MYSTERY WIRE — 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,” one witness said as a camera recorded the event.

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 in general 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 of the triangles were photographed. The Belgian Air Force dispatched F-16s to intercept and destroy the unknown intruders, but the triangles performed maneuvers that seemed virtually impossible.

Research scientist Dr. Colm Kelleher recounts the Belgium incident. “On several occasions they launched the top-of-the-line military aircraft against these things, and they were left standing. They were left in the dust.”

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Colm Kelleher Black Triangle
Research scientist Dr. Colm Kelleher. (KLAS-TV)

“One minute these things are overhead and the next minute they’re on the horizon,” Kelleher said.

Kelleher 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.

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.

“These things are huge,” Kelleher said. “These things are football-field size, sometimes they’re stealthy, but a lot of the times they’re flying with extremely bright lights. They’re always silent.”

Black Triangle
Documentation of a “black triangle” spotted over Pocatello, Idaho. (KLAS-TV)

NIDS now has a database of more than 1,000 black triangle reports, 17 of them from Nevada. The witnesses often say the craft seemed to float like a blimp or airship. But they’re also capable of aeronautical magic.

See the full NIDS report

“They were able to drop altitude in terms of 10- 20,000 feet in a matter of seconds. They were able to go from a hovering position to several thousand miles an hour. And this was caught on radar,” Kelleher said.

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 this picture:

“It was triangular shaped, and there were rectangular reflectors,” White said. “There was no interior light coming out of it at all. And by the time it got out of sight, I bet it was five to eight minutes. It was really slow. And I couldn’t figure out how it was staying in the air.”

Cateland White Black Triangle
Cateland White talks about her experience trying to report a UFO headed in the direction of Nellis Air Force Base. (KLAS-TV)

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. You’re not going to talk about this anymore, and you’re going to forget it,” White said.

“And I’m once again I said, ‘Look, buddy, I’m not drinking, I’m not on drugs. Something is headed for your base.’ And then he got really terse, and he said, ‘Ma’am, I’m going to tell you one more time and this is the last time I’m gonna tell you. You will forget what you saw. And you won’t tell anybody.’ At that point, I just, I was freaked I didn’t know what to do.”

The frequent proximity of triangle sightings to Air Force bases led NIDS to conclude in 2002 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.

“Why would unacknowledged aircraft be flying at 500 to 1,000 feet over populated areas?” Kelleher asks.

“If you look at the B-2 and the F-117. Prior to their being acknowledged, there was absolutely no sense of them flying over populated areas,” Kelleher said.

Database tracks black triangle UFO sightings, some near military bases