Monday, March 19, 2007

NIDS 2002 Hypothesis: It's a DoD BLIMP!

Since they can be built, "They would have been...But ONLY as "black projects built by established DOD matter how advanced the small companies technologies may be..." - Testimony of aircraft designer in NIDS , July, 2002 report

Conceptual design of the Dynairship 2, at Aereon's Corporate website


Reporter Leonard David of Space.Com broke the story one early morning, 7:00am, August 5th, 2002:

"...NIDS researchers contend that these type vehicles are lighter-than-air, blimp-style craft of the U.S. military's making. Likely powered by "electrokinetic" drive, the lifting body-shaped airships have been skirting the skies from perhaps the early to mid 1980s..."

So, it's a Blimp!

At least, that's what NIDS thought it was, as of August of 2002. Let's take a deeper look into the NIDS 2002 hypothesis, and examine the evidence, the logic, and the final conclusion. Judge for yourself:


NIDS originally captured an official Black Triangle sighting report on their toll free UFO hotline on January 5th, 2000, involving the now famous Shiloh, Illinois Black Triangle event. An entire article can be written to cover this story, but for now, let us just acknowledge that this is the domino, which started NIDS down the path of scientific exploration into the realm of Black Triangles.

At this juncture, the NIDS Institute was just getting started, and by no means, had they formed any formal conclusions one way or the other about the Phenomenon. That said, one of their primary areas of inquiry was on the possibility of the "Aereon Hypothesis".


"..One of the police eyewitnesses testified that the craft he observed bore an unusually close resemblance to the artist's impression of a stealth blimp published in the September 1999 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine ("Skunk Works Magic" by Jim Wilson). Further, there was other speculation that the observed craft bore a resemblance to a revolutionary hybrid lifting body that was tested, flown, and patented by Aereon Corporation of Princeton, NJ. The story of the development of the Aereon hybrid craft is publicly available and is the subject of an engaging book called The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed by John McPhee..."

"Stealth Blimp", Popular Mechanics, September, 1999 - "Skunk Works Magic" by Jim Wilson

Diagram of Aereon-style craft, as published in NIDS original Illinois UFO Sighting report.


Let's project forward now to July of 2002, wherein NIDS produces a document entitled, "Hypothesis: The Illinois Flying Triangle is a Department of Defense, Not an ET Craft":


NIDS rendered a compelling map of the United States, blocking out red dots representing Black Triangle reported sightings, and black dots representing known existing military commands. The correlation, visually, was difficult to ignore. If any explanation was to be postulated, it would have to explain this correlation. Could these craft be military? Could these craft be ours?

"In the two years since the Illinois investigation, NIDS has accumulated over 150 separate reports of sightings of large triangular or deltoid shaped objects. The reports have mainly come from the United States with a small minority from Canada and Europe. Last year, NIDS noticed and published an apparent correlation between the locations of the large triangular shaped object sightings and the locations of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) and Air Mobility Command (AMC) bases throughout the United States.This correlation was checked in two other independent databases and shown to be consistent..."

Red dots = Black triangle sighting locations
Large black dots = Air Mobility Command and other base locations

Big Black Deltas (BBDs): DoD, Not ET

In their hypothesis, NIDS called upon an unnamed aircraft designer, to share his expertise on the subject. The designer suggested that the object reported in the 1-5-2000 Shiloh Illinois sighting, reminded him of a large, LTA (lighter than aircraft), using what he described as an electrokinetic drive. Both of these technologies existed in 2000, and the designer speculated that if the DoD were to combine them, it might closely replicate the dimensions and maneuverability as reported by the police officers in Shiloh, Illinois. He further suggested that the DoD had likely built this craft sometime in the early to mid 1980's. These craft are now commonly referred to as BBD's (Big Black Delta's).

Big Black Delta, as portrayed in the NIDS 2002 Hypothesis

Using the information gathered from the witnesses of the Shiloh, Illinois Black Triangles sighting, alongside the data of 150 other reported black triangle sightings, the aircraft designer concluded that, if it were a BBD, it would be 600 feet long, 300 feet wide, it would weigh 40 tons, have a mass of 100 tons, it's surface range would be approximately 180,000 square feet horizontal, by 94,245 square feet verticle, and it would have an approximate payload at 10,000 feet of 100 tons.


"Phils Lifter" - hobbyist example of Electrokinetic propulsion, courtesy of "The Tesla Pod"

The Yamato 1, running entirely on a MagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD) propulsion system

Why the reported huge size (football field size)?

The short answer is payload, propulsion, and design.

"The BBDs are so large so they can:

1. Carry massive payloads at low altitudes at speeds 3 to 5 times as fast as surface ships.

2. They can use highly advanced but large and crude power and propulsion systems in early stages of development. (ie electrokinetic / Field drives or airborne nuclear power units.)

3. They can fly at extreme altitudes, taking advantage of the LTA’s altitude ability to stay out of the range of conventional aircraft and ground based traffic control radars. "

Why is it silent?

The relatively simple answer to that question, is that blimps have been silent propulsion systems since the 1880's. If you've ever been up close to a Goodyear blimp at a football game, you can attest to the virtual silence of airship propulsion technology.

That said, other, more exotic, more modern forms of propulsion systems were cited in the NIDS 2002 report; Propulsion systems that are not the thing of science fiction, but modern mechanics:

1) "..In the late 1920s, T.T. Brown developed the electrokinetic (meaning motion from electricity) capacitor. ..

2) "...By the late 1950s aviation pioneer Alexander de Seversky's IONOCRAFT had demonstrated a far more advanced, fully controlled, version of such a system

3) " ...The electrokinetic system shows a number of the “Characteristics” of “UFO” power systems. It flies with “no visible form of support”, no propellers, jets, and in the case of a hybrid LTA craft which would NOT use thrust from the drive to hold the ship up (since it would have aerostatic, lift gas, like a balloon) no downwash like a helicopter’s. Except for “a slight humming” from high voltage control equipment and an occasional coronal discharge in the older units it makes no noise."

How come it appears to accelerate so quickly from a hovering position?

The short, simple answer to this somewhat complicated question, is that if a Black Triangle is a BBD airship operating with an innovative propulsion system, than it would operate essentially, like a tricked-out blimp, and not like an aircraft.

It would be a lighter than air airship, that utilizes it's strengths, such as bouyancy and its power to mass ratio, to achieve startling results. The airship would not maneuver like a jet. The airship would not be restricted in the same ways that a jet might be. The airship would not be constrained. It would have amazing low hovering capabilites, while at the same time be capable of high-altitude flight, far surpassing what we commonly think of as jet-like maneuverability. It would behave much differently than any plane or blimp for that matter, and almost anyone who would see it in flight, might not fully understand what it is they are looking at. NIDS explains:

" electrokinetic system combined with LTA a way that makes the hull of such a craft the “engine” with the hull area of such a craft interacting with the “working fluid” (i.e. The surrounding air) the larger the craft, the “better.”...At low altitudes, the “working fluid” is more dense and a lot of thrust can be obtained from a fairly small area..."

"A modern jet fighter only has a power to mass ratio of a little over 1 to 1. As reported such a craft should be able to “pull away” from any modern aircraft trying to catch it. Note that as often reported “in a climb” such a craft would add the extra buoyancy of its lift gas (assuming some sort of buoyancy control system) to the electrokinetic thrust while a jet is fighting its mass with thrust and the craft would pull away even faster.

"After a certain altitude the jet starts to lose lift from its wings as its engine loses thrust from intake of the thinning air. A craft as described would continue to climb due to both its LTA altitude ability and the high altitude operation of the EK drive “Climbing away” is a well-known scenario when such craft are pursued by aircraft. Another side effect of such a high voltage external drive would be that if a conventional aircraft approached it too closely one would expect the electrical systems of such an aircraft to be overloaded and possible the operation of the engines and other systems stopped. This effect has frequently been reported."

How come it can turn without banking?

"LTA craft use “static lift” not the “lift vector” of aerodynamic surfaces, i.e. “wings.” They do not normally “bank” when turning. In addition, a craft with the systems described would have omni directional thrust and in normal circumstances using the top and bottom surfaces for horizontal thrust would merely “turn” as the thrust vector is changed with the two surfaces generating equal thrust both pitch and roll motions would be prevented."

Why is it brightly lit, sometimes blinding light?

"Besides the “coronal discharge” often seen with such craft, another reason for such light displays is the inability of aircraft power systems to rapidly change power output...If such a craft was operating at low thrust with a nuclear or other closed cycle power system, it would be best to setup such a system to produce a steady state amount of power at all times.

Reconstruction depicts lights, as described by officer Lopinot, courtesy of DARRYL BARKER PRODUCTIONS

"Power can be diverted from this unit to both the thrusters on onboard systems. This would also require some sort of onboard “power storage” and a method of getting rid of excess power at periods of low power demand like hovering or low speed flight. High power illumination is a simple method of doing this. Lights are fairly small, light in mass, and in a night flight craft such as this useful in landing when operating at low altitude and low speed.

"Such a craft using “optical camouflage” would naturally have a large number of light producing systems as part of the optical camouflage, further reducing complexity by using them to a multiple purpose, (landing, “disappearing”, and blinding pursuit).

"One might also mention that even If the lights did attract public attention it makes little difference. Conventional aircraft cannot catch one of these craft and side effects of the drive along with the sensor transparency and active camouflage make pictures indistinct allowing deniability."


So, in July of 2002, NIDS declares that the Black Triangle mystery is solved. They gather the facts. NIDS studied 150 cases, and amassed a matrix of data concerning the physical details and behaviors of this object; They correlated the reports into a graphical map which illustrated that the sightings were taking place around military installations; They analyzed the data, using an aircraft designer who seemed to know a thing or two about LTA airships and Electrokinetic drives, and correlated that the behavior patterns and dimensions of this ship, fit suspiciously well with the dimensions, maneuvers, and characteristics of a prospective "Big Black Delta" LTA airship using Electrokinetic propulsion. They examined circumstantial evidence of historical references to such potential craft, such as Jim Wilsons' article, "Skunk Works Magic", published in the Popular Mechanics issue of 1999; John McPhee's "The Deltoid Pumpkin"; and perhaps most importantly, a study of the Aereon Corporations work on hybrid airship craft (such as the Dynairship II).

They gathered all of this evidence, data, and theory, and came to the solid conclusion that the Black Triangles, such as the one seen over Shiloh, Illlinois, on January 5th, 2000, are most likely DoD LTA Airships with Electrokinetic propulsion systems.

And why is this hypothesis likely? Why so covert? Why would a blimp be a black-ops project? NIDS aircraft designer eloquently states:

"An interesting sidelight to this “Deltoid airship development” is that since it has abilities far outstripping those of conventional airplanes in many military areas, no public, commercial companies have been able to acquire funding to develop such craft. (DOD and NASA funding for both the AEREON corporation and the MICROCRAFT “AEROCRAFT” were both dropped.) These military mission scenario and the military applications for the large deltoids are a prime reason that since they can be built, “They would have been.” But ONLY as “Black projects built by established DOD contractors,” as stated by DOD representatives at recent aerospace technology conferences, “no matter how advanced the small companies technologies may be.”

So, is that it? Is the mystery solved? Did NIDS lay out the most viable explanation in July of 2002? Has the Black Triangles mystery finally been laid to rest?

Well, not exactly. One really difficult snag in this puzzle, lays in two somewhat disturbing, very inconvenient facts.

Fact 1: NIDS changes their minds, and forms a DIFFERENT conclusion in August of 2004.

Fact 2: NIDS goes silent after August of 2004, on the entire Black Triangles phenomenon.

Does that mean that they are NOT LTA Airships? Does that mean that NIDS got it wrong in July of 2002. Part of me thinks that this is possible. But deep down, one can come to an entirely different conclusion. Perhaps, NIDS got it right. Perhaps, NIDS was extremely close to the mark. Why did NIDS cease and desist their invesigation into the Black Triangle Phenomenon? Where did they go? Mr. Bigelow went on to launch Genesis 1 and soon to be launched Genesis 2, his very own satellites into space via Bigelow Aerospace. Dr. Vallee is general partner for Euro-America, a funding group focused on high technology. What does all this mean? I'm not sure. I guess for me, I'm not convinced the BBD explanation is not correct, and I'm left with many more questions than answers.

Like everything having to do with Black Triangles, the answer is never simple. It is never straight-forward. It is always complex. At least this answer, as contained in NIDS July, 2002 Hypothesis, is thorough, solid, and based on scientific research and fact. It is a good hypothesis. It is sound, logical, and reasonable. It is the simplest explanation I've seen so far, regarding what is the most complicated of subjects. If friar William of Okham is correct, then Occam's razor might suggest that Black Triangles are, in fact, LTA airships with an Electrokinetic propulsion system.

Copyright 2007, Tom Levine, Levicom, LLC. This article is protected by copyright, and cannot be duplicated or altered in any way, without the sole, written permission of its author. This article can be distributed as an RSS feed, providing that it is not altered, that credit is given to its author, and that a viable, hyper-link is included in the article back to the originating website. For questions and further information, the author can be contacted at or by visiting

Links and Thank yous:

Darryl Barker
Producer, "The Edge of Reality, Illinois UFO, January 5, 2000"
SkewsMe Collective of the Arcane -
Leonard David, and Space.Com -
Jim Wilson, author of "Skunk Works Magic", and Popular Mechanics
John Mcphee, author of "The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed"
The Telsa Pod -

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