Artist's concept of a typical black
" are a class of unidentified flying objects
(UFOs) with certain common features which have reportedly been
observed from the 1940s (and possibly earlier) to the present.
appeared most commonly over cities of the United States and Britain, but have
been spotted worldwide, including a mass sighting over St. Petersburg,
Russia, on February 19, 1997.
Since that event, hundreds of observers have reported enormous,
totally silent, black triangular craft hovering or slowly cruising
at low altitudes over cities and highways, usually at night and
making no attempt to evade detection. The craft are even described
by many observers as having some sort of "running lights", either
bright white lights or pulsing colored lights. These lights usually
appear at each corner of the triangle. Sometimes a red pulsating
light is seen at the center.
While no conclusive explanation has been found for black triangles,
there is video footage available on video file sharing services.
Yet, their origins remain shrouded in mystery.
Unknown to many, triangular-shaped UFOs have been reported since
the 1940s. Accounts of flying triangles, wedges, or boomerangs
have increased dramatically since the
1990s. 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
, which led to a July 2002 report which
suggested that the craft may belong to the U.S. Air Force; however,
a subsequent report in August 2004 by the same organization (NIDS)
found that the rash of sightings did not
previous deployment of black project aircraft and that the objects'
origins and agendas were unknown .
Most black triangle reports indicate that the craft are at least
200 ft (60 m) long and similar to the dimensions of a typical
football field in width. They typically appear silently and
seemingly "out of nowhere", drifting a few hundred feet or less
above the ground. Black triangles are usually described as moving
very slowly or hovering in one place for varying periods of time,
sometimes even landing. The craft are also sometimes reported to be
capable of sudden, rapid acceleration, as is often mentioned in
descriptions of other types of UFOs.
Some triangular UFO reports are likely sightings of one or more
under development by
the U.S. military
. However, the facts
that triangles are usually reported in and around populated areas
and that they putatively make no effort to evade detection cast
doubt on whether such sightings are of military craft. (Of course, large
populations have more eyes with which to make sightings.) This in
comparison to the F-117 Nighthawk
and B-2 Spirit stealth aircraft, which were sighted only
occasionally during testing over sparsely populated areas of the
Southwest United States such
51), usually at night and by dedicated civilian
observers of military aircraft.
Rendlesham Forest incident
pyramid-shaped craft was reported to have landed near an American
air base at Rendlesham
Forest in Suffolk,
Britain, on December 27, 1980.
reported having approached at least one landed craft in the forest
and observed it in great detail before it once again took flight.
Another craft was observed landing in an open field near the base
and then taking off at incredible speed. Between 2002 and 2005,
reporter Bryant Gumbel
hosted a series
of exclusive SciFi
documentaries, one of which, entitled UFO Invasion
, focused on this incident. Gumbel interviewed
some of the men involved with the sighting, and the documentary
toured some of the scenes, attempting to gather evidence that
something landed in the forest. The History Channel
also aired an episode of
on the incident,
calling it "Britain's Roswell
sighting occurred near Moscow on March 12,
Several groups of UFOs were seen, some of which were
spheres and discs, and some of which appeared to be huge triangular
craft . Many local people spent the night on their rooftops
watching these silent objects dart through the sky . The CIA
retained several accounts of this wave from the Soviet Russian
media, although CIA reports themselves, assuming they exist, have
yet to be released.
Belgian Air Force report
30, 1990, citizens of the city of Brussels spotted a
large black triangular craft hovering silently over the city for
Local police officials arrived on the scene
and reported observing the object as it hovered over apartment
buildings. One officer reported that the object released a red
glowing disk of light from its center which flew down to the ground
and darted around several buildings before disappearing. The larger
craft eventually departed at high speed.
The Belgian Air Force scrambled F-16s
the craft once it was spotted on ground radar systems. The fighter
pilots and radar operators reported that the object would dart
ahead at incredible speeds every time they finally had a radar lock
on it. One pilot reported the object's speed at over 900 knots.
After nine confirmed target locks the object finally vanished from
The Belgian Air Force has gone on record with the details of its
black triangle pursuit. It released its radar video footage and its
conclusions, ruling out the following origins of the object in
- Balloons. Impossible due to the highly variable speeds
(confirmed visually and by radar).
- Ultralight (ULM). Same as for
- UAV. Impossible due to
the hovering characteristics.
- Aircraft (including Stealth). Same as for UAV. No noise.
- Laser projections or mirages. Unlikely due to lack of
projection surface (no clouds). Light spots have been observed from
different locations. Light spots moved over distance of more than
15 nautical miles (28 km). Form
of unlighted part of spots has been observed with spectacles. Laser
projections or mirages can not be detected by radar.
The report concludes that the Belgian Air Force was "unable to
identify either the nature or the origin of the phenomenon."
However, the description of the craft, the speeds, the
maneuverability and the dates of observation are rumored — but, as
with many black projects
confirmed — to correspond with flight times of a TR-3B Astra
, a USAF spyplane
conjectured by ufologists
. This craft is rumored to be related to
the TR-3A Black Manta
aircraft and has been suggested to unndergo testing over numerous
parts of the world during the early 1990s. Nevertheless, to explain
why the F-16s never managed to catch up with it, the alleged TR-3B
should have been able to cruise at over Mach
2 - a speed that is not possible for a
It should be noted that some subsequent studies present a much more
cautious and skeptical view of the events discussed in the Belgian
Air Force report, disputing both the accuracy of some of the
statements made in that report and the interpretation of the events
"The Intruder" video
In a 1992
event, unreported until March 2007, a black triangle was spotted
and filmed over the skies of Phoenix, Arizona. Not much is known about the sighting, as only
one video has surfaced, which was featured on Phoenix local news network 3TV.
video was nicknamed "The Intruder."
Phoenix Lights incident
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 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 and silently for conventional
aircraft. If they were helicopters, they produced no sound. 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.
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. Comparison of
the video taken of the lights (which appeared at night) against
daytime images of the same scene show that the lights "disappear"
at the exact moment they are shown to fall behind a mountain range.
The mountains were invisible against the night sky. There were
apparently no reported radar sightings of the objects which appears
to be consistent with the flare theory.
Illinois police sighting incident
January 5, 2000, beginning shortly after 4:00 am, five on-duty
Illinois police officers in separate locations sighted and
reported a massive, unidentified triangular aircraft.
the five officers reported flight characteristics which do not
conform to currently known civilian technologies, as the object
appeared to move at incredible speeds without making any sound.
Illinois, by a civilian who first reported to the local
police department and subsequent sightings took place in Lebanon, Summerfield, Shiloh, Millstadt, Dupo, and
O'Fallon. Scott Air Force Base public relations office denied any knowledge of the
The incident was featured in Peter Jennings
' final ABC
special, "UFOs: Seeing is
Believing". The event has been addressed by several U.S. cable
television programs and one independent documentary.
This story was also featured in 2005 on a segment of the SciFi Channel
investigation series Proof
(episode #108). To substantiate that the police
officers did in fact witness the same unexplained aircraft, and
that their reports correlated together, all five were given a
test and asked various
questions about the incident. All five officers passed the test and
the show gave the story a "proof positive".
Black triangles are the subject of much speculation in the ufology
community and various conspiracy theories
, as well as more
mundane, skeptical hypotheses. Common explanations include the
- craft of extraterrestrial
- top secret craft containing suppressed or reverse engineered
- the Aurora, an alleged
hypersonic spy plane
- common misidentifications of one or more conventional
- psychological phenomenon, such as the availability of previous
reports influencing suggestible witnesses
- B-2 Spirit stealth bomber or F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter
- satellites passing overhead, whose points make what appear to
be a black triangle in the sky
Because black triangles are, by definition, unidentified flying
objects, the merits of these hypotheses are undemonstrated.
Further, it is unknown how many of the sightings even have a common
explanation. No government has claimed responsibility.
Black triangles in fiction
- The event was featured as the basis of a song on Sufjan Stevens' 2005 concept album Illinois as the first track, which is
titled "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois."
- Several triangle ships have been featured in television series The
X-Files. In the first episode of the series (excluding the
pilot), for example, many photographs, and an appearance, are
shaped in the obvious form of a triangle.
Channel. see UFO
Files for episode details