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Investigations of the Flying Triangle
The United States is currently experiencing a wave
Flying Triangle sightings that may have intensified
in the 1990s,
towards the latter part of the 1990s. The wave continues. The
Flying Triangles are
deployed over and near population centers, including in the vicinity of
The behavior of these Triangular aircraft does not
to previous patterns of covert deployment of
Neither the agenda nor the origin of the Flying Triangles are currently
abruptly exposed to the Flying Triangle phenomenon
on the morning of January 5,
police officer called the hotline to report a close encounter
very large, silent, brightly lit object in western
Following a high profile investigation by NIDS it emerged that five
police officers in several
different precincts and over a dozen other
eyewitnesses had seen the object as it flew slowly in a southwesterly
flight path of the aircraft took it near the perimeter
of Scott Air Force base (SAFB), the Head Quarters
of Air Mobility
of the NIDS investigators interviewed the AFOSI special agent in charge
office at SAFB. The upshot of the NIDS interview was a denial from the
Force of any knowledge
of an aircraft in the vicinity of SAFB, as well
denial that any aircraft had flown out from Scott AFB.
A report on the
investigation, including several eyewitness testimonies and summaries
report also includes two video clips (reproduced
with permission) from an intensive
forensic reconstruction of the event
company that routinely conducts these reconstructions of traffic
presentation in a court of law.
the ensuing years (2000-2004), NIDS received hundreds
of reports from people in the United
reporting large triangular aircraft, often silent and often flying at
altitude and at low air
speed. In many cases, the objects were brightly
example of some structural details of these aircraft
comes from an eyewitness in Port Washington
who encountered a large object that flew over her home at 500 feet
The witness’s husband is a graphics artist, so a graphic
reconstruction from the pair shows a football field-sized,
with flashing red, blue and white“disco lights” (Figures 1-3).
Port Washington Object.
Head on perspective.
eyewitness described several (maybe four, see below)
large circles underneath the object as it
flew over her. She heard a
low hum as
it executed a flat bank turn and flew slowly out over Lake
Port Washington Object.
Figure 3 Port
Washington Object. Side
and Rear View.
of the object appeared to have a reddish or amber
colored grill arrangement as shown.
eyewitness from Port Washington describes the
circumstances as the aircraft came into her field of
night; took dog out between 10.31-10.37 PM; was waiting for her to
by our lot-line fence, facing north…just looking at the
beautiful night…suddenly this monstrosity came
out of the “blue”, just
like a Star
Trek uncloaking, no kidding….so quiet I couldn’t believe it and so
more than 500 feet or so up, and big enough to take up my field of sky
makes this vessel about 200 ft wide and 250
witness continued:” “Looked like a Chrysler Corp
symbol almost…a pentagonal arrow… sort of
a combination of a
boomerang/diamond/arrow….it had substantial cabin sitting on top that
broader with many faceted window type panes. Cabin seemed rather high
of the body of the craft….size of object based in
part on the
hugeness of the strobing “cop car gumball”
banks of lights.
of the craft: looked like it was on a dreamy
pleasure cruise…very quiet… just a low humming…
and strobing bizarre
huge banks of lights. This thing was so psychedelic flashy, I couldn’t
I was standing there alone watching it. I knew it was for real when I
dog looked up at it.”
Washington sighting is
reviewed here along with the Illinois
police officer’s sighting as an illustration
of the behavior of these
Along with these reports, NIDS has accumulated almost 400 separate
triangular/boomerang/wedge-shaped objects, many of which are brightly
flying, and traveling at
unexpectedly low air speeds.
To give a
general impression on the noticeably low altitude,
Table 1 summarizes some relevant details on altitude
from several NIDS
We are mindful of the caveat that estimates of altitude, especially at
are fraught with inaccuracy.
1: List of Witness Descriptions of Low Altitudes of
Description of Altitude
“100’ or less”
SC-Williamson “100 feet”
“Twice treetop height”
CA-Death Valley “50
“Just Above Tree-tops”
“3 story building”
“150’, just over trees”
MO-Valley Park “40-50
“100’ above trees”
“Just over trees”
“50 feet above big maple trees”
Standing Rock “From
“on the ground”
earlier reports, NIDS outlined a tentative correlation
between reported sightings of Triangles and the locations
Command and Air Force Materiel Command bases in the United States. These reports and
from them can be found
in the “Research News” section
of the NIDS web site.
Analysis of the NIDS Database
mid 2004, NIDS again reviewed our database comprising the
locations of the Triangle sightings in the
United States. We find (see the Map #1) the
sightings of Triangles appear primarily adjacent to population
along Interstate Highways. From the map, the Triangle sightings cluster
direction of the Triangle aircraft is shown by the direction of the
on the map.
If an arrow points west, the Triangle was reported flying
results are shown here:
#1: Triangle sightings in the NIDS database
MUFON Triangle Database
early 2004, Don Weatherby of MUFON kindly provided NIDS
with the MUFON Triangle sightings database.
The results of plotting the
data (1990-2003) are shown in Map #2.
Map #2: Triangle
sightings in the MUFON database
Larry Hatch Triangle Database
early 2004, Larry Hatch, the creator and owner of one of
the largest and most comprehensive
UFO databases in the world
provided NIDS with his
database of Triangle sightings (1990-2003).
Hatch’s Triangle sightings are plotted on Map#3.
Map #3: Triangle
sightings in the Larry Hatch database
combined the locations of sightings from all three
databases (NIDS, MUFON and Larry Hatch)
and plotted more than 700
a highway map of the USA.
Map #4 shows the location of each
sighting of a Flying Triangle
(denoted by a
red Triangle) and the relationship to nearby towns and cities. The
denote the positions of nearby AFBs. It can be seen that the locations
AFBs in many cases
overlap with populated areas. And many of the Flying
Triangle sightings also occur in or near populated areas.
Locations of Triangle Sightings, NIDS, MUFON and
1990-2004 have seen an intense wave of Flying
Triangle aircraft, as measured by three separate
databases. The major
in this report is that the behavior of the Flying Triangles, as related
of eyewitnesses, does not appear consistent with the covert
of an advanced DoD aircraft. Rather,
it is consistent with (a) the
open deployment of an (unacknowledged) advanced DoD aircraft or (b)
and open deployment of an aircraft owned and operated by non-DoD
of the latter possibility are disturbing, especially
post 9/11 era when the United States
extremely heavily guarded and monitored. In support of
there is much greater need for surveillance
in the United
States in the post 9/11 era and it is
certainly conceivable that deployment of low altitude surveillance
routine and open. The data from the NIDS, MUFON and NUFORC (see below)
databases show an increase in sightings of Triangles after 1997, so if
(a) is correct, large-scale deployment
of the Triangles was initiated
over the United States,
possibly towards the late 1990s.
Whether the deployment
of the Flying Triangles is exclusively confined
population centers is unknown, since the majority of the NIDS
cities and from Interstate Highways where people are clustered. NIDS
reports of Flying Triangles from remote areas.
showing the sightings from all three databases (NIDS,
MUFON and Hatch) shows a significant
intensity of the Flying Triangle
the United States.
have been other analyses of the Flying Triangle wave
in the United States
(1) and in the United Kingdom
(2). Writers and researchers fall into two camps when analyzing the
number of Triangle reports.
One camp stipulates that the Triangles are
the other says they are not. In 2004 it is extremely
between these two possibilities since the former option overlaps
legitimate National Security concerns, while in the absence of
physical evidence, the latter
option is not testable. Currently, the
data in the field comprise eyewitness sightings. These come
caveats regarding eyewitness reliability.
of more than 700 Triangle Sightings show that a
significant number of the above mentioned
eyewitnesses are located near
of population including major Interstate highways.
of open deployment as described in this report is
not consistent with secret operation of an
advanced DoD aircraft. For
crude examination of the (anecdotally derived) patterns of deployment
previously developed DoD stealth aircraft programs, including the F-117
B-2 aircraft, show that
the pattern of deployment of unacknowledged
B-2 aircraft, prior to their acknowledgement by DoD,
is different from
patterns for the Flying Triangles. Prior to acknowledgement of the
only rare night time sightings occurred in the sparsely
sections of Nevada, California and a few other
states (see F-117 and
12). Flying at low altitude over populated areas was rarely reported
or B-2. In contrast, the Flying Triangle deployment, especially
the 1990s, appears more consistent with
the open and public operation
aircraft. In some cases (for example see the above description of the
Washington Triangle), the deployment may be more consistent with an
display or to be noticed.
There appears to be little or no attempt to
hide. Hence, the cumulative recent data
lead us to modify the tentative NIDS hypothesis,
July 2003, that the Triangles are covertly
is premature to dismiss the previously published
NIDS correlation between Triangle sightings and a
subset of AFBs, the
association with centers of population may point away from a covert
Rather, it is consistent with routine and open deployment of an
the characteristics of the reports of Flying Triangles
that are inconsistent with deployment of a
covert DoD aircraft include:
and sightings near cities and on Interstate highways (see Map 4).
altitude in plain sight of eyewitnesses.
at extremely low speed or hovering in plain sight of eyewitnesses.
aircraft sometimes fly with easily noticeable bright lights. Some
blinding white lights.
Others have “bright disco lights”, usually
combinations of red, green or blue.
of Flying Triangles in Other Countries
(1) The Belgian Wave of
to one description of the Belgian wave of Flying
Triangle sightings (5): “ ..the Belgian flap began
in November of 1989.
events of November 29 would be documented by no less than thirty
groups of witnesses, and three separate groups of police
reports related a large object
flying at low altitude. The craft was of
triangular shape, with lights underneath. This giant craft made
it slowly, fearlessly, moved across the landscape of Belgium.
There was free sharing of
information as the Belgian populace tracked
craft as it moved from the town of Liege
to the border of the
Two F-16s were ordered to intercept and identify this phenomena, and
jet's radars locked the object in. It appeared as a small diamond on
pilot's screen. The pilot reported that
only a few seconds after
locking on the
target, the object began to pick up speed, quickly moving out of radar
An hour-long chase ensued, during which time the F-16s picked up
craft's signal two additional times,
only to see it fade from view. The
triangular craft seemed to be playing a cat and mouse game, and
was lost in the night lights of Brussels.
The pilots of the fighters reported that the UFO had made maneuvers
beyond the capability of their technology, and once the radar showed
almost instantly drop
from 10,000 to 500 feet in 5 seconds”
perspective of this report, the first Belgian
Flying Triangle (see Map 5) when plotted on a map
also showed that the
Aircraft flew in the proximity of major highways and large cities. This
too was making no attempt at concealment. According to
Ludwiger’s account of the
Belgian Triangle wave (6), “between November
April 1991, about 3500 UFO sightings were reported
in Belgium, some of
witnessed by more than 100 people. Members of the Belgian anomaly
group received more than 900 reports in which witnesses observed
close proximity (300 meters or less)”.
A lucid and descriptive report
Belgian Flying Triangle wave written by veteran investigator Bob Pratt
worthy of close study (8).
This first startling
sighting would evolve into a wave over the next several
months. On two occasions, a pair
of F-16 fighters chased the mysterious
but to no avail. On March 30,
a frantic call to military
headquarters came from a Belgian national
Captain. He marveled at a giant Triangle passing over, and
ground radar stations were reporting an object of unknown origin on
One of these bases was NATO controlled near the city of least
other stations were also reporting the
object on their screens. The
moving across their screens slowly, and failed to send a transponder
signal to identify
wave has obtained classic status in UFO lore. With over 1,000
confirmed radar sightings,
plane radar lock-ins, and military
the fact that an unknown craft moved across the country of
cannot be denied. The case is also important for it's unique
sharing. Civilian and Military
officials were behind the UFO enigma.”
The locations of the first Triangle sighting over Belgium
British Triangle Sightings
The late Victor Kean
amassed an impressive database of Flying Triangle sightings in the United Kingdom.
Some of the sightings are detailed in a
Kean’s colleague Omar Fowler (2). More recent sightings
detailed here (3). Fowler reports (2): “During the period November 1994
fifty two “Flying Triangle” events were investigated in the
Derbyshire area”. Although there have been alleged
reports of Flying
that go back into the 1960s, the majority of UK and European Triangle
to come from the late 1980s/1990s. In this respect, The European
and UK numbers of Triangle reports appear
those in the NIDS database.
Percentage of CE3 and CE4 in the Black Triangle
Database is no Different from the Percentage in the
Entire NIDS UAP
is known about the “occupants” of the Flying Triangles?
As noted above (see Table 1), a significant
number of the eyewitness
the NIDS Flying Triangle database are close encounters (CE). CE is the
used descriptor for the eyewitness reporting of an object less than 600
away. Only a tiny number
of eyewitnesses in the NIDS database have
seeing occupants. CE3 and CE4 are defined by Vallee (4)
as the subset
reports in which occupants of UAPs are reported. We calculated
the numbers of CE3
and CE4 in
the NIDS Triangle database. CE3 and CE4 are generally a tiny percentage
CE and this holds
true in the NIDS database. We then compared this with
numbers of CE3 and CE4 in other categories of UAPs,
also in the NIDS
Figure 4 shows that the numbers of CE3 and CE4 reports in most UAP
almost the same as the number in the Triangle database.
the number of CE3 and CE4 reports
as a ratio of total Triangle reports
to the ratio of CE3+CE4 to total UAP reports.
Ratio of CE3/CE4 cases to Total Cases for
Triangles and for Other Categories of UAP in the NIDS Database.
Timing of Boomerang and Triangle Waves
The famous wave
boomerang reports in New York
and Connecticut was
studied by, among
the distinguished investigators J. Allen Hynek, Philip J
Bob Pratt (7). Pratt’s online description (9) of
the boomerang wave
1982-1986 remains one of the most compelling. In those four years, Bob
five thousand people reported seeing the large objects.
writes (9): “Sometimes called the Westchester boomerang
because some of
earliest reports came from Westchester County in New York state, it was
and often flew
close to the ground, so low that a grey superstructure
seen linking numerous multi-colored lights. Numerous
reported in neighboring New York
counties as well as in nearby Connecticut.”
It is currently
the “Westchester Boomerang” sightings of 1982-1986 in New
had any relationship with the more recent, post 1990, wave of Flying
sightings in the United States,
documented in the present report.
Triangle database by definition is self-selected.
The majority of cases have been received in the late
opened the hotline in late 1999. NIDS also reviewed the MUFON and Hatch
and a comparison of the frequencies of Triangle sightings in
three databases is seen in Figure 5. Both NIDS
and MUFON Triangle
appear to cluster towards the latter part of the 1990s, whereas Larry
sightings predominate throughout the early and mid-1990s.
not much is known about data pre-1990
in either the MUFON or Hatch
although NIDS has very few Triangle cases pre-1990.
5. Flying Triangle Reports 1990-2003 in NIDS,
MUFON and Hatch Databases
In an effort to look at the
overall frequency of Triangle sightings as a function of time, NIDS
consulted the NUFORC database (10) of Triangle sightings. This
largest publicly available
database of Triangle sightings. Figure 6
annual frequency of NUFORC Triangle sightings plotted by year
Figure 6, the NUFORC data are overlaid with the data in Figure 5 for
the frequency of reported sightings of Triangles in
NUFORC database increases towards the latter part
of the 1990s. For
comparison the times of the other waves of boomerangs and Triangles in
countries are also shown in Figure 6.
6: Flying Triangle Frequencies from Multiple
Databases as a Function of Time.
It should be
stressed that NIDS
has control over the NIDS database alone and quality control of
conducted. For example, because it is known that a triangular formation
(11) regularly flies across the night sky, NIDS generally
reports that conform to this description from
our database. It is not
whether this exclusion of NOSS-like sightings is done for other
we are confident that there is little overlap between the
and NUFORC databases because we
routinely ask eyewitnesses for
their reports to other organizations.
thanks Don Weatherby, John Schuessler, Larry Hatch,
Roger Pinson and Bruce Cornet for their
contributions to this report.
appreciate the online presence of the NUFORC database,
run ably by
R. What Are the Triangles? http://keyholepublishing.com/What_Are_The_Triangles.htm
Omar The Flying Triangle Mystery (1996). http://dbarkertv.com/FTM.pdf
J. (1990) Confrontations: A Scientist’s Search for Alien Contact.
Ludwiger, Illobrand (1998). Best UFO Cases Europe.
Night Siege, The Hudson Valley UFO
Sightings (1998). Dr. J. Allen Hynek,
Philip J. Imbrogno,
and Bob Pratt, Llewellyn Publications, Second
Pratt B . Belgian
Military Jets Track UFOs. http://www.bobpratt.org/belgium.html
Pratt B. The Hudson Valley
National UFO Reporting Center: http://www.ufocenter.com/