George Knapp, Investigative Reporter
8 Eyewitness News Nevada
(Nov. 18. 2004) -- Eyewitnesses all over the country are reporting glimpses of something large, dark and mysterious in the skies above big cities and busy highways. The crafts are often described as triangular in shape, silent in their movements, and of unknown origin, and they've been seen here in southern Nevada. It looks like these mystery craft might be a secret military project, but if so, why are they flying around in the open?
"Look at them, there's three or four of them." In 1997, thousands of eyewitnesses watched in awe as a boomerang-shaped formation of lights cruised slowly and silently over the city of Phoenix. "They're lined up in a pattern." Witnesses first thought these were separate lights, flying in formation, but quickly realized the lights were all part of a single, gigantic something.
Military officials were asked about the Phoenix lights but said they hadn't seen anything. Months later, they explained that a National Guard unit had been training with flares near the city. The public didn't buy it.
Eight years earlier, the airspace over Belgium was repeatedly violated by huge unidentified black triangles. Ten thousand witnesses saw them. Several were photographed. The Belgian Air Force dispatched F-16s to intercept and destroy the unknown intruders, but the triangles performed maneuvers that seem virtually impossible.
Dr. Colm Kelleher said, "They launched on several occasions top of the line military aircraft against these things and they were left in the dust. One minute they're overhead, and the next they're over the horizon."
Dr. Kelleher is a research scientist who spent several years with the National Institute for Discovery Science, or NIDS, a private Las Vegas science organization. A four-year NIDS study of the mystery triangles has found that these craft have been seen for decades all over the world.
There were a daylight sightings in Russia in the 70s. In the early 80s, there were hundreds of nighttime sightings in rural New York. Belgium was inundated in the late 80s, but more recently, the mystery triangles have really come out of the closet and have been seen in every state, including Nevada, flying low and slow over cities.
Dr. Kelleher describes, "These things are huge, football field sized. Sometimes they are stealthy; sometimes flying with very bright lights, disco-flashing lights -- red, green, blue, some bright white lights. They're always silent."
NIDS now has a database of more than a 1,000 black triangle reports, 17 of them from Nevada. The witnesses often say the craft seem to float, like a blimp or airship, but they are also capable of aeronautical magic.
"They were able to drop altitude 10,000-20,000 feet in a matter of seconds. They went from a hovering position to several thousand miles an hour, and this was caught on radar," said Dr. Kelleher.
"It was heading straight north. The right edge was over that tree." Las Vegas journalist Cateland White was in the backyard of her southeast Las Vegas home last year when she saw a dark behemoth fly over. She drew a picture and described, "It was triangular shaped with rectangular reflectors. No interior light at all. By the time it got out of sight, it was 5-8 minutes. It was so slow, I couldn't figure out how it was staying in the air."
White called the police, who connected her to Nellis Air Force Base, which is the direction the triangle seemed headed. "The man said, 'I don't want you to talk about this anymore, and you're gonna forget it.' I said, 'Look buddy, I'm not drinking, I'm not on drugs, something is headed for your base.' Then he got real terse and said, 'Mam, I'm gonna tell you one more time and this is the last time I'm gonna tell you. Forget what you saw and don't tell anybody.' At that point, I was freaked," described White.
The frequent proximity of triangle sightings to air force bases led NIDS to conclude two years ago that the craft must be part of a secret military project. But in the two years since, the triangles have become so prevalent over big cities and interstate highways that the theory doesn't fit anymore.
Dr. Kelleher said, "Why would unacknowledged aircraft be flying at 500 feet over populated areas? If you look at the B-2 and F-117, prior to them being acknowledged, there was no flying over populated areas. They flew in the desert. They flew at high altitudes."
Sightings of huge black triangles have increased in the past few years. The suspicion is that these aircraft are part of a top-secret military program, but, no one can say what the purpose of that program might be.
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(Nov. 19. 2004)
Something large, dark, and unidentified has been seen in the skies over southern Nevada and much of the rest of the country. Sightings of huge black triangles have increased in the past few years. The suspicion is that these aircraft are part of a top-secret military program, but no one can say what the purpose of that program might be.
In April of 2003, something large, dark, and silent glided over southeastern Las Vegas, headed in the direction of Nellis Air Force Base.
Las Vegas journalist Cateland White said, "It was huge and made no sound. Nothing stays in the air like that."
Cateland White said the huge craft was shaped like a boomerang or triangle. The drawing she made is similar to others from eyewitnesses all over the country, and in other parts of the world -- large, black, floating triangles, often seen in the vicinity of military bases. When white called Nellis to warn the base that something big was coming its way, she didn't exactly get a thank you.
"The man said, 'I don't want you to talk about this anymore. You're not gonna talk about this anymore. And you're gonna forget it,' " White said.
Did Cateland White get a glimpse of a secret military aircraft? Reports of giant flying triangles have been around for decades. One object was seen over Russia in the 70s, another over Belgium in the 80s, and another one over Arizona in the 90s. Whatever was gliding over Phoenix was first seen the same night flying over Henderson, Nevada, headed east.
Dr. Colm Kelleher, with NIDS, said, "All over the U.S. -- East Coast, West Coast, quite a few from Nevada itself."
Research scientists Dr. Colm Kelleher spent four years collecting and analyzing reports of flying triangles as part of a study for the Las Vegas based National Institute for Discovery Science. The NIDS files contain more than 1,000 black triangle reports, including 17 from Nevada.
The triangles have been seen in rural areas of the state, but also flying over the Las Vegas Strip. Not surprisingly, there have been sightings near classified military bases, including the Tonopah test range and of course, Area 51.
Area 51 watchdog, Chuck Clark got a nighttime glimpse of something big and black sitting on a runway at Groom Lake. "It appeared to be about twice as big as a 747," he described.
But what technology allows something so big to glide so low and slow with no apparent propulsion system? Some speculate that the military may have a modern version of an old technology -- airships, a souped up blimp, capable of carrying large deployments of troops or tanks to remote locations. If the Pentagon doesn't yet have airships, it certainly wants them. At least three contracts have been awarded for the development of big airships. Another potential use of an airship platform is one the military wouldn't want to admit -- surveillance of the American public in the age of terrorism.
Dr. Kelleher said, "The speculation is these things are to do with homeland security and there is intense surveillance program that is escalating all the time in the post-9/11 era."
Like an aerial vacuum cleaner, a high-tech airship could suck up every fax, phone call and email as it passes over. Kelleher's database shows that in the past two years, sightings of giant triangles over major cities has skyrocketed. The fact that the craft fly so openly over cities suggests that whoever is flying them isn't worried about their existence being known, which is much different from how other, previously secret aircraft were tested and deployed. Whatever they are, the black triangles have piqued public curiosity. When NIDS put its study online, it was swamped with inquiries, most of them from people in the aerospace industry.
Dr. Kelleher explained, "We got huge numbers. Close to 100,000 people downloaded the report in a short period of time. There's a tremendous interest. We think its because this is a gray areas. Are these aircraft ours or someone else's?"
But if they are not ours, then whose?
The National Institute for Discovery Science recently shut down most of its Las Vegas operation, but it still maintains a website where you can access its report about the black triangles.