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No. 70: Jul-Aug 1990

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Belgian Flying Triangle

"The Belgian air force has been on alert for three nights running", writes Lucy Kellaway. Two Hawker Siddeley aircraft equipped with infrared cameras and sophisticated electronic sensors have been patrolling the skies. Down below, the Belgian police force has kept a constant watch, helped by more than 1,000 concerned civilians. Along the border with Germany, 20 lookout posts have been set up. Their target: an Unidentified Flying Object.

"Since December, there have been 800 reported sightings, and even though some resemble a lamp-post more closely than a UFO, many of the others are being earnestly examined by SOBEPS, the Belgian Society for Studying Special Phenomena.

"More surprising is how seriously the army is taking the whole thing. For the time being it says it is viewing the matter as a 'technical curiosity' as the intruder has shown no aggressive signs. Should it turn nasty, it will be a different matter altogether.


"Scientists on the ground appear in the past few days to have produced a clear image of the object, which is said to correspond to the reports of eyewitnesses. It is a triangle 30m-50m in diameter, with red, green and white lights at the corners, 10 times brighter than any star. It has a convex underbelly and makes a sharp whistling noise."

(Anonymous; "Flying Triangle Has Belgians Going around in Circles," London Financial Times, April 18, 1990. Cr. T. Good via L. Farish)

Comment. This is a strange place to find an even stranger report. Could there be a hoax here? Perhaps some of our readers in Europe will enlighten us.

From Science Frontiers #70, JUL-AUG 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987