Coyne Helicopter Incident – Epilogue
This summer I conducted what I called the “Alienation Tour”. The 30 stop tour consisted of a core program called “Out of this World: UFO Encounters and Investigations” which was slightly modified for various regions. At Port Clinton’s Ida Rupp Library on August 20, 2011 I included as a classic sighting the Portage County UFO encounter by deputy sheriffs in 1966. As always at the end of the program I held a question-and-answer period and during that question-and-answer period and attendee asked about the Coyne sighting. During my five minute explanation of the event I can see the attendee’s body language he knew more about the event than I.
After the program this individual identified himself as John Healey. Healey was the medic on board the helicopter and was the first to see the object. The discussion we had was brief but he left me with one final comment and that was the helicopter became known as “a hangar queen”. In military terminology this meant that the helicopter had ongoing mechanical issues and spent tremendous amount of time in a hangar being repaired.
Being curious by nature I needed to know if that helicopter was still in existence and what was its condition. So I Googled the helicopters tail number 15444 and immediately had a number of hits. Almost all of these were leading back to the Coyne case. So I changed the search to the construction number and discovered the aircraft was deregistered in 2008 and assigned a civilian tail number of N333SD. At that time it was registered to the US Department of State and located at Patrick AFB in Florida. 15444 was one of a number of Bell helicopters from the same era that were deregistered.
In 2010 records indicate the civilian registration was canceled, but why. Additional Google searches indicate that N333SD was sent to Columbia to assist in controlling drug traffic. The epilogue to the story is in the following article. Multiple records show Bell N333SD now EJC-409 crashed on March 26, 2009. It appeared any further research into the mechanics of the helicopter will be swallowed up by the jungles in Columbia.
Colombia military helicopter crash kills 4
BOGOTA, March 26– Colombian National Army reported on Thursday that two captains and two soldiers died in a helicopter accident in the southern Colombian department of Narino, border with Ecuador.
“The Command from the National Army regrets to inform that on Thursday early morning a helicopter from the Aviation Brigade fell down when it was approving control operation on the traffic axis,” the Army said.
In a communique, the Army said that the helicopter Huey II, donated from the U.S. to be used for fighting against terrorism, fell down at 0630 GMT in a locality in the south west of Colombia in the municipality of Tumaco, for causes that were being investigated.
Preliminary reports said that the militaries were doing vigilance works in the framework of Colombia Plan, which is financed by Washington.
The Colombia plan is financed by the U.S. since the administration of Colombian former President Adres Pastrana (1998-2002) and it is aimed to end the drug trafficking in the country.
A team of special investigations made up by officers from the Air Force of Colombia went to the accident zone to determine the causes of the accident.