Jul 02, 2020 I Nick Redfern

The Flying Triangles: UFOs That Are Nothing New

For a few decades, sightings of large, triangular-shaped UFOs, usually described as being black in color, very often with rounded – rather than angled - corners, and that make a low humming noise, have been reported throughout the world. The sheer proliferation of such reports has led some ufological commentators to strongly suspect that the Flying Triangles (as they are known) are prime examples of still-classified aircraft, the development of which was secretly begun in the early 1980s by elements of the United States’ Department of Defense and Air Force. And while it would, of course, be foolish to completely rule out such a scenario, the fact is that when placed under scrutiny, this argument doesn't completely stand up. As my extensive research demonstrates, the Flying Triangles have been with us for a very long time. Indeed, far longer than most people have realized. As you will now see.

There is a report of a Flying Triangle-style UFO described in officially-declassified U.S. Air Force documents of May 26, 1949. The account originated with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. According to Special Agent Bernard A. Price: "Investigation at Vicksburg, Mississippi regarding an unidentified aerial phenomena described as being a flying triangle, failed to verify definitely just what type of object was sighted." In this particular case the object, which was seen on the night of April 22, 1949, was relatively small in size when compared to its present-day equivalents; but was described by the witness to Special Agent Price as moving "faster than mail planes, or National Guard planes, but slower than a jet type aircraft." Also, the object reportedly did not exhibit "any kind of propulsion," nor "stabilizers or antenna."

Moving on: in September 1952, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) coordinated a huge military exercise in the North Sea and North Atlantic. Code-named Mainbrace, the exercise utilized the armed forces of Britain, the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Approximately 85,000 personnel took part; the purpose of which was to demonstrate to the then-Soviet Union that NATO was fully prepared to withstand, and counter, any possible assault on Western Europe. Only twenty-four-hours into the exercise two reports of encounters with unidentified flying objects were filed with British, American and NATO authorities by naval personnel on board ships in the Atlantic between Ireland and Iceland. The first involved a "blue-green triangle" that was observed flying high shortly after dawn broke over the sea at a speed estimated to have been no less than 1,500 miles-per-hour. Later that same day, a similar-shaped craft – but this time emitting a "white light exhaust" - was reported to the U.S. Air Force’s UFO investigative body known as Project Blue Book."

Then, on the night of September 9, 1960, an unidentified flying object, described as a "triangular formation of lights with a red light in the center," was viewed by various people in the Consett, South Shields, Fawdon, and Fenham areas of the British city of Newcastle. Leslie Otley said that his wife and two neighbors saw the UFO circling over Fenham between 9:15 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. "A friend of mine, Mr. A. Miller, telephoned to say he saw them too, over Consett at 8:30 p.m.," added Otley, who telephoned a local Royal Air Force base – RAF Acklington – to report the encounters. After having been firmly pressed by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle newspaper for a comment, a spokesman at RAF Acklington admitted that he had indeed received two independent reports of the mystery object, and said that these were duly being forwarded to the Air Ministry at London for examination. He also added, somewhat cryptically, to the newspaper that: "I have no further information about this, and even if I had, we are not allowed to release information."

For the most convincing evidence that exists to support the notion that Flying Triangles – identical to those seen today - were being viewed much earlier than many students of the mystery would have us believe, we have to turn our attention to, once again, the U.K. – but this time to early 1965. While digging through a whole host of formerly classified UFO files at the National Archive at Kew, England in 1996, I uncovered a one-page document that revealed some truly startling data. As the relevant, now-declassified Ministry of Defense paperwork stated, on March 28, 1965, at around 9:30 p.m. near the town of Richmond, North Yorkshire, a man saw, "Nine or ten objects—in close triangular formation each about 100ft long—orange illumination below—each triangular in shape with rounded corners, making low humming noise." The "rounded corners" and "low humming noise" are precisely what many witnesses to Flying Triangle-style UFO encounters reported throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, and continue to report to this day.

Triangle UFO

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, August 28, 1977, a large object – that fits the description of those discussed thus far – was seen by more than ten police officers and several members of the public in and around the Windermere area of Cumbria, England. Sergeant James Trohear described the "triangular or slightly diamond-shaped" nature of the craft; while another officer commented that it "resembled the shape of a stingray fish." Meanwhile, Constable David Wild added that it appeared to be "kite-shaped, or like a skate fish," adding that it was "very large and solid in construction." It, like so many other sightings of a similar nature, was classified as unexplained.

Found in the released records of a now-defunct Ministry of Defense office known as Defense Secretariat 8, is a photo-copy of a long letter written by Mark Birdsall – the brother of the late Graham Birdsall, of UFO Magazine, and who was heavily active in UFO research in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Dated March 27, 1984, the letter from Mark requested access to any and all official data pertaining to a certain UFO incident, the details of which, Mark explained, were known to "a high ranking RAF [Royal Air Force] officer and thirteen others," and that had occurred in early 1981. Mark added to the Ministry of Defense that his informant had advised him that "the incident" involved the sighting of a huge, triangular-shaped object over a military base on Cyprus. It was described as being "silver [and] hanging motionless in the sky at 60,000 feet." The Flying Triangle, Mark elaborated, was 100 meters in length by 50 meters wide and, according to his sources, was apparently tracked on radar as well as having been sighted visually. On April 24, 1984, declassified Ministry of Defense files reveal, a DS8 representative replied to Mark Birdsall’s letter and advised him that they had "no record" of any such incident on file. To this day, the case remains unresolved.

Contrary to the popular belief perpetuated by elements of the world-wide UFO research community, we now know that sightings of the mysterious Flying Triangles have proliferated for, quite literally, decades: the forties, fifties and sixties. They are most assuredly not a relatively recent development. Had we – and by "we" I mean the collective Human Race – been designing, building and flying huge triangular-shaped, high-performance aircraft in the 1950s and 1960s, then surely they would not still be subject to an overwhelming blanket of secrecy to this very day. More likely, they would either have been put to regular use in a battlefield environment, or the projects would have been canceled as not being seen as ultimately viable. Either way, we would by now have widespread awareness of their existence, in much the same way that the existence of the famous U-2 spy-plane of the Cold War, and today’s F-117 Stealth Fighter and the B-2 Stealth bomber have been acknowledged. The fact that we do not have such awareness, however – and the fact that the UFO research community is still scratching its collective head as it seeks to resolve the puzzle – suggests strongly that the Flying Triangle has a far stranger point of origin. Those who seek a definitive answer to the conundrum of the Flying Triangle might be very wise to turn their attentions away from restricted military bases and firmly towards the distant heavens.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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