Greenstreet "Black Triangle" 2003

Topbunk 2.0

Member
“I saw a triangular UFO in 2003… It happened at night.”
Described in the Basement Office Ep. 04
Source: https://youtu.be/656VqWTnKmw?t=65

Location: Provo, Utah, U.S.
I don’t think he’s given the exact date or time or the estimated size of the object.
He shows a photo of his position.
It’s here: 40.26411752888172, -111.6611976002238
Screenshot 2022-11-10 at 22.09.44.png
And an illustration of what he saw.
Screenshot 2022-11-10 at 21.03.51.png
It shows what looks like a swept wing aircraft with blue lights along the underside of it’s wing/s.
He said it was silent and slow moving, crossing the frame in 9 seconds.

Was it a glider launched from a nearby airport?

30km to the North East of his position is Heber Valley Airport.
It includes a WW2 aviation museum. They host airshows. Looking over historical satellite images on Google Earth. They also appear to have some gliders at times.

Screenshot 2022-11-10 at 22.06.05.png
Google Earth map shows GS position and a 15 mile radius from the airport. (An acceptable radius for a glider to travel from base?) The green line is to show the topology from his position to the airport.

Questions

  • In UT, in 2003 would a low flying glider need an altitude-reporting transponder? Could an untraceable flight occur close to a populated area?
There are many aircraft which fit the shape described. From vintage things like the Dunne D8, a swept wing biplane which travelled at a leisurely 55mph, and which is almost as old as powered flight itself, to hand gliders, to modern Swift E electrically powered gliders.

IMG_2352.JPGIMG_2354.JPGIMG_2357.JPG
Source: own photo taken at the Science Museum, London, UK.
  • Why was the craft flying at night with lights along the underside of the wing?

Some similar human-made things.​

https://youtu.be/B9rgcNdTPhk?t=232

Solar Impulse. (2016) Only included because it has lights along the wing similar to the illustration from the Basement Office episode. - why do they put light on it like that?
Solar Impulse at night.
_89681338_032891038.jpg.webp
Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36284496

Swift E lite electric, swept wing glider.
04.jpg
https://www.icaro2000.com/products/swift/swift.htm
Video of a Swift E glider gliding around
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
And an illustration of what he saw.
Screenshot 2022-11-10 at 21.03.51.png
Not sure what he means by "crossing the frame" and more normally this would be moving not at all or extremely slowly, but dropping this pic here as another candidate for something that might look like the above depiction, even if the motion makes it an unlikely candidate in this particular case...

Edited to replace pic with one in a format that displays in the post...20221110_210251.jpg
View attachment 56099
 

Duke

Active Member
Article

The Wills Wing Eagle is an American high-wing, single-place, hang glider that was designed and produced by Wills Wing of Santa Ana, California. Now out of production, when it was available the aircraft was supplied complete and ready-to-fly.
Content from External Source
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Wills_Wing_Eagle

_b417f5c7-edca-4312-842c-b5242cb26b7b.979e052375.jpg
https://www.utah.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/hang-gliding/

Shape and state are right. I don't know if they existed twenty years ago, but a series of LED "button lamps" just under the leading edge of the wing could create the effect. These things are surprisingly bright.


From Amazon Listing

Ultra-bright & compact that have all the power of a regular lamp, but in a really tiny, economical package - Batteries included, each lamp rated for 17+ hours of battery life.
Content from External Source
51f0W3x-7LL._AC_SY350_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/BUTTON-LAMP-...ocphy=9015630&hvtargid=pla-625435101014&psc=1

Hang gliding at night probably isn't the best idea, not even sure it's legal. No time of day mentioned apparently, but maybe in the dusk twilight? Would take a hardy soul going to a lot of trouble (and danger) to create a fake triangle UFO doing this, but never underestimate avid pranksters.
 
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Duke

Active Member
An RC flying wing glider (like that shown above) with lights attached makes more sense than a manned hang glider flying at night. I hadn't considered that. The question then becomes what light technology was available in 2003 that would have been bright enough, yet small/lightweight enough, to not make the glider too heavy or unstable?
 

Duke

Active Member
Blue LEDs $1.99
Radioshack catalogue p.262 (2002)
RadioShack2002.png
Source:https://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/flipbook/2002_radioshack_catalog.html
I was including a power source/transfer system/attachment hardware within "light technology" in 2003. Unless they had a very long extension cord, probably batteries and wire.

Flying wings are usually marginally stable. For something as small as an RC glider, it wouldn't take much to move its cg (center of gravity) and possibly make it uncontrollable.
 

Domzh

Active Member
Hang gliding or flying any ultralights at night is illegal since 1984. Specified in AC 103 by the FAA

103.11 Daylight operations.
(a) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, ultralight vehicles may be operated during the twilight periods 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset or, in Alaska, during the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac, if:
(1) The vehicle is equipped with an operating anticollision light visible for at least 3 statute miles; and
(2) All operations are conducted in uncontrolled airspace.
source: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_pol....cfm/go/document.information/documentid/22640

A hang glider, wether powered or not, falls under this category.

Of course someone could still have done it but rather unlikely. Especially if this area should be within controlled airspace.

There is a skydive center in Provo.

Skydiving is not considered ultralight.
I could not find information of them doing regular night jumps. Nightjumps have often caused UFO reports of flying lights in formation described as:

- appear out of nothing
- slowly fly / hover in formation
- suddenly disappear

This is caused by flares or glowing sticks attached to the skydivers leg.

I am a skydiver and wingsuiter with nightjump experience and the triangle formation could totally be plausible. Its called RW (relative work), the type of stuff known from the golden knights (army parachute team) or leap frogs (navy parachute team) but performed by many dropzones.

Typically, if this was the case, one would see either or single lights go out or separate from the formation.

A special night license for that date would be very highly likely needed.

Easy bet for UFO reportings:


232FE6D3-AF95-4895-A829-08B0C7761562.jpeg
 

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Duke

Active Member
Hang gliding or flying any ultralights at night is illegal since 1984. Specified in AC 103 by the FAA


source: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_pol....cfm/go/document.information/documentid/22640

A hang glider, wether powered or not, falls under this category.

Of course someone could still have done it but rather unlikely. Especially if this area should be within controlled airspace.

There is a skydive center in Provo.

Skydiving is not considered ultralight.
I could not find information of them doing regular night jumps. Nightjumps have often caused UFO reports of flying lights in formation described as:

- appear out of nothing
- slowly fly / hover in formation
- suddenly disappear

This is caused by flares or glowing sticks attached to the skydivers leg.

I am a skydiver and wingsuiter with nightjump experience and the triangle formation could totally be plausible. Its called RW (relative work), the type of stuff known from the golden knights (army parachute team) or leap frogs (navy parachute team) but performed by many dropzones.

Typically, if this was the case, one would see either or single lights go out or separate from the formation.

A special night license for that date would be very highly likely needed.

Easy bet for UFO reportings:


232FE6D3-AF95-4895-A829-08B0C7761562.jpeg
There was a reported UFO once while I was in the UK that turned out to be night jumpers with flares. It looked more mysterious from a distance than closer up, with the closer video you could see smoke from the flare.

I saw a group of night skydivers once at Lake Elsinore in California. The stayed together for awhile, then separated and created a starburst like image. Very cool.
 

Topbunk 2.0

Member
If it were parachutists wouldn't there be a record of the transponder details of the jump-plane used?
He seems pretty sure it was a solid craft with a dark outline.
Hang gliding or flying any ultralights at night is illegal
We don't know the date or time to know if it was legally night time. (although he says "at night" above).
 

Domzh

Active Member
@Topbunk 2.0 i dont know about the airplane honestly. this are special dropzone airplanes and i know that they need clearance to go up, drop the skydivers and then immediately need to land.

i think the easiest would be to ask them if they do night jumps and if yes, if they did some at this date. they need to keep the flight logs afaik.

i dont trust this "it was a solid black triangle" anymore. there were so many reported "black triangle crafts" that were just three chinese lanterns or two car lights and a third light source etc. at night the eyes play tricks on us and we are hardwired to see known shapes even if they arent there.

phoenix lights are a perfect example of people describing a solid black triangle that turned out to be military flares and supposedly a couple of jets in formation. i believe they also reported the triangle to cloak itself by becoming partly transluscent (the could see the moon through the craft). what they allegedly saw were the planes flying in front of the moon, leaving contrails that looked dark against its bright surface.

what makes this one (greenstreet) somewhat special however is that he said the lights were blue. now i dont know if certain aspects in the air could make white light appear blue or if blue is always blue.

if all of the lights were blue then this would actually be less likely skydivers. they are often more in the extroverted side and would have at least one big dude who insists to fly with a pink flare

i saw a case once where people saw a black triangle in the night sky with a very distinct solid black shape. turned out to be a shadow of a triangular shaped skyscraper that was heavily illuminated around the edges.
 

Topbunk 2.0

Member
Perhaps he'll chip in with some more details at some point since he has an account here.

I think it's a useful exercise to explore the what ifs about these cases so that people have a sense of just how many known things can produce this kind of sighting and not be ill-informed about what's possible. It seems like there are a few plausible paths without getting too novel.
i dont trust this "it was a solid black triangle" anymore.
It's curious that this gets described as a "black triangle" when its a V or chevron, like a bird formation or a drifting string of helium balloons. We're likely to perceive a physical connection between points of light, like in your photo above. For example it's better/safer to assume two motorcycle headlights are one solid vehicle than assume they will split apart as we approach them.
 
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