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My friend Ben Williams mentioned a recent event in which he saw black helicopters in the sky over his home in Minneapolis, and the deeply unsettled feeling it left him with.  Note that the exercise took place over the Federal Reserve -- the location originally chosen by Occupy Minneapolis, and not permitted by the authorities.

Update:  By no means is this diary an endorsement of Alex Jones or Infowars.  I am not a conspiracy theorist.  I am, however, open to information where and when I can find it, and Infowars had the best collection of links to other resources that I found.

I found very little coverage of it, virtually nothing in the MSM (surprise!).  If you're in the mood to visit Infowars, they have an article about it also describing similar events in Florida, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

As a person with some experience both with Blackhawk helicopters and urban rescue, I have to call bullshit on anything that purports to mix the two.  Blackhawk helicopters are about firepower, plain and simple.  Death from above.

Ben's account below the cloud.

On Saturday 25 August, I caught a brief notice on the local news informing residents of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that the U.S. Special Operations Command would be engaging in “urban environment training” over the course of the next several days in our area (training had actually begun on 19 August, but would now become more visible).

This was said to be part of an effort to train the military in urban search & rescue operations. It mentioned that this training would be routine and that there was no cause for alarm on the part of the public.

On Monday 27 August, Blackhawk and Hughes helicopters conducted exercises downtown and also patrolled the airspace of my neighbourhood (Northeast Minneapolis), which is adjacent to downtown. They hovered in close formation near downtown buildings including the Federal Reserve building, and flew at very low altitudes. The overflights lasted for several hours as the helicopters continually cruised back and forth across the Mississippi River.

I found this to be a very alarming experience, and one that was anything but routine. I had the strong sense that we had reached a new stage in our evolution from a security state into a bona fide police state.

The fact that there was scant and very short notice regarding this (up until now) highly unusual and conspicuous operation, with the explanations provided alternating between “search & rescue” and “urban warfare training”, leads me to believe that this operation is part of a new effort to intimidate the public and to condition us into accepting a new, ongoing military presence in our civilian space – one that may well become more “routine” as time goes on.

The local news media kept stressing that there was “nothing to worry about”, but did so only after traumatized residents began calling the police and 911 to find out why helicopters were buzzing their rooftops for hours on end. We were told that the military refused to give out exact training locations to “prevent crowds from gathering to watch and creating a safety hazard”.  Not that flying dozens of huge helicopters at very low altitude over a heavily populated area is unsafe, mind you….

Since that evening, I have continually heard the rationale from various quarters that the military must have conducted these drills to train for similar urban warfare missions in “some Middle Eastern country”. This explanation makes no sense at all: if military helicopters flew low to the ground and hovered close to buildings in a hostile urban zone, they would be directly exposed to enemy fire from the ground or from those buildings.

This training exercise was clearly addressing the presumptive need on the part of the authorities that military personnel and hardware will be needed to quash impending civil unrest, and as far as they are concerned, the people of this country don’t need to be properly informed about that.

The element of surprise is quite effective, and this is where the psychological warfare aspect comes into play. The feeling was sudden and palpable as I stared at soldiers in full camouflage gear sitting in the doorway of several helicopters roaring overhead: no longer can we be assured that our cities and neighborhoods belong to us. At any time, in any location and without warning, elements of the military can invade our lives, and they do not have to answer for it.

Ben Williams

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