Hopefully, the U.S. military hasn't finally decided it's had it with San Francisco.
Our newsroom got a call about 15 minutes ago reporting that military helicopters were flying "really close" to the Bay Bridge. Our own reporter, Stephanie Martin, confirms the sighting: She says she saw four or five flying north in formation as she was driving on Cesar Chavez.
Update 11:50 a.m.
Captain Donny LeBlanc from Moffett Field tells KQED's Katrina Schwartz that the helicopters are part of a training mission from the 129th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard. The helicopters are actually Pave Hawks, not Black Hawks, as some have speculated. The two types look almost identical, he said. The flight was to “familiarize ourselves with the local geography” since the Air National Guard is charged with rescue missions in the area.
Captain LeBlanc said the helicopters took off from and looped back around to Moffett. He didn’t know how close they got to the bridge, but said he'd look into it.
More sightings from earlier today on Twitter:
Blackhawk helicopters over Dogpatch a tick ago. I have lined my Giants cap with tinfoil accordingly.
— Dogpatch Howler (@DogpatchHowler) June 13, 2012
Looks like they came from the south...
Woke up to my building shaking as 4 military helicopters (green) flew north over San Mateo. Anyone know what's going on?
— Stephanie Scambos (@Scambos) June 13, 2012
Update 9:45 a.m.
Here's a tweet from someone based in Mendocino, leading to the speculation that the military may be involved in either marijuana crop eradication or antiquing...
5 military helicopters just flew over very low. So loud and a little scary.
— RabbitRoodle (@rabbitroodle) June 13, 2012
Update 9:55 a.m. A photo! "Alongside Highway 101"...