The US military is keeping silent about a recent string of videos posted to social media from greater Los Angeles showing unidentified blacked-out helicopters, some of them with their lights off, flying over the city.
Multiple clips of the unusual activity have been posted to Twitter, prompting users to ask what’s going on.
Anyone know what is going on with these four helicopters flying in circles really low, fast and with their lights off through the NELA and DTLA areas? Is this some kind of helicopter race or chase? Any MTA employees know anything? pic.twitter.com/ZlzgOOyVgX— Angie Kings (@angiekings) September 2, 2020
The Drive contributor Tyler Rogoway said the choppers were MH-6 Little Birds, and that they were piloted by the Army’s Night Stalkers, also called the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), which reportedly regularly engage in training across major US cities, sometimes alongside Navy SEALS, Rangers, the Special Forces Marines, or Delta Force.
“Sometimes they even work with federal law enforcement direct action teams, like the FBI’s vaunted Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and folks from the intelligence community. This type of military operations in urban terrain training is precisely what people are seeing over downtown Los Angeles tonight,” Rogoway suggested.
The military affairs journalist added that the US Army customarily gives “little if any warning to the public” before starting drills, which he suggested “always causes everything from great concern to outlandish conspiracy theories”.
The chopper sightings follow reports on Monday of odd police and city utility helicopter activity around LA’s major highways.
N103CG, a Md Helicopter Inc 500N, (callsign N103CG) is circling over Sylmar, Los Angeles at 2000 feet, speed 80 MPH, squawking 0242, 0.29 miles from Exit 1 #N103CG https://t.co/KFlzaNzFZ5 pic.twitter.com/mkMCROJJqt— Advisory Circular LA (@SkyCirclesLA) August 30, 2020
N701WP, a Bell Helicopters 407, (callsign N701WP) is circling over Granada Hills, Los Angeles at 0 feet, speed 4 MPH, squawking 1200, 0.35 miles from Exit 158 #N701WP https://t.co/xlC3mUsCCv pic.twitter.com/hotFn6Vgtr— Advisory Circular LA (@SkyCirclesLA) August 31, 2020
Two members of the 160th SOAR were killed and three others injured last week after their Blackhawk helicopter crashed on San Clemente Island west of San Diego. In early August, nearly a dozen Marines and a Navy sailor were killed after their amphibious vehicle sank in the island’s vicinity.
On Friday, Los Angeles police reported that about 50 ‘defund the police’ rioters had vandalized one of their precincts, attacked a police vehicle and set an American flag on fire.