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General News    H2'ed 10/4/16

Helicopter Allegedly Hired by North Dakota Authorities Found Flying in Violation of FAA Rules

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The Red Warrior Camp, part of the larger Oceti Sacowin camp, countered that the water protectors (they do not consider themselves protestors) were unarmed, yet met with "armored vehicles, shotguns, assault rifles, snipers, helicopters, and tear gas."

A smartphone video of a Lakota grandmother tells a chilling story. She had never had a gun pointed at her in her life, and describes being in a "state of shock" in the aftermath of the police action.

Adding to the mystery of who is flying what aircraft in the area, a crop duster was photographed on September 28 spewing thick yellow smoke at low altitude and in close proximity to the protector's prayer service. Many were convinced that they were being exposed to a toxic substance from the crop duster. Was this an innocent coincidence, or was this an example of extreme psychological manipulation employed to frighten and discourage future prayer and protest?

The reaction of the protestors/protectors was understandably one of fear, considering 500 years of genocide, Wounded Knee, and smallpox laced blankets that wiped out entire populations. The numbers vary from study to study, but looking at the most conservative estimates there were over 10 million Native Americans living in land that is now the United States when European explorers first arrived in the 15th century. Less than 300,000 were living in the United States around 1900, and 5.2 million were identified as American Indian or Alaska Native in the 2010 census.

Generational and historical trauma is real. LeManuel "Lee" Bitsoi, Navajo, PhD Research Associate in Genetics at Harvard University, says that "Historical trauma, therefore, can be seen as a contributing cause in the development of illnesses such as PTSD, depression and type 2 diabetes. According to Bitsoi, epigenetics is beginning to uncover scientific proof that intergenerational trauma is real, as reported in Indian Country Today.

Morton County law enforcement offered what seems, on the surface, to be a reasonable explanation of the yellow contrail in a press release.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the bi-plane was flying at an altitude of 400 to 500 feet and was approximately mile from the protestors. But there is no FAA verification of this data, and surely the pilot would have been able to visually notice the presence of the protestors/protectors.

"It is very important that our residents are aware that the aircraft in question was an
agricultural spray plane (bi-plane) flying to a field to apply a product. The pilot noticed a DAPL helicopter in the area, and because its engine was too loud to use radio communication to identify its location, the pilot deployed a common tactic to alert the helicopter to the biplane's location. The protocol is to use vegetable oil (the same used in air shows) as a method to identify an aircraft in the area," according to the Sheriff's statement.

It is true, that as the oil was being burned off, it turned yellow. This technique is used at air shows and depending upon the composition of the oil, it can present as any spectrum of color.

Can You Hear Me Now?

What is in question, is the assertion by the Sheriff, not the pilot, that the engine was "too loud" to notify the DAPL helicopter. According to a knowledgeable pilot, "That ag plane has a comm (communications) radio and so does the helicopter; they have crossed paths before and there is probably a nearby airport or private strip with a CTAF they would have been on."

CTAF is Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies; the radio frequency used for all communications at and around airports that do not have FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers, or "uncontrolled" aircrafts in FAA jargon. Pilots of all radio-equipped aircraft at or in the vicinity of uncontrolled airports are required to announce their positions and intended movements in these areas.

An attempt to contact the registered owners of the crop duster pictured in the press release, Sprayers, Inc., yielded a Post Office Box in Mandan and a disconnected phone number.

Equal Justice?

The litany is long of offenses leveled against The Standing Rock protestors/protectors.Misdemeanor and felony charges have resulted in arrests, incarcerations and bail for 95 people. There are no weapons charges, other than the "aggressive" horse.

On September 14th officers arrested three individuals for "felony reckless endangerment" for chaining themselves to DAPL equipment. This carries a penalty of up to five years and/or a $10,000 fine.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)
 

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