V i s i t o r   r e s p o n s e s 

R e :   E r n a g e   -   D e c e m b e r   1 1 ,   1 9 8 9   
 Received : 10/27/07  Estimates of size and distance - 1   Roger PAQUAY   

According to your web site, when the craft turned and moved in the direction of the witnesses, it was at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mile or 3,280 feet), a distance that can be measured on the scaled map....  read more 

 Received : 04/20/08  Helicopter noise - 1   Martin SHOUGH   

In this case, an Army officer, Lt. Col. AMOND [now retired], and his wife, stopped their car on what Wim [VAN UTRECHT] describes as a "lonely road" and wound down the window with "ears pricked" to try and detect any sound from an object of evidently large angular size showing details of lit "panels" or windows as well as various other separate lights which circled apparently nearby for up to 8 minutes.....  read more 

 Received : 05/13/08  Helicopter noise - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

It is correct that an inversion will refract sound towards the surface, and the recommendation to avoid flying in an inversion makes sense therefore. But the inference that flying above the top of an inversion will have the inverse effect of abnormally refracting sound upward is unwarranted I think.....  read more 

 Received : 05/17/08  Helicopter noise - 3   Martin SHOUGH   

Re the Ernage case in particular and silent helicopters in general, I looked a bit further into the sound propagation question and helicopter noise sources. Perhaps this will help us decide the merits of the theory. Anyway I've collected some information for future reference - and just because it's interesting.....  read more 

 Received : 05/26/08  Estimates of size and distance - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

I'd like to point out that Mr. PAQUAY treats Lt. Col. AMOND's "2x moon diameter" light as relating to the angular size of a light source, when clearly this should be treated as an impression of the circle of glare (overloaded retina) caused by this "huge" and "brilliant" light shining into the witness's face......  read more 

 Received : 06/05/08  A response from the prime witness   Andrť AMOND, Col. (Ret.)   

I would like to correct the approach of Mr. PAQUAY who claims that the observation of the "spotlight" was made while the craft was 1,000 m from my observation point. This is COMPLETELY WRONG.......  read more 

 Received : 06/17/08  Estimates of size and distance - 3   Roger PAQUAY   

In his response, dated June 5, 2008, Col. AMOND claims that my distance estimation of 1,000 m for the phase during which the craft turned towards him is completely false and that the real distance at that moment was 100 to 200 m. He also disputes my calculations and qualifies them as unscientific.......  read more 

 Received : 06/22/08  Not a helicopter - 1   Wilfried DE BROUWER, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)   

The Belgian airspace is surveyed by four powerful radars, two military and two civilian, which are all interlinked, i.e. any duty controller can select the image of any of these radars at any one time. All radar registrations are recorded and these recordings are kept during a well determined period......  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Witness reliability - 1   Jean-Michel ABRASSART   

A little comment about the strawman argument at the end of Wilfried DE BROUWER's email......  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Witness reliability - 2   Grégory GUTIEREZ   

In my opinion, the important information in DE BROUWER's e-mail is not in his last paragraph about the reliability of Col. AMOND. Of course human testimony is not always reliable, but Jean-Michel ABRASSART tends to say that it's NEVER reliable. I think he pushes his argument too far here, turning it into some kind of indisputable doctrine.....  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Plasma stealth chopper - 1   Jean-Pierre PHARABOD   

Now I am beginning to wonder : how could it be that the four Belgian radars did not detect these objects in the sky which were neither aircraft nor helicopters...  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Not a helicopter - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

Gen. DE BROUWER's first-hand testimony confirms not only that no helicopter should have been flying (as previously reported by Col. AMOND) but that, in point of fact, no illicit helicopter or other aircraft was detected by radars covering the area....  read more 

 Received : 06/26/08  Plasma stealth chopper - 2 / Map confusion   Prof. Auguste MEESSEN   

I will try to contribute to this debate by sharing with you that I have the following documents concerning the Ernage case....  read more 

 Received : 07/02/08  Recapitulating   Martin SHOUGH   

Re your reply to Prof. MEESSEN, you're right, the statement about flight plans in the Defence Minister's reply to the Parliamentary question is different from what we understood Gen. DE BROUWER to say....  read more 

 Received : 07/03/08  Estimates of size and distance - 4   Martin SHOUGH   

Thanks for Mr. PAQUAY's follow-up. I was not (as Mr. PAQUAY believes) suggesting that Col. AMOND was "dazzled" to explain a large image. As he says, an "overloaded retina" is not a very good explanation....  read more 

 Received : 07/06/08  Not a helicopter - 3   Wilfried DE BROUWER, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)   

Allow me to clarify a few points. 1. Your statement: "A helicopter is perfectly capable of executing such a manoeuvre". The report of André AMOND suggests that the object was making a tight turn with a considerable angle of bank (45 degrees?) at very slow speed (20-30 km/h?)....  read more 

 Received : 07/14/08  Helicopters noise - 4 / Banking angles - 1   Joe McGONAGLE   

I don't claim to have the detailed aeronautical experience of General DE BROUWER, but during my own military service, I did have some exposure to helicopters as a passenger and as an observer from the ground.....  read more 

 Received : 07/14/08  Helicopters noise - 5 / Banking angles - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

Thanks for your input Joe. Yes, clearly it can happen that when the conditions for sound propagation and other witness circumstances are unfavourable people can fail to hear helicopters. Your and Wim's experiences attest to this.

The issue in this case seems to be as Wim said that the propagation conditions we can measure or infer, and the circumstances of the witnesses, all appear to have been favourable for hearing sound.

I can add anecdotal evidence from a friend whom I credit who has worked in aviation all his life - from managing cargo and passenger airlines to commentating airshows all over the world. I asked if he had ever failed to hear an approaching helicopter in similar circumstances. He responded "I have never been in the situation you describe. All helicopters in my experience would make a hell of a racket".

Your experience with the Lynx helicopter would tend to support Gen. DE BROUWER's statement that a slow manoeuvring helicopter "will not take any significant bank; otherwise it would fall out of the sky".

But estimation of bank angle by witnesses on the ground might well be exaggerated, as you also suggest. Witnesses seem to generally overestimate all types of angle. And Wim's point is also valid : a helicopter several times as far away as Col. AMOND's new testimony indicates could be flying several times as fast as his new testimony indicates, and could accommodate more bank. This could fit his original testimony.

But we come back again to the several other interlocking arguments that make a silent helicopter difficult to defend in this instance, to Gen. DE BROUWER's explicit report that BAF radar experts ruled out the presence of a helicopter, and to the context of other analogous reports in the same time frame describing a similar unexpected absence or near-absence sound.

At least, that last point is my impression from reading some of the summarised accounts of the wave. It would be interesting to see that quantified and applied to the hypothesis that special or 'freak' conditions applied in a number of quasi-independent sightings of helicopters in different environments at different times and dates.

Strathconon, Scotland

Our reply :

As pointed out in our reply to Prof. MEESSENís response of July 26, CAELESTIA has agreed to put the helicopter theory to rest, at least temporarily. The various assessments that have been made, and in particular the fact that no sound was heard, the fact that no flight plan was introduced and the fact that no helicopter was detected on any of our countryís radar screens, seem to rule out an "ordinary" army helicopter like a Puma or a Seaking.

So, is it possible that the unidentified object seen at Ernage was an advanced stealth helicopter from a foreign military testing our Belgian radar system? We have no way of knowing, but considering that the first test-flight with a helicopter of that type (the US Army Comanche RAH-66) occurred on January 4, 1996 (, i.e. more than six years after Col. AMONDís sighting, we donít think this is a very likely alternative.

With the helicopter now in the fridge it is perhaps time we got the blimp out again (we put it on ice in 2000 when our efforts to consolidate this possibility proved a dead end - see page 2 of our article Triangles over Belgium). Of particular interest in this regard is the news item below which contains images of an illuminated blimp flying over houses and trees in the Boston, Massachusetts, area in the Summer of 2007.

The advertising blimp that can be seen in this clip and which, according to the reporters on duty seemed to have been flying around without a flight plan, prompted concerned residents to call local 911 operators. Upon viewing these images one will note three lights forming an isosceles triangle, a red blinking light underneath the gondola plus the trapezium-shaped front windows flanked with smaller windows. Try to imagine what this would look like with three white lights (instead of one white, one red and one green) and with the lights inside the transparent envelope turned off and the light inside the gondola turned on!

Also, blimps are capable of performing complete turns. They can raise or lower their nose and fly very close to the ground, thus avoiding radar detection. The sound these motorized balloons produce is much more soft than that of a helicopter and is more easily masked by passing traffic (Col. AMOND stated that he not only saw a train pass by at the moment of the sighting, but also heard the regular noise of traffic on the N4 highway). The sound produced by a blimp is also comparable to the sound reported by other UFO witnesses that night (and which has been described as a very faint "dull, humming sound"). And last but not least, some of these witnesses also claimed to have spotted a big, round mass on top of the three white lights.

So it seems that we may have found ourselves a "new" candidate explanation for the sightings of December 11, 1989.


   See our contact page to find out how you too can contribute.