In modern accounts of UFO sightings, one variety of unidentified flying objects remains particularly prevalent: the so-called “black triangles,” which denote large, dark-colored and slow-moving three-sided aircraft. Reports of the objects have maintained a remarkable degree of consistency over time, and involve massive objects that fly at low altitude, and are generally observed moving at night.
Reports of sightings of these objects began to become prevalent in the 1980s and even saw some coverage in American periodicals like Popular Mechanics, where sightings of vast “flying wings” were likened to being the next generation of American stealth aircraft.
Despite their appearance over places like California’s Antelope Valley—a locale that has been long associated with sightings of experimental aircraft produced by the Lockheed Corporation—many of the reports were difficult to bite off and chew. Greg Pope’s reporting on sightings of what he dubbed “the big wing” in Popular Mechanics in late 1991 noted that some of the descriptions of these aircraft by California residents “simply strains credulity.”
Sightings continued throughout the 1990s, and not just in America, but elsewhere around the world. A “wave” of such reports occurred over Belgium in the early 90s and similar sightings that have continued over the UK and Canada seemingly rule out the possibility that experimental aircraft of U.S. origin can account for such reports.
Sightings in the U.S. aren’t relegated solely to the southwest, either. A report I received from one individual (who preferred not to be named) occurred when he was a youth growing up in northern Kentucky. The period would have been between 1994 and 1995, and one Saturday evening during an outdoor gathering at his parent’s home, he and around ten others observed, “a completely silent, black triangle fly south to north directly over our heads.”
The witness estimated that the aircraft was flying at an altitude of approximately 100 to 150 feet “and moved silently.” The object appeared to have three lights on the bottom, and subsequent phone calls made by the mother of the witness to the control tower at the nearby Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport indicated that no unusual objects were observed, nor detected on radar.
Sightings of a similar object occurred over southern Illinois in January 2000, when police began receiving phone calls in the early morning hours about a massive object observed flying at low altitude over St. Clair County. The aircraft was followed by several officers, and dispatch recordings gave real-time descriptions a massive, triangle-shaped object.
“I couldn’t find a single significant difference between the St. Clair object and an advertising blimp in transmit, which is exactly what the FAA told the Riverfront Times,” noted Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast in 2014. It is fair to ask, in light of this explanation, why an advertising blimp would have been operating at approximately 4 AM over southern Illinois, and why no flight logs were ever disclosed to account for the craft in question being a conventional blimp.
Reports of similar objects have continued in recent times, too. In 2020, KLAS reporter George Knapp wrote of a sighting by journalist Cateland White, who described seeing a large, slow-moving triangular object as it passed over her home in 2019.
White gave the following description of the object:
“It was triangular shaped, and there were rectangular reflectors,” White said. “There was no interior light coming out of it at all. And by the time it got out of sight, I bet it was five to eight minutes. It was really slow. And I couldn’t figure out how it was staying in the air.”
Such accounts beg the question of not only whether experimental aircraft may be operating in the skies over America, but also whether they have been deployed for service here and in other countries around the world. Then there is the other possibility, of course, that they are not part of the current inventory of the United States, or that of any other nation.
Whatever their source, the so-called “black triangles” have reached near-mythical status among aviation buffs, and represent some of the most perplexing modern cases involving large unidentified aircraft in our skies.