Is the UK a second home for US "shadow" projects? Sightings, data and so on...


I really should change my personal text
Apr 20, 2017
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We know that USAF is on the top when it comes to new technology and progression in aviation world. So many beautiful projects, so many amazing technological challenges over all those years. But... it is publicly known that US cooperate with their "cousins" on various projects and programs. Even F-117 was tested in Europe before it was officially acknowledged. What is better than testing on the green grass between hills and mountain ranges? Of course, we are talking here about the United Kingdom. The fact is that, the UK was/is a major partner in stealth technology. I think it is safe to say that, the UK has been working along with the US on many incredible projects that yet have to seen the light of a day.

Someone would say why test over England when there is enough radar types across the US. Well, that's true but LRS-B demonstrators were testing in the UK against the best ground and some airborne based radar, optical, audio and IR detection arrays. It was a few years ago.
Next question that aviation enthusiast would ask is "Why there is no actual sightings of black world aircraft or even photographs?" - the answer is very simple - because those programs are flying at nights and from places without too many people around.
You can be sure that you won't meet any "neat" airplane close to London or Edinburgh...

But the key is a compartmentalization. RAF Mildenhall was used for SR-71s during Blackbird's operational missions and U-2s were using UK bases too. The last official SR-71 mission out of Mildenhall was in 1990, it gives us 28 years til day today.

United Kingdom has their own black programs, so they have a knowledge of how to play the game.
All over the years, UK was buzzled with flying triangles and there was even a near miss with an airliner at one point.
Smaller triangles as UAVs - in the UK a great deal of development work has been done on Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicles, especially by British Aerospace. My dogged investigation onto dozens of 'UFO' sightings along the West Coast here resulted in a conclusion that in general there were two types of triangles, an LTA type of between 120-150ft (see above) seen to land at Warton on several occasions at the Special Projects Site (see Jane's 1997/8) and much smaller craft between 30-40ft in length. These were unmanned and we had a number of intercepts of these craft under test in the North Sea. The craft in question, British Aerospace's' stealthy triangular UAV (often referred to as 'HALO', a pretty meaningless term), was called the package both by RAF personnel tasked with secret testing and by military controllers in the Tower at Warton.
They have been seen to operate both from Warton and DTEO West Freugh on the SW Scottish coast. Defence Testing and Evaluation Organization is part of the UKs $10 billion a year DERA - Defence Evaluation and Research Agency - based at Farnborough, Hampshire. DTEO is headquartered as RAF Bosconbe Down, the site of several triangular operations since 1990... those UAVs were seen in formation with fighters that were accompaying them during their trials over North Sea and southern parts of United Kingdom.

Why no one wants to get closer to other UK regions? Ok, maybe Central England isn't the best choice but think about Northern regions. Scotland.
Wouldn't it be a not-so-bad idea to operate serious, deep black projects out of that region? Many hills and ranges around there.

Look even closer...

Think about RAF Lossiemouth and F-15 Eagles operating from there. Local community used to low approaches and loud noises near vicinty. Why not launch 'something neat' between or just after Eagle's take off? Add dusk or night time and BINGO.

Of course we have that post left by Astr0 a few years ago:
"originally posted by: Astr0
It would be nice to see in maybe 20 - 30 years the photos of the F-117 prototype and development airframes that used RAF Lossiemouth as a staging area and their photographs of training missions over Norway. "

A few other tidbits and sighting reports floating around:
"Early 2000's.
A good friend of mine Bill was staying on his boat south of Norwich.
About 10pm he was watching F15's perform through his binoculars against a starry sky.
A couple of tankers headed home as well.
A bit later on hearing more F15's he saw two heading inland with a large, almost tanker sized plane behind them, no lights on it but clearly a triangular shape against the sky."

"in august 2003 over lowestoft I was watching some f15s dogfighting early evening and a second and third flight coming over later in the evening. Just after 11:00 there was a tanker and another large jet which I could not tell what it was, only 2 engines, come in over the coast and an hour later another tanker and with it was 2 f15s trailling on either side. There was a jet just trailling the tanker slightly in front on the f15s with no nav lights, strange shape to it, a distinctive sound which was hard to tell giving the number of jets up there. Shortly after a C5 came over all on the same flight path. It was a very clear night no moon. I travelled up to the hall and the heath the next day and there was a C5 at hall parked with its tail towards the sheds where the ospreys are based. I was talking to a gentleman at the fence and he made some comments that it was a strange night at lakenheath and that the C5 had been in there and then came over to the hall. Also that lakenheath had some strange activity the night before.. I went up the next night and a few spotters where there but no planes!"

An interesting part about alleged Boscombe Down incident:
"The aircraft involved in the Boscombe Down 'incident' was originally in the Upper FIR in formation with an westbound KC135 when a serious technical problem occurred. The pilot of the aircraft requested vectors to a Government-owned runway with an 8,000+ft east-west orientated runway within 30 degrees of the nose as he had a control problem.

The source of my info. is an ATCO who was working at BAe Filton who had a VC-10 tanker airborne on a night air test. He was sat in the 'Radar Room' at Filton while monitoring the surrounding West Drayton Civ. & Mil. frequencies. He said the tanker continued westbound but the following days arrivals t Boscombe' only served to attract attention to the incident."

Zaphod suggest the Boscombe Down aircraft type was after FOC, that would rule out possibility of it being demonstrator or prototype.

+ add this piece from an outside source:
"As for the Boscome Down incident, I wasn't there, but I do know someone who *supposedly* was. I have not been able to cross check with a 2nd witness,etc. so take this with a grain of salt. A big grain of salt. Supposedly the aircraft was participating in an exercise, had an engine problem, attempted to land with some loss of hydraulics, and ended up being in more pieces than it took off in. And, supposedly, it was a Northrop aircraft, which doesn't seem to work with the idea that a Lockheed corporate aircraft was assisting in whatever cleanup took place. Hopefully an old friend from the Regiment who was on hand at the time (now retired) can help me out, but I haven't been able to track him down."

Still a lot of questions and not enough data for researches but made this thread just like it is. Compare data we have and make one picture. Any more reports, sightings, thoughts?

Let's solve the riddle!


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Jun 25, 2009
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The Boscombe Down accident was one of the earliest subjects I tackled on my very first website, back in 1997.
Of course most of what I wrote back then was pure speculation, given the limited amount of information we had.
However, the question I was asking then is still as valid as it was back then:

"What was the strange aircraft that was spotted crashing in the night of Sept. 26, 1994 at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire (England), before the area was sealed off for several miles around the crash site? Those who saw it say that it looked somewhat like an F-23."

The fact that the eye witnesses (who were presumably used to seeing the current types in service and able therefore to tell when something looked different), said it resembled the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas ATF, while not being exactly the same, proves that whatever crashed back then was a secret type, which could have been:
[list type=decimal]
[*]a U.S. prototype tested on British territory
[*]a U.S. prototype lended for UK evaluation
[*]a U.S. prototype built to British specifications
[*]a British prototype either of indigenous, U.S. or joint design.

You requested "thoughts", so there you go...

As for the triangle sightings over Belgium, there was a lot of talk at the time (circa 1989) about an alleged TR-3A "Black Manta", which may of course never have existed (someone conveniently came up with the "Tier 3A" story to dismiss the mention of "TR-3A" in some high-ranking official's interview), though something definitely did. The size of those triangles has never been clearly established, so I wouldn't be surprised if the so-called "Black Manta" was simply a U.S.A.F. version of the Teledyne Ryan Model 262 "Manta Ray", possibly the mysterious Model 272 "USAF Harrassment Vehicle."

One question that no-one seems to have raised so far is why there existed Manta Rays of very different sizes (the Navy version was a large vehicle, yet some photos clearly show a much smaller version built in numbers). Note also the huge similarities between the Teledyne Ryan Manta Ray design and the Northrop THAP (Tactical High Altitude Penetrator) design.

Of course, the triangles may also have been a Soviet equivalent, though I suppose by now we'd have heard of it.

So anyway... to me there has never been any doubt that there are secret aircraft somewhere out there, some of which have routinely been flown over European skies and sometimes taken for UFOs in the past. However I tend to be cautious not to discuss this kind of subject too much on this forum because a lot of people either don't like it or will gleefully ridicule every honest attempt to scratch the surface...


ACCESS: Above Top Secret
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Apr 2, 2006
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Talking of Belgium triangles - I thought it was settled a while ago...


ACCESS: Top Secret
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May 26, 2011
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Ah, it must be nearly August!



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Jun 25, 2009
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flateric said:
Talking of Belgium triangles - I thought it was settled a while ago...

Interesting Loch Ness type settlement of the matter... I'd never seen or heard of it before.

However, I was not specifically refering to that one photo, but to the sightings in general. As the article itself puts it: "une plaisanterie, inspirée par la vague d'OVNI née quelques mois plus tôt" (a joke inspired by the UFO wave of several months before). So the fact that this one photo was discarded as a forgery does not change the fact that something flew in Belgian skies at some point. Just because something wasn't photographed doesn't mean it didn't exist, whatever "it" was.

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