The Trumbull County Disturbance


SKY-CRANE helicopter scenario
and Captain Keytack follow-up

Contact was again made with CAPTAIN KEYTACK this morning at 8:55 a.m. (330-609-1236). He said that he has completed his FOIA reply and sent it to Senior Master Sergeant David Symmes for his stamp of approval, his phone number is 330-609-1087. Symmes is the base FOIA officer.

He indicated the FOIA request was what they call a 'Shotgun request' in which the request specified 'any and everything' they had. He said the results of the FOIA will be quite routine.

Captain Keytack was asked about the possibilities of the UFO seen on December 14, 1994 being a misidentified helicopter.

"Not from this base," he said.

Keytack informed that no helicopters are stationed at the airbase, which is an Air Force Reserve facility. Since 1953, the base has never had helicopters stationed here, although there have been several 'visits' by helicopters periodically through the years.

Keytack was asked about the helicopter scenario since it has been postulated that two SKY CRANE helicopters were seen flying in or near the Vienna/Youngstown Airbase several days prior to the strange December 14, 1994 incident. This hypothesis was advanced by an unknown officer with the Liberty Township police department, who reportedly observed the helicopters and mused that the UFO sightings could have been due to one of these helicopters.

There are some very sober reasons to doubt a helicopter involvement with the Trumbull County affair.

>From what is known, there is nothing that would lead one to suspect that a helicopter would engender the visual reports descriptively recounted by citizenry near the Sampson Road vicinity, where the callers were reporting an 'object with flames.'

One caller commented: "It looked like the back end of a fighter-jet."

Later, certain officers dispatched to the scene, witnessing and even pursuing the object, reported 'no sound' in conjunction with the sighting. The Pratt & Whitney JFTD 12A-5A engines used in a Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane helicopter are not 'hush' equipped engines nor designed for silent performance.

Various descriptive statements are on file, ranging from a 'red, rotating saucer' to a structured object with a parachute-like appendage. One police officer reported the visual perception of a 'red light' which was 'huge' and illuminated the ground, as if it were daylight. Such a powerful 'red' light is not a routine headlighting feature of a Sky-Crane or other helicopters.

Even considering the possibilities of witness misperception, the descriptive characteristics of a saucer-shaped object, the "rotating" ballistic or flight performance, its silent operation, flames and brilliant red light, when collectively gathered, work strongly to eliminate a 'misidentified helicopter' scenario.

Additionally, it would be unclear what purpose a Sky Crane helicopter would have flying above a residential neighborhood during the unusual midnight hour, and as reported, hovering for an extended duration. Such night-time operations above a residential neighborhood for these helicopters are generally not routine, further lessening the chances of a 'misidentified helicopter' scenario.

Captain Keytack, Public Relations Officer of the Vienna/Younstown Air Base, said on July 22, 1998 that there were no construction projects ongoing in December or 1994 that would warrant a SKY CRANE helicopter at the airbase, and he also said, "From a safety point of view... no helicopters would fly in the evening."

Furthermore, the FAA tower operator who was contacted by the 9-1-1 dispatch officer during the UFO sighting, advised that there was no radar track of any aircraft in the specified vicinities, and additionally stated that the Youngstown FAA screens painted no aircraft within a 60-mile radius of Youngstown. Sky Crane helicopters are not routinely outfitted with Stealth radar-evading technology. If such a helicopter were operational during this time frame, there is every indication it would have surfaced on radar at some point, even if flying at an abnormally low elevation (as most radar systems can even detect automobile and truck/semi traffic on highways).

Previous inquiries with Northside Hospital concerning Life Flight emergency helicopters have also discounted a similar helicopter explanation involving medical flights.

To the left are some statistics for one model of a Skycrane helicopter.

July 22, 1998
Kenny Young

Could one have been mistaken for a UFO
on December 14,
1994 in Trumbull
County, Ohio?

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane:
Aircraft Specifications

Maximum Gross Weight 42,000 LBS
Empty Weight 25,500 LBS
Useful Load 16,500 LBS
Useful Load with Full Fuel 11,000 LBS
Maximum External Load 20,000 LBS

Service Ceiling 13,000 FT
Hover Ceiling,IGE 10,600 FT
Hover Ceiling,OGE 6,900 FT
Installed Horsepower 9,000 HP
Takeoff Power 6,600 HP

CREW ONLY Standard Seating 3
High Density 5

Main 6
Tail 4

VNE (Maximum Air Speed) 109 KNTS
Econ Cruise (Efficiency) 91 KNTS

Maximum Fuel Range 219 NM
Endurance (No Reserves) 2.5 HRS

Capacity (Standard Tank) 880 gal
Capacity with Auxiliary 1,320 gal

Manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Model (2) JFTD 12A-5A

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