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The Belgium flap documents:

Introduction:

This is the transcript of the exchanges between the pilots and the ground controller during the interception of "UFOs" over Belgium, night 30-31 March 1990 (TIME is GMT).

The report:

03.30.1990 QRA(I) SCRAMBLE

22:07

C: Loud & clear how me.
P: Reading you 5, flight level 90.
C: Task VID check armament safe.
P: Safe.
C: For your info, contact at your bearing 310 range is 15.
P: 310, 15, and confirm it's still on FL 90.
C: Checking.

22:07:30

C: Bravo reading you 5.
P: Bravo 5 as well. No.
C: No height on the contact for the moment.
P: Both levelling off FL 90.
C: Roger and both starboard 310.
P: OK, SB 310.
C: Last altitude on the contact is FL 210.
C: Keep on turning, roll out 320.
P: 320.

22:08

C: 320, 17 miles. And for the moment maximum level 10000ft.
P: Steady 320.
C: Roger 330, 5 to 10 right range is 15 Possible altitude 10000ft.
P: Steady at 10000. No contact.

22:09

C: Contact 330 range 10. 11000ft Starboard 330.
P: Steady 330.
C: 330. 5 right range is 9.
P: No contact keep on taking.
C: 345 range 7. Reduce speed. Slow moving.
P: Roger, slow moving.
C: Still at 10000ft. Bearing 345 range 5.
P: Confirm altitude.

22:10

C: Last altitude 10000ft. Check 10 left range is 3. Left side 2 miles. No altitude. Passing overhead.
P: No contact.
C: Just below you.
P: Say again.
C: Just below you now. Both vector 090. Contact is 090 range 2 When steady check 090 range 3. Slow moving. Inside turn 4 Nm, 060, 3.
P: One blinking light just in front of you, do you see it, just below you. An orange one.
C: Range is 3, 060, 3.
P: ... heading 180. Roger reversing 180 You have contact on me MEEL. Roger contact on you. If you reverse 180, on your nose 1 mile. It should be 1 o'clock for you. Blinking orange light. It's on the ground.
P: Efflux, you still have the contact.
C: Contact for the moment 020, 15.
P: Confirm 020.
C: 020, 5 miles.
P: See the blinking light I mean unreadable ...flash.
C: 030, 6 miles.
P: Contact on the ground seems to be 1 light.
C: Another contact now 360, 10 miles.
P: 360, 10.

22:13

C: Altitude 11000ft, 350, 11 miles.
P: I have a contact 9000 heading 250 at 970 knots.
C: Possibly your target.
P: One contact on the nose 9000ft speed 310.
C: Range is 6?.
P: Eddy do you confirm contact I have the same in B 15 now unreadable.
C: Contact is at 3 miles now. On the nose 3.
P: Contact is coming in and out.
C: Roger and now... 2miles Right inside turn, level 1 mile 2214 Expedite right, roll out 130.
P: Unreadable. 130.
C: 140 range 3.
P: Confirm heading Efflux.
C: 130, 120 even. And continue roll out 180 He's now 170,4. Check camera on. 160, 3.
P: Camera on. I've a possible contact now at 550 knots in C. 6 alt 10000.
C: Just overhead.

22:15

C: If possible take a maximum of pictures.
P: May I suggest you keep the HUD, I keep...
C: At your 6 o'clock 2 unreadable.
P: Efflux, give a new heading.
C: Roll out 360, 360, 2. unreadable Continue SB 030.
P: 030.
C: He's now 050, 3. Altitude 105. Keep on turning towards 090.
P: Steady 090.
C: 090 on the nose 2.
P: One a/c passing below. Efflux is it possible?
C: At what altitude?
P: I see it Efflux.
C: On the nose 2 miles.
P: MEEL, you see it, just below me now. Efflux you have a new heading.
C: South, 2.
P: Say altitude.
C: FL 105. Snap 130. 130, 3. Last alt. reported 10000ft On the nose 2.
P: Come in attack.
C: Past the contact now. Altitude is 10000ft.
P: I'm at 9000ft.
C: Still no contact?
P: " " " ! Heading please.
C: 270, 2.
P: Confirm 260.

22:19

C: 270.

22:20

P: Roll out 270. Steady 270. 10000ft.
C: No more contact for the moment.
P: MEEL you switch 135 05 go.
C: Can you contact Brussels on 127.15.
P: 127.15, go. Efflux, confirm new heading.

22:21

C: Keep on turning right 090.
P: Turning left 090. Efflux steady east now.
C: Roger, maintain.
P: Positive contact as well.
C: For the moment no more contact on the scope.

22:22

P: No contact on the scope as well Check fuel. Unreadable. Possible contact at 19 miles 800 knots h 350.

22:23 3000ft

P: Efflux confirm one contact at 5 miles, left side, speed fast.
C: No contact for the moment.
P: 4 miles to the left.
C: Clear to investigate.
P: Investigating. Rolling out now 034.

22:24

C: Brussels is calling. No contact.
C: Traffic approaching from 320 range 15, 9000ft. Possible contact bearing 270 range 12. Starboard turn.

22:25

P: Turning right 270 This contact seems to be civilian traffic
P: Say again Efflux
C: Contact is civilian traffic

22:26

P: Rolling out 277
C: Roger, maintain 17 from Efflux
P: Come in Efflux
C: Did you see in the previous investigation...
P: I had a kind of flashing light on the nose 5 miles
C: And this light was coming from the south?

22:27

P: This light is steady.
C: When did you pass over the light, give me a top.
P: Turning left to pass overhead at 10000ft and give you the coordinates. Just passing overhead the light.
C: Roger.
P: Coordinates : 50.32.08.

04.11.08

P: Reversing east, 10000ft.
C: Roger.
C: Possible contact bearing 020 12 miles.
P: 12 miles looking out.
C: High speed roll out 040.
P: 040.
C: Heading is 115 Starb 060.
P: One contact on nose 10 miles.
C: That's the target. No alt on him for the moment.
P: Contact in C 12 MEEL, at 5000ft. 740 knots. Good contact again. Investigating. One contact on the nose 7 miles.
C: Chear to investigate, check armament safe.

22:31

<ü>P: Sweet and safe.
C: Passing overhead BE for the moment.
P: Lost contact now, he's moving very fast.
C: That's affirm High speed for the moment.
P: One contact on the nose 6 miles, speed to 100 knots.
C: 080, 10 miles. Heading is 120.
P: 120 confirm.
C: Affirmative.

22:32

C: Last alt. reported 10000ft 070, 10 miles.
P: 070, 10 confirm. Rolling out 070. Altitude 7000ft. Lost contact more info Efflux.
C: Lost contact as well. It should be 090, 10. Roll out 100.

22:33

P: 100.
C: Normally on the nose range 15. You have contact.

22:34

P: No contact.
C: 095 Range 18 17, both starboard 310.
P: SB 310 Fuel 044.
C: 17 check playtime left.
P: Playtime left 15 minutes.
P: 17 steady 310.
C: Roger 17. Maintain hdg for the moment. One civilian traffic 315 range is 12 at 5000ft in the TMA.

22:38

P: Looking out. Contact at 6000ft slow moving at C.
C: It's civilian traffic. Passing 2 o'clock 5 miles. 5000ft, check 310, 12 miles possible contact.

22:39

P: 10 miles on the nose 10000ft. Contact.
C: On the nose range 7.

22:40

P: Got the same.
C: Check camera on.

22:41

P: Camera on.
C: If possible take max of pictures.
P: Very slow moving.
C: Check alt. of contact.
P: I still have the contact, 5 miles.
C: No height.
P: No height.
C: 3 o'clock 2 miles.
P: " " ".
C: Crossing left to right.
P: Say again.
C: Left side high.
P: Looking out. I see one beacon on the nose.

22:42

C: One civilian traffic west, 10 miles.
C: Contact 100, SB 100.
P: Roger SB 100.
C: Civilian traffic 300, 5 miles.
P: " " " " " Steady 120.
C: Continue 100.
P: 100.
C: Even 060 now. 060, 5.
P: Steady 060.
C: 060, 3. You have contact?
P: One contact but speed is changing from 100 to 600.
C: I have the same contact.
P: Slightly to right 4 miles.
C: Affirmative. High moving.
P: Steady east now.
C: Roger.
P: Lost contact.
C: Both vector 180.

22:44

P: Turning right south.
C: Contact south higher.
P: Looking out. Steady south.
C: Nine o'clock 3. sorry 3 o'clock.
P: Steady south no contact.

22:45

C: Disregard snap 360 now.
P: 360 to the left. Check fuel.
C: Possible contact 350 range 10.
P: 350, 10.
C: 2 contacts due to civilian traffic same position 345, 9 left 330 17 left 330 left 330.

22:46

C: Civilian traffic 340 range 7.
P: Contact on traffic.
C: At 5000ft, other contact at 325 range is 7, no height.
P: Contact on the radar now.
C: Check camera on.
P: Camera on loosing contact.
C: He's now 345 range is 5.
P: We have the same in B 8, 10000ft. MEEL.
C: 350, 3.
P: Radar contact. Contact slightly to the left, 8 miles, lost contact now

22:47

C: He's at your 360 now 360....
P: Request to turn north.
C: Clear now.
P: Steady north Efflux.
C: Roger, no contact.
P: Negative.
C: Reverse south.

(... going on up to time 22h53, but nothing really interesting)

(The light at Coordinates : 50.32.08 04.11.08 has been easily identified; it was just a light on the top of a chimney stack).

RADAR CONTACTS:

The radar contacts of one F-16 with the so-called "UFOs" have been registered on a video record. One lasted for 46 seconds. Two F-16 were involved. One of the F-16 had 13 registered contacts; the other one had also contacts, but they were not registered because the pilot did not push the right switch. The contacts can be divided into 5 groups, separated by periods without contact.

Contact number:Lasting (seconds):Beginning at:
1 2.3 00 h 13 March 31,1990 (March 30 22 h 13 GMT)
2 3.4
3 19.9 00 h 15
4 27.5 00 h 29
5 8.0
6 11.4
7 9.3
8 < 0.1
9 45.900 h 39
10 16.2
11 11.4
12 9.5
13 11.200 h 46

All positions and speeds are available on the video record. Speeds of vertical displacement seem to be sometimes above 1000 knots. Measured speeds are digitally displayed with only three numbers, so 200 knots could be 1200 or 2200 knots. Knowing that, positions and speeds can be correlated (however, above 1000 knots, the three last digits are dubious).

CONTACTS:

Here is the transcript of one of the contacts:

Seconds after lock-on Heading (degrees) Speed (knots) Altitude (feet)
00 200 150 7000
01 200 150 7000
02 200 150 7000
03 200 150 7000
04 sharp 200 acceleration 150 6000
05 Turn 270=22 g 560 6000
06 270 560 6000
07 270 570 6000
08 270 560 7000
09 270 550 7000
10 210 560 9000
11 210 570 10000
12 210 560 11000
13 210 570 10000
14 270 770 7000
15 270 770 6000
16 270 780 6000
17 270 790 5000
18 290 1010 4000
19 290 1000 3000
20 290 990 2000
21 290 990 1000
22 300 990 0000
22.5 300 980 0000 Break lock

When you see for example altitude 5000, this means between 4500 and 5500. So 0000 means between 0 and 500. 0 is sea level; mean ground altitude in this area is about 200 feet (therefore 0000 means in fact between 200 and 500).

What follows are comments from a person whose agreement to give his name hasn't been reached.

The Belgian skies south-east of Brussels were densely populated during the night March 30-31, 1990. There were at least three, and maybe six bright lights with changing colors, observed by gendarmes from 23 h (local time) to 1 h. There were two F-16 hunting true or false echoes from 0 h to 1 h. Local time = GMT + 2.

But there was something else. At 0 h 28, the Semmerzake radar detected an object 2500 ft over the western part of the Brussels agglomeration, moving towards Liege (roughly speaking, towards east) at 450 knots. At 0 h 29, the Glons radar detected it also. From 0 h 29 to 0 h 33, both radars followed the craft, which was going in straight line towards Liege, increasing its speed and its altitude. The Semmerzake radar spotted it again 6000 ft over Liege at 0 h 35, speed 650 knots. The last point was some 12 miles east of Liege, altitude 12000 ft, at 0 h 36.

The Semmerzake radar is an array type radar. It is used for military air safety. Semmerzake is about 30 miles west of Brussels. Glons CRC is a part of NADGE (NATO Air Defense Ground Environment). There are about 80 NADGE CRC in Europe (including Turkey). Its missions are: 1. detect and follow every flight in the Belgian air space, 2. identify friend or foe, 3. if foe, intercept and/or destroy according to the alert status. The Glons radar is a multipurpose impulsion type radar. Glons is about 6 miles north of Liege. The distance Brussels-Liege is about 60 miles. There is another radar at Bertem, for civilian traffic. The craft passed 5 miles south of Bertem at 0 h 30. The Bertem radar did not see anything.

What was this?

1) Civilian traffic? I don't know anything in aviation, but I believed that airliners did not go that fast when they were that low. Also, I thought that each civilian flight was known to the military.

2) A little private jet? Maybe, if all this story is a hoax (it should be a really big hoax, with airship(s), jet(s) and probably ULMs). And are there private jets which go that fast?

3) A military plane? It was not one of the two F-16, which, instead of moving in straight line, were describing complicated loops (I have the plot of all the trajectories). In my opinion, it looks more like a stealth aircraft (F-117 A or TR-3 A), because it was seen only from certain angles. The Bertem radar, which was the best located, never saw it. But apparently the Belgian military did not know of this plane, at least in May 1990, when the Belgian Air Force released its first report about the incidents:

# 00 h 32: The Glons and Semmerzake 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.

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This page was last updated on February 26, 2001