News Brief

Low-flying helicopters over Berkeley are measuring radiation levels

Many Berkeley residents have been in touch with us today asking about the helicopters that have been flying overhead, across the city and also into Oakland. A call to Berkeley Police Department confirms that the choppers are out measuring baseline radiation levels.

The flyovers are part of research by two federal security agencies — the Department of Homeland Security and the National Nuclear Security Administration — to compare aerial and ground based mapping of radioactivity, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.

The National Nuclear Security Administration agency says the project will help local, state and federal authorities’measure radiation. Radioactive sources — such as uranium, radon gas and carbon-14 — have been present in the Earth’s crust since it was formed. (Read the NNSA press release.)

While the purpose may be worthy, the low-flying choppers — they need to fly at around 300 ft — are not proving popular with everyone. “It’s driving me batty,” said Berkeleysider Emily Cohen.

Update, 6 p.m.: Berkeley Police say the helicopter will be making daily flights for five days, between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, 2012. “The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the locations about 300 feet above the ground,” they said in a release.

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  • Jayne


  • Eastbayopine

    they are looking for Godot….

  • Erik

    That’s why I moved to Berkeley. To be as far away from Texas and the right wing nuts who call it home as I could get (culturally speaking of course). And after living here for 15 years I still haven’t met any communists. Or seen any flag burnings. It’s really just a small town filled with incredibly smart and creative people (who also happen to be progressive liberals). 

  • Canada

    All of the Pacific West Coast is being impacted by the radiation from Fukushima.  Perhaps this is what is being monitored.  Google this.  The info will make the hairs on your arms stand up.   

  • Kthxbai

    You’re wrong at one part, this is nowhere as strong as Chernobyl.

  • Suckyreporting

    how is this actual reporting? to regurgitate a press release from the government.
    I wonder what actual equipment is on this helicopter. Is this helicopter manned or is this a drone? Is the public going to have access to the results of the survey? what’s Dept. Homeland Security’s (DHS) involvement?

  • Iceland_1622

    The’re back….!  4:23 pm. Friday N. Berkeley. My neighbor took several photographs and I just enlarged one using some pretty sophisticated computer software that we use at work and can see clearly that the markings over the fuel intake port are in Mandarin.  This means only one thing and one thing only, and that is that ‘Operation Falcon’ has begun and that these are really N. Korean agents being smuggled in for secret invasion while our own government is complicit in this madness.  I thought DHS was supped to protect us from this kind of weirdness.  Time to lock and load here! How damn clever, Labor Day Weekend.  Who would know or guess…   

  • Joethepaintier

    i see/hear them coming and think of the old days when they were after me, not anymore….. peace to all  !!                                                            can u spot a fruitfly…..

  • They’re measuring radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The tapwater in San Francisco already has
    18% more radiation in it. Also there’s radiation in the milk. Radiation fallout is all over America. Go online and
    check it out.  

  • DM

    How about Berkeleyside does some first hand reporting and investigating re: what ARE the radiation levels in the Bay Area?  Are they being monitored?

  • njudah

    the denim suede secret police will come to take your uncool niece!

  • Davidcarswell

    THATS BS – fukushima is 4x Chernobyl and fukushima is still leaking radiation, if you look at main stream media for your source you must know they do nothing but lie… i’d hope that you already know the government lies through their teeth… see these

    or this where people in SF bay area breathed in 75 MILLION PLUTONIUM ATOMS in just 4 days:
    Pissin’ On The Roses: Live in San Francisco? You Inhaled 75 …

    Fukushima has released enormous amounts of Plutonium where as Chernobyl’s release was high in Cesium mostly. 1 pound of plutonium has the potential to kill billions of people.
    Also just so you know Chernobyl was one meltdown and contained shortly after 1000’s gave their lives to brick it up and stop the releases. Fukushima is 4 reactors.

    How long did it take to contain Fukushima – well it’s been almost 1 and a half years now and it is still leaking some days worse than the days when it started. They cannot even go into buildings number 1, 2, 3 as the radiation is so bad that it will kill humans within minutes and a robot sent into number 2 could not even find the melted fuel it is believed to have committed itself to the China Syndrome. A robot cannot even go into 1 and 3 because electronic die because the radiation is so high in those buildings. We have to invent new technology because people and current technology will never contain Fukushima. 
    Just the other day a report came out reporting that hundreds of trillions of becquerels of radioactive strontium has leaked into the Pacific.
    The Pacific is so destroyed.

    It is estimated that 4x’s the amount (conservatively speaking) radionuclides have been released from Fukushima. Including never before seen Uranium buckyballs in sea mist across the Pacific NEVER seen before… 

    AND just to clench how bad Fukushima is if spent fuel pool #4 collapses it is an extinction event. That fuel pool is FILLED with MOX fuel and plutonium… And to top that all four reactors and their spent fuel pools and the many surrounding the site are overfilled beyond their capacities that they were built for.

    I suggest you get information from sources that aren’t afraid to speak the truth and aren’t pandering to the nuclear industry. 

    But just in case you are lazy there is 1 very enlightening video by a corporate media outlet. Rachel Maddow has this to share:
    Rachel Maddow—Fukushima—Corporations – YouTube

    So DON’T spread lies about how Fukushima is NOT worse than Chernobyl when clearly that is not the case. If you told anyone that lie i suggest you get on the phone and apologize.

    Note: there is much more information that is absolutely frightening and every day the situation gets worse and worse. Follow it and if that fuel pool goes move to the southern hemisphere-our government and media will not inform us-for one because of panic and two because they are flat out liars! Don’t eat anything out of the pacific and the US is the only country buying beef from Japan-know where your beef came from.

    -david carswell

  • Ubiquinol4All

    Cesium 137 is still being released into the ocean to eliminate the heated water that the mass is creating.
    The mass is out of the containment chamber and below the water line, on land being washed away by the ocean.  The entire west coast will be “mapped” for a radiation base exposure.  I strongly suggest that private organizations perform duplicate tests.  This agency can be as evil at the Food & Drug Administration  

  • Ubiquinol4All

     The radiation will envelop the Northern Hemisphere.  Bases are being built in Northern Australia.  Australian voters blocked part of the plan.  That will not stop them.  Every person “must” take CoQ10 in either the Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol form in order to give Oxygen to every cell in the body.  Cancer cannot survive in a cell that is Oxygenated.  National Cancer Institute knew this in 1986 until May 2008.  In December 2007 they said:
    “Every person being treated for cancer with chemo and radiation must also be given CoQ10 in addition to chemo and radiation.”  After my wife and I told the “Story” of how we received our knowledge on how intricate CoQ10 is to life, itself, they removed the site.
    Check it out now, they have an overview.  My wife and I have been taking 600 mg of Ubiquinol in morning and 400 mg Ubiquinone at bedtime for the last 5 years.  We have told every person we meet “The Story” and hand out a business card with the three lowest prices of Ubiquinol.  Trader Joe’s, Swanson Vitamins, & Vitacost.  As long as it is KanekaQh and not the China ZMC Corp.  We urge every person to take CoQ10 for the rest of their lives, especially if Statin drugs are used.  Statins totally eliminate CoQ10.
    There is a common sense mathematical formula I like to give people:
    Pesticides + Antibiotics + HFCS + Aspertame = Statins – CoQ10 = Cancer

  • Huge

    It’s been over 4 months. Where are the results of the survey?

    Here’s the official press release from the project, but no info on results:

  • Marantzguy

    Fine! Never mind that the Lab itself may be a source of possible contamination, or some radium dial Timex watches in the dump! And, what about the safety of citizens in case one of these helicopters has a problem and comes down uncontrollably?

  • emraguso

    FYI: The helicopters are slated to be back in Berkeley this week to measure radiation levels:

  • Irradiated in West Berkeley

    So that’s why they keep hovering over my office….It’s getting really “hot” down hear in West Berkeley…