In most parts of Liberty City, especially near rivers, aircraft are not an uncommon sight. However, players started to notice a certain peculiar helicopter in the skies. These reports claimed that a strange helicopter would float idly in the sky, watching the player. Fans eventually started reporting this en masse, and soon, a myth was created.
Almost all reports of the Spy Helicopters start out the same: the player is walking or driving around a waterway, usually near the Union Drive freeway in Algonquin, among other places, when they would see a strange helicopter. The helicopter would always be idle, and would turn directly to face the player, almost like it was watching them. Fans started getting suspicious, and would take chase, usually to no avail as the paranoid pilots would fly away as soon as the players started closing in, and then disappearing before any substantial claims could be made. It should be noted that the pilot of these helicopters act strange, when eyewitnesses attempted to attack the helicopter, the driver would instantly bail out, even if he wasn't wounded. Despite the varying claims of location, it is agreed by the myth hunting community that Northwestern Algonquin is the main area to trigger the spawn of one of these helicopters. However, many players reported that the helicopter follows them after they have left Algonquin. The appearance of the helicopter varies, but most sightings are of an Annihilator, a military styled attack helicopter, or a Helitours Maverick helicopter.
Fans who have not completed the story claim that strange helicopters can be spotted over Faustin's mansion. Most myth hunters believe these are piloted by the government to spy on Niko, as these claims are supported by Niko's crime sprees during the game, and that the Annihilator is a deadly vehicle and would not be available to a civilian. Also, Phil Bell is very paranoid of helicopters following him as seen in cutscenes, mimicking behavior from the protagonist in the mob movie - Goodfellas. A possible explanation is that the helicopter and ped inside are simply unfinished, and was not given an AI path. The reason the Annihilator spawns is likely due to the fact that the spawn point likely did not specify a specific helicopter.
- When the player is far enough and shoots an idling helicopter using a sniper rifle until it explodes, the destroyed helicopter will just float. Shooting it again will make it fall.