Citizens of Eureka! Approximately one million of you reported a blue helicopter suspiciously circling your fair town "about 20 times" earlier today. You demand answers, and we sort of have them. It's a bit vague, still, but the basic story seems to be this:
The helicopter belongs to the California Highway Patrol. It was sent over from the Redding office to assist Caltrans with some survey work, probably related to one of the recent road slides that have closed multiple area highways. (No one we spoke to from the Redding and Arcata offices of the CHP knew precisely for sure, or, if so, which slide in particular. But they were certain that the copter was here to assist Caltrans.)
Anyway. According to CHP Public Information Officer Paul Dahlen (Arcata Office), the chopper was in town when the Eureka Police Department got reports of an armed robbery. Soon after, a CHP car pulled over someone who may have been a suspect in that robbery. Since they were already in the air, the copter pulled around and circled the spot a few times in case the suspect decided to pull a runner. Then, apparently, it went merrily on its way.
The interjurisdictional nature of the case -- EPD, CHP Arcata, CHP Redding, Caltrans -- means that no one seems to have hold of the whole elephant. But this seems to be the outline.
Thanks to Ofc. Dahlen and Sgt. Steve Youngs of the California Highway Patrol's Redding office.
UPDATE: One would assume that this is the robbery referenced above.