Attempts to identify
operating on MARCH 26th
APRIL 21, 2:30 p.m.
Phone call placed to Lieutenant O'Brein, Public Affairs Officer of the Ohio Army National Guard (614-889-7000). An inquiry was placed in regards to my efforts to identify the helicopter units operating at 11:00 p.m. near New Vienna, Ohio, in the Clinton County vicinity on March 26, 1997. O'Brein took my number and assured that a phone call would be returned regarding my inquiries.
APRIL 24th, 3:00 p.m.
A second phone call was placed again after the previous call had not been returned. I asked for Lt. O'Brien, who came to phone and advised that he would convey message to Major Jim Bolling, and I would receive a phone call back.
April 28th, 12:00 noon
A third phone call placed after no phone call was advanced. I asked for Major Bolling, where the operator then said, "what is the nature of your call." I stated the nature of the call, and was then told that Major Bolling wasn't available, and for me to call back later. A later phone call to Bolling again announced to him the nature of my inquiry, where he took my phone number and assured me that he would call me back with the requested information.
May 2, 2:30 p.m.
After repeated phone calls over a period of a few days, several of which were disconnected, others where answered where the party requested was 'unavailable,' contact was finally made with Major Bolling, where he stated the helicopters in question were indeed ARMY NATIONAL GUARD HELICOPTERS, and said there was nothing unusual about them being in the area, as they conduct regular 'Night Vision Training' in the BUCKEYE MOA every Wednesday night, and also specified a State Park where a route is flown around, which, he said, was BRUSH CREEK STATE FOREST.
The helicopter units, he said, were not involved with the flare activity reported several hours previous. The F-16 A.N.G. training, which originated from Springfield, Ohio, were the Air to Air maneuvers that would account for chaffe and flares, but the helicopter activity is strictly a coincidence where they had consecutive missions in the area, but were not related at all. The confusion, he said, was due to a "COORDINATION SHORTFALL," as the two separate agencies performed their routine operations on an independent basis.
It is normal for the helicopters to operate at the 11:00 p.m. time frame, and they usually commence around 9 or 10:00 p.m. Major Bolling added, "there was nothing unusual about the helicopter presence, and they were all of ours. Any perception of certain things "unusual" is strictly coincidental, according to Major Bolling.
Note: The locality of the exercizes, Brush Creek State Forest, is 39.5 miles south-east of the area specified in the inquiry, which is Clinton County, Ohio.
May 2, 1997
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