone else knows more about this and can be explored (or dismissed right away): The heli is doing exercises of laser designation of targets. The "orb" is the reflection of the laser on the target.

However, these laser desginators usually work in near infrared, it wouldn't be visible in an old analog video camera.
 

Vattic

New Member
Yep. Helicopters don't have a low-altitude limit. Fixed wing do. But helicopters, and particularly military helicopters can fly wherever they want in the UK (within reason)
To go along with the other comments about young men I have to say such a limit wouldn't stop them anyway. I live not too far from where the clips were filmed, and on a military flight path. Frequently I've seen planes flying lower than allowed over our residential area.
 

johne1618

Active Member
I would like to make two points:

1) In Aug 2014 the Ministry of Defence owned the land in red around Wiltshire in the South of England

military_2014.jpg
Source: https://whoownsengland.org/2016/08/14/mod-land/

The Alton Barnes area is in the blue circle. It is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is not a military area. If those two helicopters were military helicopters then I would have thought they had no business flying so low in that area.

2) Coincidentally the flashing object on the ground (around 21:43) in the frame below

heli_orb.jpg
looks very similar to the flashing light on the helicopter tail fin three frames later.

heli_tail_light.jpg
It seems to me that the "orb" looks more like an illuminated flashing object than a piece of metal occasionally reflecting sunlight.
 
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flarkey

Active Member
The Alton Barnes area is in the blue circle. It is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is not a military area. If those two helicopters were military helicopters then I would have thought they had no business flying so low in that area.

UK military helicopters can fly anywhere and down to any height. Here's some info from
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/military-low-flying with bold emphasis from me.

UK military low flying system​

The UK military low flying system covers the open airspace of the whole of the UK and surrounding overseas areas from the surface to 2,000 feet above ground level (AGL) or mean sea level (MSL). Major towns and cities are generally avoided by low flying aircraft; unless there are local landing sites situated in your vincinity. In some areas of the country, a combination of airspace restrictions and topographical features make it difficult for aircrew to greatly vary their routes. So some areas will experience a higher number of military aircraft then others.

Flight paths​

There are no set flight paths. Aircrew plan each sortie individually, taking into account environmental and industrial hazards.

Operational low flying training​

The UK is divided into 20 separate low flying areas (LFAs). 3 of these areas are also known as Tactical Training Areas (TTAs). <snip>
TTAs are activated at specific times throughout each day and when a TTA is active, fixed wing aircraft can fly as low as 100 feet AGL. This is not the case with routine low flying training, which is conducted across the UK on a daily basis. Outside the published TTA times the airspace is classed as a normal low flying area where fixed wing aircraft routinely fly at a minimum height of 250 feet AGL and helicopters are authorised down to ground level.
Also. from this factsheet... https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/military-low-flying-in-the-united-kingdom

1638270561814.png

So the helicopter had every right to be flying in that field, at that time, at that altitude.
 

johne1618

Active Member
UK military helicopters can fly anywhere and down to any height. Here's some info from
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/military-low-flying with bold emphasis from me.

Also. from this factsheet... https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/military-low-flying-in-the-united-kingdom

1638270561814.png

So the helicopter had every right to be flying in that field, at that time, at that altitude.

Ok fair enough in theory military helicopters can fly anywhere. But why were they there flying so low? They seemed to be flying purposely and not sightseeing for example. Also they seemed to be a bit aggressive towards the crop circle researchers presumably because they saw that they were being filmed. It seems strange to me for them to be conducting low level training maneuvers so near to civilian houses. Such maneuvers must expose anyone in the vicinity to some level of risk.
 

flarkey

Active Member
Such maneuvers must expose anyone in the vicinity to some level of risk.
Absolutely they do. Just like an A380 flying over London on approach to Heathrow exposes those underneath to a level of risk. A very small level of risk.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Also they seemed to be a bit aggressive towards the crop circle researchers

Which part of the video shows the aggression?

There is way too much speculation on this thread. Please adhere to the Posting Guidelines.

Where does it say "don't speculate" in the posting guidelines? So far it all seems useful to me - some 'speculate' with wrong ideas and false information and others then point them in the right direction using facts and good information and, ideally, people get to learn something.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
It's good for speculation to be based on evidence. "it seems strange to me" with no reasoning attached is a recipe for the rabbit hole.
Such maneuvers must expose anyone in the vicinity to some level of risk.
Grasshoppers and sheep?

I've never heard of a helicopter injuring a bystander in a field. The last helicopter crash that involved people on the ground was the 2013 Glasgow crash when a police helicopter's engines flamed out and it crashed into a pub. It was travelling at an altitude of 1000 ft at the time.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
"it seems strange to me" with no reasoning attached is a recipe for the rabbit hole.
the implied reasoning is often a lack of life experience ie. experience with the event or persons they are analyzing. and/or ie. they watch too many movies and think that is real life. Which is why members are sharing real life experiences to expand people's databases.

Metabunk is designed to help people OUT of the rabbit hole. It is not designed so we can chat with each other and pat each other on the back over how smart or morally superior we are.

Where does it say "don't speculate" in the posting guidelines?

But the PGs do say
Article:
Be honest - Just go where the facts take you. Don't try to frame something towards a particular point of view.



Not that this posting guideline is ever brought up when it comes to certain other topics ;)
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Which part of the video shows the aggression?



Where does it say "don't speculate" in the posting guidelines? So far it all seems useful to me - some 'speculate' with wrong ideas and false information and others then point them in the right direction using facts and good information and, ideally, people get to learn something.
2. Back it up - with links and quotes from reliable source.
From the Posting Guidelines.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Posters often say things along the lines of "this is what it looks like to me" (ie, speculation).

I can't see anything in the PG that says this isn't allowed.
 

johne1618

Active Member
Which part of the video shows the aggression?
They thought that the hovering lynx helicopter from 19:40 to 19:44 was filming them which felt threatening to them. I admit that it wasn’t obvious from the video that the crew were filming them. Also the video made the helicopter seem more threatening by zooming on to it. Maybe the helicopters weren’t deliberately being aggressive but I still find it hard to believe they were there on training exercises. But I don’t have any proof they weren’t.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
They thought that the hovering lynx helicopter from 19:40 to 19:44 was filming them which felt threatening to them. I admit that it wasn’t obvious from the video that the crew were filming them. Also the video made the helicopter seem more threatening by zooming on to it.

He doesn't say he found the filming threatening; though he does say (at 19:31) that they flew "dangerously close" above their heads.

I'd say there's no evidence we can see that the helicopter crew were filming the crop circlers; that I don't find Andrews' assertion that they were filming them convincing; and I'm also unconvinced that the helicopter was "dangerously close" to them/their car - at 20:05 Andrews claims that the helicopter "almost hit the hill...the edge of the rotor blades were within two metres from hitting [it]", whereas the video shows nothing of the sort.

It's interesting how we've gone from: a) a helicopter probably not that close to them to b) Andrews saying they were "dangerously close" to c) you saying they felt threatened by them to d) the helicopter crew were being aggressive.

Does it not seem that he has a tendency to overdramatise and imagine things that aren't actually there?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
but I still find it hard to believe they were there on training exercises.
i doubt they were on training exercises too. i think they just flew a mile north to see the new crop circles... because afterall, there is no point to crop circles unless someone can see them from high up.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
To summarize so far.

  • Our main witness, Colin Andrews, believed he was at the center of a CIA counter-intel operation because he “knew to much” about crop circles. From the first 20 minutes of the video.
  • The main claim is that, an otherworldly glowing orb or alien probe was filmed while being investigated by a military helicopter sent to check out a crop circle.
  • For the claim we get approximately 1:30 of a helicopter hovering and slowly moving from left to right and back again. At irregular intervals some sort of small light is seen on the ground.
  • It’s been established that the light does not move, and that there may be a sloppy or deceptive edit to enhance the relationship between the light and helicopter. Post #20
  • It’s been established where this took place and that it was close to both the factory where similar helicopters were built and a base where similar helicopters were stationed. And that people from the nearby factory were prize winning crop circle makers. Post #17, #21, #25
  • It’s been established that military helicopters in the UK can do what they want, where they want and that what was filmed is not that unprecedented. Post #51
  • The notion that the helicopters were there to: A) check out a crop circle, B) were filming Colin Andrews and his fellow researchers, C) harassing them, flying dangerously or to low or in any other threating way is pure speculation on the part of Colin Andrews (see note 1 above).
  • No crop circle is ever seen in the video or in the area that the light appears in.
  • Multiple rational and well reasoned explanations for the light were offered, including reflections and lights from vehicles concealed behind the knoll/hedgerow.
Ultimately, as this was from nearly 30 years ago, exactly what the source of the light was may never be known. That being said, it doesn’t flip the burden of proof around as some people tend to think. If someone thinks this is an alien probe, and not something terrestrial and mundane, it’s their burden of proof to establish that.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Our main witness, Colin Andrews, believed he was at the center of a CIA counter-intel operation because he “knew to much” about crop circles.

Andrews has always attacked the MOD and MI5, tells a pretty intriguing story of CIA involvement, but at the same time is a world-class con artist himself. Crop circles are total madness.
Content from External Source
 

Ashley Pomeroy

New Member
Just a quick thought, possibly wrong, but anyway here it goes just in case someone else knows more about this and can be explored (or dismissed right away): The heli is doing exercises of laser designation of targets. The "orb" is the reflection of the laser on the target.

However, these laser desginators usually work in near infrared, it wouldn't be visible in an old analog video camera.

On the other hand the CCDs in camcorders were sensitive to infrared - the IR LED in television remote controls showed up on videotape, and Sony even advises that as a method of finding out if your remote control works:
https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/articles/00025283

Later in the 1990s Sony added an IR light to their cameras, thus making Nightshot, which was controversial because you could use it to see through people's clothes.

An expert could probably answer whether Gazelles ever carried laser designators. The Lynx was apparently fitted with TOW missiles, which were optically guided, and although the RAF had a laser designator - the TIALD - it was a pod that was carried on an underwind hardpoint. But perhaps the gunner was testing out a laser designator, who knows. A pod or chin-mounted designator would presumably have a stabilised mount that could keep pointing at the same spot on the ground.

I was surprised to find out that the Gazelle can actually have a gunner, e.g.:
 

flarkey

Active Member
On the other hand the CCDs in camcorders were sensitive to infrared - the IR LED in television remote controls showed up on videotape, and Sony even advises that as a method of finding out if your remote control works:
https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/articles/00025283

Later in the 1990s Sony added an IR light to their cameras, thus making Nightshot, which was controversial because you could use it to see through people's clothes.

An expert could probably answer whether Gazelles ever carried laser designators. The Lynx was apparently fitted with TOW missiles, which were optically guided, and although the RAF had a laser designator - the TIALD - it was a pod that was carried on an underwind hardpoint. But perhaps the gunner was testing out a laser designator, who knows. A pod or chin-mounted designator would presumably have a stabilised mount that could keep pointing at the same spot on the ground.

I was surprised to find out that the Gazelle can actually have a gunner, e.g.:
As far as I know Gazelles didn't have laser designators. I think as part of their sighting system (in the picture you can see the two grey boxes above where the pilot and observer sit) they had a laser range finder. The lasers used in these systems are not visible to the human eye. The TOW (Tube launched, Optically Aimed, Wire Guided) doesn't use a laser. It is guided by a long piece of wire connected to the missile.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Later in the 1990s Sony added an IR light to their cameras, thus making Nightshot, which was controversial because you could use it to see through people's clothes.
This was not the case though. The effect was extremely exaggerated, and for sure you could not "see through peoples clothes". A vague kind of silhouette was all visible..
 
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