Flying Triangle over Cardigan Bay, West Wales
Report by Adam Whaley
NOTE: Article originally posted on the Internet on 23 Sep 1997.
Some More Thoughts on the Flying Triangle Phenomenon
Since our report on the Cardigan Bay / West Wales Flying Triangle sightings of 21st November 1996 has been published, we have been able to access further reliable sources of information which have helped formulate this intriguing addendum. This addendum will concentrate on speculation regarding the power system, design, purpose, and possible builders of this craft. We have already suspected that the craft is of terrestrial origin and features known technologies. If we can now show how this craft could fly; what it could be used for; and by whom it could be built, then one would not necessarily need to invoke any extra-terrestrial origin what-so-ever. Sorry to rain on some people's parade - the ET bandwagon has become quite a palliative it seems! With the following repeated references to certain manufacturers, i.e. Raytheon and E-Systems, we readily admit that we do not have any proof that they are the actual manufacturers. Rather, they are representative of the aerospace and defence contractors who could build the craft. It just so happens that the names Raytheon and E-Systems seem to crop up regularly in our research reading on Project HAARP and other projects. There may well be, and probably are, many others involved in this ultra-clandestine project but please be assured, we are getting closer to the truth and have already got some very good leads. Further additions to this addendum are already in the pipeline and any hard factual info would be much appreciated to help us on the way.
We have chosen to start with the propulsion system as this is one area where our witnesses were able to provide us with reliably consistent reports of the propulsive effects.
Notoriously, the Flying Triangle is conveniently deduced by many eye witnesses to be an 'Extraterrestrial-UFO' due mainly to its lack of obvious, or conventional, propulsion. We hope to show that this is far from the only option by piecing together the available evidence and using Occam's Razor to eliminate the misguided assumptions that have become an integral part of the FT-UFO lore ever since the first reliable sightings in the eighties. Unfortunately, some researchers still insist on quoting dubious 'sightings' from the 1800's in an endeavour to integrate the FT into the ET hypothesis. We feel this is as irresponsible as it is desperate. Witnesses report that the craft is normally silent, unless one is standing directly underneath when, to quote a witness, "it made aloud roaring noise". Certainly residents of our area are well aquatinted with low-flying military jets and helicopters and know what they sound like - the FT was certainly nothing like them.
Other UFO witnesses have reported a whirring or humming sound, likened on some occasions to an electricity sub-station. Besides the sound (or lack of it), there was a report of static electricity in the vicinity of the craft. Regarding the colours observed, the red and blue flashes did not appear to be related to the propulsion system, but the orange / yellow glow surrounding it, prior to the very intense white flashes that occurred when the craft rapidly accelerated do some how seem to be associated with the method of propulsion. The orange / yellow glow is almost certainly a plasma created by an strong electro-magnetic field, presumably to reduce friction and thus reducing the amount of energy needed to propel the craft along its plane of motion when it goes into what we call 'burst mode'.
The theory behind this process is called magneto-hydro-dynamics (sometimes magneto-plasma-dynamics) - the main principle associated with the recently publicised 'air-spike' technology as will be fitted to hyper-sonic air and space vehicles of the future. This subject was extensively researched on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the 1950s and 1960s and continues to be extensively researched to this day. (See the article by Eris Andys in UFO Reality on the AGARD/NATO bibliography on this subject published in 1962 by Pergamon Press. The Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 8 (1992) has an index on the Web and this also shows several relevant articles). Magneto-hydro-dynamics relates to the processes involved when a plasma is created by an intense electrical field which is then held in place by a similarly strong electromagnetic field. The electrical field creates electrons at strategically placed electrodes, these are then being manipulated by the magnetic field created by superconducting magnets. Prof. Leik Myrabo relates that such a system impels the ionised air backwards therefore creating thrust. Given that the Flying Triangle is not always seen with a yellow/orange glow around it, it seems likely that the plasma glow represents a quantitative increase in the electrical charge and that this is increased substantially when the inertial microwave -induced shockwave - the air-spike - is engaged.
To aid the transfer of microwave or laser energy to the MPD device, Myrabo has also suggested using a skin of silicon carbide (carborundum). This is doubly interesting as this is a dark crystalline substance and may account for the craft's dark underside and possibly the top also. It is also a semiconductor, which means that its electrical conductivity increases with temperature. It is well known that various energy waves, e.g. microwaves or lightwaves, can be converted to electricity so we are postulating that these bursts of energy are created by a microwave maser or a laser. The latter would be more powerful, but visible. The result is an energy beam which is pulsed out in front of the craft creating a semi-vacuum into which the craft is 'sucked' at great speed. This is not necessarily a continuous process, witnesses often only saw one or two such bursts of energy, but on one occasion seven were seen in rapid succession.
Incidentally, this technique was first proposed in the 1950s by Terence Nonweiller but it mysteriously disappeared only to re-emerge recently in the proposals of Leik Myrabo at the Rennesslear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York State (See MikeRoss's article "Rider on the Shock Wave" in New Scientist 17/2/1996 pp28, 30-31). These proposals would appear to be the first public airing of the combined use of the MPD and microwave shock wave, but we can be sure that the giant US military laboratories are way ahead of what is publicly made known.
As we have previously mentioned, there is no obvious visible power source for this craft. However, as the craft appears to primarily use electricity-related energy to propel itself, then the power source would need to be electrical or to use some form of conversion process. Leif Myrabo's proposals suggest using beamed laser or microwave energy from a satellite or satellites. This would be achieved by using stored solar power or perhaps beamed up from the ground and then possibly redirected by satellite. This energy would be converted on board the FT to power the craft. Using beamed in energy would remove the need for engines and fuel. This power source would obviously increase the power- to-weight ratio tremendously. Perhaps some form of accumulators may be used should the beamed energy be intermittent or cut off for some reason?. Incidentally, such power beams need not be in the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum so could conveniently be invisible to observers. However, this invisibility might also present a tremendous hazard to anything that accidentally flew in the vicinity such a beam. Perhaps some accidents have already occurred which might have been conveniently attributed to 'pilot error', 'freak weather' and 'causes unknown'! The use of microwave energy beams to power aircraft has already been sucessfully tested. A consortium of ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Oil Company), Raytheon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena and some Japanese scientists flew such a craft 150 miles in Canada in 1987, and on several other occasions more recently. It is not known at this stage what the craft looked like, but it has been suggested else where that it would benefit from having a large surface area to receive the microwave energy beam. The Flying Triangle certainly has such a large area especially when viewed from directly below (or above), again increasing the likelihood that it uses ground or satellite-beamed energy. It should also be noted that Raytheon scientist William C.Brown has been working on the beaming of energy to aircraft and helicopters since 1965, and that, surprise surprise, - Raytheon, through their E-Systems subsidiary, own the patents to several suchbdevices! One could speculate why an Oil Company, such as Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) would want to get involved with beaming microwave energy to aircraft. One scenario suggests that US Oil companies are looking forward to a time when either oil becomes scarce or, for strategic / geopolitical reasons, an effort is made to break the US reliance on Middle Eastern suppliers (this may also explain Japanese interest who are looking for ways to end their dependency on imported fuels). Atlantic Richfield and Raytheon are heavily involved in the Project HAARP development on the northern shore of Alaska, which purportedly is designed to beam electrical energy into the ionosphere to conduct all manner of experiments.
However, One source, Gerry Vassilatos, in his book "Secrets of Cold War Technology" suggests that Project HAARP may be an attempt to tap into the electrical energy of the Aurora Borealis, in a similar way to that employed by Nikola Tesla much earlier this century. The electricity generated could then be used to power aircraft by beaming it to them, bypassing the need for expensive, and increasingly environmentally unpopular, aviation grade fuels.
The Problem of Lift
Although we have identified the probable source of power for the craft and how the power is utilised to produce forward motion, this does not necessarily give us the answer as to how the craft stays up in the air. In short, what gives it lift? If observers are correct, the Flying Triangle is capable of hovering and moving at low speeds (50-100 knots). The craft certainly does not have an aerodynamic wing section, - it has been described as a triangular paving slab or processed cheese slice in appearance, if not in scale! - and there do not appear to be any of the rotors that give helicopters lift nor the vectored thrust jet engines used by aircraft like the Harrier, the sound would be deafening anyway. This has led many people to conclude that the craft must use some form of 'anti-gravity' device. We have searched in the literature in vain to find any workable design for such a device. It is known that very strong electro-magnetic fields can cause a levitating effect and this has been known for along time (Dr Francis Nipher wrote an article "Can Electricity Destroy Gravity" in the Electrical Experimenter magazine of March 1918) and the concept has more recently been famously demonstrated with the 'levitating frog' that has hit the world's headlines. However, none of these reports have shown the actual device used to create the electro-magnetic field being levitated - only the object suspended within the field. We are not aware of, and strongly doubt the existence of, any experiment that features an object that is capableof levitating itself. This leads us to conclude that something as large, and as seemingly heavy, as the Flying Triangle would require an almost unbelievably strong electromagnetic field to suspend it and this would need to be generated externally and certainly in the very near vicinity. Even then, it is unlikely that the craft could rise from the ground more than a few feet at most. Once again, Leik Myrabo has come up with an answer to this riddle which is painful in its simplicity and obviousness. Make the craft lighter-than-air, i.e. an airship. Certainly the observed flight characteristics at low speed of the FT seem to exactly mirror those of an airship. What seems incredible is that it is also capable of supersonic flight, if only in very short bursts. Myrabo envisages acraft with a skin made of layers of silicon carbide which can withstand temperatures of up to 2000K and inflated with helium to provide buoyancy at low altitudes and act as a coolant (the microwavepower converter would probably need a lot of cooling). Such a skin would need to be effectively transparent to the microwave energy beams on the top of the craft and there may be a dome effect to help focus the beam to the converter. Unfortunately, we are not aware of any witness report that lists a sighting of the upper side of the FT so this dome or lens must remain conjecture.
Controlling The Craft
Whereas we now have a means for getting the craft through the air and keeping it off the deck, there is also the problem of steering the craft, both in terms of altitude and direction. The craft was observed undertaking a circular route at level flight so it must be steerable. No alteration in height was observed on this occasion, but other observers have claimed that it can descend from a great height and similarly ascend with extreme rapidity. Regarding horizontal direction, it is possible that by manipulating the plasma field and the flow of the electrons in it, the craft can be made to change direction. In fact in the absence of anything resembling rudders, ailerons, flaps etc or any other propulsion system, this is our only explanation for how manoeuvrability can be achieved. To make small altitude changes at low speed, it would seem necessary to effect a change in the relative buoyancy of the craft. Alteration of the air/helium mix would allow it to rise and fall, and with a compartmentalised internal structure, it would be possible to cause any point of the triangle to rise or fall. This would then allow the microwave shock wave to be generated forwards in a horizontal plane relative to the direction of the craft. This effect has been observed and is often likened to "horizontal sheet lightning". This system could also be employed for rapid ascent and descent by simply pointing the craft upwards or downwards. This vertical orientation has actually been observed and described as "flying flat face forward" (like a hotair balloon caught in an air stream), leading to the conclusion "that no earthly craft could perform such a manoeuvre. Oh yeah! It is worthy of consideration whether hydrogen could be used instead of helium. Helium is a natural gas found within the Earth. It is expensive and is being recovered in limited amounts. The huge amounts required to provide lift to the FT would be prohibitive. Hydrogen, on the other hand is in ready supply and is easily manufactured. It is quite possible that the FT may even have its own on-board manufacturing unit. Of course, the main problem with Hydrogen is its combustibility when mixed with air. When the critical mix is attained - bang! No FT - no comment! This explosion may well be responsible for the 'mystery explosion' near the Isle of Lewis earlier this year. Eye witnesses saw wreckage falling from the sky after seeing a huge fireball. The explosion was heard by hundreds and the details recorded seismically. No wreckage was recovered and the incident officially recorded as unexplained. There just happened to be a NATO air-sea exercise near to the area - what a surprise! We have wondered how the craft stops, given that the momentum provided by the shock wave would carry the craft forwards for a great distance. It has been observed that the craft often enters the scene in a flash of light as well as leaving in a similar fashion. We surmise that, not only can the craft generate a shock wave in front of it, but also to the rear or any of the sides, working in tandem to counteract the forward motion. The breaking effect must be tremendous and the Gforces beyond human capacity to withstand. There is the distinct possibility that all three sides act together giving 3-way reactive manoeuvrability.
Who Controls the Craft?
The G forces, together with the user-unfriendly electromagnetic atmosphere in which the craft operates, suggests to us that this would not be a suitable environment for human pilots, crew or passengers and we are reminded of the ill-fated Mag-Lev train of the 1970's. However, this unfriendly environment would not be of great importance these days as the science of Virtual Reality remote control for aircraft has been extensively developed. Indeed, the most recent proposals for military fighters and bombers envisage pilotless craft, controlled either from ground stations or 'motherships', directly or via satellite. As is well known, the military have developed Virtual Reality for flight simulators and the entire globe continues to be mapped out with increasingly higher resolution. This means that even low-flying would now appear to be perfectly feasible - although even human pilots have been known to make catastrophic mistakes in the Welsh hills. Readers may have spotted an apparent contradiction in how the craft could be controlled remotely if the electromagnetic field surrounding it disrupts all electronic and magnetic communications systems. This problem can neatly be addressed by using the microwave maser/laser to act as a carrier wave for a modulated digital pulse. The pulse would simply be interrogated, error corrected and converted into digital control signals. An analogy could be that the same electricity used to send Morse Code signals could also be used to charge a battery at the same time - communications and power down a single power line. Although the Flying Triangle appears to exhibit extremely fast bursts of speed, it does not appear to be able to sustain them thus tracking the craft, especially by satellite, would not be difficult. Even communicating with it would be possible, despite its electromagnetic envelope, if one uses gamma rays or the afore mentioned modulated carrier wave. A company such as E-Systems would be ideal for the development of these techniques as they are the owners of the Global Positioning System of satellites. Their parent company Raytheon are experts in the field of satellites and ground launch stations. Raytheon have also recently been showing off their Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (the Shadow 200) to the US military which is flown from the ground and which can transmit a variety of images in real time. Interestingly, the GPS is said to be only accurate to within about 30 meters but this resolution would obviously be unsuited to the precise requirements of the VR control of the Flying Triangle. However, on more than one occasion, the GPS resolution has suddenly and mysteriously increased to within a few inches and what a coincidence that one of these occasions just happened to coincide with the search for a missing fighter plane's black box!
Well, we hope we have shown that the craft is technologically feasible in terms of power and control, but could it be made and why do so in a triangular shape? Using microwave energy beams would require a large surface area to beam onto because presumably if one chose too small an area it would suffer from overheating, whereas a large area would deliver a diffused power density to any specific part of the surface. The craft would need to be fairly bulky to allow sufficient density and mass for the magneto-plasma-dynamic 'drive' to operate. Also, and perhaps more importantly, being an airship, it would require a sufficiently large volume to give the required buoyancy. Finally it needs to be strong enough to withstand the colossal rate of acceleration and a triangular shape just happens to be the strongest structure geometrically. It has been witnessed that the FT sometimes splits off into several pieces again leading to an automatic ET hypothesis. Hasn't it occurred to anyone that an equilateral triangle is the perfect and most stable nesting solid although why the manufacturers would want them to nest together is anyone's guess? We suspect that the craft has solid sides, where the electrodes and superconducting magnets are expected to reside. They would also give it solidity. The top and/or bottom might comprise the films of silicon carbide and the whole assembly built around a triangular space-frame. This space-frame could be a compartmentalised structure built of many interconnected gas-tight vessels. These in turn may be made of a super lightweight polymer and perhaps it is again nocoincidence that Raytheon are known to manufacture an executive jet made with precisely such a polymer! This arrangement would therefore neatly combine both the strength, rigidity and the inflatability that the design appears to point towards. Admittedly, we can only guess at the internal structure but a compartmentalised arrangement would certainly allow for the differential flow of helium/hydrogen. It would certainly account for the requirement of the craft to raise or lower its 'nose' in a similar fashion to a submarine.
What is it For?
Having come this far we have to conclude that the Flying Triangle is undoubtedly a terrestrial craft and there is nothing we have suggested so far that is beyond the bounds of terrestrial technology. Admittedly some of this technology is ultra high-tech state-of-the-art but on the other hand, some of it is almost prehistoric! Their still remains the question of what possible use the FT might have. A quick process of elimination will remove the possibility that this is a passenger aircraft, due to its hostile environment. The lack of sustained speed and poor manoeuvrability can rule out an interceptor role or tactical strike role; its size would also rule this out. A transport role would appear to be unlikely with all the stresses of slow, fast and back to slow mode of travel as well as the extreme unlikelihood of it being able to sustain a heavy payload. There does not appear to be any need for a bomber of this type as it would, of course, be extremely vulnerable to hostile fire, and with the known capability of intercontinental missiles, nuclear submarines and so forth there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason for adopting this technology in a bombing role. This would leave us with four feasible roles. Leik Myrabo's designs are for launch vehicles for satellites, but there is scant evidence that the FT would be capable of the Mach 25 escape velocity required and what is a satellite launch vehicle be doing flying around for hours at a time at 200 feet above the ground! OK, so it may use the same technology but it still doesn't seem very likely to us. Also Myrabo only proposed craft of 30 feet in diameter and this is a monster compared to that. It should be noted that NASA has helped fund Myrabo's work so it is just possible that the Flying Triangle may have a variant form which can be used for this purpose even so, the 200foot version that is frequently sighted would appear to be far too large for the job. Having said that, we would also note that Raytheon are at work on a variety of satellite launch vehicles - another coincidence?
This leaves three more contenders for the role of this craft.
Remembering the Second World War (and assuming this isn't a super fast barrage balloon!), one of the main uses for airships was as naval convoy escorts.
Now the FT has the ability to fly around unattended for long periods of time and then suddenly zoom in to a location. If the craft was fitted with a variety of electronic or sonic weapons itcould prove to be a sub-hunter of some utility, or even be used in dreaded 'War on Drugs' to keep track of smuggling vessels - as if modern radar and satellites couldn't already do this! Well it is possible but highly unlikely. However as the Office of Naval Intelligence is one of the sponsors of Myrabo's work, then it is likely that some consideration of such a role may at least have been given.
Another role we can think of is for a strategic spy plane, a successor to the U-2s and Blackbird. It has been known for some time that the US military and intelligence services have desired something that combines the manoeuvrability of aircraft with the staying power of a satellite. Assuming that the FT has the capability of flying very high and out of the reach of SAMs, then it could well perform a valuable spying role, being able to dive below the cloud cover to get a real close up look at a target and then zoom away in a flash. In this regard we note that the Israeli ROTOSTAR system of communications utilizes high-flying airships, as these are much cheaper than satellites.
Finally, a possible use would be in a non-lethal weapons capacity as a search and destroy craft. It could be a sophisticated diverter/ converter system for the microwave or laser beam that also powers it. Any electronic systems struck by such a beam pulsed at a critical frequency would be rendered useless. In these days of hightech weaponry, that means virtually all weapons from tanks to ICBM's. It could also have a subsidiary role in being an Electronic Counter Measures craft able to take out enemy electricity supplies and radio stations and so forth. The ability to wield electromagnetic weapons would also be invaluable from a purely defensive standpoint. In the absence of any obvious armaments, this ability to disarm incoming missiles could just well be the primary role. In this regard we would also point out that one of the sponsors of Myrabo's work has been the Strategic Defence Initiative. The fact that the craft is apparently uncrewed would be a distinct advantage as this would avoid any embarrassing scenes if the pilot was shot down and captured (Gary Powers) and, provided there were no tell-tale markings, the country that used this craft would have a degree of built-in 'plausible deniability' (the first requirement of the CIA and other intelligence agencies). The possibility of the FT having Hydrogen buoyancy would allow the craft to be used in a Kamikaze fashion like a massive fuel-air bomb. It could well be ultimately regarded as a disposable structure. As an added advantage, there would be little, if any, wreckage left for an enemy to back-engineer!
If this is a CIA/NRO spy plane then it would certainly explain the official media blackout and indeed it could be the very reason why there appears to have been so much enthusiasm for thinking that this 'UFO' is an alien spaceship! What better cover could such a vulnerable piece of equipment have than to be thought of as belonging to an alien race that is so far advanced than ourselves and so equipped with such awesome weaponry (as displayed in 'Independence Day') that it would be suicidal to shoot it down. Also, if this is a CIA/NRO spy plane it would explain why the government and the military have been correct in saying that it was not an "unknown" aircraft - that is, unknown to them. But they ain't saying what it is and who does know about it. It would also explain why it was evaluated as not being a threat to the UK - true again. The only recorded attack by this craft was apparently in Russia where one apparently attacked a Radar station. We say apparently because this was later officially denied. Just what you'd expect a US spy/ECM plane would be capable of doing and just the expected response also!. Furthermore, it would just happen to be a convenient coincidence that the very people who could design, build and fly one of these craft, Raytheon, have as their subsidiary E-Systems, a company that is staffed almost entirely by ex-military / intelligence people, whose work is almost exclusively for those agencies and whose core business, according to their 1994 Annual Report, is reconnaissance and surveillance. As we say, pure coincidence. Furthermore the Flying Triangle has been observed near to the Raytheon factory at Hawarden (Broughton) in North East Wales, which may explain why there have been so many sightings along the North Wales coast, and indeed it was in the direction of Hawarden that 'our' Flying Triangle was last seen heading on November 21st 1996. Also Raytheon have research facilities in Denmark which may explain why the craft appears so frequently along the North Eastern coast of England. Presumably, the craft waves to people on Atlantic Richfield's Trent and Tyne Oil field platforms. (Flying Triangle sightings have taken place from North Sea Oil platforms). Raytheon are also experts at building such platforms, and are experimenting with off-shore launch platforms and, quite possibly, microwave energy beaming stations also.
Well well! There would be no reason for too many Government and Military people to be in the know about the FT, just enough to have the correct procedures followed that could perpetuate a cover-up. If the cover eventually gets blown and can't be denied then a convenient cover story would be set in motion - admit that it is one of ours but that it is only flown for research purposes (some guff about the environment will probably do) and that there is nothing secret or untoward about it so what's the fuss about! So, the famous Flying Triangle. As far we can see there are very good reasons to suppose that this beast is of terrestrial origin, built and designed in the USA for their military / intelligence agencies by their friends in the aerospace industries. We'd be very surprised if Raytheon and E-Systems the CIA / NSA / NRO / NASA aren't heavily involved in this one, unless you know otherwise and want to tell us?
Nick Begich and Jeanne Manning "Angels Don't Play This HAARP: Advances in Tesla Technology". Earthpulse Press, AL, 1996.
Much more readable than Vassilatos with much useful information about ARCO and Raytheon, amongst other subjects.
Mike Ross "Rider on the Shockwave" New Scientist 17/2/1996 pp28, 30 -31.
Excellent resume of Myrabo's work.
Gerry Vassilatos "Secrets of Cold War Technology: Project HAARP and Beyond". Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, CA. 1996.
Virtually unreadable account of the war between Tesla and Marconi and the use of their radio technologies by the military. Useful discussion of HAARP. Needs a second edition where all the wrong words are corrected (it's been spell-checked but not sense-checked).
Virtually every issue of the following magazines has had some references to the Flying Triangle and related phenomena, some more useful than others:
Alien Encounters, Fortean Times, Sightings, Nexus, UFO Magazine, UFO Reality.
Web-sites for Raytheon, ARCO, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and many other web resources - use your search engines selectively.
A few interesting key words for your search engines:
Myrabo, SABER, Tesla, plasma weapons, particle beam weapons, rail gun, MHD/MPD, microwave energy beams, airborne laser/ABL magnetoplasmadynamics, SDI, HAARP.
As this addendum was being drafted, we came across a large body of circumstantial supporting evidence to strongly suggest that the FT's are connected with a mega-Multi-National Corp/Govt secret project to secure a viable renewable energy source for the future - SPS or Satellite Solar Power. This project has been previously been publicly deemed "unviable at present" but we now suspect otherwise! If any researchers would like to pool knowledge or information to get to the bottom of this, please get in touch.
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