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The Belgium flap - sightings in January 1991:

January 21, 1991, about 07:50 p.m. on the E411 between Hoeilaart and Overijse:

January 21, 1991, on the E411 between Hoeilaert and Overijse.

The evening of Monday January 21 [1991] was, by far, the richest of all. That evening, towards 7.50 p.m., Mrs. Martine Matagne, journalist with the RTBF [state Radio and Television], drove on the motorway E411 in direction of Namur. she was accompanied by her friend, Mr. McMillan; they were going to an eveninf at fiends' and the vehicle moved at approximately 100 km/ho Arrived between Hoeilaert and Overijse, Mrs. Matagne saw initially a very luminous, at at least 1 km in front of her. She thought initially of a "plane that was going to crash", but the object seemed almost motionless. Approaching, she slows down (around 60 km/h) for better observing this round object, imposing, of the size and the shape of the disc which overhangs the tower of the RTBF at the Reyers boulevard, in Brussels. One distinguished at the same time the top, the lower part and the section of the structure which carried two large very powerful blue headlights directed towards the ground. This witness believed to distinguish "port-holes". All the structure of the object was clearly visible, like built of a metal checkerboard, of blue-gray color, a kind of "bolted construction" with "tiled plates" quite distinct with at the back three steady white lights (fig. 2.77, drawing A). For Mr. McMillan, the object was moving very slowly above the top of the trees. There were two very large sky-blue lamps of the "neon lamps kind" on the section. This second witness evokes "boffes" or "Lego" to describe the structure of this side face (fig. 2.77, drawing B).

At the same time (towards 7.55p.m.), Mrs. G. also drove on the E411. Like the previous witnesses, she saw a strong light in the sky and thought at once of an aircraft in distress. She passed under the object, but at a too fast speed (130 km/h) to remember details about it. Exactly at the same hour, Mrs. Jeanne S. drove by car in a street of Overijse, parallel to the motorway. She also saw this illuminated object and just like in the above testimonys, she believed being in the presence of a plane about to crash. Her second impression was to wonder why this "plane" was motionless. She distinguished two enormous headlights (at least 1 m diameter) which obliquely projected a sharp light towards the ground. Several small red lamps were visible on the top or the side of the object on which Mrs. G located some curious details: kinds of "metallic beams" that linked the two "wings" of what could have been a "biplane plane", and "iron fittings" appeared at certain places. Mrs. G heard a sudden noise, looked back, and noted that nothing was visible any more. One will compare this latter testimony to that of Mr. Marcel V. (observation of November 20, 1989, fig. 2.4, page 56).

Sobeps page 257 258

Source of the above text: Godelieve Van Overmeire, Belgique, circa 1999, citing the SOBEPS book "Vague d'OVNI sur la Belgique".

January 21, 1991 BELGIUM, Overijse

07.50 p.m., two witnesses (...) the machine seems almost motionless. The object is round, imposing, of the size and of the form of the shape of the communication tower of the RTB. Two large very powerful blue headlights were directed towards the ground. The object seems to have port-holes. All the structure is clearly visible, it evokes a rough metallic aspect. The witness speaks about bolted construction and a gray-blue color, as of Tefal. Three white lights are visible at the back. All the lights are steady. Other lamps, of neon kind, are visible on the section, sometimes long, sometimes short. Displacement was stable and regular. A deaf noise of small engine could be clearly heard. Outdistance 100 meters, dimension from 30 to 50 m in diameter. At 07.55 p.m. two independent testimonys (VOB 1 - SOBEPS 1991, p. 257, 258 and sketch, 259; VOB 2 - SOBEPS 1994, p. 212)

Source of the above text: Godelieve Van Overmeire, Belgium, circa 1999, citing the SOBEPS books "Vague d'OVNI sur la Belgique" volumes 1 and 2,

"For eighteen months, not one week webt by without a case of observation being announced (with one to five, six, even ten witnesses). With three major dates for this beginning of year 1991: January 21, where the witness is Martine Matagne, well known radio journalist in Belgium."

Source of the above text: Le Figaro Magazine, France, April 13, 1991, according to

"As we approached these lights closer cand cloer, in fact we realized that it could not be a plane. First of all because they were not the usual lights of a plane but they were two spots, blue, directed towards the ground. And then because it did not move, finally: as we were getting closer we had the impression that it was completely motionless."

"And all gently, this machine set out again in the contrary direction to ours, i.e. for Brussels, but, really, like on a cloud, all gently, all gently..."

"We lost sight of it, we drove again, on this motorway, my friend and I, I remember, we did not say anything, except that nevertheless at the end of five minutes, he is Irish, and... he told that... he said only one word to, he said to me [in English]: well, that's it, I've seen have UFO. "

Cliquez! Enregistrement sonore correspondant au récit ci-dessus (1Mo, mp3).

Martine Matagne during the interview.

Source of the above text: Transcript of on camera statements by Martine Matagne, TV show "Allo ici planète Terre", broadcast on October 14, 1992, in Canada.

Additional information.


The tower of the Belgian Radio-Television of the boulevard Reyers in Brussels (blue dot on the chart below), with its noctrunal lighting forming two blue beams going down towards the ground.


Situation map. The city of Brussels is surrounded by a vast peripheral motorway (in gray).

The way in green is on the E411, sjowing where Mrs. Matagne and her friend might have been, taking into account that the observation begins according to reports when they arrived between Hoeilaart and Overijse.

Short discussion.

When something is described as resembling another thing, my habit is naturally to examine the look of this other thing, and even to check whether this other thing would not precisely be the explanation of the first. At the time when I thus looked at photographs of the RTB tower which is indicated to have the same kind of form than the UFO, I acknowledge that I almost fell of my chair when I discovered that the tower, lit by night, matches the description much more than expected!

Several common features are obvious: two beams of blue light directed down towards the ground, the flying saucer shape, the "quasi" immobility, the gray-blue aspect, the "plates", the two plans reminding the "biplane" term by one of the witnesses, the "kinds of iron fittings", the lights or port-holes...

But in fact, unless the indications of the reports are completely false, it is not possible that the tower was the UFO Mrs. Matane reported. In addition to the distance, quite important, which cannot match the 1 km then 100 meters she indicated, Mrs. Matane was between Hoeilaart and Overijse while going towards Namur, therefore leaving Brussels by the E411, going towards South-east, with the UFO declared to be seen ahead and not behind like the tower is.

The question remains however very opened with regard to the observations by Mrs. G and of Mrs. S. since we do not know exactly where they were nor in which direction they drove. It seems that Mrs. Matane knows Brussels; she knows the tower since she compares the UFO and the tower, moreover she was an RTB employee. But for lack of sufficient available data, nothing forbids to think that Mrs. S. and Mrs. G. were not familiarized with the presence of the tower, they might very well be total strangers to the locations, travelling in direction of the tower, and bringing their testimonies following the appearance of Mrs. Matane's testimony since it seemed indeed to confirm the description.

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This page was last updated on April 9, 2008