Unacknowledged Aircraft: From the “Aurora” to “Silent Planes” and “Flying Triangles”

Over the decades it has been claimed that elements of the U.S. Government may have more than a few “unacknowledged aircraft,” hidden away, so to speak. In simple terms, we’re talking about secret aircraft that, despite sightings of them, no-one in government wants to reveal them for what they are. Or, were. We’ll begin with what has become known as the Aurora. In the early 1990s, rumors began to circulate among the aviation world that a highly secret, futuristic aircraft was being flown out of Area 51 – and under distinctly covert circumstances. The reportedly large, black-colored, triangular-shaped aircraft which could fly at incredible speeds, could outmaneuver just about anything else on the planet. It was rumored to be known as the Aurora. Officially, at least, and according to the U.S. Government, the Aurora does not exist and has never existed. But, that was once said about Area 51, too. So, with that in mind, we need to tread cautiously when it comes to official proclamations of the controversial type.

An artist’s conception of the Aurora aircraft.

The story began – publicly, at least – in March 1990. That was when the well-respected magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology covered the story. They revealed that the term Aurora had appeared in the 1985 U.S. budget – and had possibly appeared by mistake, which makes sense if the program was so highly sensitive that its existence had to be denied at all costs. And talking of costs, it was rumored that around $455 million had been provided to those working out at Area 51 on secret, futuristic aircraft. AW&ST suspected that Aurora was a code-name for multiple kinds of aircraft that were both radical in design and technology. Other investigators, though, concluded that Aurora referred to just one type of aircraft. AW&ST learned that by 1987 the budget had soared to in excess of two billion dollars. Bill Sweetman is one of the leading figures in the field of aviation and someone who took a deep interest in the Aurora saga. His books include F-22 Raptor, Inside the Stealth Bomber, and Soviet Air Power. And, then there is his 1993 book, Aurora: The Pentagon’s Secret Hypersonic Spyplane. Of the Aurora, Sweetman says: “Does Aurora exist? Years of pursuit have led me to believe that, yes, Aurora is most likely in active development, spurred on by recent advances that have allowed technology to catch up with the ambition that launched the program a generation ago.”

Now, let’s have a look at the TR-3A. It was around 11:00 p.m. on September 26, 1994, when a small, twin-tailed aircraft crash-landed onto the lengthy runway at Boscombe Down, which is situated in the English county of Wiltshire. At around the time of the incident, a number of aviation enthusiasts were listening in on air-band radios and were aware that something untoward had taken place. The following day, several of those same enthusiasts drove to the installation – which is near to the A303 road and not at all far from Stonehenge – and were apprehended by local police who had set up road-blocks to keep away prying eyes. Before being ushered away, however, a number of people succeeded in catching sight of a disabled aircraft. It was situated at the end of the runway and, aside from its twin-tail fins, was completely covered over by tarpaulins. Air Force Monthly magazine was soon on the trail of the truth. In the November 1994 issue of the magazine, investigative writers noted that in the wake of the crash both a Boeing 757 and a C-5 Galaxy arrived at Boscombe Down. The story continued that the secret plane was loaded aboard the Galaxy and flown to “Air Force plant 42 at Palmdale, California.” Air Force Monthly suggested that the aircraft “”…was a TR-3A, the existence of which the U.S. Government has yet to officially acknowledge.” The subsonic, stealth TR-3A – also referred to as the Black Manta – remains an enigma, since its existence has never been officially confirmed. Now, what about the Flying Triangles? They have that specific name for a reason: they’re large, black, silent, fast-flying craft hat even have the ability to hover in silence. Some aircraft experts believe the FTs are next-generation Stealth planes. Many people in the UFO research community are of the opinion that the FTs are alien spacecraft. The debate still goes on – after more than several decades of investigation and research.

In 1989 there was a wave of Flying Triangle encounters over Belgian. Nick Pope, still in the employ of the U.K. Ministry of Defense at the time, told me in an interview, after a wave of FT encounters in the U.K. in 1993: “I approached the Belgians to get a comparison after their sightings. I phoned the Air Attaché at the British Embassy in Brussels and he spoke to one of the F-16 pilots who had been scrambled to intercept a Flying Triangle over Belgium back in 1990. Well, the Air Attaché reported back to me that the corporate view of the Belgian Defense Staff was that they did believe that they were dealing with a solid, structured craft. Apparently, the word from the Belgians was: ‘Thank God it was friendly.’ If it hadn’t been, it was made clear to me that there was very little that the Belgian Air Force could have done anyway – despite the fact that the F-16 is no slouch.” The one thing all of these aircraft have in common? I’ll tell you: They’re still undeniably secret.

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