May 07, 2021 I Nick Redfern

More on the Mystery of the “Flying Triangle”-Type UFO: Decades of Encounters

Just a couple of days ago I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe on the matter of the "Flying Triangle"-type of UFO. Specifically, I focused on the issue of whether or not the FTs were the creations of us or of extraterrestrials. Or, possibly, of both. Today, I'm going to expand on all of this by sharing with you some of the more intriguing Flying Triangle-themed cases on record. I'll begin with an incident from 1997. The details were provided to me by the late Omar Fowler. He was a Derbyshire, England-based UFO investigator who I knew well, as he often gave lectures at the Staffordshire UFO Group that I regularly attended in the 1990s and early 2000s. Omar told me of what he knew from the source of the story: "[His] attention was attracted by a noise similar to a high-revving two-stroke engine outside his home," state. Fowler. "‘He went outside in the darkness and saw hovering lights approximately one hundred and fifty yards away and one hundred and fifty feet up from the ground. [He] went indoors and fetched his binoculars and was able to make out the shape of a black helicopter in the vicinity of the lights. [He] had a night vision scope indoors and he returned with this a few minutes later. He then viewed the aircraft again. He saw the helicopter clearly, as it was illuminated by the flashing strobe and navigation lights. He described it as being similar to the Airwolf from the TV series."

The story continued: "He then switched on the infrared beam and immediately noticed that there was a completely blacked out, triangular craft adjacent to the helicopter. 'I couldn’t believe my eyes!' he commented. The triangle, which was a similar size to the helicopter, reflected light from the strobe/navigation lights and appeared to have no visible means of support in the hovering mode (no noise was heard). He began to approach the two hovering craft, while looking through his night scope. It is a foregone conclusion that the helicopter was equipped with night vision equipment, because as [he] approached, the helicopter suddenly moved away at an incredible rate of knots. It disappeared like a rocket. The triangle remained for a moment and then moved away and out of sight!"' In this particular instance, the presence of an apparent military helicopter in close proximity to the UFO suggests the strong possibility that the Flying Triangle was some form of wholly terrestrial aircraft undergoing secret trials.

Now, let’s head back to April 1949.  On the 22nd of that month, a UFO was seen at Vicksburg, Mississippi that was flying at a significant speed and that was distinctly triangular in shape. Indeed, in the official U.S. Air Force file on the affair – which is housed at the National Archives in Maryland – the object is actually described in the official report (by Special Agent Bernard A. Price) as a "Flying Triangle"! In September 1952, what was described as a fast-moving, large, “blue-green triangle” was seen by military personnel engaged in a NATO exercise called "Mainbrace." On top of that, the entire exercise was dominated by UFO activity. Eight years later to the very month –  September 1960 – the sighting of what was termed "a triangular formation of lights with a red light in the center" was reported to the British Ministry of Defense, whose files on the matter are now in the public domain. The description will be instantly familiar to those acquainted with the FT puzzle.

Omar Fowler also shared with me another case, this one from way back in time. Specifically from 1956. As Fowler explained, it was at approximately 11:00 a.m. on April 19, 1956 and Robin Gibbard of Derbyshire, England – a roofer at the time – was working with a colleague at a house in Allstree, Derby. According to Gibbard, "The day was very clear, with very little cloud about. On hearing an aircraft approaching, I looked up to see a twin radial engine, propeller driven Avro Anson aircraft– which even then was becoming a rarity. The aircraft was approaching at a height of about 2,000 feet altitude or less. These aircraft were very slow fliers and used mainly for reconnaissance. I was amazed to see a delta wing plane circling fairly close to the Avro Anson, actually circling around the plane at least twice, at a speed not much more than the plane’s speed but making no audible sound – the only sound came from the Anson.

"After making two circuits, it broke away and then increasing its speed to a phenomenal amount, disappeared upwards on a long curve in about 5 to 10 seconds. My partner also saw this occurrence, but unfortunately he has since died and cannot corroborate this statement. It could not have been a glider, because of its breakaway speed and any possible Delta aircraft of that period always made plenty of noise." To illustrate that he was unlikely to have misidentified the object, Robin Gibbard was keen to inform Omar of one important point: "At the time I was deeply involved in competition model [aircraft] flying in my spare time and was very aware of all aspects of the capabilities of model, diesel and petrol engines in every application and always had an interest in aircraft recognition during World War Two and afterwards. So I was familiar with all aircraft from that period.’

Finally, we have a particularly spectacular case. In 1989, Chris Gibson had what can accurately be termed the encounter of a lifetime. An engineer with an Honors degree in geology and someone who’s worked focused on oil-exploration, Gibson was also attached to the U.K.’s Royal Observer Corps. The work of the ROC – which closed down in December 1995, after seventy years of work to help protect the United Kingdom from attack – required its volunteers to keep a careful watch on the skies above and what was flying in those same skies, too.  As luck – or fate – would have it, and at the time when the Aurora program may very well have been compromised, Gibson was working on an oil rig in the North Sea. The name of the rig was the Galveston Key. It was August 1989, specifically, when one of Gibson’s colleagues, a friend named Graeme Winton, who went to university with Gibson, excitedly told Gibson to come with him to the deck. There was something Winton needed to show him. A startled and amazed Gibson caught sight of something incredible in the skies above. A pair of General Dynamics’ F1-11 aircraft were shepherding a very strange-looking, completely black aircraft. And, a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker seemed to be fueling it. It was in the form of a triangle.

The mystery of the Flying Triangles goes on and on.

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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