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Date Prepared: April 17, 1991
Contributed by: Antonio Huneeus
Article as it appeared in UFO Universe, June/July 1991.
DOWN THE WALL OF UFO SILENCE
For the last six months, almost the entire european
continent has been plagued by a wave of ufo sightings unsurpassed
in history, perhaps most puzzling have been those of a gigantic
flying platform sighted near the german border in belgium.
By Antonio Huneeus
© 1991 by A. Huneeus.
All Rights Reserved Reprinted with permission to ParaNet(sm) Information
Service No further reproduction is allowed without written permission
from the author.
In a totally unprecedented move
in the history of ufology, the Belgian Air Force and government
has not only carefully documented the great UFO wave over Wallonia,
but shared its results
with civilian investigators and the public, in effect literally
breaking down the wall of UFO Silence that still stands
in the western world.
For the past year, citizens in the
French-speaking region of Wallonia in Belgium have experienced an
extraordinary UFO wave. Thousands of witnesses, including dozens
of gendarmes (national police) and officers of the Belgian Air Force,
have described triangular-shaped vehicles flying slowly over rooftops,
hovering, shooting searchlights and performing incredible maneuvers.
The objects have been captured on some 25 videotapes and tracked
on both ground and airborne radar by the military.
Few, if any, will doubt that the
triangular UFOs have been seen all over Wallonia since November
of 1989. According to a front page story in The Wall Street Journal
published on October 10, 1990 and entitled Belgium Scientists
Seriously Pursue A Triangular UFO, since the rash of
sightings here began almost a year ago, more than 2,600 have been
reported of a triangular object with three huge lights hovering
in the night sky over Wallonia.
The question that some are asking
is whether these objects could be explained by the testing of a
new top secret military aircraft. Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs),
AWACS, the F-117 Stealth Fighter, and a modified version of the
B-2 Stealth Bomber, are some of the options that have been suggested.
Besides the large amount of well documented data gathered by the
Gendarmerie, the Air Force and civilian scientists from the Belgian
Society for the Study of Space Phenomena (SOBEPS), the Belgian Map
has broken another record. For the first time ever in the controversial
history of UFOs anywhere in the world, the Belgian Minister of Defense,
Guy Coeme, has authorized the Air Force to fully cooperate with
SOBEPS, forwarding their reports, and even putting at their disposal
a Hawker Sideley aircraft equipped with infrared cameras and sophisticated
As the well known French physicist,
Jean Pierre Petit, explained to Paris Match magazine, we are
living in a time that is the beginning of a period of openness.
First the Berlin Wall crumbled, now the wall of silence about UFOs
is falling. Concerning the UFOs, we are entering a phase completely
different from the earlier ones. It is the end of commercialism
and fakery. The true scientists are finally making their appearance.
Dr. Petit is a senior physicist
and director of research with the National Center for Scientific
Research of France. An iconoclast and a world class expert on magnetohydrodynamcs
(MHD), Dr. Petit has also conducted some rather interesting UFO
research of his own, publishing recently his results in the book,
INVESTIGATION OF UFOS.
Unlike many other UFO groups around the world, the SOBEPS has a
team of respected scientists, including Leon Brenig, a nonlinear
dynamics theorist at the Free University in Brussels, and Professor
August Meessen, a physicist from the Catholic University at Louvain.
Among the numerous UFO witnesses, in fact, were Lucien Clerebaut,
Secretary General of SOBEPS, Patrick Ferryn, a film producer and
founding member, and Jose Fernandez, another SOBEPS investigator.
Here is an opportunity where we can apply the scientific method
remarked Professor Brenig. SOBEPS files show that the first sightings
occurred on the night of November 7, 1989, when two gendarmes from
Esneux observed a silent huge craft with two very powerful
white lights directed downwards and 'a sort of green and red garland.'
The flap, however, gained momentum
and notoriety on the evening of November 29 when 41 witnesses, including
six gendarmes, observed the huge triangle - sometimes referred as
a stationary platform - in Eupen, Verviers, and several
other locations in Wallonia near the border with Germany. As the
press speculated with AWACS and Stealth aircraft on the following
days, the Defense Minister Guy Coeme dismissed these rumors, stating
that, all hypotheses involving the presence of military aircraft
in our air space are definitely to be ruled out.
It is perhaps because the objects
are so far unidentified, that the Belgian Air Force has undertaken
the task of chasing and investigating the intruders. As Col. Wilfried
de Brouwer, the Chief of Operations of the Belgian Air Force who
is coordinating the UFO investigation, told The Wall Street Journal,
Our approach is that it's our job to see what's going on.
Indeed, the UFO flap climaxed on the night of March 30-31 of 1990,
when unknown targets were tracked by two radar installations. The
one at Glons, located southeast of Brussels, belongs to the NATO
defense group - NATO Headquarters is in Brussels - while that at
Semmerzake, west of Brussels, is in charge of controlling all military
and civilian traffic in the entire Belgian territory. At that point,
the master-controller at Glons ordered the scramble of two F-16
interceptors, which also locked the UFO on their onboard radars.
We have obtained, courtesy of French
researcher Jean-Luc Rivera, a copy of the complete report of this
incident, which was prepared by Air Force Major P. Lambrechts, from
the Air Force General Staff in Brussels, and which was forwarded
to the SOBEPS following the instructions of full cooperation with
that group. The Report Concerning the Observation of UFOs
During the Night of March 30 to 31, 1990, includes a full
chronology of the events, as well as a thick dossier of enclosures
with eyewitness' descriptions from several gendarmes and maps of
where the sightings took place.
Major P. Lambrechts explains at
the inception that, the observations both visual and by radar were
of such nature, that, it was decided to order the scramble
of two F-16 aircraft with the goal of identifying these UFOs.
The report also indicates that the presence or testing of
B2 or F117 (Stealth Bomber), RPVs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles), ULMs
(Ultra Light Motorized) and AWACS at the moment of these events
in the Belgian airspace, can be excluded.
According to the Chronology, the
Sequence of events began at 22.50 hours, when the master controller
at Glons received a telephone call from gendarme Renquin,
who reported he was seeing from his house in Ramillies, three
unusual lights. . . forming an equilateral triangle, and with changing
colors of red, green and yellow. At 23.05, the Gendarmerie
at Wavre sent a patrol, which confirmed the observation. At 23.15,
Renquin called again to inform that he was seeing a new set of three
lights, while the radar screens at Glons detected an unidentified
contact moving at a speed of around 25 knots. (A knot is equivalent
to one nautical mile - 6,080 feet - per hour.)
For the next two and a half hours,
an increasing number of gendarmes and other witnesses continued
to observe the strange maneuvers of up to three sets of triangular
lights in the outskirts of Brussels. By 23.49 hours, the radar screens
at Semmerzake confirmed the targets and the order to scramble two
F-16s was given at 23.56 hours, taking off at 00.05 on March 31.
According to the report, the aircraft had brief radar contacts
on several occasions. However, each time that the pilots
were able to secure a lock on one of the targets for a few seconds,
this resulted each time in a drastic change in the behavior of the
During the first lock on at 00.13,
continues the report, the speed of the target changed in a
minimum of time from 150 to 970 knots and from 9,000 to 5,000 feet,
returning then to 11,000 feet, in order to change again to close
to ground level; this resulted in a 'break lock' in a few seconds
and the pilots lost the radar contact. In another lock on
at 00.30 hours, the break lock was achieved by what
the report calls a jamming signal on the screen.
Col. de Brouwer explained to Paris
Match reporter Marie-Therese de Brosses, that the change of velocity
from 280 KPM to 1,800 KPH while descending from 3,000 meters to
1,000 meters in one second, was a fantastic acceleration equivalent
to 40 Gs. This would exclude any human pilot onboard the UFO, since
humans can only withstand 8 Gs. (A G is a unit of acceleration
equivalent to the gravitational pull of the earth, 9.81 m/sec/sec.)
When the UFO approached the ground level, continued Col. de Brouwer,
it was out of the question for the F-16 to catch up with the
object at this low altitude, where the density of the air limits
the speed to 1,300 KMP. Above that speed, the temperature in the
compressors of the jet turbines would cause the engines to burst.
There was a logic behind the motions of the object, added
In any case, the cat and mouse game
went on until shortly after 1 am, when the F-16s were ordered to
return to their base. On the ground, however, Captain Pinson and
other gendarmes continued to observe four white luminous spots
forming a square until around 1.30, when the four UFOs
lost their luminosity and seemed to disappear in four different
directions. Significantly, the weather conditions on that
night were very clear, allowing ground witnesses to observe the
objects in detail, as well as the pursuit by the F-16s. The pilots,
however, did not observe the objects visually.
Major Lambrechts finally excludes
a number of alternative hypotheses for the UFOs, such as optical
illusions, confusion with planets or other meteorological phenomena...
weather balloons. . . or meteorological inversions. . . holographic
projections, etc. More importantly, he writes that the
speeds measured at he moment of the change of altitudes, exclude
the hypothesis that the UFOs observed could be confused with aircraft.
Still more puzzling was the fact that, despite that
on several occasions high speeds above the speed of the sound barrier
were measured, the shock wave was never observed. Here, no explanation
can be given.
The French physicist Jean Pierre
Petit concurred: In reality, he told Paris Match, there
is no machine made by man, either an airplane or a missile, that
is capable of such performance. Specifically, flying at the speed
of sound without making a sonic boom. Although the Belgian
military authorities have insisted that the UFOs in Wallonia are
no secret aircraft, the similarities between the triangular craft
seen in Belgium with the boomerang- shaped objects reported throughout
the last decade in the Hudson Valley in New York and Western Connecticut,
as well as other triangular
UFOs observed in Wytheville, Virginia,
Fyffe, Alabama, and Puerto Rico, among other places, have led some
researchers to suggest that the technology behind all these observations
is terrestrial and not extraterrestrial. The similarity between
the Belgian and Hudson Valley flaps was noted by SOBEPS investigator
Patrick Ferryn. Commenting on the book Night Siege by the late Dr.
Allen Hynek, investigator Phillip Imbrogno and reporter Bob Pratt,
which documented the Hudson Valley cases, Ferryn wrote that changing
only a few words, exactly the same could be written to give an account
of the position of affairs here! [in Belgium] The same goes for
many entire pages and excerpts elsewhere in the book.
While nobody doubts that people
have been seeing something in both upstate New York and Wallonia
in Belgium, the big question is whether these sightings are caused
by true UFOs or by some kind of new revolutionary secret military
aircraft. Foremost among the proponents of the secret weapon theory
is Tony Gonsalves, a researcher from East Providence, Rhode Island,
who served as a jet mechanic and plane captain for the U.S. Navy
on three aircraft carriers between 1959 and 1963.
In a number of papers written during
the last two years, Gonsalves has developed his theory of The
American made UFO - that the boomerangs of Westchester and
Duchess counties, as well as the triangular UFOs of Belgium, Virginia
and Puerto Rico, are actually a modified covert version of the B-2
Stealth Bomber. Gonsalves believes this craft has been fully operational
since the early 80s, while the official B-2 bomber that was unveiled
in 1988 is a decoy to deceive the American public, the
media and the Congress. Furthermore, Tony Gonsalves and a few other
ufologists speculate that this secret aircraft may even incorporate
some alien technology obtained from UFO crashes decades ago.
Gonsalves' theory seemed to gain
some credibility when Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine
reported in its October 1, 1990 edition that, large, triangular
wing-Shaped aircraft are indeed being tested out of the Nellis
Air Force range in Nevada and the Tehachapi Mountains near Edwards
AFB in California. The well known aerospace magazine mentioned several
sightings by engineers of triangular-shaped aircraft,
possibly prototypes for the A- 12, the Navy's new Stealth attack
plane, and one or several versions for reconnaissance aircraft cloaked
under the top secret code of Aurora, to replace the old Lockheed
SR-71 Blackbird which was recently mothballed. Aviation
Week (sometimes referred by the nickname of Aviation Leak)
also quoted Air Force sources who acknowledged that diamond
and triangular-shaped vehicles are 'the trend now, as well
as unconfirmed reports that some of these aircraft were designed
to operate at speeds around Mach 10 or higher.
Because he worked for over 30 years
as senior editor of Aviation Week, where he is still a contributing
editor, we sought the opinion of well known UFO debunker Phillip
Klass as to whether there could be any validity to explain the Hudson
Valley and Belgian flaps with Secret military aircraft, Stealth
or otherwise. In my opinion the answer is absolutely not,
responded Klass, adding that only those sightings in the vicinity
of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada could be caused by military
aircraft tests. If there were a secret airplane, continued
Klass, for goodness' sake, the last place in the world you'd
want to fly it is in Duchess County, where people have been alerted
to look for objects.
Although they certainly disagree
on the final cause of the sightings, Klass and Phillip Imbrogno
seem to be in full agreement in their rejection of Tony Gonsalves'
Stealth theory. I can't see the government testing a top secret
device in an area like this, said Imbrogno. Number one,
what if they have a problem, what if they crash? Imbrogno
said he had considered this possibility when he first looked into
the boomerang sightings, but that I am convinced right now
that the Hudson Valley UFO is not an aircraft, Stealth or otherwise.
Number two, I am not totally convinced that it's from outerspace.
Number three, I don't know what the hell it is.
Meanwhile, sightings continue to
pile up in Europe. The latest case before we go to press was reported
in early November, when mystery shapes in the sky, variously
described as orange balls, triangles and points of light,
were reported in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy,
according to a newswire report from the Reuter's news agency. Police
phone lines were flooded across the continent with calls about unidentified
flying objects. Experts in Munich speculated the sightings could
have been triggered by the explosion of a meteorite.
However, this explanation could
hardly satisfy the familiar sightings in Belgium, where dozens
of people reported a triangular object with three lights flying
slowly and soundlessly to the southwest, according to the
Reuter report. The Belgian Air Force was studying once again the
case, and so was France's Service for the Investigation of Re-entry
Phenomena (SEPRA), which is attached to the French National Space
Agency in Toulouse and was formerly known as GEPAN. One Air France
pilot told a radio interviewer: We were on a flight to Barcelona
(Spain) at about 33,000 feet at about 7 pm when we first saw the
shape. It couldn't have been a satellite because it was there for
three or four minutes.
If the sightings in Belgium and
elsewhere turn out to be secret aircraft, the mystery will become
pubic sooner or later, but if they are indeed caused by true UFOs,
then we may be debating them for a long time to come. Perhaps a
summary of the whole Belgian flap and its meaning was best expressed
by SOBEPS Scientist August Meessen, Professor of Physics at the
Catholic University at Louvain. He told the French magazine Paris
Match: There are too many independent eyewitness reports to
ignore. Too many of the reports describe coherent physical effects,
and there is an agreement among the accounts concerning what was
observed. If all of these witnesses are lying, then it is a mental
disease of such novelty and proportions that it must be studied.
But of course, continued
Prof. Meessen, there are also physical effects. The Air
Force report allows us to approach the problem in a rational
and scientific way. The simplest hypothesis is that the reports
are caused by extraterrestrial visitors, but that hypothesis carries
with it other problems. We are not in a rush to form a conclusion,
but continue to study the mystery. The last word about the
UFO flap that has brought down The Wall of UFO Silence
has yet to be uttered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chilean-American journalist Antonio Huneeus was born in New York
in 1950, the son of a Chilean diplomat and United States official.
After studying French at the Sarbonne University in Paris in 1970
and journalism at the University of Chile, he worked as science
editor for a weekly magazine in Santiago and was a contributor for
a number of newspapers. Huneeus' UFO investigation began in 1977
with the bizarre time warp incident of Chilean Army
Corporal Armando Valdes. Since then, he has written hundreds of
articles on UFOs and related subjects for such publications as Omni,
UFO Report, and the MUFON JOURNAL in the U.S., as well as for magazines
throughout South America and Europe. Last year he won the UFOlogists
of the Year Award given by the National UFO Conference. The photographs
and art that accompany this article are part of Antonio's UFO CHRONICLE
lecture and slide presentation.
Readers may reach the author directly
at Box 1989, New York, NY 10159.