July 26, 1992 -> Belgium flap -> Homeclick!

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The Belgium flap:

The evening of July 26, 1992:

At the end of July 1992, all of a sudden, SOBEPS was contacted by phone calls and letters by many people reporting back their UFO sighting. Once the reports gathered and investigated, it would appear that on Sunday, July 26, 1992, in the evening between 10:15 p.m. and midnight, there was a sudden rash of no less than 27 UFO sightings totaling 72 witnesses in a restricted zone of Belgium including Petit-Thiers, Heers, Verviers, Spa, Pepinster, the larger Liège and Waremme.

The sighting that follows is just one of the 27.

In Chênée at approximately 10:40 p.m.:

That July 26, 1992, Mrs. B[-] was in her garden, in Chênée, a suburb of Liège, at approximately 10:40 p.m..

She suddenly heard a powerful engine humming, looked up and saw exactly above her a dark and imposing mass in the form of a rhombus, motionless or quasi-motionless at an altitude that she estimated as only 150 meters at most.

Three angles of this mass carry a large white headlight, powerful, non-blinking, the fourth angle carries a smaller light, also white, and flickering. No other detail were visible to her.

Above: Diagram of the object according to the diagram of contour and lights position by the SOBEPS investigators after indications by Mrs B[-] and her son.

She was amazed by the fact that she did not hear at all the strong noise arrive gradually as that should be the case at the time of an approach, and amazed because the sound recalled her of the "low roar preceding an earthquake."

She estimated that at arm's length, the object measured 60 centimeters.

At the end of a few seconds, she went back inside the house and called her son.

Her son went outside after a few moments, accompanied by his fiancée, and they observed the object which had moved slightly and was now above the neighboring houses, still at the same altitude.

Her son estimated that the object is a structure of only one part. Its contour was cut out clearly in the sky. The general shape of the object evoked for him that of the American B-2 bomber, or that of a bat.

He specifies clearly that its contour was not a perfect rhombus, the rear triangular part was shorter than the front triangular part. He too, did not see other details than the headlights in the angles.

He would explain that the noise was deafening, and that that it gave the impression that the "engine" was not used for propulsion, but rather for sustaining the object in the air, since it advanced so slowly as to be quasi-motionless.

He and his fiancée observe the object during one to two minutes, time at the end of which he went back inside to get a camera.

His fiancée remained outside and continued to observe the object, which slowly continued its flight going in the direction of Liege but remaining still rather close.

She then sees it bank sideways suddenly, change its course of 45°, resume the earlier position, then resume the earlier trajectory. The operation was made in jerked stages, the object remaining during the time at the same altitude, not changing speed, and its noise level had also remained constant.

This operation was not justified by the least obstacle on the object's path.

The banking allowed her to see the higher part of the object: it was pyramidal.

On the basis of this pyramid, she saw a row of small white lights which girdled the object.

Above: Diagram of the object according to the diagram of contours and lights positions made by the SOBEPS investigators for the phase when the upside part is visible.

At this time, her fiancé and Mrs. B[-] come out of the house, without having found a camera ready to be used.

A few moments later, the object suddenly left at high speed for Liege, sector of Cointe.

During the observation, Mr. B[-] had remained inside the house and did not hear any noise. And in the same way, while his son and his wife were looking for a camera inside the house, they did not hear the sound of the object either.


Above: Sunset In July in Liège.

This makes it plausible that the contours of the object was seen whereas no details on the object could be seen.

Chênée, a residential area, is at approximately 3 km in the South-East of the center of Liege. The Liège/Cointe direction in which the object moved away is the direction towards the Liège's airport.

Short discussion:

It is possible that if ufologists who see themselves as "skeptics" would think about the case, they would propose that it was an airliner or helicopter not recognized as such by the witnesses, or, as that had been claimed at the time, that it was a "secret plane" of the United States, a B2 or F117 (evoked in June 1990 in the popular science magazine Science et Vie as possible explanation for the Belgian flap).

However, no plane of that time and no plane of today, secret or not, can remain quasi motionless in the air. Was it then an helicopter? There is however no helicopter in the shape of a rhombus seen from underneath nor of pyramidal shape decorated of a row of lights seen from the side. There is no blimp of that shape either.

But especially, there is a big problem with the size.

Let us forget for a while the altitude indicated by Mrs. B[-], of 150 meters above her head. Indeed, for an object whose nature is not identified, who can estimate with any certainty the distance it stands? That depends entirely on its size, but this size is not known in since the nature of the object is not known.

On the other hand, a very essential piece of information is given: the object measured 60 centimeters at arm's length; this is a size of 50°. As the angular elevation is 90°, with this angular size of 50°, the possible sizes according to the distance are easily calculable.

If the object had been 10 meters away instead of the 150 meters estimated by the witness, it would have measured a bit more than 9 meters.

If the object had been an helicopter, the witness would have to be mistaken so much in his evaluation that it would not have been 150 meters above but within 15 to 30 meters, and of course it would have been completely impossible not to feel the blow of the rotor at such a proximity, impossible not to have an important agitation of the vegetation and objects in the garden.

If the object had been within 50 meters instead of 150 meters, it would have measured 47 meters big. If it had been within 100 meters, it would have measured 90 meters, almost 1 football field and some 20 meters more than the longest possible airliner. And if the estimate of the witness was rather correct and that the object had indeed been within 150 meters, it would have measured 140 meters. That is to say twice the length of a Boeing 747, or 1.5 football field.

Proponents of the socio-psychological thesis readily explain that the witnesses are mistaken in their evaluation of distances. We see here that if the witness over-estimates the distance, if this distance had not been 150 meters but 20 or 50 meters, the helicopter is excluded. The plane is excluded all the same: a Boeing 747, a small Airbus or even an Ultralight are excluded because at such a short distance, never they could not have appeared quasi motionless.

If the object had been a plane, the slowest plane of the world, i.e. an Ultralight plane, flying in the very extreme lower speed limit, i.e. 65 km/h, i.e. 18 meters per second, it would have been impossible to just look at the object abovehead for several seconds, to return in the house, to come out and still find it, whereas it would have flown so low that its angular size was 50°.

But actually, when the socio-psychological thesis proponents argue that witnesses are mistaken in their evaluation of distances, they usually do not mean that the witnesses over-estimate distances, which "brings" the UFO closer, but that they underestimate the distances, which put the UFO "farther away.". In the present case, if the distance had been 200 meters instead of the estimated 150 meters, our object would have measured 186 meters, that is to say twice and half the size of a Boeing 747. If the distance had been 300 meters, our object would have measured 380 meters, more than 5 Boeing 747 airliners end to end, or three football fields, or 7 Airbus A300 smaller airliners.

Another feature of the observation caught my attention: the sound.

On August 21, 2002, in the middle od the city of Strasbourg, in Alsace, a sighting at low altitude with about thirty witnesses for the majority independent the ones from the other reported an enormous, slow object, which had the characteristic to emit a deaf, low, humming noise which appeared to somehow remind of engines scrambled by other sounds of engines, but which did not seem to be exactly that of engines. To some of the witnesses, the sound was so low and impressive that they would not agree that it was plane engines. One of the characteristics of the phenomenon was that this sound was audible by witnesses having been overflown by the object going abovehead, while the witnesses having seen the object from the side, at a distance, did not report sound. In fact, the investigators initially thought that there was a contradiction between the testimonies: an object described by some as silent and by others as noisy, this does look like a contradiction. It is only when the collected testimonies were seen as a whole that the strangeness appeared: that of an object producing sound when it is above witnesses but quiet when witnesses are not under it. The apparent contradiction was in fact one of the characteristics of strangeness and credibility of the observations.

It seems that one finds this same characteristic, although insufficiently noted, in the present case. That of the deaf and low humming noise which, oddly, is perceived for observers under the object, but not perceived from other positions. Admittedly, the sound could be simply attenuated or masked by the house, since when it was not perceived any more, or not perceived, the listeners are in the house. But it must be noticed that this detail obviously puzzled the witnesses, that it did not appear natural to them. I think that in the cases of this type to come, ufologists should be particularly attentive to question the witnesses to check for this possible weird feature and to document it suitably.

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This page was last updated on October 8, 2007.