Mystery Helicopters in the Sepulveda Pass

Copywrite 2009 Joseph Burkes MD



The presence of a consciousness link between contactees and non-human intelligence of a presumed ET origin was manifest by a series of high strangeness types of encounters. Bizarre coincidences known as synchronicities are a recurring pattern in the contact underground. In December of 1990 apparently out of the blue, I developed a sudden interest in the flying saucer phenomenon. Around the same time Misha (a pseudonym) applied for the job as an EKG technician at our medical center. He was hired in the summer of 1991 and was placed in the ER.

Misha was born in White Russia in 1971. Now an independent state it was formerly part of the USSR. He had a number of contact experiences as a youth and studied yoga to achieve deep meditations. Misha was trained as a nurse during his military service in the Soviet Army and emigrated to the USA in 1989.

In the ER I immediately gravitated to him because he was the only other Russian speaking person in our department. At that time, some 20 years after taking two years of college Russian, my knowledge was quite rusty. I wanted someone to chat with in the hope of renewing my distant acquaintance with the language.

In Fall of 1991 after working together for only a few months he asked me what I thought of the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life. At that point I would not of dreamed of sharing my growing interest in UFOs with anyone at work. I made some nonchalant reply that there must be someone else, “out there.”

When we got to know each other better, Misha told me about a strange experience that he had as a teenager back in the USSR. He described having a lucid dream that in retrospect seemed to forecast events that subsequently came to pass. In his dream he saw himself working in an American hospital with a tall slender bearded doctor. He denied knowing the name of this doctor. Misha however claimed that when we first met in the emergency room, he recognized me from the dream that he had back home several years before.

When we started working together in 1991, my interest in UFOs was just a few months old. Fall, winter, and spring of 1992 went by before I was even to learn of Steven Greer, and subsequently volunteer for the CE-5 Initiative. From the moment that I first met Misha in ER, till the time he revealed the depth of his life-long contact experiences, nearly two years had passed. I could not help but marvel at this young man’s self discipline, his ability to hold his tongue .

For a lad of just 21 years, it seemed very strange indeed. I was curious about what was going through Misha’s mind during all that time when our CE-5 team was carrying out its initial investigations. After all, I was fairly open about my UFO activities at work. With several other people from the medical center involved, it could hardly be kept a secret. How could Misha contain himself during those many months when I was openly sharing the results of our UFO research. I wanted to know how he was able so effectively “to stay in the closet.”

His answer both surprised and disturbed me. He simply said “You  weren’t ready yet, Joe. I wasn’t supposed to talk about it.”

I did not care for his answer one bit. “What the hell do you mean, I’ wasn’t ready yet!”

Misha’s enigmatic response set a precedent that day. His vague replies became characteristic of a behavior pattern that was to repeat itself throughout our relationship. Other contactees also gave vague replies when interrogated about direct telepathic communication.

Without looking me in the eye, Misha simply clamed up and smiled. When further pressed, he might come out with something like, “ I just can’t tell you Joe. It’ s not safe.” I don’t have permission to talk about it. So don’t bother asking me any more questions!”

The implication of his reticence was that somebody or something, was watching developments from afar. In typical contactee fashion, Misha apparently accepted as fact that he was in communication with non- human intelligence of a presumed et nature. And that “they” whoever that was, had given him advanced instructions about what to reveal and when to talk about it.

At first it all seemed a bit melodramatic and self serving. Misha allegedly was in touch with ets who were presumably “closely monitoring the situation.” Not wanting to rock the boat however, I went along with him. After all, in many ways I was the novice here.

Although I had cast myself in the role of coordinator and my team was making progress in the field work, my leadership had a number of obvious deficiencies. I had no track record of contact experiences prior to joining the CE-5 Initiative. I had picked up a smattering of consciousness training from Greer, and then after reading one book on meditation and taking a TM course, I somewhat recklessly volunteered to be a working group coordinator for the Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind Initiative.

I sensed it might be better not to ask too many questions of Misha. I needed all the help that I could get in this project. If Misha alleged that he had some et friends helping us as “silent partners,” then time would tell whether there was any substance to his claims. I was on contactee roller coaster ride and was not about to challenge one of the conductors.

Thus in September of 1993, Misha joined our contact team. We had several other new recruits that month. I had deliberately resisted adding new researchers before the initial team was united, experienced and disciplined. It had taken me over a year, from the start of field work, for me to feel it was appropriate to add some fresh blood.

This strict policy was cause of some friction. Members of the local UFO community let it be known in no uncertain terms that my style in particular, and CSETI’s approach in general, were in their opinion definitely “elitist.” This accusation was to haunt me and the organization for some time. Charges of elitism would lead to much dissension and misunderstanding and would reduce our effectiveness for the duration of my tour as working group coordinator.

In September 1993, after going out with our team only once, Misha informed me of something quite amazing. Several members of his family had reported to him that they had a broad daylight sighting of a UFO.  I drove over to Misha’s mother’s home. It was located on an ordinary suburban tract just north of the Van Nuys airport. There I interviewed his nephew, mother and an in-law who had witnessed the craft. They confirmed the detailed account previously given to me by Misha.

It was around 4PM in the afternoon on an ordinary workday, when reportedly a metallic disc was seen by Misha’s mother, his 10-year-old nephew and a gentleman in his late forties, an in-law. Their descriptions of the craft were identical. It was a typical flying saucer, some 30 feet across. It hovered at an altitude of several hundred feet. A helicopter, that they assumed had come from the nearby airport, was seen slowly flying circles around the disc. Misha had previously told his entire family about our CE-5 work and he even shared some of the details of the contact protocols. His nephew took charge during the sighting and gave verbal “instructions” to the craft. To everyone’s surprise the object moved on cue, first to the left as ordered, then to the right.

Misha’s mother told me that she had just prepared borscht, a delicious Russian soup. Responding to the shouts from her nephew, she came out of the kitchen and invited the “NLO” (Russian for UFO) down for a bit of soup.

Although this incident report excited me, I was not totaled surprised by the sighting at Misha’s mother’s house. The year before several members of our Los Angeles team had separate sightings of UFOs while driving home in their vehicles. All three sightings occurred within a few weeks of our starting CE-5 fieldwork. Two of the sightings were high quality ones, i.e. of structured craft.

One encounter was experienced by a colleague of mine at the medical center. Her sighting occurred in broad daylight. Dr. Maria ...  reported seeing a metallic disc that was hovering over the Santa Monica Hills near the 101 Freeway. The other quality sighting was of a luminescent, mother of pearl globe that was estimated to be about 30 feet across. It was reportedly seen at close range by the senior member of our Working Group, a grandmother in her late 60s. and the wife of a prominent lawyer. This sighting occurred about 9 PM while she was driving home. This contact team member reported first seeing the globe as it hovered over her ocean-view home in the luxurious Palos Verdes district. The object then slowly flew down the road and passed her at a distance of just a few hundred feet.

It seemed like a kind of pattern was being repeated. Misha had just started going out with us into the field to make contact with et I.  This was followed by the encounter at his Mother’s house. The September 1992 sightings described above, plus the one that I experienced, all occurred after our initiating efforts at making contact. It seemed to me that the Extra-terrestrials had possibly acknowledged our group contact efforts by staging a series of separate encounters for selected team members. In a similar fashion this intelligence, of a presumed ET origin, had staged a house call at Misha’s Mom’s place to acknowledge his joining our team.

It is also important to note that Misha’s family appeared very receptive to the practice of contact work. As working group coordinator I placed a high value on family approval of our research activities. After all, our efforts were totally voluntary and often required all night stakeouts in remote locations away from the family.

As a result of these difficulties, family support was in my opinion vital. Without their support no team member could sustain research activities for very long. The encounter near the Van Nuys airport was encouraging. I was very pleased to have Misha on my our contact team.




The September 1993 sighting at Misha’s mother’s house, was not the first encounter where a helicopter would appear in the story. Six eventful months after Misha became a team member another set of sightings took place. This time helicopters took front-center stage.

During Easter week 1994, I got a phone call from my contactee friend Misha. It was a very happy time in his life. Misha and Renata were getting married. They were making plans to have the celebration in Las Vegas.  Just a few weeks before the ceremony, where I was to be the best man, that Misha called me on the phone. It was on a Tuesday morning at about 11 AM . I was preparing to go to work. I wanted to catch our internal medicine conference at the hospital.  Misha sounded excited. He quickly described his having another UFO sighting.  It had taken place the previous evening while driving home on the Ventura Freeway.. Misha reported seeing a disc shaped object that apparently was being pursued by several helicopters. They flew heading north over the freeway. The saucer appeared to be  at an altitude of less than a thousand feet.


The story was definitely bizarre. I told Misha that there were a number of possibilities. The object in my opinion was probably not a top secret US military device. The densely populated San Fernando Valley was the least likely place to test such a flying machine. Just imagine the uproar with thousands of witnesses, if the craft had to stage an emergency landing in a community of nearly a million people.  Prized government assets were better kept secure, way out in the desert.

Misha’s notion that the helicopters were chasing the disc, didn’t make much sense either. The flight characteristics of some UFOs include their ability to fly circles around top performance military aircraft. Slow moving helicopters in pursuit mode would never be able to keep up with a real flying saucer.

Using this logic I concluded that Misha’s sighting might very well be staged event by non-human intelligence. In order to create yet another contact experience, Misha had been treated to the thrill of seeing a flying saucer. Whether it was some kind of holographic projection, an induced hallucination or an actual sighting of alien craft could not be determined. Nevertheless the frequent sightings being reported by my contactee friends were following a stereotypic pattern. They appeared not to be random sightings but rather staged events.

But what about the presence of the companion helicopters? If this be another staged encounter, why include the choppers? I told Misha that perhaps the intelligence behind such displays chose to associate a conventional type of aircraft, the helicopters, with something quite anomalous, a flying saucer. Perhaps, by matching the two, a kind of control mechanism could be forged. So as not to “disturb the natives”, the really weird was combined with the conventional.

It occurred to me that the entire experience might have been an induced hallucination. Perhaps being the product of some advanced alien “mind control” technology. Such negative designations(at least when applied to et) are not terribly popular in contactee circles. More politically correct terms (and perhaps more accurate ones) promoted by CSETI Director Dr. Steven Greer are “technology assisted consciousness” and consciousness assisted technology. "Mind control" with all its negative connotations was discussed as the tool of nefarious "Black Operations" teams working for the national security establishment.

After making this sweeping speculative analysis of Misha's enounter on the phone, and feeling quite proud of myself at that, I said good-bye to buddy Misha. I set off on the 405 freeway. I didn’t want to miss the doctors meeting. Back in 1994 my department was still offering donuts at conference and didn't want to miss my share.

So there I was, driving through a sea of cars, on what seemed like a normal Tuesday afternoon. Or was it? As I reached the middle portion of the Sepulveda pass, I noticed something a bit strange. Above the eastern rim of the canyon I saw two military helicopters. This in and of itself was strange. There are no major military bases located near the City Los Angeles. What was even more bizarre was that both choppers were vintage aircraft. One was an old Sikorsky, the kind first used in the Korean War. I recognized its typical large rounded nose with the cockpit located high up above the cabin. The other was a Huey, a Bell UH 205, the standard workhorse helicopter of the Vietnam War.

I was immediately struck by the wild colors on both craft. The Sikorsky instead of the standard dark green was a wild brilliant candy color green. It looked like something out of a circus. The Huey appeared a bit more respectable, it was painted a darker olive color, but the US star insignia on the side of the craft was surrounded by a bright green circle that just didn’t look right.

Both helicopters were slowly moving back and forth above the highest point of the canyon. They appeared to be no more than 200 feet above the rim. This was several hundred feet below FCC regulation.

I thought to myself, “This is very strange.” I have a conversation with Misha about his sighting possibly being a simulated display and I am witness to craft fit for the circus. I had specifically mentioned to Sash the notion that a helicopter might be used as a kind of a prop in his sighting. Now I was witness to not one, but two bizarre "identified flying objects. "

Was this just an amazing coincidence, or was I being given a rather theatrical visual display that was similar to Misha’s. Was this perhaps another mind control exercise by non-human intelligence? Or was it some kind of a test? As a seasoned contact worker I chose to ignore the null hypothesis. “Damn the coincidences, full contact speed ahead!

In order to promote contact I decided to assume the helicopters were a manifestation of this “otherness” that we call ET. It is possible that choppers were merely being rented by some motion picture studio. Maybe Silvester Stallone was doing an outdoor shoot for Rambo part 13.

On  an ordinary Tuesday afternoon surrounded by traffic, I was still so Gung Ho for contact, that I didn’t really care about the more prosaic explanations.  I was determined try to try to communicate, perhaps even interact. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I ever so slightly released my grip on the steering wheel. I gently opened my mind and what I imagined was my heart chakra. While doing this fanciful exercise, I made doubly sure that I was a safe distance from the car in front of me.

As my vehicle approached the top of the Sepulveda Pass, I was doing about 55 miles per hour. I watched the helicopters located now above me and to the right. They were still moving back and forth perpendicular to the freeway. I sent out a mental message of welcome. I visualized a radiant loving light emanating from just below my rib cage.

As I slowed my breathing. I thought. “Welcome!” That which unites us is stronger than that which divides us. Welcome!.

Keeping up with the fast moving mid-day traffic, my 1983 Toyota Camry reached the crest of the canyon. The San Fernando Valley stretched out before me. On my daily ride to hospital, I always took pleasure in spectacular panoramic view.  I accelerated as I headed down the hill into the valley . To my surprise, I noticed that the Huey had broken away from the Sikorsky.  It was headed my way! Just another coincidence? I choose to discount this possibility.

With all the mental energy that I could muster, I sent out a loving and spirited message. As corny as it probably sounds. I chanted one of the CSETI oaths that I had learned.



The Huey was now above my vehicle and I noticed that it was descending rapidly. It kept pace with me, flying just a few dozen yards out front. I had a perfect view of its underbelly through my windshield. The chopper leveled out at less than 100 feet above the roadway.


I could hear the chopper’s engines, but they seemed quite muffled.  The roar should have been deafening, but it wasn’t. My heart pounding, I chanted in my mind. “Yes! Yes! One Universe, One People! One Universe, One People!”

I experienced a wave of joyful excitement. The helicopter slightly turned its fuselage sideways, pointing a bit to the right. With the body of the craft turned, chopper continued in the same direction. It was following the north bound traffic on the freeway perfectly and paced my car at a steady 60 miles per hour.

My Huey with the weird paint job was now about 150 feet in front of me and I could see into the glass cockpit. The downward grade of the hill put me about 20 feet higher than the roadway directly below chopper. From that vantage point, I imagined that I should have been able to see the pilot at the controls. I looked into the right side of the craft. I saw no one!

There appeared to be no pilot at the controls. Granted, the angle was not

the best for viewing into the cockpit. Pilot present or none, I

      continued my mental chant of solidarity,





For about one sweet mile, for one delightful minute, we traveled together. As we passed the Sepulveda Basin Dam, the Huey moved off to the west. I looked towards the walls of the reservoir, (a favorite shoot site for film crews.) The large concrete plaza in front the dam was totally deserted. The choppers were not part of a Hollywood action movie shoot at the dam.


I continued the drive to work in contactee heaven. After medical conference I worked an evening shift in the ER. I called Misha and told him about the helicopters in the Sepulveda Pass. Did I really have a contact experience or not? I suppose skeptics would issue a diagnosis of "self deception", laced most certainly with "a heavy dose of wishful thinking." Coincidence might explain all. Prior to this experience I had never before been buzzed by a helicopter while driving on a freeway. Never before and never since for that matter. It all might have occurred by chance. But I don’t think so.


One universe, one people!


Joseph Burkes, MD




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