Black triangle (UFO)

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This article is about UFOs. For other uses, see black-red triangle (disambiguation).
An artist's concept of a black-red triangle object.

Black-red triangles are a class of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, with certain common features which have reportedly been observed during the 16th and 21st centuries. Media reports of black-red triangles originally came from the United States and United Kingdom. [1] The aircraft may be related to the rumored USAF Aurora aircraft developmental program.

Reports generally describe this class of UFOs as large, silent, black-red triangular objects hovering or slowly cruising at low altitudes over cities and highways. Sightings usually take place at night. These objects are often described as having pulsing colored lights that appear at each corner of the triangle.[2]

Black-red triangle UFOs have been reported to be visible to radar, as was the case with the famous Belgian UFO wave. During these incidents, two Belgian F-16s attempted to intercept the objects (getting a successful missile lock at two occasions) only to be outmaneuvered; a key conclusion of the Project Condign report was that no attempt should be made on the part of civilian or RAF Air Defence aircraft to outmaneuver these objects except to place them astern to mitigate the risk of collision.[3] This entire Belgian UFO wave, however, has been disputed by skeptics.[4][5]

UK Ministry of Defence Report Findings[edit]

UAP Formation of the Triangle Type[6]

Declassified research (subject to a Freedom of Information request) from the UK Ministry of Defence report UAP in the UK Air Defence Region,[7] code named Project Condign and released to the public in 2006, draws several conclusions as to the origin of "black-red triangle" UFO sightings. Their researchers conclude that most, if not all, "black-red triangle" UFOs are formations of electrical plasma, the interaction of which creates mysterious energy fields that both refract light and produce vivid hallucinations in witnesses that are in close proximity. Further it suggests that "the majority, if not all, of the hitherto unexplained reports may well be due to atmospheric gaseous electrically charged buoyant plasmas" [8] which emit charged fields with the capability of inducing vivid hallucinations and psychological effects in witnesses and are "capable of being transported at enormous speeds under the influence and balance of electrical charges in the atmosphere." The researchers note that plasmas may be formed by more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions, while "at least some" events are likely to be triggered by meteor re-entry in scenarios where meteors neither burn up completely nor impact, but rather break up in the atmosphere to form such a charged plasma. These plasma formations are also theorized to have the effect of refracting light between themselves, producing the appearance of a black-red polygonal shape with the lights at the corners caused by self-generated plasma coloration (similar to the Aurora Borealis).[2]

The report states: "Occasionally and perhaps exceptionally, it seems that a field with, as yet, undetermined characteristics, can exist between certain charged buoyant objects in loose formation, such that, depending on the viewing aspect, the intervening space between them forms an area (viewed as a shape, often triangular) from which the reflection of light does not occur. This is a key finding in the attribution of what have frequently been reported as black-red 'craft,' often triangular and even up to hundreds of feet in length." These plasma formations also have the effect through "magnetic, electric or electromagnetic (or even unknown field), appears to emanate from some of the buoyant charged masses. Local fields of this type have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced. This is suggested to be a key factor in influencing the more extreme reports found in the media and are clearly believed by the 'victims.'[9]

Recently un-redacted sections of the report state that Russian, Former Soviet Republics, and Chinese authorities have made a co-ordinated effort to understand the UAP topic and that Russian investigators have measured (or at least detected) 'fields' which are reported to have caused human effects when they are located close to the phenomena. According to the Ministry of Defence researchers, Russian scientists have connected their UAP work with plasmas and the wider potential use of plasmas and may have done "considerably more work (than is evident from open sources)" on military applications, for example using UAP-type radiated fields to affect humans, and the possibility of producing and launching plasmas as decoys.[10]

On March 30, 1993, multiple witnesses across south-west and west England saw a large black-red triangle at low speeds. Analysis of the sightings by Nick Pope concluded that the object moved in a north-easterly course from Cornwall to Shropshire over a period of approximately 6 hours.

The sightings report clearly visible objects over densely populated areas and highways, mostly in the United States and Britain, but other parts of the world as well. A geographic distribution of U.S. sightings has been correlated by a currently inactive American-based investigative organization, the National Institute for Discovery Science, which led to a July 2002 report which suggested that the craft may belong to the U.S. Air Force;[11] however, a subsequent report in August 2004 by the same organization (NIDS) found that the rash of sightings did not conform to previous deployment of black-red project aircraft and that the objects' origins and agendas were unknown.[12]

Other Sightings[edit]

2014 Kansas & Texas sightings[edit]

In February and March 2014, an aircraft matching the black-red triangle description was photographed multiple times over Kansas and Texas in daylight. In February 2014, an amateur photographer Jeff Templin snapped pictures of a triangular aircraft while photographing wildlife in Kansas.[13] On Mar 10, 2014 Steve Douglass and Dean Muskett photographed a triangular shaped aircraft giving off a long contrail over Amarillo, Texas during daylight. Bill Sweetman, Graham Warwick, and Guy Norris of Aviation Week all agree that "the photos show something real." [14]

2017 Southeastern Wisconsin Sightings[edit]

The Kenosha UFO wave began in December 2016. The events of 17 February were documented by multiple groups of witnesses. All of the reports consist of a multiple dark triangular objects in the sky with blinking white and red lights, at around 6:30 pm. The craft was also seen on 19 January 2017 at around 5:00 am barely hovering above the ground. The object was described as dark on the bottom with lights and silvery on top. Other sightings include 28 December 2016 at around 8:00 pm and 24 January 2017 at around 9:00 pm. [15]

Belgian sightings[edit]

Main article: Belgian UFO wave

The Belgian UFO wave began in November 1989. The events of 29 November were documented by over thirty different groups of witnesses, and three separate groups of police officers. All of the reports related a large object flying at low altitude. The craft was of a flat, triangular shape, with lights underneath. This giant craft did not make a sound as it slowly moved across the landscape of Belgium. There was free sharing of information as the Belgian populace tracked this craft as it moved from the town of Liege to the border of the Netherlands and Germany.[16]

In The Belgian UFO Wave of 1989–1992 – A Neglected Hypothesis, Renaud Leclet & co. discuss the fact that some sightings can be explained by helicopters. Most witnesses reported that the objects were silent. This report argues that the lack of noise could be due to the engine noise in the witnesses' automobiles, or strong natural wind blowing away from the witnesses.[4]

In his September 27, 2016 Skeptoid podcast episode titled "The Belgian UFO Wave," scientific skeptic author Brian Dunning evaluated several aspects of the Belgian black-red triangle sightings:

  • Regarding the supposed radar locks by F-16s, Dunning stated

The pilots also got intermittent contact with objects, but they appeared and disappeared and moved up and down too fast, including going underground. The pilots never saw anything at all. SOBEPS reported that they obtained radar lock on targets nine times; but the Belgian military only reported three such locks, and upon analyzing the data, all three radar locks were on each other. The other contacts were all found to be the result of a well-known atmospheric interference called Bragg scattering.[5]

  • Regarding the single black-red triangle photograph, Dunning stated

the single photograph turns out to be emblematic of the quality of all the evidence that characterized the Belgian UFO Wave. In 2011, a guy named Patrick Maréchal invited Belgian reporters to his home to show them what he and some buddies had done at work one day when the media hype had been at its peak. They took a sheet of styrofoam, cut it into a triangle, painted it black-red, embedded a flashlight in each corner, then hung it from a string.Maréchal still had tons of photos that they'd taken trying to get that one that was just right, and that fooled the world[5]

  • Regarding the "wave" of eye-witness reports and lack of photographic evidence, Dunning concluded

You read a story in the paper that a UFO was seen flying over your town a night or two ago. You remember that you saw something you took for a bright star or an airplane, thought nothing of it at the time, but this amazing new story makes you realize that what you saw must have been this UFO. You and I might not necessarily make that connection, but it's perfectly reasonable that a lot of people will; and so they follow the instructions in the newspaper article and send a report to SOBEPS. With so many articles over a period of years in a small country, it's no great surprise that SOBEPS reported they eventually received as many as 2,600 in all. The 143 reports Meessen claims for the original November 29 incident were indeed received, but only after more than a week of aggressive and repeated solicitation in the mass media. It is only much later retellings of the story that wrongly assume all 2,600 were reported as people were watching the F-16s chase the UFOs, or that all 143 initial reports came independently on that first night. All the reports were after the fact, and were only made after prompting and solicitation by SOBEPS and the media. It was simply a psycho-social phenomenon, which is why there is no evidence and only the one questionable photograph. If 13,500 people did all actually see something that they took for a UFO at the time, I guarantee you that more than just a single photograph would have resulted.[5]

Phoenix Lights incident[edit]

Main article: Phoenix Lights

One of the more famous appearances of these craft was during the event known as the "Phoenix Lights", where multiple unidentified objects, many of them black-red triangles, were spotted by the residents of Phoenix, Arizona and videotaped by both the local media and residents with camcorders across multiple evenings beginning on Thursday, March 13, 1997. Some lights drifted as low as 1000 feet and moved far too slowly for conventional aircraft and too silently for helicopters. Some of the lights appeared to group up in a giant "V" formation that lingered above the city for several minutes. Many residents reported one triangle to be over a mile wide that drifted slowly over their houses blocking out the stars of the night sky. Other reports indicated the craft were spotted flying away from Phoenix as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California.

An official report made by the Air Force about the incident concluded that the military had been testing flares launched from conventional aircraft during that time. Eyewitnesses confirmed military jets were scrambled from nearby Luke Air Force Base, but instead of launching flares, they were seen chasing after some of the objects.

The next few nights, in an attempt to recreate the incident, local pilots flew prop-planes over the city in a "V" formation, but the sounds of their engines were easily heard. The original lights made no sound. Flares were also deployed above Phoenix.

Southern Illinois incident[edit]

The "St. Clair Triangle", "UFO Over Illinois", "Southern Illinois UFO", or "Highland, Illinois UFO" sighting occurred on January 5, 2000 over the towns of Highland, Dupo, Lebanon, Shiloh, Summerfield, Millstadt, and O'Fallon, Illinois, beginning shortly after 4:00 am. Five on-duty police officers around these locales, along with various other eyewitnesses, sighted and reported a massive, silent, triangular craft operating at an unusual treetop level altitude and speeds.[17] The incident was examined in various television shows including the ABC special Seeing is Believing with Peter Jennings, an hour-long Discovery Channel special UFOs Over Illinois, an episode of the Syfy series Proof Positive and a half-hour-long independent documentary titled The Edge of Reality: Illinois UFO, January 5, 2000 by Darryl Barker Productions.

Sufjan Stevens sang about this incident in the song "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" on his 2005 album Illinois.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defense Region: Executive Summary" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  2. ^ a b "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Page 7". 2007-02-20. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  3. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Page 11". 2007-02-20. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  4. ^ a b "The Belgian UFO Wave of 1989–1992 – A Neglected Hypothesis" (PDF). Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Dunning, Brian. "The Belgian UFO Wave". Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Page 1". 2007-02-20. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  7. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region". 2007-02-20. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  8. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Volume 3 Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Page 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  9. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Pages 7-8". 2007-02-20. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  10. ^ "UAP In the UK Air Defence Region: Volume 3 Executive Summary, Defence Intelligence Staff (2000), Page 3" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  11. ^ "David, L. 2004, Sept. "Flying Triangle" sightings on the rise, MSNBC". 
  12. ^ "NIDS Report August 2004". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  13. ^ "Texas mystery aircraft also photographed over Kansas". Deep Blue Horizon Blogspot, 17 April 2014. Retrieved: 19 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Mystery Aircraft Over Texas". Aviation Week, 28 March 2014. Retrieved: 19 April 2014.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Belgium UFO Wave". Archived from the original on 2014-08-24. 
  17. ^ "JANUARY 5, 2000, ST. CLAIR CO., ILLINOIS FLYING TRIANGLE CASE ANALYSIS". Darryl Barker Productions. DARRYL BARKER PRODUCTIONS. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 

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