The following is a report written by the secretarial staff of the
Belgian Air Force staff. J. Pharabod
REPORT ON THE OBSERVATION OF UFOs DURING THE NIGHT OF MARCH 30-31, 1990
a. This report gives an overall view of the reports from the concerned Air Force units and of the reports from ocular witnesses of the gendarmerie patrols, about the unknown phenomena watched in the air space (hereafter called UFOs), south of the axis Brussels- Tirlemont, during the night of March 30-31,1990.
b. The observations, visual and radar, were of such a nature that the take off of two F-16 of the 1 J Wing has been decided, in order to identify these UFOs.
c. This report has been established by Major Lambrechts, VS/3 Ctl-Met 1.
Since the beginning of December 1989, strange phenomena have been regularly noticed in the Belgian air space. The Air Force has at its disposal several ocular witnesses, most of them having been informed by the gendarmerie. The Air Force radar stations could not confirm, in any case, up to March 30-31, these sightings, and the presence of the UFOs could never be established by the fighters sent in that order. The Air Force staff has been able to produce several hypotheses about the origin of these UFOs. The presence or the testing of B-2 or F-117 A (stealth), RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicles), ULM (Ultra Light Motorized) and AWACS in the Belgian air space during the facts can be excluded. The cabinet of the MLV (Ministry of National Defense) has been informed about these discoveries. In the meantime, the SOBEPS (Societe Belge d'Etude des Phenomenes Spatiaux) got in touch with the MLV, in order that the MLV backed the SOBEPS in its inquiries about this phenomenon. This request has been accepted, and after that the Air Force has regularly cooperated with this society.
3. Chronological summary of the events during the night of March 30-31, 1990.
Note: local time.
23 h 00: The supervisor responsible (MC) for the Glons CRC (Control Reporting Center) receives a phone call from Mr. A. Renkin, gendarmerie MDL, who certifies to see, from his home at Ramillies, three unusual lights towards Thorembais-Gembloux. These lights are distinctly more intense than stars and planets, they don't move and are located at the apexes of an equilateral triangle. Their color is changing: red, green and yellow.
23 h 05: The Glons CRC asks the Wavre gendarmerie to send a patrol at this place in order to confirm this sighting.
23 h 10: A new call from Mr. Renkin points out a new phenomenon: three other lights move towards the first triangle. One of these lights is far brighter than the others. The Glons CRC observes in the meantime an unidentified radar contact, about 5 km north of the Beauvechain airport. The contacts moves at about 25 knots towards west.
23 h 28: A gendarmerie patrol including, among others, Captain Pinson, is on the premises and confirms Mr. Renkin's sightings. Captain Pinson describes the observed phenomenon as follows: the bright points have the dimension of a big star(*); their color changes continually. The prevailing color is red; then it changes itself in blue, green, yellow and white, but not always in the same order. The lights are very clear, as if they were signals: this enables to distinguish them from stars.
23 h 30 - 23 h 45: The three new lights, in the meantime, have drawn closer to the first observed triangle. In their turn, after a series of erratic moves, they arrange themselves also in triangular formation. In the mean time, the Glons CRC observes the phenomenon on radar.
23 h 49 - 23 h 59: The Semmerkaze TCC/RP (Traffic Center Control/ Reporting Post) confirms in its turn to have a clear radar contact at the same position pointed out by the Glons CRC.
23 h 56: After prerequisite coordination with the SOC II, and since all conditions are fulfilled to make the QRA take off, the Glons CRC gives the scramble order to the 1 J Wing.
23 h 45 - 00 h 15: The bright points are still clearly observed from ground. Their respective position does not change. The whole formation seems to move slowly in comparison with the stars. The ocular witnesses on ground notice that the UFOs send from time to time brief and more intense luminous signals. In the mean time, two weaker luminous points are observed towards Eghezee. Those, as the others, have also brief and erratic moves.
00 h 05: Two F-16, QRA of J Wing, AL 17 and AL 23, take off. Between 00 h 07 and 00 h 54, under control of the CRC, on the whole nine interception attempts have been undertaken by the fighters. The planes have had, several times, brief radar contacts on the targets designated by the CRC. In three cases, the pilots managed to lock on the target during a few seconds, which, each time, induced a drastic change in the comportment of the UFOs. In no case, the pilots have had a visual contact with the UFOs.
00 h 13: First lock on the target designated by the CRC. Position: "on the nose" 6 NM (Nautical Miles), 9000 feet, direction: 250. The target speed changes within minimum time from 150 to 970 knots, altitude coming down from 9000 to 5000 feet, then up to 11000 feet, and, shortly after, down to ground level. From this results a "break lock" after some seconds, the pilot losing the radar contact. The Glons radar informs, at the moment of the break lock, that the fighters are above the target position.
+/- 00 h 19 - 00 h 30: The Semmerkaze TCC as well as the Glons CRC have lost contact with the target. From time to time a contact appears in the region, but they are too few to have a clear track. In the meantime, the pilots contact on VHF the radio of the civilian air traffic, in order to coordinate their moves with the Brussels TMA. The radio contact on UHF is maintained with the Glons CRC.
00 h 30: AL 17 has a radar contact at 5000 feet, 20 NM away Beauvechain (Nivelles), position 255. The target moves at very high speed (740 knots). The lock on lasts during 6 seconds, and, at the break lock, the signal of a jamming appears on the scope.
+/- 00 h 30: The ground witnesses see three times the F-16 pass along. During the third pass, they see the planes turning in circles at the center of the great formation initially seen. At the same time, they notice the disappearance of the little triangle, while the brightest, western point of the big triangle moves very fast, probably up. This point emits intense red signals, in a repetitive way, during the maneuver. The two other points of the great triangle disappear shortly after. The clear points above Eghezee are no longer visible, and only the western brightest point of the triangle can be observed.
00 h 32: The Glons and Semmerkaze radars have a contact at 110 / 6 NM away Beauvechain, which heads for Bierset at 7000 feet and high speed. The registered speeds go from 478 to 690 knots. The contact is lost above Bierset. The Maastricht radar control center has had no contact with this UFO.
00 h 39 - 00 h 41: The Glons CRC mentions a possible contact at 10 NM from the planes, altitude 10000 feet. The pilots have a radar contact at 7 NM. Again is noticed an acceleration of the target from 100 to 600 knots. The lock on lasts only a few seconds, and the planes as well as the CRC lose the contact.
00 h 47: The Beauvechain RAPCON mentions a contact on its radar, at 6500 feet altitude, position away Beauvechain: 160 / 5 NM. The Glons CRC has also a contact on the same position. This one is observed up to 00 h 56.
00 h 45 - 01 h 00: Some attempts are undertaken in order to intercept the UFOs. The planes register only a few very short radar contacts. The ground observers see the last UFO disappear towards Louvain-la- Neuve (NNW). Around 01 h 00, the UFO has completely disappeared.
01 h 02: AL 17 and AL 23 quit the frequency of the Glons CRC and go back to their base.
01 h 06: The Jodoigne gendarmerie mentions to the Glons CRC that has just been observed a phenomenon like the one observed by Mr. Renkin at 23 h 15.
01 h 10: Landing of AL 17.
01 h 16: Landing of AL 23.
01 h 18: Captain Pinson, who in the meantime has gone to the Jodoigne gendarmerie, describes his observation as follows: four luminous white points at the apexes of a square, the center of which is Jodoigne. The UFO seen towards Orp-Jauche (SW of Jodoigne) is the brightest and has a yellow-red color. The luminous points move with jerky and short moves.
+/- 01 h 30: The UFOs lose their luminosity and seem to disappear in four distinct directions.
4. General information.
a. Meteo. The data mentioned by the Air Force Wing Meteo regarding the concerned area and during the night of March 30-31, 1990, are the following: Visibility: 8 to 15 km with clear sky. Wind at 10000 feet: 50/60 knots. A slight temperature inversion at ground, and another, as slight, at 3000 feet. These data are confirmed in Captain Pinson's report. He mentions also that the stars were clearly visible.
b. Because of lack of appropriate material, the ground observers could not make any photo or film of the phenomenon.
c. The UFO observed with a telescope is described as follows: a kind of sphere, a part of which is very luminous; a triangular shape could also be distinguished (For a more detailed observation, see Captain Pinson's report, in appendix H1).
a. In contradiction with other pointed out UFO sightings, for the first time a radar contact has been positively observed, in correlation with different sensors of the Air Force (CRC, TCC, RAPCON, EBBE and F-16 radar), and this in the same area as visual observations. This has to be explained by the fact that the March 30-31 UFOs have been noticed at +/- 10000 feet altitude, whereas in the former cases there was always talk of visual contacts at very low altitude.
b. The visual evidences, on which this report is partially based, come from gendarmes in duty, whose objectivity cannot be questioned.
c. The UFOs, as soon as seen by the F-16 radar in the "Target Track" mode (after interception), have drastically changed their parameters. The speeds measured at that time and the altitude shifts exclude the hypothesis according to which planes could be mistaken for the observed UFOs. The slow moves during the other phases differ also from the moves of planes.
d. The fighter pilots never have had visual contact with the UFOs. This can be explained by the changes of luminous intensity, and even the disappearance of the UFOs, when the F-16 arrived in the neighborhood of the place where they were observed from the ground.
e. The hypothesis according to which it was an optical illusion, a mistake for planets, or any other meteorological phenomenon, is in contradiction with the radar observations, especially the 10000 feet altitude and the geometrical position of the UFOs between themselves. The geometrical formation tends to prove a program.
f. The first observation of the slow motion of the UFOs has been made roughly in the same direction and with the same speed as the wind. The direction differs by 30 degrees from the direction of the wind (260 degrees instead of 230 degrees). The hypothesis of sounding balloons is very improbable. The UFOs altitude during all this phase remained 10000 feet, whereas the sounding balloons go on higher and higher, up to burst at around 100000 feet. It is difficult to explain the bright lights and changes of color with such balloons. It is very improbable that balloons stay at the same altitude during more than one hour, while keeping the same position between themselves. Kn Belgium, during the radar observation, there was no meteorological inversion in progress. The hypothesis according to which it could be other balloons must be absolutely dismissed.
g. Though speeds greater than the sound barrier have been measured several times, not any bang has been noticed. Here also, no explanation can be given.
h. Though the different ground witnesses have effectively pointed out eight points in the sky, the radars have registered only one contact at the same time. The points have been seen at a distance one from another sufficient for them to be distinguished by the radars also. No plausible explanation can be put forward.
i. The hypothesis of air phenomena resulting from projection of holograms(*) must be excluded too: the laser projectors should have been normally observed by the pilots on flight. Moreover, the hologram cannot be detected by radar, and a laser projection can be seen only if there is a screen, like clouds for example. Here, the sky was clear, and there was no significant temperature inversion.
(end of report)
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