By Lee Speigel
Posted: 09/10/2014 7:59 am EDT Updated: 09/10/2014 7:59 am EDT
A "low, slow, silent, see-through triangle" was videotaped in the sky above Leland, North Carolina, on the night of May 13, 2014.
The man who taped the event -- an alleged military combat instructor who prefers to remain anonymous-- reported it in August to MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, where it's listed as case #58923 and is still under investigation.
Here is part of the witness description as reported to MUFON:
I was looking through [night vision] goggles and noticed a 'plane' coming toward me from the north, heading south. It was relatively low, 5,000 feet or a little less. I'm pretty good at estimating distances, I'm an experienced skydiver and long-distance shooter. I thought it was a little weird that I wasn't hearing it coming toward me, so I started recording on the PVS-14 [night vision monocular].
As I'm watching it, I notice that as it's passing stars, I could see stars through the craft! I saw stars through the 'fuselage' of the craft! Later, I confirmed this when I reviewed the video.
Watch the object in night vision HERE. The witness description continues below.
The craft was in the shape of a triangle. There were two lights at the rear of the vehicle, circular, with a blinking light, also circular, almost between them, just a little above the two rear lights. The light in front was shaped like a triangle itself, with a small, round light right behind it. So all together: five lights. This thing was low and slow and silent!!
The last weird thing that I noticed was that, when I took the goggles down for a second to get a bearing as to where it was in the sky, I couldn't see any of the lights, not the fixed lights, not the single blinking light. I couldn't see it without night vision goggles.
So, what, exactly, are we to make of all of this?
"What struck me was that I have seen this before. This is very likely none other than an aerial refueling operation at night," MUFON chief photo and video analyst Marc Dantonio told Open Minds TV.
"I have seen this exact same thing flying right over my house at night," Dantonio said. "What surprises many people is that large aircraft also aerially refuel as well as fighters and this is even more odd-looking. If you notice in the video in this case, the aircraft following behind is a regular full size jet aircraft showing normal navigation lighting, and the forward aircraft has its lighting on as well, minus strobes, which is probably an anti-glare procedure of some sort for the aft pilot so he can maneuver to the fueling boom."
In the following composite image, a star can be seen moving through what could be mistaken for the fuselage of the aerial object, if it's a single aircraft. The red arrows show the position of the star as the object moves in the sky.
"As far as sound, these two jets were much higher up than [the witness] thought, and this explains the lack of sound," said Dantonio. And as far as the stars passing 'through' the aircraft, they can clearly be seen passing between them, but if you end up thinking that this is one large object, then one might think you are seeing stars passing through a transparent, larger object."
To get some further opinion on this case, HuffPost reached out to Ben Hansen, president of NightVisionOps.com.
"[Marc and I] agree that it looks as if the object was filmed 'in-camera.' What's being alleged as stars do appear consistent with what stars look like," Hansen told HuffPost.
Hansen didn't agree with Dantonio's idea that the video shows a refueling operation, because it appears that the objects turn approximately 180 degrees during the course of the video.
"I spoke with a guy who was in the Air Force with advanced degrees in aeronautical science, and after showing him the video, he said you have 30 seconds to connect a plane that's being refueled to the refueler, and protocol is to maintain straight and level flight while you're refueling. Both he and I agree that it makes no sense, and would probably be impossible for this to be any type of plane that's refueling while doing a turn," Hansen said.
According to Dantonio, while the video appears to show the craft (or more than one craft) turning in the sky, he believes this is the result of the videographer actually turning the camera on his tripod, to keep the objects in view. In that scenario, Hansen would be correct in saying that the aircraft were most likely going in a straight line during a refueling operation. He also shared his own similar encounter with a flying triangle.
"In May of 2013, I witnessed a triangular craft in California which, I believe -- if I would've had my night vision -- it would've looked very similar to what [this North Carolina eyewitness] filmed. The underside of the triangle looked exactly like the sky above in color. I didn't see stars through it, but I have an open mind that some form of cloaking technology may already exist.
"Even if it's not ours," Hansen added, "if this is a full-scale craft and not some type of a remote controlled model, this exhibits unconventional maneuvering and cloaking capability that's quite extraordinary."